Saturday, March 18, 2017

Fossil Free (Almost) Friday: Back to the Big Electric Mini Bikes

Luna, Super 73, and now Moke - If you're in the market for a Maxi-Mini and have $2000 to $5000 to spend, you are very much in luck these days.

Have you heard about the Moke?

The Moke is the latest of the big minis, and it speaks Spanish. It hails from Barcelona. The Moke is currently finishing up a very successful Indiegogo campaign and they are selling a version for $1990 if you want to pick it up in Spain or $2490 plus shipping if you want it shipped. (There was a $1799 version, but that window has already closed.) After the campaign closes, the price will be 40% more.

The Moke has a rear hub motor and can be had in 250-watt, 500-watt, and 1000-watt versions.

It has a really big seat and some cargo-hauling capabilities.



The Moke seems a really cool machine, but by the time you can get it over here, you're probably better off buying a made-in-California Super 73 (or a Banana -  keep reading.)

After checking the Moke out, I hopped over to the Super 73 site to see if anything new is going on. Sure enough, there were two new, fancier, and more expensive models...


Holy (S)Moke, Batman! That's a $4500 maxi-mini!
(It has an extra battery, lights, and knobby tires.)


But there was also a model missing -  the $1600 Super 73 Scout:

Yep, it was completely gone (or so I thought.)

Learn more about the MIA Scout here: Follow-up on the Big Electric MiniBike
(If you look at the bottom of the Super 73 Adventure page, a little Scout lingers there.)
Not seeing the budget-model Scout broke my heart a little. This is Mesquite Hugger where we love bikes that are attainable for those on a tighter budget. RIP Scout.
What was that about a Banana?
The other Maxi-Mini out there is the Luna Banana.
This is the 1000-watt version
(with lots of upgrade options)

This is the Super Banana 3000-watt Bad Mamma Jamma!
The Zero-watt Luna Banana (pedal-only)

If you're like me, you're probably thinking, Hey Self, I wonder if we could build one ourself for even less money. It's that kind of thinking that keeps me (and Grizz) in all kinds of trouble, so let's trudge on and see what kind of trouble we can get started.

So, I started plugging along on the LunaCycle website and came up with a few lower dollar options.
  
The lowest dollar option - $1450 plus shipping (which came out to $115 for my house)

The drawbacks to this setup? The battery is only 36 volts (you can upgrade to 48 volts for $80 more) and you will need to pay someone to lace the motor up for you (or wait for Luna to get the $275 1000-watt already laced in a rim version back in stock, which would lower the price $25 too.) 

If you're not a fan of hub motors, you can spend a little more and go mid-drive:


This 48-volt setup would give you pretty similar performance to the other mid-drives we've already looked at.


This 52-volt setup will let you go a little faster, but not quite as far. (By the way, if you're over at Luna, be sure to check out the Rhino, what a cool amount of craziness!)

So, where would I start?

Me, I'm a glutton for punishment. I'd start over at GoKarts USA with this little jewel: 


Okay, not really. If I were in the market, I'd pick up one of these:


They are offering free shipping on the Radwagon of my dreams right now, and I'm afraid I'll look like a dork on a minibike! (Instead of looking like a dork on a cargo bike.)

Regardless of how dorky you look, I hope you find the low-carbon runabout that makes you smile, saves you money, and treads oh-so-much lighter!