2014 Motiv Spark Review

Motiv Spark Electric Bike Review
Motiv Spark
Motiv Spark Derailleur Cassette
Motiv Spark Lithium Ion Battery
Motiv Spark Throttle Brakes Etc
Motiv Spark Chain Guard Pedal
Motiv Spark Disc Brakes
Motiv Spark Color Option Examples
Motiv Spark Electric Bike Review
Motiv Spark
Motiv Spark Derailleur Cassette
Motiv Spark Lithium Ion Battery
Motiv Spark Throttle Brakes Etc
Motiv Spark Chain Guard Pedal
Motiv Spark Disc Brakes
Motiv Spark Color Option Examples

Summary

  • Well-rounded cruiser style electric bike with low center of gravity and powerful drive system
  • Upgradable battery pack offers increased range or torque, can be charged on or off the bike
  • Large padded seat, balloon tires, elongated handlebars and mini seat post shock add comfort
  • Well priced but several nice upgrades including disc brakes, Lithium-ion battery and Wellgo pedals

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Motiv

Model:

Spark

Price:

$1,749 USD

Body Position:

Upright Relaxed

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

Lifetime Frame, 2 Year Electronics and Battery

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

20132014

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

49 lbs (22.22 kg)

Motor Weight:

9 lbs (4.08 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Hydroformed Aluminum

Frame Sizes:

18 in (45.72 cm)

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Green, Black, Red, White

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses

Gearing Details:

6 Speed 1x6 Shimano Tourney TX

Shifter Details:

Shimano SIS Index Thumb Shifter on Right Handle Bar

Pedals:

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform

Stem:

Truvativ by SRAM

Handlebar:

Truvativ Riser

Brake Details:

Tektro Novela Mechanical Disc Brakes with 180 mm Rotors and Electronic Motor Cutoff

Grips:

Rubber

Saddle:

Oversized Comfort

Seat Post:

Basic Suspension Shock

Tire Brand:

Kenda K-Rad, 26"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

Puncture Protection, Reflective Sidewall

Tube Details:

Pre-Slimed

Accessories:

Adjustable Length Kickstand, Matching Chain Guard, Integrated Bell on Left Brake Lever, Optional Kevlar Lined Fat Frank Tires

Other:

Can Choose Rim Color (Green, Black, Pink, Purple, Red, Burgundy, Blue, White, Yellow) and Tire Color (Black, Brown, Cream, Gray), Quick Connect on Motor and Display

Electronic Details

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Battery Voltage:

48 volts (Optional 36)

Battery Amp Hours:

10 ah (Optional 15)

Battery Watt Hours:

480 wh (Optional 360 or 540)

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

35 miles (56 km)

Estimated Max Range:

45 miles (72 km)

Display Type:

LED Console

Readouts:

Voltage Level (Red, Yellow, Green)

Drive Mode:

Twist Throttle (Half Twist on Right Bar)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The Motiv Spark is a classic cruiser style electric bike designed for relaxed, comfortable rides. I’ve always appreciated the more upright position this style of bike offers but pedaling isn’t always a joy. They tend to be heavier and lack gear range for climbing but the Spark only shines in these areas. It’s relatively light (for an ebike), includes six speeds for pedaling and includes a powerful 500 watt geared motor and centrally mounted Lithium-ion battery pack that offer solid torque and speed. With three battery options to choose from, a myriad of color schemes and standard features like front and rear disc brakes and pre-Slimed tires, this bike’s easy to enjoy.

Motiv actually offers two Cruiser models and this is the larger high-step version. If you prefer low step or are a petite rider then check out the Sleek. Both bikes leverage the same 500 watt geared rear hub motor that works well but doesn’t weigh a whole lot or make much noise. Geared motors have more moving parts and may wear out faster but this one felt great and Motiv has a solid warranty with good quick support. Keep in mind, if you’re a heavier rider and forcing the bike up a steep hill, the motor has an automatic overheat shutoff. If this ever happens to you on any electric bike just wait a bit and then the motor should return to normal. Also, consider walking it up…

If you are in need of extra power the Motiv Spark has got you covered. The highest end battery pack offers 48 volts of power which is at the high end for ebikes. All battery packs are designed to fit just behind the seat post tube and that keeps the weight low and centered on the bike. You can buy an extra pack for increased range but this bike should get 25+ miles and while it doesn’t offer pedal assist (which would increase the range) there are six speeds to pedal with and the bike rides very comfortably. I love that you can charge the pack on or off the bike (perfect for commuting) but not a huge fan of the way the key is integrated, you have to leave it in the battery to make the bike go. It’s good for security but not fun if your key is dangling the whole way to work.

This bike only offers twist throttle mode and that’s sort of a pro and a con. It keeps the bike simpler, more durable and probably helps with the great pricepoint. The throttle is modular and can be replaced but doesn’t offer much in the way if feedback about the battery capacity, rider speed or distance. It’s a simple setup but one that’s worked well on cruiser style ebikes since the beginning. I would have loved to see integrated lights because I’m not a fan of having to change batteries and remove lights at every stop (to keep them safe). Fenders are also a nice-to-have but at least the Spark has mounting points to make adding racks and fenders very easy.

No electric bike is perfect, each one is designed to carry out a specific task well (or it gets diluted with features and becomes overpriced). I’ve become a big fan of Motiv electric bikes because they deliver high quality features in areas I think are important while keeping the price low. The motor, battery, battery position, dual disc brakes and great pedals are winning picks. The extra little bell on the brake lever, chain protector, upgradable tires and customizable color options are just icing on the cake. This would be a great choice for anyone who likes cruiser style bikes and is definitely a step up from “entry level” even though it’s priced well enough to make it a solid contender as a first e-bike.

Pros:

  • Ships worldwide, only costs $175 for the lower 48 states in the US (or free if buying at a dealer)
  • Excellent 2 year battery warranty with lifetime frame warranty
  • Well balanced weight distribution, mid mounted battery keeps weight low and centered
  • Removable battery can be charged on or off the bike, additional or replacement packs cost $595 to $890 depending on size
  • Powerful 500 watt geared motor is light weight but also a capable hill climber or useful for pulling a trailer or heavier rider
  • Twist throttle design is simple and durable, makes bike very approachable
  • Larger tires, swept back handlebars and soft plush seat with seat post shock make for a comfortable ride
  • Tires are pre-slimed and puncture resistant with upgrade available for kevlar lined Schwalbe Fat Franks
  • Chain guard looks nice and keeps your pants clean when riding
  • Large metal Wellgo platform pedals offer excellent traction and plenty of surface area to reduce slipping and foot discomfort
  • Front and rear mechanical disc brakes offer smooth, reliable stopping power
  • Thumb shifter is easy to understand and use, stays out of the way and works well
  • Oversized handlebars create a “head’s up” riding position reducing back and neck fatigue and making it easier to look for cars. Bars are medium sized making it easier to pass through doorways
  • Multiple braze-on screw holes at front and rear of bike for fenders and racks to be added

Cons:

  • Key has to be left in when riding the bike, jingles a bit but stays out of the way
  • No built in water bottle mounting points on the downtube
  • No lights, fenders or racks standard but all can be added easily using the braze-on mounting points
  • Stem is not adjustable (handlebars cannot easily be moved higher or lower but can be rotated down or up) side benefit here is that the handlebars feel more sturdy and do not come loose as easily as some other ebikes
  • Seat shock feels nice but is more fragile than standard tube, seat twists off more easily if lifting bike by the seat so be careful
  • Twist throttle mode only, no pedal assist (though this is standard for most cruisers)
  • No LCD display for range, speed, battery capacity etc. simple LED light indicator for battery capacity

Resources:

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Comments (4) YouTube Comments

Jerry Sammons
4 years ago

Looking at the Motiv Spark 48v. 59 year old, 200# man. Ride around the neighbor hood, maybe carry 6 pack to neighbors house. Total round trip, with small hills, 3 miles, maybe 3 times a week. Your thoughts.

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

Hey Jerry, that sounds perfect for your needs… especially for the price. Motiv is a smaller company with good support, the team is friendly and if you live in SoCal you can actually meetup with them or even rent one of their bikes at some of the shops in Irvine (near Huntington Beach or South at Newport). I went on a ride with the two founders (we all took cruisers) and they are heavier than me, likely in the ~200 lb range, and nobody fell behind or had issues. We climbed a couple of fairly large hills and with a bit of pedaling and some speed going in the bikes made it just fine :)

  Reply
Max C.
4 years ago

Thanks for the review! This site has been super helpful to me. I was just wondering if you knew the motor/battery brand? is it high quality like Samsung batteries?

  Reply
The Motiv Team
4 years ago

Hey Max,

Fill free to give us a call 800-679-3673

Thanks,
//The Motiv Team\

  Reply

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