You know what one of the neat things about electric bicycles is? It’s the fact that because riders don’t have to rely solely on their own physical strength to propel the things, manufacturers have the freedom to explore designs that aren’t centered around keeping the weight down. Case in the point is the M-1 ebike from Anaheim-based Marrs Cycles – it probably has more in common with a custom Harley Davidson than with anything put out by Specialized or Trek.
The company was founded by Kacy Marrs, who has a background in riding a variety of both bicycles and motorcycles. His business partner, Brad Fanshaw, formerly ran a company that built one-of-a-kind hot rods.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,200 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
Like Fanshaw’s cars, M-1s are built to order. This means that specs can differ from bike to bike, depending on what the client wants. Rechargeable lithium battery packs are used to power a three-phase brushless rear hub motor. The smallest pack (20 amp hours) reportedly allows a 175-pound (79-kg) rider to travel up to 20 miles (32 km) on one charge without pedaling.
The bike’s top motorized speed is 20 mph (32 km/h) – anything faster, and it couldn’t legally be classed as an electric bicycle in the U.S. That said, Marrs told us that his company has built personal test bikes that exceed that speed. In the photo below, for instance, he was reportedly traveling at approximately 30 mph (48 km/h).
M-1s weigh in at about 140 pounds (63.5 kg) and are available in a number of frame colors and wood veneer types – Metallica frontman James Hetfield is apparently getting one made with cherry wood. Frames are made from 4130 chromoly steel, while the components are a mixture of high-end motorcycle, bicycle, and custom-made parts. It’s mainly those parts that put the bikes in the price range of ... well, of rock stars, or at least people who aren't on a tight budget. Expect to pay a minimum of US$7,000 if you want one for yourself.
“This price is due to the high quality authentic motorcycle components we use and the labor involved in building our components,” Marrs said. “There is no other company that builds anything as close to a motorcycle while still allowing the product to fall under the electric bicycle category.”
Source: Marrs CyclesView gallery - 8 images