When does an e-bike turn into an electric motorbike? We've recently seen a raft of high-performance boosted pushbikes with performance to rival small-capacity motorbikes, the latest of which comes from a Ukrainian company called Delfast. With enough range to rival electric cars and road-ready top speeds, the company has its sights set on thrill seekers and backroad blasters.
At the core of the Delfast bike range is a smart battery system, developed in the US. The 48-V battery pack can be managed using a Bluetooth-connected app, which can track your ride using GPS, act like an immobilizer, or remotely start the bike. In the long-range Prime model, a 64-Ah battery offers up to 236 mi (380 km) of riding, while the performance-oriented Top model has a 50-Ah unit good for 174 mi (280 km). The base Lite makes do with a 28-Ah battery providing a range of 112 mi (180 km).
The amount of power on offer also varies based on model. The Prime has a 1,000-W motor for a 34-mph (55-km/h) top speed, while the Top has a 5,000-W setup capable of pushing to 50 mph (80 km/h). The Lite lags behind its stablemates when it comes to power, offering a 26-mph (42-km/h) top speed from its 750-W motor. Riders are able to toggle through three modes: EU, USA or Unlimited. As you might have guessed, the EU and USA modes are there to make sure the bike meets all relevant regulations for those markets.
What does the Lite have going for it? Well, it's light. Compared to the 95-lb (43-kg) Prime and 137-lb (62-kg) Top, its 59-lb (27-kg) weight sticker will make for an easier bike to lug up stairs if you live in an apartment. There are indicators and bright lights at both ends for people who want to ride on the road and an easy-to-read digital display allows riders to toggle through the different power modes.
Gearing and suspension will vary from model-to-model, but the mid-spec Prime has a seven-speed Shimano gearset and Zoom front fork. The frame is built in Ukraine, and looks properly mean in stealth-bomber black.
At the moment, Delfast is seeking funding on Kickstarter, where it has passed its $50,000 goal, reaching more than US$89,500 with 35 days remaining. Pledges start at $10, but you'll need to lay down $2,719 to reserve a Lite, while pledges for the Prime begin at $3,589 and the Top begins at $4,349. Deliveries are planned for May 2018. Should it make production, prices are expected to start at $5,190.
The bike was also on show at Interbike, where New Atlas was on the ground covering all the action.