This tiny, cheap electric nakedbike is sure to win a lot of hearts. The City Slicker's humble aim is to knock off the daily commute on battery power, at a price that makes it a no-brainer. That price is US$1,995, which will give you a realistic city range somewhere around 40 miles.
The electric revolution will take hold from many fronts. It started with the eco-warriors, who were happy to pay extra for the feeling and appearance of green-ness. Lately, it's expanded to performance freaks, as the world has begun to realize en masse that the horsepower and acceleration figures for electrics are nigh on unlimited.
Now, we're starting to see the third front: pure practicality. This is nothing new, for example, in China. Every other scooter in Shanghai was a battery bike when I last went through in 2010. But electric vehicles are still an expensive luxury in much of the West.
That's what makes the City Slicker so exciting. The California Scooter Company (CSC) is bringing it into the United States from China, where it's manufactured in Zongshen's gigantic motorcycle factories.
It's something like a battery-powered Grom, with a top speed of 46.6 mph (75 km/h) and a 2.16-kWh battery that'll take you 62 mi (100 km) at 20 mph (32 km/h) and more like 40 mi (64 km) if you ride it normally around the back streets. That's more than enough to handle commuting duties for a vast number of riders – more if you can plug in and charge the thing while you're at work (it's 6-8 hours for a full charge, which clearly won't work the battery too hard, suggesting it should last, too). And as with all electrics, fuel and maintenance costs are almost negligible.
Two grand is cheaper than a lot of pedal-assist e-bikes we've been writing about lately, but this thing has full road privileges. It's a pretty stunning price point, and the savings against a traditional scooter will add up as the miles do.
In terms of design, it's a simple, trellis-framed naked with the most basic of everything. The motor is in the swingarm, and it looks kind of cool there. No power figures are given, but it's fair to assume this won't be a caravan-tower. There's two seats, a basic digital dash and headlight, and single disc braking at the front. The bike weighs just 216 lb (98 kg), so it will be the opposite of intimidating for smaller riders.
I've got a sneaking suspicion that CSC is going to sell as many of these as it can fit in container ships and land on American shores. A decent chunk of the market will be ready and waiting for machines like this, and we hope to see plenty more like it. At the very least, it could draw in some new riders – a commodity the motorcycle market is getting pretty desperate for in recent times.
Source: California Scooter Company
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