Motorcycles

Bolt M-1 finds a home between electric motorcycle, moped and bicycle

Bolt M-1 finds a home between ...
The Bolt M-1, born in San Francisco
The Bolt M-1, born in San Francisco
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The Bolt M-1 does actually ride off road, though it looks better suited to regular commuting
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The Bolt M-1 does actually ride off road, though it looks better suited to regular commuting
The Bolt M-1 fills the space between e-bike, moped and motorcycle
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The Bolt M-1 fills the space between e-bike, moped and motorcycle
Bolt Motorbikes founder Nathan Jauvtis
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Bolt Motorbikes founder Nathan Jauvtis
The Bolt M-1 is powered by a 5.5 kW electric drive
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The Bolt M-1 is powered by a 5.5 kW electric drive
The Bolt M-1, born in San Francisco
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The Bolt M-1, born in San Francisco
The M-1 provides speeds up to 40 mph in sport mode
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The M-1 provides speeds up to 40 mph in sport mode
The M-1 has quick release batteries for easy charging indoors or out
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The M-1 has quick release batteries for easy charging indoors or out
M-1 co-founder Zach Levenberg
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M-1 co-founder Zach Levenberg
The M-1 provides a new means of all-electric urban commuting
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The M-1 provides a new means of all-electric urban commuting
Bolt M-1
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Bolt M-1
Bolt M-1
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Bolt M-1
Bolt put the M-1 to the test on the hilly roads of San Francisco
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Bolt put the M-1 to the test on the hilly roads of San Francisco
The Bolt M-1 is available for pre-order at just under $5,500
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The Bolt M-1 is available for pre-order at just under $5,500
Off road with the Bolt M-1
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Off road with the Bolt M-1
Bolt M-1
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Bolt M-1

Part electric bicycle, part motorcycle and part moped, the Bolt M-1 is a capable, two-wheeled machine engineered for urban commuting. The fully electric bike wears light motorcycle styling and can put out up to 5,500 watts for speeds up to 40 mph (64 km/h). It can also be dialed back to 1,000 watts and ridden like an e-bike.

Bolt Motorbikes founder and CEO Dr. Nathan Jauvtis began commuting on a moped around the time he first moved to San Francisco. He found the moped to be the perfect vehicle for getting around the city – more speed and practical range than a bicycle but cheaper than a car. Jauvtis formed Bolt with co-founder Zach Levenberg, a moped enthusiast with world-record moped riding and Lit Motors engineering experience under his belt. The two designed their own version of the moped, turning to battery power and putting their own styling to it to create the M-1.

While the M-1's design is most similar to a moped, the company has been careful to keep specifications within California's legal definition of a electric (motorized) bicycle, thereby eliminating the need for a motorcycle license. The company also keeps the design simple and bicycle-like in hopes of appealing to bike riders looking for a light, electric form of urban commuting – in other words, folks that might be intimidated by more powerful electric motorcycles like those that Jauvtis helped develop at Zero Motorcycles. "If you can ride a bicycle, you can ride a Bolt," the company promises.

Those looking for that type of easy-riding city commuting will likely set the M-1 on "economy" mode and never hit the switch again. It limits motor output to 1,000 watts, optimizing range for up to 50 miles (82 km) of riding on motor power alone. Speed is limited to 20 mph (32 km/h). No pedaling is required, but for those that want to stretch their legs, the M-1's pedals are just dangling there in waiting.

Off road with the Bolt M-1
Off road with the Bolt M-1

Economy mode meets California motorized bike limits, which stipulate no more than 1,000 watts and a 20-mph top speed. To avoid messing that up, Bolt says that sport mode is for "off-road use only." The bike isn't exactly an electrified dirt bike, but Bolt does have some photos of it tackling flat dirt, so an "off-road only" mode isn't completely fictitious. That said, we imagine it'll find more use on pavement, either by licensed folks with properly registered Bolt bikes or illegally by electric cyclists that just can't resist the lure of 5,500 watts and 40 mph (64 km/h). Range takes a big hit in sport mode, dropping to 30 miles (48 km/h).

The M-1 also features a computerized control system with passcode protection, USB phone charger, and Bluetooth-connected mobile application. Its 1.7-kWh lithium ion phosphate battery pack has a quick release for easier charging and fast-charges to 90 percent in 1.5 hours. Bolt recommends using the home charger for 5-hour "maintenance" charging to increase battery longevity. The bike weighs 140 lb (63.5 kg).

Bolt put the M-1 to the test on the hilly roads of San Francisco
Bolt put the M-1 to the test on the hilly roads of San Francisco

Bolt says that it already sold out its first M-1 production run and is currently taking preorders for batch #2 on its website. The M-1 lists in at US$5,495, and if we're reading the fine print correctly, it looks like early birds save $500 for a $4,995 buy-now price that entails a fully refundable $500 deposit.

Source: Bolt Motorbikes

23 comments
Scion
Ahh, I only wish Australia would ease up on its electric bike laws. 250watts in ok but top speed of electric assist of 25km/hr just doesn't cut it. My average speed (including stopping at intersections and so on) for my commute is 25km/h and top speed is 36km/h using pedal power only (some slight downhill gradient + tail wind has gotten me up to 42km/h) Adding 10kg+ to my racer for 10km/h less speed for $1,000 or more just doesn't work. Electric bikes in Australia are great for short commutes (5km<) for people who wouldn't otherwise ride but there are plenty of people who would ride further and harder given a little e-boost. I keep reading these e-bike posts and I just sigh that unless I make my own e-bike that conforms to Australian Design Rules for motorcycles I'll have to content myself with leg power alone.
Milton
very cool.
Old_Rider
I will build mine at about $300 thank you....
rnmgizmag
Not exactly pretty is it? Surely a ground up design with few restrictions could have produced a far better looking bike, even if it is probably in the developmental stage. The bike in the offroad picture looks like it is a Yamaha FS1E and taken in the 70's. For $5495 I would expect more although, living in the country as I do, anything electric is far from practical.
minivini
Everyone, please congratulate Milton. Yay Milton. Now, go build yourself one and allow the rest of us enjoy reading about fresh(ish) ideas in peace.
RobertLeck
This is a brilliant concept - and I really really want one
George W. Groovy
Isn't five large a bit rich for an electric bicycle?
flylowguy
I like it, except for the price tag.
Tom Benson
Battery looks to put the weight up awfully high, and I have yet to see a motorcycle "styled" with a rectangular tank. Other than that a 5000 watt mid-drive would be great just put plates on it and forget calling it a bike - it weighs 150#!!!!
DavidB
minivini, it looks like it's actually Old_Rider who says he'd rather build his own, whereas Milton says this product is "very cool."