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The Beast: A solar-powered e-bike built for off-road adventure

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May 20, 2014

Several years in the making, the Beast features a solar-powered battery pack for eco-frien...

Several years in the making, the Beast features a solar-powered battery pack for eco-friendly off-road adventure

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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.

The removable solar unit also features two USB ports, meaning that it can be used as a bac...

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.

Source: Daymak

About the Author
Nick Lavars Nick was born outside of Melbourne, Australia, with a general curiosity that has drawn him to some distant (and very cold) places. Somewhere between enduring a winter in the Canadian Rockies and trekking through Chilean Patagonia, he graduated from university and pursued a career in journalism. He now writes for Gizmag, excited by tech and all forms of innovation, Melbourne's bizarre weather and curried egg sandwiches.   All articles by Nick Lavars
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8 Comments

ugh they made this a hub motor. an application where the wheel takes the most dirt and grime AND MORE importantly you are offroad and need your center of mass ass much as possible on the frame to make the bike more maneuverable in underbrussh and mud.

it's like they took all the lessons they could have learned from the design of the rokkon and just ignored them.

it doesn't really matter anyways because the battery range is so limited no one will buy one but one day --the batterys will be so good someone will come around and build a silent style moto-tractor like the rokon and it will be the most stealthy thing you can ride in the middle of the forest.

zevulon
20th May, 2014 @ 10:15 pm PDT

I kind of like it because it's one of the closer things I have seen to a bike-as-a-platform I haven't seen enough of. I wish more people would look to "Interchangeable parts" to approach the problem.

It wonder how much it would cost to sell the bike as a kit without a battery intending for people to just wire up a couple lead acid car batteries for cheap fun around the yard? You can buy 12V 12AH Lithium Ion batteries online for $200/each which is $1k for 60V 12AH.

If something like this launched as a $900 base platform where you could use off the shelf components I think it would be popular with hobbyists. The solar powered packs are cool but it's probably cheaper to move to more standard packs and let people swap them in/out etc.

Seeing as you can buy cheap chineese 48V20ah Lead Acid Battery scooters for $450 that are street legal (but generally poor quality) and you can build decent quality 60v lithium ion packs for $1k I think its likely with some ingenuity its definately possible to build an e-bike platform that would bring the total cost of something like the Beast Ultimate (minus the solar panels) down to $1500 total.

The major companies that have put effort into e-bike platforms have launched too-sophisticated $5k-10k+ designs that are almost entirely proprietary but they largely have their own interests in mind. It's pretty much going to take hobbyists on kickstarter to make meaningful impact.

Daishi
20th May, 2014 @ 11:39 pm PDT

That's funny...in the video it says "Raw performance" and then shows it rolling down a dirt hill...uh, that's performance? An old lady can roll down a hill just as easily as this thing...is she "Raw performance"?

Ed
21st May, 2014 @ 11:42 am PDT

At 20 MPH top speed I guess you don't have to worry too much about unsprung weight, so I guess the hub motor is not an issue. Looks like fun..but easy to duplicate...:]

dcbrasil
21st May, 2014 @ 02:24 pm PDT

Thought they may have done a little better this time around.

The Skud
21st May, 2014 @ 07:16 pm PDT

Pfft.....another $3,000+ bicycle.....electric or not, get real.

chomper
22nd May, 2014 @ 08:33 am PDT

They've added another fizzle to Shadow (I doubt if they've sold even one). I can't see an engineer behind this abomination: just watch opprobrious video that's supposed to be promotional, compare specs with normal e-bikes on the market, recall your experience to ride one-tracker on slush or ice.. to understand what i mean

Mike Akulov
27th May, 2014 @ 10:35 am PDT

It's hard to tell from the video, if it's going forward or backwards, do to the fact it's so slow. and when peddling it looks like the look when someone is sitting on the toilet, just after eating a few burritos- a real workout.

Jay Finke
28th May, 2014 @ 10:40 am PDT
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