You can probably come up with plenty of practical reasons for buying an electric bike. But let’s be honest — they look like a whole lot of fun. If you’ve been trying to justify buying an electric bike, don’t think you’re fooling anyone talking about commuting cost savings or even (cough, cough), environmental impact. Just be straight up about it.
A brand new design, based on the design concept of tiny motorbikes from the ’70s, is whaling it on Kickstarter. If you’re even only mildly thinking about an e-bike, check out the Lithium Cycles’ Super 73, designed as “an affordable go-anywhere bicycle with impressive range,” according to Electrek.
A 10 amp hour lithium-ion battery, stored under the single passenger seat, can power the Super 73’s 1000 watt motor for a range of about 20 miles at speeds rated at more than 25 miles per hour. If you want greater range or speed, you can pedal along with five levels of assist. A small LCD panel lets you set the pedal assist level and displays range, speed, distance, and time.
The 73’s lockable and removable battery can be recharged in four hours when plugged into a regular home electrical outlet. You can get an extra battery for $400. With the lower prices spoken for the bike will set you back about $1,900, with pick up available from the company’s southern California plant.
The Super 73 has disc brakes and 20-inch wheels with 4.5-inch wide all-terrain tires that look like they’d be just fine for street, beach, and smooth path use. If you’re familiar with motorcycles, the Super 73 is reminiscent of the Yamaha TW200, a small dual purpose motorcycle Yamaha has been building with minimal changes to the design since 1987. Like the Super 73, the TW200 has fat tires good for traction and comfort, though in the case of the TW200, you could go further off road and on rougher terrain. With both the Super 73 and the TW200, the over-sized tires stick out as a design element — in a good way.
The 73 is designed to carry riders weighing up to 300 pounds and from 5 foot 2 inches to 6 foot 5 inches tall. The bike itself weighs 65 pounds. A rear light is standard (it’s part of the battery), and a front light and reflective fender combo is available for $100 extra. There’s a USB port on the battery and a cup holder and bottle opener on the frame just ahead of the seat.
The current expected shipping date for the Super 73 is November 2016. The Kickstarter page says you won’t need a license to ride/drive the 73, but that varies by state, so check with your DMV if that’s an issue.