Texan EV startup unveils fat-tired Volcon Grunt farm bike
A new Texan startup has announced its first electric motorcycle. The awkwardly named Volcon Grunt is a fat-wheeled off-roader with a hundred-mile range, and it'll soon be followed by a pair of side-by-side four-wheelers built for practicality and fun.
The Grunt looks about as simple as they get: a mid-drive motor supplies up to 50 horsepower and 75 lb-ft (102 Nm) to the rear wheel via a single-speed chain drive. It's geared for a top speed around 60 mph (96 km/h), which is plenty for banging around in the dirt, and it'll get there from a standing start in around six seconds.
It's got a headlight, a brake light, a dash, a bench seat and a set of fairly uninspiring looking suspension, although the tires are so huge and chunky they'll clearly add plenty of cushioning. Volcon says it'll do around 100 miles (160 km) to a charge, and the battery's swappable if you want to keep it running.
Waterproof enough to be ridden completely submerged through a river, the Grunt is conceived as more of an ag bike, or farm bike, than as a wild, wheelie-popping fun machine. As such it's probably decently specified for the job, although I know a few farmer types that like the odd wild wheelie too, and this won't blow their skirts up too much.
Pricing starts at US$5,995, with deliveries starting in 2021. It's unclear what the options might be to take that figure higher. It's certainly a lot more expensive than a cheap 200cc single-cylinder farm bike, but on the other hand, it'll probably cover the majority of daily farm tasks on a charge, never needing fuel and more or less eliminating maintenance, so perhaps over a lifetime of use the equation will make sense.
Volcon plans to follow it up by launching two sporty-looking UTVs in 2021 and 2022: the two-seat Stag and the four-seat Beast, which also has a rear tray for carrying beer or hay bales. Both promise quality Fox Factory suspension and the Beast will live up to its name with 450 hp and 600 lb-ft (813 Nm) of torque, making it a pretty wild proposition on the trails. It also promises 4.5-second 0-60-mph (96.5-km/h) sprints, a top speed of 80 mph (129 km/h) and a 150-mile (241-km) range. Giddy up!