Moke utility e-bike's seat goes to great lengths
The new Moke from Spain's Urban Drivestyle isn't your average e-bike. Its sturdy steel frame, wide tires and extended bench saddle are designed to haul some extra cargo, whether that means an adult passenger, a bunch of gear, or two children. The bike's creators call that seat the longest bicycle seat ever and split it into three so that cushions can be swapped out for accessories like child seats and cargo racks.
Just when e-bike after e-bike was feeling all too similar, the Moke comes along and blows up any preconceived ideas of what an e-bike can be. Its burly, powder-coated steel frame, oversized, motorcycle-inspired headlight, 20-in wheels and 4.25-in wide tires give it motorbike style like no other – well, maybe somewhat like the Lithium Cycles Super 73, a comparison Urban Drivestyle addresses on its blog, but nothing like the majority of e-bikes on the market.
The feature that really separates the Moke from the Super 73 and other e-bikes is that seat that just keeps going. Urban Drivestyle claims it's the only e-bike out there that seats two, a claim we know isn't entirely accurate because there are at least few tandem e-bikes around, including the Hase Pino saddle/recumbent hybrid with e-drive. None of those others look anything like a Moke, though.
The long seat features three individual cushions, allowing for some flexibility in layout. As a basic seat, it's designed to fit two adults or an adult and two children. The rear cushion can also be removed to make room for accessories like a child seat, cargo rack or basket. The bike can carry nearly 400 lb (180 kg) of total weight, so it's ready to get you to your destination complete with heavy load.
With up to 1,000 watts of motor power, the Moke doesn't ride like a typical pedelec any more than it looks like one, topping out at 28 mph (45 km/h). Since a 1,000-watt e-bike will run into issues on public thoroughfares in many jurisdictions, Urban Drivestyle also offers 250- and 500-watt motor options. The knobby tire option provides all-terrain bite and the semi-slicks keep it smooth on the street.
The Moke's pedals are connected to an eight-speed Shimano drivetrain, and the bike has thumb throttle and pedal-assist options. Nothing about that chunky, 57-lb (26-kg) build makes the thought of actually pedaling attractive, but the bike does have nine different pedal-assist modes, so riders of various abilities should be able to find their sweet spot.
The rear hub motor is powered by a Samsung 11.6-Ah lithium-ion battery that slides neatly into a holder where the seat tube would be on a more traditional frame. A single battery powers the bike for an estimated 25 miles (40 km) of range, and riders can drop in a second pack to double that range. With its cargo-friendly layout, we reckon you could throw even more spare batteries on it and keep pedaling for quite a while, assuming you've spent the money on a bunch of battery packs.
The battery can be charged on the bike or unlocked, removed and charged inside, with the process taking around four to six hours for the single battery with standard charger and two to four hours with the available fast charger.
Other Moke features of note include an LCD computer with USB output for charging gadgets, disc brakes and adjustable handlebars. Urban Drivestyle says that with the long seat and adjustable handlebars, riders of all shapes and sizes can find a comfortable position on the single-size bike.
Located on the island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean, Urban Drivestyle is a bit of a jack of all trades in the electric bike industry. It rents and sells e-bikes from other brands, operates e-bike tours, and makes its own electric bike creations in its repair shop.
The Moke was designed by the shop's design and technical manager, who was simply looking for a way to carry volleyball gear (and possibly a female partner) to the beach and back. He wrenched together the Moke last fall to get the blend of passenger seating, cargo hauling and muscular motoring he was looking for. The rest of the crew at Urban Drivestyle liked it so much, they decided to pursue the design more seriously.
Not surprisingly, the Moke attracted some attention at the Urban Drivestyle store, and the company says demand quickly outpaced its small shop's production capacity. It's now hoping to set up a larger scale production operation with help from the crowd at Indiegogo.
The US$1,799 pledge level has already sold out, helping the Moke shoot right past the $25,000 campaign goal, but bikes are still available at the $1,990 pledge level with the pledger's choice of 250-, 500- or 1,000-watt motor. Shipping runs €130 in the EU and €200 internationally (about US$140 and $215, respectively). If all goes according to plan, Urban Drivestyle will begin deliveries in July. The company is also offering some cheaper clothing, gear and accessories, including a $79 leather helmet and $89 Dalman Supply Co. hemp lock.
Check out the Moke in action on and off road in the introductory video below.
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