First Ride: Lamborghini Sporter & Crosser

LAMBORGHINI

SPORTER & CROSSER

Not unlike the mid-90’s when a variety of automobile brands were offering rebadged mountain bikes to help sell their cars, we’ve grown accustomed to hearing about car brands today jumping on the e-bike bandwagon for some kind of value-added sales pitch. 

Still, it was big news when we heard that the legendary Italian supercar brand Lamborghini was coming to market with a radical new e-bike. Making it even more enticing was that, like the cars, only a few of the bikes would be available for each region of the world. 

When we started seeing the technology behind the drivetrain alone, we got excited. And then our excitement grew when we got a call from Lamborghini Club America, who invited us to ride one of the rare—and expensive—bikes (but no, there was no similar invite to test drive a car!) 

THE BIKE

Lambo is offering more than just one bike, and they are slightly different beyond just wheel/tire combinations. The Crosser mountain bike rolls on 27.5-inch wheels, while the Sporter is aimed at road/gravel riders opting for larger-diameter 28-inch wheels. Of course, visually speaking, the standout feature of both bikes is their novel frame design that omits the need for traditional seatstays and relies on a single-sided chainstay. 

The Crosser comes with a more forgiving slack head angle; a Suntour Axon fork with an option to upgrade to a Fox 36; and a sloping, curved top tube. It comes stock in matte black, yellow, or white, but for the more persnickety Lambo owners, the color can be precisely matched to your car if you like. Lamborghini calls this “Ad Personam” and will add a few thousand dollars to the price of your bike. 

“Saving $15,000 for the sake of two stickers and a head badge could also bring some warranted respect and adulation!”

The Sporter is a more traditional double-diamond frame with a rigid aluminum fork. The riding position is more upright than the Crosser. Stock colors are matte black or red, but it also has the Ad Personam option to be painted any color you’d like. 

Lamborghini is limiting North American orders to 100 bikes, a likely restriction for other regions, making this a fairly rare, if not collectible, bike. Well, sort of.

THE PARTS

The first thing we have to talk about here is the unique motor and transmission. It is unlike anything we’ve ever seen on an e-bike and comes closer to an automotive transmission than anything else. Everything motor-wise is located in the bottom bracket area, and the 8-speed, electronically controlled automatic transmission transfers power to the back wheel via an enclosed chain. 

The transmission is as complicated as an automotive transmission.

 

Both bikes come with a dropper post that is actuated by a lever under the horn. It’s simpler than a lever on the handlebar and subsequent cable that would need to be routed through the frame, but it requires taking a hand off and looks as awkward as it feels. 

THE MOTOR 

The 500W motor was developed by Lamborghini and Italtechnology SRL (ital-ebike.com) and is mounted as a mid-drive, along with the transmission. The Lamborghini version is rated at 500W nominal. The U.S. version will be a Class 1, taking riders to 20 mph before the motor cuts off. European riders will be limited to 25 km/h (15.5 mph) for European regulations. There are five power modes to choose from: Off, Eco, Low, High and Race. Above the cutoff, you are pedaling through that internal gearing, so it is a bit harder than a non-motorized bike. 

The display is bright and easy to read.

 

The 500Wh battery is integrated into the downtube, but removable using the key for remote charging or to swap it out. It can be charged on or off the bike.

The full-color TFT display is mounted right above the stem. It’s bright and easy to read, with all the information you need at a glance, including speed, distance, gear number, battery state, assistance level and more. 

The system is very smart. A pin code can lock the transmission in neutral, and a key can lock the rear wheel so it won’t move. That’s the same key that allows removal of the battery for remote charging (the battery can be charged on or off the bike).

WHO IT’S MADE FOR

These bikes are aimed at the people who buy Lamborghini cars, obviously. It’s a total luxury bike, but it does come with such a unique drivetrain. If you have a Huracán in Aegis Blue, you’ll want your Crosser to match it precisely, right?

THE RIDE

The machine comes to life at the touch of a button, and the display briefly shows a moving Lamborghini logo, then goes into a full-color display with all the information you need on battery power, speed, mode, etc. The automatic transmission was impressive, and though the shifts weren’t entirely seamless, they’re pretty close. 

The motor, transmission and drivetrain are all protected from the elements.

 

Still, the automatic transmission is so good that you won’t miss manually shifting. We talked to others on e-bikes, only a handful noticed the Lamborghini name and asked about it, more people commented on the bike’s appearance.

There’s a little bit of a whine that comes from the motor and gearbox, but you’ll likely be the only one to hear it. Tires against pavement make more sound than the motor. 

With its narrower, smoother tires, the Sporter offered a palpably smoother ride, and the tires offer plenty of grip. Owing to the larger-volume tires and the suspension fork, the Crosser had a better ride over bad pavement. We even bunny-hopped it over a few curbs, which made us a little nervous given its $20,000 price tag. It turned out to be a sturdy beast of a bike and really fun to ride.

THE VERDICT

Walking up to the bike, it doesn’t scream exotic. But, there are plenty of nice touches, such as the curved downtube with the internal battery and the one-sided rear end enclosing the drive train. The fit and finish are what you’d expect from a supercar manufacturer.

The Crosser comes with a Suntour Axon fork, which is pretty nice, and can be upgraded to a Fox 36 fork.

 

Most people will never see these Lamborghini-branded e-bikes, let alone get a chance to ride one. But, if you have 20 large burning a hole in your pocket and yearn for something exotic and Italian, contact Lamborghini Club America and order one while you can.

The good news for the majority of us is that, although there’s no cheap, (er, financially accessible) version of a Lamborghini sports car, if you’re attracted to the look and design of the Lambo bikes but are looking to spend a little less, we discovered that Italian company Neox is the actual maker of the Lamborghini bikes, and they sell their versions—with the same names Sporter and Crosser—for just over $5000. Literally the only difference is the badge, stickers and the Neox is de-tuned to 250W. 

The lever-actuated dropper post is awkward to use while riding.

 

True, telling your friends that you own a Neox is something less than impressive of a boast than being a Lamborghini owner, but saving $15,000 for the sake of two stickers and a head badge could also bring some warranted respect and adulation! Neox has a total of seven models available now, with a drop-bar version coming soon.

SPECS

LAMBORGHINI SPORTER 

Price: $19,300+

Motor: Neox FL80S

Battery: Lithium-ion 48V 500Wh

Charge time: 4-6 hours

Top speed: 20 mph (Class 1)

Range: 30-60 miles (claimed)

Drive: Neox F8.11, 8-speed sequential automatic gearbox 

Brakes: Tektro Auriga hydraulic 203mm front, 185mm rear, optional 4-piston TRP calipers

Controls: Neox

Fork: Crosser: Suntour Axon 100mm travel (Optional Fox 36)

Frame: Hydroformed aluminum

Wheels: Ural 28” with black bushings

Tires: Vittorio Saguaro 27.5×2.0 (optional 26” and 28” wheels)

Weight: 48.4 lb.

Color choice: Unlimited

Sizes: One size

www.lamborghiniclubamerica.com

LAMBORGHINI CROSSER

Price: $19,300+

Motor: Neox FL80S

Battery: Lithium-ion 48V 500Wh

Charge time: 4–6 hours

Top speed: 20 mph (Class 1)

Range: 30–60 miles (claimed)

Drive: Neox F8.11, 8-speed sequential automatic gearbox 

Brakes: Tektro Auriga hydraulic 203mm front, 185mm rear, optional 4-piston TRP calipers

Controls: Neox

Fork: Aluminum

Frame: Hydroformed aluminum

Wheels: Ural 28” with black bushings

Tires: Vittorio E-Rando 28×1.5” 

Weight: 46.2 lb.

Color choice: Unlimited

Sizes: One size

www.lamborghiniclubamerica.com


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