The Beast: A solar-powered e-bike built for off-road adventure
By Nick Lavars
May 20, 2014
Since the release of its groundbreaking wireless Shadow Ebike in 2011, Canadian electric vehicle company Daymak has been toiling away looking to take its eco-friendly bike tech beyond the asphalt. The Beast is a product of around two years of development and, fitted with 8-inch thick tires and solar power battery pack, is equipped to power sun-fueled expeditions over the roughest of terrain.
Resembling something brawnier than a scooter yet not quite a chopper motorcycle, the Beast cuts something of an unusual figure. Inverted suspension forks hold the first of the 10-inch alloy rims and bear a 4,500 lumen LED headlight on the front. The alloy frame sits atop two 19.7-inch off-road tires, measuring 6.3 ft (1.92 m) from end to end, with a height of 3.75 ft (1.1 m) and weight of 55 kg (121 lb).
It features 15 W-hr solar panels which complement power from the grid by channeling energy to the 60-V 12-AH lithium battery with continuous trickle charging. While one full charge is good for an electric range of 40 km (24 mi), Daymak says that the solar panels can deliver 10 km (6.2 mi) of range for every eight hours they are exposed to ambient sunlight. This means that plugging the Beast into the outlet could be something of a rarity for those traveling only short distances.
Running on a modest 500 W (0.67 hp) gearless hub motor, the Beast has a top speed of 32 km/h (20 mph). This adheres to the legal limit for e-bikes in motor-only mode, meaning that it can cross from off-road to the city streets without raising any flags.
With hydraulic disc brakes at the front and the rear, the bike is key-operated and also communicates via Bluetooth with a smartphone application. Within the app, users can track metrics, such as speed, average speed, battery level, odometer, motor temperature, battery level, trip distance and GPS tracking. The removable solar unit also features two USB ports, meaning that it can be used as a backup battery pack to power mobile devices.
The Beast Ultimate version, whose specs are outlined here, will have a suggested retail price of CAD$3,499 (around US$3,200). Daymak will also offer a 75 kg (165 lb) basic version with a steel frame and smaller 48-V 12-AH lead acid battery at a price of $1,299 (US$1,190). It is planning to enter full-scale production of the Beast this (Northern Hemisphere) summer. Before then, Daymak will launch a Kickstarter campaign where it says early pledges for the ultimate version will be available and range from $999 to $2,999.
You can see it taken for a spin in the video below.