When is an e-bike not an e-bike? That’s a hard question to answer these days, as more and more electric two-wheelers hit the market, many of which have a very definite motorbike or moped look to them, and some have a lot more power and potential top speed than your average conventional electric bicycle. I think the right answer is, it depends.
With varying local, state, and national regulations that define things like which e-bikes can and can’t be ridden on the road (limited by top speed or max power output, or both), where they can be ridden, which ones require a license and registration, if there are age limits or mandatory helmet laws, etc., it all gets a little fuzzy as to what exactly is what. I mean, with terms like low speed electric bicycle, e-bike, motorized bicycle, moped, and pedelec, along with the terms Class 1, 2, or 3, and designs that emulate motorbikes, the landscape of two-wheeled micromobility is rather broad right now.
Whether that’s ultimately a good thing or a distracting thing for the low carbon personal transport space is up for debate, as on the one hand, there is no need to reinvent the wheel (literally or figuratively) when it comes to the basic design of velocipedes in general, and on the other hand, there’s plenty of room for efficiency and performance improvements in electric drivetrains and batteries, so the world of electric velocipedes is ripe for innovation. Again, it depends.
All of that is a long way of getting to the point of introducing Lyric Cycles, a Canadian electric bike company whose tagline is “Driven for Performance, Driven for Change.” The company’s e-bike models are, to the eye, more like scrambler-type motorbikes than bicycles, but hey, look, are those pedals linked to a chain that can drive the rear wheel? Then ok, maybe it’s an electric bicycle. Or wait, maybe that’s a moped. Or could it be an electric motorcycle, but with pedals? Either way, these Lyric Cycles electric two-wheelers are definite lookers, and for the style-conscious rider, they might be just the ticket for a cleaner and quieter commute.
The Graffiti, a 1000W pedal assist + throttle bike with a scrambler-ish look to it, offers a lot of oomph in a modest size and weight (60-ish lb), and at its regular price of $2,599, it isn’t priced out of the market for electric commuter vehicles. With a belt drive, hydraulic disc brakes, and an extended saddle for a passenger and a weight capacity of 325 pounds, the Graffiti looks like a worthy contender. For another $400, you can get the dual battery version, which can get up to 80 miles per charge, and although it ships as a Class 2 e-bike with a 20 mph top speed, it can be unlocked and ridden at speeds up to 33 mph. Not too shabby, eh? And right now, according to the Lyric Cycles website, there are options for saving from $600-$750 off of certain models.
A new version of the Graffiti, the X, is currently in a pre-order (reservation) status, with a 3000W motor, dual shocks, a 60V 35Ah battery, off-road tires, a full light and turn signal package, and a potential (off-road) top speed of 45 mph, which will be priced at $3999. The company is also offering an “exclusive shot at snagging a limited number of Graffiti Xs at 25% off,” so the $20 reservation fee seems like a pretty affordable way to make sure you’re on the list when it gets launched in the spring.
The Voodoo is where things start to really heat up, as this 18,000W (peak output) machine promises top speeds up to 65 mph, a 65-mile range, regenerative braking, the ability to use an EV charger to top off the battery, front and rear suspension, and swag galore. The $6,999 electric motor-pedal-cycle-ish 2-wheeler also “comes with an off-road VIN and includes DOT-approved lights and mirror kits,” so registering and insuring it will not be that big of an issue if needed, and is definitely worthy of being parked front and center wherever it goes. Lyric Cycles is currently offering the Voodoo at a $1400 (20%) discount, for shipment in the summer of 2024.
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