Somewhere between electric motorcycle and electric-assist bicycle lurks what we've come to call the electric superbicycle, your Stealth B52, Greyp G12S and Trefecta DRT. The all-new Neematic FR/1 is more powerful than all of those models, further blurring the line between e-bike and motorbike. Its electric mid-drive puts out 20 kW of peak power and drives the two-wheeler to speeds up to 62 mph (100 km/h). Whether you want to consider it a light dirt bike or a juiced up electric mountain bike, it's sure to be a thrilling ride in the dirt.
Development on the FR/1 began in 2014 and Lithuania-based Neematic formed last year. The startup introduced the FR/1 at Intermot last month, where it revealed the first details ahead of a 2017 preorder campaign. With its aluminum tube frame and bulging battery case, the Neematic definitely looks the part of a 50/50 motorcycle/e-bike split.
The FR/1's power comes from an electric mid-drive driving the rear wheel with help from a huge cog. To put the FR/1's 20-kW peak power into perspective, we could note that it's 80 times the EU-capped 250 W pedelec bikes that often grace our pages, but that feels too much like comparing a Nissan Leaf with a Rimac Concept One. A more apples to apples comparison still comes out well in the FR/1's favor: The Trefecta DRT puts out 4 kW and the Stealth B-52 5.2 kW. The Greyp G12S approaches the FR/1's ripped, double-digit muscle but still ends up closer to half at 12 kW. Twenty kilowatts is also well more than what some pedal-less electric dirt bikes, like the Kuberg Freerider and Armotia Due X, make. Suffice to say, 20 kW is an impressive number.
The FR/1 makes full use of that power in dialing speed up to 62 mph (100 km/h). Since we're already comparing, we'll note that the Stealth B-52 stops accelerating around 50 mph (80 km/h) and the G12S and DRT at 43.5 mph (70 km/h). There are a few other e-bikes out there that exceed 60 mph, including the 7 kW, 65-mph (105-km/h) Wolverine BM from Hi-Trek Cycles, so the FR/1 can't quite make the claim of being the world's fastest. When you're going full highway speed over dirt and rock on a bicycle, though, we don't imagine you'll be jonesing for an extra 3 mph (5 km/h).
"We wanted to create a top performance e-bike for rough terrain," explains Neematic co-founder and chief engineer Domas Zinkevicius. "Most importantly, we've been able to integrate the motor in the frame and remove unsprung mass in the rear wheel. It is this weight distribution alongside the bike's immense torque that puts Neematic at the frontier of high performance e-bikes."
Supporting that high-performance powertrain is a 2.2 kWh lithium-ion battery that provides between 31 and 62 miles (50 and 100 km) of range, Fox shocks and Hope Tech 3 V4 disc brakes. Beyond that, Neematic has remained quiet about the other specs, but we suspect that'll change when the bike goes up for preorder next year.
Until then, enjoy the video.