SERIAL 1 ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH VITTORIO BRUMOTTI
Serial 1, the e-bike brand from Harley-Davidson, has picked up Italian stunt rider Vittorio Brumotti. For those of you unfamiliar with Brumotti, he is a legendary trials rider and reality TV celebrity. Brumotti is well-known in Italy and beyond for his cycling talents and his journalistic endeavors, both of which are highly appreciated. Filming from his bike during the “100% Brumotti” segments, he highlights the beauty of the Italian cities he loves while at the same time exposing their troubles, combining his skill on the bicycle with his courage as a journalist “to fight the forces of evil.” This unique combination inspired Prince Albert II of Monaco to name Brumotti a “Peace and Sport” foundation ambassador since 2013.
A longtime motorcyclist and massive Harley-Davidson fan, Brumotti is especially excited to fuse his twin passions via this new partnership with Serial 1. “The first time I saw the Serial 1 e-bike, it was love,” said Brumotti. “The sleek styling, the powerful motor and the fine attention to detail, just like my favorite Harley-Davidson motorcycles. I had to have one.”
Serial 1 now has a video on YouTube featuring Brumotti doing some outlandish tricks on a Serial 1 Mosh/CTY e-bike.
WORLD’S BIGGEST E-BIKE
DirtySixer—the bike company that’s known for making mountain and commuter bikes that will fit guys like Shaq, with 36-inch wheels and huge frames to fit people well over 6 feet tall—is now making an electric bike that they’re calling the eDirtySixer. It comes with a Shimano e8000 motor to deliver 70 N/m of torque and a 500Wh battery. They claim the range is 60 miles on flat ground, but that will vary widely with the weight of the rider and their own pedal input.
There will be two versions. One with an 80mm-travel MRP inverted dual-crown suspension fork and one with a rigid fork. Both will be outfitted with a Rohloff XXL 14-speed internally geared rear hub and a Gates belt drive. The bikes are fitted with DirtySixer’s own pedals, grips, rims, cranks and tires, all sized up to fit bigger riders. Expected price isn’t small, either, at $8000-plus. It’s still in prototype form here, and production units will ship in 2023.
Flux, a Slovenian manufacturer, is bringing out their first electric e-motorcycle called the Primo. The team producing this bike includes people who have won NASA awards for electric planes and motorsports experts. They built it from the ground up, with the priority being both lightness and power.
The bike features a 6.7kWh swappable battery (they claim it’s swappable in under one minute), a high-rpm motor with a single-speed, two-stage transmission, a smart app that lets you control parameters of a myriad of operations (e.g. regenerative braking), and even theft protection. It even lets you go in reverse! The technology allows for traction controls and other features, even features that can be added later.
It will mix a 48mm KYB fork with a premium Öhlins TTX shock in the rear. So far, the only spec they’ve offered is that it will have peak 85 horsepower.
They’re also looking for pro and amateur test riders to actually ride the bike, offer feedback and help make the bike even better. The company says that they want to be honest with potential customers and will only publish full performance numbers based on real-world riders and conditions.
The bike will start being delivered in 2024, and you can reserve one for $52 and should see final payment of the target price of $12,600 on delivery, and that delivery can be worldwide.
While we’re at it with motorcycles that are brand new with unsure delivery dates, Super73 announced that they’re bringing a street e-motorcycle to market called the C1X. It’s slightly smaller than the average motorcycle and lighter at under 300 pounds. There’s no clutch, as there are no gears to shift, and the rear brake “pedal” is a lever on the left side of the handlebar.
It offers quick charging (80-percent charge in an hour with what looks like a typical J1772/level-two charger), a swingarm-mounted motor and cool-looking LED lighting, including the turn signals. It looks great now, but we’re interested in finding out how much it changes with homologation (the process of being certified for sale). The Sondors Metacycle went from looking like a sexy new design for a motorcycle to a glorified e-scooter after homologation.
So far, Super73 hasn’t offered much in the way of power, but they do claim it will go 75 mph, and at city speeds it should make 100 miles. They opted for a chain drive instead of the carbon belts that are common on electric street motorcycles. Interested parties can reserve a bike for a fully refundable $73 deposit. Production is expected to begin in “late 2023”
The e-bike industry is always in need of companies that can deliver a quality product at a decent price over a budget bike that has poor customer service. This is what Head Bike has set out to accomplish. Still a few months out on major production of new models, they were able to give us some insight on what they’ve been up to and their future plans.
Unlike most city-style e-bikes, this model will feature a modernized-looking Bafang mid-drive. This feature alone sets the bike apart from many brands with a similar frame style. To us, it’s a bike that is sitting right beyond entry-level, and the $3000 price tag is indicative of that. However, we are big fans of quality over a big, easy sales push, and without having ridden the bike, we are anxious to see what this bike’s reputation beholds.
Head is making a fleet of city cruisers, e-MTBs and regular bikes with some impressive price points again with all the indications of a quality product. Head’s U.S. base is in Iowa, and they tell us they have big aspirations to compete with brands like Aventon, who have also been making a big push as of the last year or two. The difference with Head is that they have a much larger selection of models to choose from. It will be really interesting to see how it goes once
we get our hands on one to get a full review.
CAKE KIDS’ BIKES
Cake is well-known now for their interestingly designed motorcycles. They look like works of art and are sometimes priced as such. In addition to their growing line of motorcycles, they’re now making bikes specifically for kids. The program and the bikes are called Ready, Steady, Go. The Ready is a balance bike for kids 1 1/2 to 4 years old, with an aluminum frame and 12-inch wheels. It’s priced at a spendy $225 and has no motor.
The Steady is a 16-inch single-speed mountain bike aimed at kids from 3.5 years old. It offers dual V-brakes with short reach levers, also has no motor system, and is priced at $400. It weighs in at 15.4 pounds, and the range is listed as “eat and sleep for unlimited range.” Their website is actually pretty funny about the specs on range and power for the two non-e-bikes.
The Go is a small electric off-road motorcycle that looks amazing and draws design cues from its bigger brothers. It’s aimed at kids 6 years old and tops out at 25 mph, and is priced at $3504. It weighs in at a hefty 70.7 pounds and lets the parents choose how much power it has. Claimed ride time is over an hour per charge. These will be shipping to customers by the time you’re reading this.
ANY E–GRAVEL ROUTES TO DISCOVER?
By Linda English
If you are part of the gravel gold rush, you’ll know that navigating through the maze of forest and farming roads is no easy task. Sometimes they are awesome, sometimes they are awful. Dirty Freehub is all about helping you locate the awesome, the route that is perfect for your style of riding.
Dirty Freehub started out as a hobby almost a decade ago by co-founders Linda and Kevin English. It was a simple list of routes to share with friends who were also looking for places to ride. According to Kevin English, one of the site’s co-founders, “The early days were just about helping people find safer places to ride. Oregon has a million miles of logging and farm roads, so why couldn’t we use these roads for cycling?”
Dirty Freehub has created a collection of over 250 gravel bike routes from across the western U.S., which represents about 10,000 miles of riding. Included in the route guides, along with the super-detailed route information and downloadable maps, are stories about the history, culture and lands. The whole idea is to create cyclists who really care about where they ride.
FEELING THE NEED
As gravel exploded, the need for Dirty Freehub became more obvious. Then the Deschutes Land Trust in Bend, Oregon, reached out to Dirty Freehub for help with saving Skyline Forest, a popular area to ride. “On our first webinar, we had over 100 cyclists show up who were deeply connected to the cause because it’s a great place to ride a bike.”
This inspired Dirty Freehub to become a nonprofit and expand their guides to include informational messages about the routes. Today, Dirty Freehub has over 15 volunteers working on the project, and the organization is primarily funded by kind donations from the cyclists who use these routes and sponsors like Visit Bend, Wahoo Fitness, and Oregon State Parks Department.
Both of the co-founders of Dirty Freehub, Linda and Kevin English, ride e-bikes. Linda uses her e-bike to keep up with some speedy friends. Kevin uses his e-bike when he still wants to explore an area that might be too many miles for him to ride. The Dirty Freehub website has tagged all routes as either e-bike-friendly or not e-bike-friendly.
THE ALPINE EXPERIENCE
Engadin Bikes has started offering e-bike rentals in St. Moritz in Switzerland. There are over 1000 kilometers of signposted routes and natural trails, making the Engadin a very popular biking region in the European Alps. The bike trails are maintained, modified and expanded regularly, often by hand. Switzerland has an absolutely amazing countryside, and this would be the best way to see it.
There is plenty of public transportation to support this, both buses and trains, and the
trails lead through routes that traverse all altitudes—from the valleys to the alpine terrain. They offer e-bikes made by Bergstrom and traditional mountain bikes made by Rocky Mountain.
Prices for the e-bikes start at $61.39 (CHF 59) for a half day or $82.20 (CHF 79) for a full day, not including $26 (CHF 25) per day for insurance. They have plans for up to two weeks of rentals, and they do also offer a guided tour.
Editor’s Note: After we wrote this, we learned that most, if not all of the claimed e-bike fires were actually cheep scooters, both the Vespa-style and kick-scooter-style.
FDNY has put out a statement warning about e-bike fires. They say that there have been over 100 fires in New York since the start of 2021, and those fires have caused multiple deaths. Recently, there were four separate fires in a single day.
“If using a lithium-ion battery, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for charging and storage. Always use the manufacturer’s cord and power adapter made specifically for the device. If a battery overheats, discontinue use immediately.”
The problem stems from improper charging and/or poor battery manufacturing, generally from really cheap e-bikes. Using a third-party charger or the wrong charger can also cause the battery to fail and/or catch fire. Lithium-ion battery fires are extremely hard to put out, as they create their own oxygen as they burn. This isn’t just e-bikes, it’s anything with a lithium chemistry battery, even as small as your phone. There was an incident in 2019 where the crew of a boat were charging their phones in the galley while they slept, and one caught fire and burned the entire ship. Unfortunately, 34 people died in that accident.
We’ve admonished e-bike manufacturers to put their names on their chargers, perhaps also a sticker with the brand name and model name as well. Often families will buy several different bikes and may get confused as to which charger goes with which bike unless they label them. It’s a bike manufacturer’s responsibility to label their chargers to avoid customer misuse. As a consumer, please label your charger. You can do it with masking tape and a pen. And, make sure you don’t leave your bike (or any device) unattended while charging.