ONYX's new retro-styled 30 and 60 mph electric mopeds are practically electric motorcycles

ONYX's new retro-styled 30 and 60 mph electric mopeds are practically electric motorcycles

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By Micah Toll, electrek.com

 

San Francisco-based ONYX has launched two new electric mopeds that are advancing small electric motorbikes. With speeds of 30-60 mph (48-96 km/h) and sharp designs, these aren’t your typical mopeds.

ONYX’s new electric mopeds employ retro styling reminiscent of the 1970’s and 80’s.

The company launched two different models, the CTY and RCR. Both are now available for pre-order on Indiegogo, with estimated delivery in September of this year. ONYX is attempting to raise $250,000 to produce the e-mopeds, and managed to meet their goal in a matter of days due to the high demand.

The CTY is the lower power version, but “lower power” is relative here. At 2.5 kW (3.3 hp) of power and 160 Nm of torque, this e-moped has plenty of get up and go. The CTY is rated for 30 mph (48 km/h) and has an estimated range of 25-40 miles (40-64 km), depending on how hard you are riding it.

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The CTY’s 48 V and 16 Ah battery is good for 768 Wh, and ONYX offers a second battery option to double your range.

The frame is a low-swept steel tubular step-through design that features both a front suspension fork and dual rear 300 mm coilover suspension.

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It does have functional pedals, but don’t expect to keep up with the motor at 30 mph, especially with that small chainring and limited adjustment range of the seat. The pedaling is geared very low, which likely helps to get this 85 lb bike rolling from a stop. But who is really going to pedal this bike when you have 2.5 kW of power?

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The CTY also includes a number of creature comforts, including accessory charging via USB 3.0 and USB C, and LCD backlit display, an NFC smart key for locking and unlocking, and bluetooth connectivity to an iOS and Android app to adjust the bike’s settings.

The CTY is currently available on pre-order for $1,625 plus shipping.

If the CTY isn’t powerful enough for you, then ONYX has you covered with an even more ridiculous option. The RCR is an upgrade in just about every way imaginable.

A 72 V, 1.58 kWh removable battery is paired with a 5.4 kW (7.24 hp) motor to provide a top speed of 60 mph (96 km/h). With 182 Nm of torque, the RCR can reach 30 mph (48 km/h) in just 4 seconds.

ONYX claims a max range of 75 miles (121 km), but that’s at 20 mph (32 km/h). Expect that range to drop significantly when cruising at 60 mph (96 km/h).

The RCR sports the same 17″ motorcycle rims as the CTY as well as a similar tubular steel frame, but upgrades the dual coilover rear suspension to 350 mm.

The larger battery and controller of the RCR are enclosed in a partially fared body that uses a similar wood grain and aluminum theme to the CTY but in a larger format, giving it more of a cafe racer vibe.

Just like the CTY, the RCR features a large projector halo headlight which is important for off-road riding in low light conditions, as well as LED tail lights.

The RCR is also currently available on pre-order for $2,299 plus shipping.

Both the CTY and RCR offer up to 10 A of regenerative braking power and three modes of eco, normal and sport. Both can also be electronically neutered down to 750 W to supposedly keep them street legal in the US. Sorry Europe, there’s no way this thing would be close to street legal over there. Either way, most people will probably be enjoying these bikes for largely off-road and trail use.

Electrek’s Take

First and foremost, you have to hand it to ONYX for hitting these price points. Anyone can build an e-bike with a bunch of bolted together off-the-shelf parts. Many companies have been doing that for years to reach budget-level prices. But designing custom frames, battery enclosures and accessories isn’t cheap, and most e-bikes that go the innovative route have sky high prices. So to build a couple stylish e-mopeds that can hit 30 and 60 mph for between $1,700 to $2,300 is impressive.

That being said, there are definitely some caveats here. First of all, like any crowdfunding project, there is some risk in whether or not the company will succeed. Fortunately in this case, the Indiegogo campaign is already fully funded. However, without years of trust built up with the public, ONYX will still have to prove that it can deliver.

Next, I’d really like to see the build quality of these bikes up close before I fork over the dough for one. At 30-60 mph, I want to know that the vehicle I’m riding is safe. ONYX, if you’re listening, Electrek would love to do a review!

Lastly, remember that these are electric mopeds in name only. While the pedals work, they are mostly foot rests. These are light motorcycles for all intents and purposes.

With all of that to consider, I still think that these bikes are an awesome opportunity. They likely aren’t going to be your daily commuter vehicle (or maybe…), but for anyone who has some land or access to trails to play around on, these would sure be a ton of fun!