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Desperado e-bike features two motors, and 80 km/h top speed


October 15, 2013

Ivan Tulupov with Desperado

Ivan Tulupov with Desperado

Image Gallery (8 images)

In many parts of the world, electric bikes are limited to a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h) – any higher, and they'd no longer be legally classified as bicycles. While that may keep the speed down on commercially-produced e-bikes, such is not the case with one-offs. A case in point is Russian blogger Ivan Tulupov's twin-motored Desperado.

Desperado is built around an existing pedal-powered beach cruiser bike, made by California-based bicycle manufacturer Nirve.

Tulupov, however, has added two external motors with gearboxes, both made by Headline Electric. Left- and right-hand throttle switches allow the motors to be controlled separately, although it's also possible to control them both via one throttle. Their combined 5-kW output makes a calculated top speed of 80 km/h (50 mph) possible, although Ivan informs us that he has yet to put that to the test.

Power is supplied by a 20-Ah lithium-ion battery, that can be charged in about two hours. It has a range of about 80 km at 30 km/h (50 miles at 19 mph) or 25 km at 60 km/h (15.5 miles at 37 mph).

Data such as current, voltage, speed, and GPS coordinates can be displayed on a linked Android smartphone, with basic functions being controlled using a 5-button control panel. Gear-shifting is handled by an 8-speed Shimano Nexus SG-8R20 rear hub transmission.

Desperado tips the scales at 43 kg (95 lb), and cost Tulupov about US$3,000 to build.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

"Desperado tips the scales at 43 kg (95 lb), and cost Tulupov about US$3,000 to build."

Not too heavy for what it is.

If it costs him that much to build how much to sell to the public?

Also you can get after market electric kits for bikes that might not be the bees knees, but between $300-1000


Want. Need. Either market it or give the world your open-source plans. Would be a blast to build this!


It is custom e-bike, all electric components you can buy online. US$3,000 is cost including Nirve Cannibal bicycle, motors, controllers, battery etc. bicycle ~800usd, motors & controllers ~1000usd, battery and charger ~1000usd.

Ivan Tulupov

Great job ivan

Dawar Saify

Where is the video link? I'd like to see it in motion if available...

Gary Richardson

I have a video, but it is a bit boring, Weather was not good for it and I had no time to make a clip with sun, fun and speed :) I will make it in next year. Video can see here http://epowerbikes.ru/archives/1999

Ivan Tulupov
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