Juiced Bikes Scorpion Review
Juiced Bikes is a California based company offering innovative and high performing electric bikes at an accessible and practical price point. Originally established as an importer of Lithium-Ion batteries, Juiced Bikes quickly progressed into developing e-bikes with the inventive and functional ODK Utility e-bike launched in 2010. Since then Juiced has come a long way and now offers a full line of e-bikes, everything from commuter e-bikes, fat tire off road e-bikes, adventure e-bikes and now even a moped style e-bike called the Scorpion, which is what we will be digging into with this review.
The Scorpion e-bike concept is inspired by the nostalgic, retro design of popular 1970’s mopeds, and it is without question a snappy “head-turner” (it is hard to go anywhere on the Scorpion without getting 20 questions and all the looks). The Scorpion is packed with premium performance features, including dual suspension, a versatile step-through frame, a 750-watt motor (for speeds up to 28 mph) all powered by Juiced’s domineering 52-volt battery.
“In the e-bike market, we’re all very focused on pushing the performance envelope. With the Scorpion, however, we wanted to emphasize the importance of the design, while still ensuring the bike was packed with advanced performance features our customers love,” says Tora Harris, CEO and Founder of Juiced Bikes. “Gone are the days of under powered pedaling. With the Scorpion, we are delivering superhuman power and speed combined with incredible versatility at an extremely affordable price. It’s really the perfect mobility solution for a broad range of riders.”
And with that, let’s dive in.
The Scorpion 750 Watt Motor
The Scorpion is outfitted with a rear hub 750 watt Bafang motor with a maximum torque of 80 N.m, providing bold power for quick accelerations from stops and making those steep hill climbs quick and effortless. The Bafang motor provides a smooth and exceptionally quiet ride which is truly appreciated. Strong and efficient are the two words that best sum up the 750 watt motor, working together with Juiced’s 52 Volt Battery greatly enhances the riding comfort and is powerful enough to go up, over and across any ride-able terrain the Scorpion encounters.
The Juiced 52 Volt Battery
The Scorpion comes equipped with a high powered 52 volt battery. E-bikes have evolved from 24V to 36V, then 48V and now have reached 52V. So why go with the 52 volt battery? In a nutshell, the higher the voltage the greater the performance. A 52 volt battery can be more efficient as it can use less current to produce the same amount of power, but the main point is overall better performance. But that is not the whole story, another key figure to consider is the battery’s “amp hour capacity” which is 13 Ah for the Scorpion. What does this tell us? Basically, the higher the amp hour capacity of the battery, the longer it can run / the further the e-bike can travel. The data sheet below breaks down a few different voltages, amp hours, and distances capable of traveling to give you an idea about the importance of getting the right battery.
And of course the question that always gets asked and doesn’t have an easy answer is, “How far can I go on a single charge on the Scorpion?” The answer is multifaceted and can not be distilled down to one single number. Most e-bike manufacturers post “ideal” range figures that always seem to be on the very generous side. Range depends on a number of factors, some of which are:
- Total payload (weight), rider + gear
- Average speed
- Tire pressure
- Hill grade
- Road Bumps
- Riding position
- Outside temperature
- How much you pedal
- Tire type
- Type of battery
- Age of the battery
So… how far can you go? For myself weighing in at 175 lbs with the speed control set on the fastest setting (top speed of ~24 mph) and pedaling at a leisurely pace the majority of the ride (any pedaling will decrease the workload of the battery and as a result, increase the range), the solid average I have been getting is about 31.5 miles before the battery dies, which if you look at the graph above is 0.5 miles further than proclaimed. For throttle only (top speed of ~20 mph) the ride average is around 34 miles. After recording innumerable rides on the Scorpion, I can postulate that the above data sheet for the 52 volt 13 Ah battery is fairly accurate as long as you consider that most of the range factors listed above are at average to optimal conditions. All of this meaning that if you set the Scorpion on the lowest pedal assist mode and pedaled at a slower speed you could technically go for well over a 100 mile ride before the battery drained to zero. No I didn’t test this and no I am not going to – it is way to much fun to ride the Scorpion fast. And besides if I am doing a century ride, it will definitely be earned on my road bike.
The Scorpion comes with a 2 amp battery charger that uses a standard household outlet and plugs into the side of the battery with a three prong connector (pictured above). The battery can be charged on or off the e-bike. The charger has an indicator light built in that lights up red when charging and turns green when fully charged, the charger does automatically stop charging when the battery is fully charged. Total charge time for an empty battery is just under seven hours. If seven hours seems like an eternity, Juiced offers a programmable 8 amp fast charger that is stated to be able to charge the battery 400% faster (in just under 2 hours) than the stock charger.
For me the 2 amp battery charger is more than adequate. Most of my rides never drain the battery to zero and the few that do constitute over 30 miles of travel and by that point I have had my fill of Scorpion riding for the day. All of this meaning that with simple over night charges the battery will always be ready for next day riding.
The Scorpion Body and Components
Even though the Scorpion offers one of the more powerful e-bike rides available; comfort, dependability, and safety are still a must. The Scorpion comes equipped with front and rear suspension, the front fork has coil suspension with a hydraulic lockout that can be adjusted to deliver a softer or firmer ride depending on rider preference. The rear suspension has a spring loaded swingarm and combined with the front suspension deliveries a luxuriously smooth riding experience.
The versatile step-through frame provides ease of use which is especially helpful considering the Scorpion weighs right around 100 lbs with the battery installed and the wider moped-style seat offers plenty of cushioned rider comfort. The wide 20” x 4.0” puncture-resistant tires furnish unbeatable durability – no flats yet, even after riding in some questionable places that would have likely given me a flat on my road bike.
The 180 mm hydraulic disc brakes provide pure responsive stopping power – from 24 mph to 0 mph in 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. This is incredible, and there is no need to adjust the brakes as you would have to do with mechanical pads.
The Scorpion has a Shimano 7 Speed freewheel cassette installed on the rear hub that brings smooth shifting, but rarely gets used as it is left on the highest gear at all times. This is one part of the Scorpion I would change – make the gear ratio a lot higher. With it set on the highest gear (hardest to pedal – but not hard at all) you have to pedal like an all out manic to actual move the e-bike beyond the helpful power of the motor. The only time any of the other 6 speeds get used is in Eco Mode or when the battery drains to zero and you are forced to pedal home to charge the battery.
The Scorpion has a 16 pole cadence sensor for actuating the pedal assist, which turns the motor on when you start pedaling and turns it off when you stop pedaling. It works more or less like a switch. The advantage of using a cadence sensor, rather than a torque and HD cadence sensor is that it’s an inexpensive way to get pedal assist onto the e-bike, keeping the overall cost of the bike down, but the disadvantage is that the pedal assistance can feel counter intuitive. As I stated above, when trying to pedal faster than the motor is spinning, the cadence sensor tells the motor to keep going and actively works against your efforts. Not a top tier option, but it does a flawless job at sensing pedal movement and sending the “go” signal to the motor.
The Advanced Matrix Display is 120 x 64 pixel display dashboard that controls and manages the electronics on the Scorpion. On the main screen, it shows the basic status of the electronics system such as speed, distance traveled, pedal assist mode, and battery level. It also has an “Advanced Mode” that provides additional information which is useful for understanding how the e-bike is working. The display has the ability to adjust a limited set of parameters that customize the performance of the Scorpion, some features include Cruise Control, Throttle Assist Boost, Low Voltage Limit Pre-set and Advanced Metrics View Mode to name a few. If you want to dive deep into learning more about the display, Juiced put together a great video here. Bottom line is the Advanced Matrix Display is easily readable (can be back-lit for low light conditions), presents the pertinent information, and allows you to fine tune the performance of the Scorpion to your needs.
Sitting just to the right of the display is the twist throttle control for the motor. Similar to that of a motorcycle, a simple twist backwards / counterclockwise tells the motor to go. The twist throttle is instantly responsive and can take the Scorpion to a speed of 20 mph without pedaling. This is extremely useful when you are at a stoplight / stop sign and you need a quick take off and of course when you have no desire to pedal.
The rear rack that comes standard on the Scorpion is 8″ x 10″, not quite big enough to install a basic bicycle trunk bag. Nevertheless, there are two ways that I have found to make the rear rack useful. The first is to use good old bungee cords for strapping down any cargo (helmet, water bottles, books, or a small grocery pickup). The second is installing a motorcycle hard tail box, the 30 L size fits perfectly and has the ability to securely lock any items that you might carry, as well as having the option of a quick release mount that offers the choice to take it along for the ride or leave it at home.
The most illuminating feature on the Scorpion is the over sized, super bright 2000 Lumen LED motorcycle headlamp, it very effectively lights up the road at night and allows for exceptional visibility – both to see and be seen. The LED headlamp and rear taillight can quickly be turned on turn through the Advanced Matrix Display for night riding or rider visibility during the day. The LED motorcycle headlamp is just that, on the same level as most motorcycles and more often than not, the Scorpion gets mistaken for a motorcycle, albeit a silent one, coming down the road.
Let’s talk about sizing for a second. This is one where I don’t totally agree with Juiced. They state that the Scorpion has universal sizing to fit riders 5’2″ and above. Not so fast Juiced – Here is my take on the Scorpion sizing; if you only plan to use the e-bike with the throttle and little to no pedaling I can get on board with the recommendation of “riders 5’2″ and above”. However if you are planning on pedaling for any consistent amount of time, I don’t agree with the “5’2″ and above”. For myself standing at 6′ tall, pedaling falls into the category of awkward, in a knees to chest sort of way on the up-pedal – a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point. With that being said, Juiced does offer a tall seat accessory that would likely mitigate a lot of the ungraceful pedaling for a taller rider. So, here is my recommendation, if you are 5’2″ to 5’8″ the standard Scorpion seating will be ideal, as the adjustable handlebars enable a comfortable selection of upright riding positions and the long padded seat gives plenty of room to move around to find the perfect riding position. If you are 5’9″ and above and plan to pedal the Scorpion opt for the tall seat accessory.
Thoughts on Riding the Scorpion
Part of what makes the Scorpion so much fun is you can choose when you want to pedal or just cruise without any effort thanks to the twist throttle. The battery and motor provide an incredibly helpful boost when trying to conquer hills, cut through downtown obstacles, or cover lengthy distances. With the Scorpion, you can still “bike ride”, but you’re able to do it faster and cover more distance in a far less stressful manner than you would with a traditional bike. What is especially nice is the implementation of the the throttle, which opens up speedy and prolonged riding to almost everyone. If you decide you need to take a break from pedaling, you can opt for throttle-only riding and just enjoy coasting while you sail down the road.
And of course the one question everyone wants the answer to: How fast can the Scorpion go?
The regulation answer is this, the Scorpion is sold and delivered as a Class 2 E-Bike, meaning it can provide pedal assist and throttle up to 20 mph.
However you can manually confgure other assist settings within the Advanced Matrix Display to increase the speed, turning it into a Class 3 E-bike, giving the Scorpion the ability to reach 28 mph with pedaling.
What did I manage for top speeds?
Once the Scorpion was configured “correctly” I could hit 24 mph with “throttle only” in optimal conditions (flat ground, no wind, fully charged battery, tire pressure on point, etc); with pedaling 28 mph can be reached, but it is not sustainably, as it seems anything over 26 mph is mostly encouraged by rider pedal power. As the e-bike goes faster and faster the motor is able to provide less and less assistance. At some point, the forces pushing the e-bike forward equals the forces pushing it backward and you settle at the top speed, which seems to be 26 mph in my case.
Features of the Juiced Bike Scorpion
- 750W BAFANG Rear Hub Motor
- 52V / 13Ah Extended Range Battery
- Hydraulic Disc Brakes 180mm
- LCD Advanced Matrix Display with Cruise Control
- Front Suspension Fork and Hydraulic lockout
- Rear: Spring Loaded Swingarm Rear Suspension
- Cadence Pedal Sensor
- Twist Throttle
- Gears: Shimano 7 Speed Freewheel
- Motorcycle Style LED Headlamp – 2,000 Lumen
- Tail Light: Integrated LED Light with Brake Light Function
- Front and Rear fenders
- Adjustable Handlebars
- Comfortable Saddle
- Functional Rear Rack
- Puncture-Resistant Tires – 20” x 4.0”
- Weight: 100 lbs with battery | 90 lbs without battery
Overall, the Scorpion is Fun….a Lot of FUN. From my standpoint the Scorpion Juiced Bike falls into the category of e-transportation, rather than “e-bike” as the pedaling part of this ride is only done when necessary. If you are someone that is looking for quick and enjoyable alternative transportation and your destination is under a 30 mile round trip, then the Scorpion deserves consideration, as it will get you from point A to point B and back to point A in a gratifying and expeditious manner.
For the e-bike enthusiast looking for more power, speed, and range, Juiced Bikes also offers the HyperScorpion that has an upgraded 52-volt / 19.2 Ah battery that fuels an even further riding range, an enormous 1,000-watt Bafang motor for “off-road” speeds up to 30 mph, dual pedal assist technology (cadence and torque), rear-view mirrors, and an integrated rear brake light.
For more information on the Scorpion and other Juiced Bikes, visit juicedbikes.com