Bicycles

SUV of electric bikes looks to conquer streets and dirt

SUV of electric bikes looks to...
Moto Parilla is trying to get its Carbon bike to market
Moto Parilla is trying to get its Carbon bike to market
View 24 Images
The LED display provides system and ride info
1/24
The LED display provides system and ride info
We think the Carbon looks even better in Moto Parilla red and white than Caterham green and yellow
2/24
We think the Carbon looks even better in Moto Parilla red and white than Caterham green and yellow
The girder fork relies on a gas shock
3/24
The girder fork relies on a gas shock
The frame is made from carbon and aluminum alloy
4/24
The frame is made from carbon and aluminum alloy
Part e-bike, part fat bike and part motorcycle
5/24
Part e-bike, part fat bike and part motorcycle
Moto Parilla's Carbon is available in 250- and 500-watt specs
6/24
Moto Parilla's Carbon is available in 250- and 500-watt specs
Moto Parilla Carbon
7/24
Moto Parilla Carbon
The Carbon came close to being a Caterham but is now a Moto Parilla
8/24
The Carbon came close to being a Caterham but is now a Moto Parilla
Designed for on- and off-road riding
9/24
Designed for on- and off-road riding
Moto Parilla is trying to get its Carbon bike to market
10/24
Moto Parilla is trying to get its Carbon bike to market
The Motor Parilla Carbon offers speeds up to 22 mph
11/24
The Motor Parilla Carbon offers speeds up to 22 mph
Moto Parilla Carbon
12/24
Moto Parilla Carbon
Moto Parilla Carbon
13/24
Moto Parilla Carbon
Moto Parilla Carbon
14/24
Moto Parilla Carbon
Styled like a motorcycle, powered like an e-bike
15/24
Styled like a motorcycle, powered like an e-bike
The Carbon rides on 4.8-in fat tires
16/24
The Carbon rides on 4.8-in fat tires
Moto Parilla Carbon
17/24
Moto Parilla Carbon
Moto Parilla Carbon
18/24
Moto Parilla Carbon
Moto Parilla Carbon
19/24
Moto Parilla Carbon
The Carbon has a gas shock absorber
20/24
The Carbon has a gas shock absorber
Moto Parilla Carbon
21/24
Moto Parilla Carbon
A huge girder fork with huge braking disc to match
22/24
A huge girder fork with huge braking disc to match
Moto Parilla Carbon
23/24
Moto Parilla Carbon
Moto Parilla Carbon
24/24
Moto Parilla Carbon

The Moto Parilla Carbon comes to life as a heavily motorcycle-inspired electric off-road bike with claims of being the "SUV e-bike." The beautiful but beefy fat bike doesn't exactly make us excited to start pedaling uphill, but it definitely makes a statement and turns heads. Plus, it's available with a throttle so those aching calves can take the day off. After a fling with British carmaker Caterham, its designers are pressing ahead alone.

Back in 2013, Caterham was toying with the idea of selling the Carbon as part of a trio of motorcycles and electric bikes. Not surprisingly (its expertise is in cars, after all), Caterham had some serious help in creating the bike, from a couple of motorcycle/scooter industry veterans, engineer Zeno Panarari and designer Alessandro Tartarini.

After Caterham scrapped its Carbon plans in 2014, Panarari and Tartarini moved forward on their own, developing the bike under the Moto Parilla name, which motorcycle enthusiasts will recognize as the mid-20th-century Italian builder. Moto Parilla PLC was founded last year in London, and has since developed a second Carbon prototype. The company is now trying to raise crowdfunding money to get production started.

Outside of the loss of Caterham livery, the Carbon looks much the same as it did in 2013 – a big, motorcycle-like carbon and aluminum frame secured to "balloon" tire-shod wheels by a front girder fork and rear swingarm. Components include oversized 400 mm Magura front hydraulic discs (210 mm in back), an eight-speed Shimano Nexus hub, 26 x 4.8-in fat tires, and an LED display for information like battery status, speed and distance. There are also front and rear lights, alloy rims with stainless spokes and a Moto Parilla Sport saddle.

We think the Carbon looks even better in Moto Parilla red and white than Caterham green and yellow
We think the Carbon looks even better in Moto Parilla red and white than Caterham green and yellow

The Carbon bike is powered by a buyer's choice of 250-watt 36 V Shimano Steps motor, for an EU road-compliant 15.5 mph (25 km/h) pedelec top speed, or a 500-watt 48 V mid-drive with included throttle and 22 mph (35 Km/h) top speed. The motor at work receives its juice from an internal 12 Ah lithium-ion battery that takes six to eight hours to charge.

Electric bikes can run pretty heavy in general, but the thought of pedaling a 60-something pound (Moto Parilla tells us it hopes to keep weight below 66 lb/30 kg) mini-motorcycle forward doesn't seem enticing, pedal assist or not. We definitely like the idea of a throttle and more power for throwing that big, beefy body forward.

Moto Parilla imagines the Carbon navigating rough roads and open spaces in remote parts of places like Africa, Alaska, the Australian Outback, Iceland, Russia and South America. Given the bike's 49-mile (80-km) range, the riders won't likely be venturing out to those places in the saddle and will have to drive the bike in with a more traditional car or truck. But the Carbon does offer a way of exploring narrow tracks and tight areas that those larger vehicles can't access.

We reckon the Carbon will find more use as a fashionable city cruiser, though, and even Moto Parilla alludes to this idea in citing the SUV definition as "a large vehicle that is designed to be used on rough surfaces but that is often used on city roads or highways."

The LED display provides system and ride info
The LED display provides system and ride info

The Kickstarter campaign kicked off on May 8 with a goal of £100,000 (approx. US$144, 500). The full bike is available in three frame sizes for pledge levels of £2,300+ ($3,325+) for the 250-watt version and £2,500+ for the 500-watt model. There's also a £500 (US$720) reservation option. The bike ships anywhere in the world, but the pledge figure does not include VAT or duties/taxes that might be imposed by your country.

If all goes to plan, the Carbon will be manufactured at an Asian plant where "carbon-made products of other major brands are also produced." Moto Parilla says on its Kickstarter campaign that it plans to provide daily oversight.

Update May 12: Moto Parilla contacted us shortly after publishing to let us know it's revised its Kickstarter pledge levels. The 250-watt Carbon is now available for pledges from £1,345 (US$1,940) and the 500-watt model from £1,580 ($2,280).

Source: Moto Parilla

10 comments
McGannSaphir
Way too much doe for too little bike.
Milton
Interesting bike. But awful kickstarter video.
Dweezil Speedy
how do you adjust seat height?
BG59
Why does everything I really like have to be so expensive. :(
AudieC.Gates
Spiffy looking bike! I was just wondering about the protection of the rider from mud, rain & stones since the bike has no fenders... Does it come with that option available?
PeterKendall
Any of the USA=made Optibikes puts this to shame!
DominikMJSchachtsiek
This doesn't seem to make any sense (except that it looks really cool) 1) far too heavy. 2) riding position isn't at all sporty (the saddle isn't high and isn't adjustable) 3) not even really powerful 4) The company doesn't seem to have expertise in making sporty bikes. 5) who told them, that it is advisable to sell bikes with pretty models only???
gizmowiz
Lets see if they can put the handlebars even lower. Man that's a back breaker with such a low slung bars. Can't imagine that is comfortable for more than a trip to the grocery store.
JoelF
Under-powered and overpriced. There's no point in owning an electric bike if it can't keep up with city traffic. And, it should look like a bicycle, otherwise, the police will think you're on a motorcycle without a license plate.
ljaques
Way overpriced, fat tires heavy, too little caster makes them extremely squirrely to ride, underpowered, looks ready to break in the middle, fenderless so the rider would be filthy at the end of each ride. Other than that, the pug-nosed things are oogly. Don't know anyone who'll be buying one.