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Marrs M-1 wants to be the Harley of electric bikes

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July 25, 2012

Marrs M-1 electric bicycles are made with an eye towards hot rods and custom motorcycles

Marrs M-1 electric bicycles are made with an eye towards hot rods and custom motorcycles

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You know what one of the neat things about electric bicycles is? It’s the fact that because riders don’t have to rely solely on their own physical strength to propel the things, manufacturers have the freedom to explore designs that aren’t centered around keeping the weight down. Case in the point is the M-1 ebike from Anaheim-based Marrs Cycles – it probably has more in common with a custom Harley Davidson than with anything put out by Specialized or Trek.

The company was founded by Kacy Marrs, who has a background in riding a variety of both bicycles and motorcycles. His business partner, Brad Fanshaw, formerly ran a company that built one-of-a-kind hot rods.

Like Fanshaw’s cars, M-1s are built to order. This means that specs can differ from bike to bike, depending on what the client wants. Rechargeable lithium battery packs are used to power a three-phase brushless rear hub motor. The smallest pack (20 amp hours) reportedly allows a 175-pound (79-kg) rider to travel up to 20 miles (32 km) on one charge without pedaling.

The bike’s top motorized speed is 20 mph (32 km/h) – anything faster, and it couldn’t legally be classed as an electric bicycle in the U.S. That said, Marrs told us that his company has built personal test bikes that exceed that speed. In the photo below, for instance, he was reportedly traveling at approximately 30 mph (48 km/h).

Kacy Marrs on an M-1

M-1s weigh in at about 140 pounds (63.5 kg) and are available in a number of frame colors and wood veneer types – Metallica frontman James Hetfield is apparently getting one made with cherry wood. Frames are made from 4130 chromoly steel, while the components are a mixture of high-end motorcycle, bicycle, and custom-made parts. It’s mainly those parts that put the bikes in the price range of ... well, of rock stars, or at least people who aren't on a tight budget. Expect to pay a minimum of US$7,000 if you want one for yourself.

“This price is due to the high quality authentic motorcycle components we use and the labor involved in building our components,” Marrs said. “There is no other company that builds anything as close to a motorcycle while still allowing the product to fall under the electric bicycle category.”

Source: Marrs Cycles

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
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2 Comments

Profile cranks? Really?

SpaceBagels
25th July, 2012 @ 05:38 pm PDT

M.G.I.H., You can buy a motorcycle for that price!

Billy Brooks
26th July, 2012 @ 11:02 pm PDT
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