Back in April, Biktrix unveiled their latest addition to their e-bike line up named the Moto. It’s design was inspired by mopeds and built with electric mobility in mind. Biktrix created this electric bike specifically for those wanting to cruise down streets and bike paths with ease. We have been testing one for the past two months to see just what it is all about. Let’s ride through the details.
Frame on the Biktrix Moto
Starting with the frame, or more specifically the size of the bike. The Moto is available in two different sizes, a 20’’ and a 24’’. We opted to check out the larger 24″ and when I say larger that is not an exaggeration. The 24″ is actually the size of the wheels and while that is generally thought of as a smaller wheel on standard peddle bikes, on this build it places the top of the stand over part of the frame at 34″ and the seat at 36″ from the ground, resulting in a bike that is built for someone that stands at least 5′ 10″ or above, or someone with an inseam of 33″ or higher. I am 6′ tall and have an inseam of 33″, so the large 24″ frame is a comfortable fit for me, and it feels closer to a dirt bike from the stand over point, for those of you that can relate. The 20″ size has a stand over height of 31″ and a seat height of 33″ and is said to be built for riders that stand 5′ or above.
Moving onto the actual frame, the Moto is built with 6061 aluminum alloy and fitted with an adjustable front suspension system. The frame has a sturdy build with solid welds, where it has easily handled some very rough dirt bike trails.
I should also note here, that the frame is backed by a lifetime warranty, so it is ready to take on just about anything that gets thrown at it. The aluminum alloy build of the frame certainly helps lessen the overall weight, yet the bike still comes in at 78 lbs. without the battery. But because of the larger frame, it doesn’t feel overly heavy or really even seem close to that weight from a riding standpoint. Integrated into the top of the frame is a motocross style seat, which fits the lines of the bike for nice added styling and looks with just enough comfort for local cruising. Doing a long ride over the two hour mark, seat comfort does leave a bit to be desired. Rounding out the frame is the very compact rear cargo rack that allows you to bungee a small item for transport, such as a helmet, bag, or beach towel.
Battery and Motor on the Biktrix Moto
While most electric bikes use a 600 – 800 watt hour battery, the Biktrix Moto is powered by a 1008 watt hour battery, one of the larger packs on the market. Biktrix claims that this will provide an estimated 40+ miles of range at 20mph when using the throttle only operation, and an estimated 75+ miles of range using the ECO pedal assist mode. This all of course depends on several factors such as rider weight, speed, temperature, wind, tire pressure, terrain, incline, etc. In testing, cruising at speeds of ~26 mph the range ends up at just over 32 miles before the battery hits zero. So the 40 mile range at 20 mph is entirely plausible, but don’t count on much beyond that. For the estimated 75+ miles on ECO “pedal” assist, it is feasible, but once you get used to cruising around at 20 mph or faster, going at the extremely slow speed of ~8 mph or slower to get you to that milestone would be painfully dull and sluggish.
On the note of pedaling the Moto, it has a simple single speed drivetrain that is geared very low (easy to pedal) and has little to no influence on forward momentum when using the pedal assist mode, meaning the cadence sensor on the pedals tells the motor to kick in before any manual pedaling can propel the bike forward – all motor propulsion – no human power. So if we keep in mind that this is an electric powered “moped” where pedaling is almost non existent, then it does what it is supposed to. But if you were looking to do some actual pedal biking (burn a few calories) with the Moto, you would have to turn the battery off and then you would technically be riding a low geared fixie that can be manually pushed to a comfortable ride speed of about 9 mph, pushing beyond that you would have to pedal like an absolute manic with very little ROI. So in my opinion, the only reason the Moto has pedals is to get you home when the battery runs out of juice.
If all of that gives you range anxiety, the Moto has the option to add a second battery under the seat and while I didn’t get to test the dual battery setup, it should in theory double all of the range numbers mentioned above. But will add an additional $600 to the overall cost of the Moto.
Biktrix includes a 48V 4A fan cooled battery charger that plugs into a standard 110V house outlet. Standard e-bike chargers are generally 2 amps and since this one is a 4 amp charger, it cuts what would be “normal” charging time in half, fully charging the battery in ~ 4 hours. The battery can be charged on or off the bike, and the charger has red and green indicator lights that clearly let you know when it is charging the battery and when the charging process is complete. The charger does shut down once the battery is fully charged and protects it from overcharging, however the charger is not made for trickle charging so the battery should never be left on for extended periods of time.
The Moto is outfitted with a rear hub 750 watt Bafang motor that delivers potent power for extremely quick accelerations from stops and makes hill climbing fast and easy. The Bafang motor provides a smooth and exceptionally quiet ride which is truly appreciated. Strong and proficient are the two words that best sum up the 750 watt motor, working together with Biktrix’s 48 Volt 21 AH battery greatly enhances the riding experience and produces plenty of power to go up, over and across any ride-able terrain the Moto encounters.
Controls and Display on the Biktrix Moto
It is fun and effortless to go fast on the Moto thanks to the easily accessible thumb throttle and control pad, one push of the throttle and it gives you that instant boost of power to move. The Moto comes from Biktrix programmed with a Class 2 riding mode, which allows for throttle operation and pedal assist riding up to 20mph. This enables owners to legally ride on most bike paths and roads without a license, insurance, or registration. Through the SW900 display you can enter into the settings interface and adjust a handful of options to customize the performance of the Moto – aka make it faster. The SW900 display is easily readable, back-lit for low light conditions, presents the essential information, and allows you to fine tune the settings to your needs – all in all a display that gets the job done without being distracting. If you want to learn more about the display settings and adjustments that can be made, Biktrix has a manual for it here.
Tires and Wheels on the Biktrix Moto
The Biktrix Moto is fitted with CST BFT 24″ x 4.0 tires and 24″ 80MM 36H rims. Measuring 4” wide, the CST tire falls right in line for the Fat Bike category, hence “BFT” Big Fat Tire, they offer an aggressive tread pattern for excellent braking traction, tight turns, and tough climbs. Riding on pavement and concrete has definitely taken a toll on that aggressive tread, and if I was to guesstimate at the life span, I would bet that they would need to be replaced around the 1000 mile mark, which is on the lower end of e-bike tire life.
As for the rims on the Moto, this seems to be the one and only problem area that I have encountered with this e-bike. After the first ride the Moto developed a constant clicking noise, which I initially thought might be noise from a rock stuck in the holed rim, the chain or the motor. But upon further inspection it turned out to be the spokes. They were not loose per say, but once I tightened them the clicking went away. A few rides later and the clicking returned, not as loud, but still a nuisance, so again I tightened the spokes and the clicking again went away. And here I am finishing up this review and the rims are clicking once again, I am not sure if it is a bad wheel set or if these spokes loosen with miles or if the rims are just getting broken in with the more miles that get put on the bike. Either way it is not something that you would expect to have to deal with every few rides.
Brakes and Lighting on the Biktrix Moto
Enjoying the speed of the Moto is one thing, but feeling safe knowing that it will securely bring you to an immediate stop when needed is another. The Biktrix Moto is equipped with Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. These hydraulic brakes give you more control and modulation of the braking system with less effort. The 200 mm hydraulic disc brakes provide pure responsive stopping power – from 26 mph to 0 mph in all but an instant. Beyond the excellent stopping power the one huge advantage of the hydraulic disc brakes is that they automatically self-adjust as they wear down. The design of the caliper will retract a set distance from the rotor regardless of the pad’s wear level. The hydraulic brake system is completely sealed for low maintenance and longer life. This is especially nice as it saves time spent on maintenance, since there is no need to adjust the brakes as you would have to with mechanical pads.
When you are riding the Moto during the daytime or at night the bright front 1500 lumen LED light helps you see and be seen. The LED headlamp can be turned on with a simple push of the red headlight button mounted to the handlebars for instant visibility. While the Moto does have a “taillight” it does not come on when the headlamp button is pushed and strangely only seems to function as a brake light when the brake levers are pulled – seems like a bit of missed programing or wiring on Biktrix’s part, as a taillight for any night riding is pretty essential.
Final Thoughts on the Biktrix Moto
The Biktrix Moto is a fun riding, rugged, urban cruiser that can easily change directions and tackle off road trails. And thanks to the 48V 21Ah battery and 750W Bafang motor it allows you to swiftly sail through cities, comfortably climb steep hills, and cruise to your destinations with effortless control. Is it worth the $2,499 price tag? For all of the prime parts, features and lifetime frame warranty that Biktrix included, the Moto is suitably priced amongst it’s competitors. So it you are looking for a powerful, swift, and enjoyable form of e-transportation that all but takes pedaling out of the “bike” equation, then the Moto deserves consideration, as it will get you around town or down the trails in a quick, nimble, and fun fashion.
To learn more about the Moto or other Biktrix e-bikes, visit Biktrix.com