Elmoto: Stylish and economical electric biking in one lightweight package
By Paul Ridden
June 15, 2009
So what's so special about the new Elmoto HR-2 electric bike? With so many other green transport choices around, why opt for this one? According to Managing Director Oliver Seme, "it‘s the fun riding an Elmoto that makes the biggest difference. It is absolutely easy and smooth to ride. And last but not least it looks great."
It certainly is a thing of beauty, no corners cut in the style department. Models on show at the moment come in sexy black or saintly white, each with flashes of green (adding a slightly "power rangers" feel to the proceedings).
Get your specs on
With this machine you can enjoy all of the convenient practicality of a bicycle and some of the power and comfort of a small scooter. It's much lighter than a scooter though - the strong aluminum frame helping it tip the scales at a svelte 45kg (99lbs). The patented 2kW electronic brushless, gearless drive attached to the rear wheel and state-of-the-art battery technology offer an impressive 65 - 70km (40 - 45 miles) of smooth riding pleasure between charges and a top speed or 45kmh (30mph).
Charging with the high performance charger takes between 2 and 4 hours and costs less than a dollar (or just over half a Euro depending on where you're reading this) which makes for a very economical way to travel.
With 55 Nm (40.5lb-ft) of torque and dual suspension (Marzocchi 888 shocks at the front and oil springs at the back) you should be first off the starting block to enjoy a comfortable ride whatever the terrain.
The onboard computer displays battery strength, cruising range and speed via a panel on the handlebars and a good set of lights provides for a "safe driving experience day or night".
Sealed electrics and solid build mean low maintenance, "there is not that much to maintain. Brakes and suspension that‘s it. No chain, nothing," commented Seme. And "bigger wheels (24"), excellent suspension and high performance brakes from Magura" help to ensure you have a safe and stable ride.
Over 2000 people who were lucky enough to try one out at recent trade shows found the experience comfortable, safe and enjoyable according to Elmoto. When it hits the streets it'll be completely road legal too, no registration required! Just sort out some insurance and get suitable head gear then get ready for the off. But before you rush out to buy one for the kids, you should note that you'll need a full car or motorcycle (scooter) license to ride one.
When can I get one and how much will it cost
The official launch is coming to Europe this Summer (early indications are that the US will get a chance of a bite towards the end of the year) and a new luggage solution will be showcased in September. The European price tag is expected to be around the €3340 mark before tax and shipping.
More information is available on the Elmoto website where even those with an insatiable appetite for information will find more than enough for a decent appetite whetting.
In the video below you can see members of the production team having some road test fun on the HR-2 as they tackle the famous Hasenbergsteige hill in Stuttgart (which has an incline of 15%).