Sunday, February 10, 2008
Not too long ago, we heard about an electric motorcycle from a Swiss company known as Quantya. At that time, we wished that the machine was available in the States so that we could take a ride on one. Guess what? Our wishes have been granted! Not only is the bike available here, but we got a chance to ride the latest version of the machine in Arizona. Although we didn't have an opportunity to take the bike off-road, we got to terrorize the neighborhood with it... and we sure had fun doing it. Powered by a custom pancake-style motor from Lemco along with a custom LiPo battery pack featuring 48 volts and 40 Ah, the machine has no problem getting out and moving. According to the manufacturer, you'll get about 25 miles at a steady 40 miles per hour with the standard pack. The bike weighs in at 195 pounds and feels very light. The Marzocchi 35 mm Shiver fork works perfect in this application, as does the Sachs single shock.
We'd have loved to have a chance to compare the bike directly with a gas-powered bike, but weren't able to arrange it. We can say for sure that the bike has no problem overpowering the rear tire or lofting the front end over obstacles. Power output felt about equal to a good-running 250 four-stroke bike. Expect the electric off-road bike to be priced under ten grand with on-road versions expected to follow shortly.