Outdoors

Full-throttle electric snow bikes quietly tear up Alpine powder

Full-throttle electric snow bi...
MoonBikes plans to launch a preorder campaign in January
MoonBikes plans to launch a preorder campaign in January
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A litle night motor snow biking with the built-in lighting system
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A litle night motor snow biking with the built-in lighting system
MoonBikes initially planned two individual models, the Ranger utility bike (left) and Stardust recreational bike, but it tells us it now plans to offer a single "MoonBike" model with accessories to turn it into a Ranger-style utility bike
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MoonBikes initially planned two individual models, the Ranger utility bike (left) and Stardust recreational bike, but it tells us it now plans to offer a single "MoonBike" model with accessories to turn it into a Ranger-style utility bike
Another fun way of enjoying electric snow bike power
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Another fun way of enjoying electric snow bike power
MoonBikes plans to launch a preorder campaign in January
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MoonBikes plans to launch a preorder campaign in January
The light, sleek construction of the MoonBike makes for quick, nimble handling
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The light, sleek construction of the MoonBike makes for quick, nimble handling
A MoonBike fleet
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A MoonBike fleet
MoonBikes has been testing prototypes in the Alps for a couple years
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MoonBikes has been testing prototypes in the Alps for a couple years
Aimed at mountain professionals, the utility variant adds safety features and a cargo rack
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Aimed at mountain professionals, the utility variant adds safety features and a cargo rack
MoonBiking through the alpenglow
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MoonBiking through the alpenglow
The MoonBike has a 3-kW motor powered by a single- or available double-battery pack
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The MoonBike has a 3-kW motor powered by a single- or available double-battery pack
MoonBikes was a finalist for the 2021 ISPO BrandNew Awards
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MoonBikes was a finalist for the 2021 ISPO BrandNew Awards
The MoonBike offers speeds up to 28 mph and ranges up to just under 44 miles
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The MoonBike offers speeds up to 28 mph and ranges up to just under 44 miles
Making tracks with the MoonBike electric snow bike
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Making tracks with the MoonBike electric snow bike
Unlike other motorized snow bikes that are motor bikes with conversion kits, the MoonBike was designed from the ground-up as a snow bike
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Unlike other motorized snow bikes that are motor bikes with conversion kits, the MoonBike was designed from the ground-up as a snow bike
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Electric cars and trucks may be the hottest topic in e-mobility, but quiet, clean-running electric drives have the ability to revolutionize all kinds of vehicles and machinery. We've seen it with the popularization and evolution of ebikes, and electric tech is slowly finding its way into more demanding powersports applications, like electric dirt bikes and snowmobiles. French startup MoonBikes Motors is carving some space between the e-snowmobile and e-dirt bike categories, creating a full-throttle electric snow bike meant to travel lightly and deliver sharp, explosive exhilaration on the snow.

It's that time of year when experimental all-electric snow machines start rolling out from their high-altitude garages to carve their signatures into the Alpine snow and public consciousness. Last year it was the Austrian-built BobSla snow-kart motoring around its home turf at the Obergurgl-Hochgurgl ski area, and this year it's the French-crafted MoonBike all-electric snow bike spraying snow in its own corner of the Alps.

Designed for both all-out snowy thrills and dutiful utility, the MoonBike features a snowmobile-like combination of rear track drive and front ski. A motor with 3 kW of continuous power pushes the bike to speeds up to 28 mph (45 km/h).

Instead of using a single fixed battery, the MoonBike has the capacity to hold one or two 2-kWh batteries, allowing riders to double up on range. A single battery powers the bike for between 11 and 21.7 miles (18 and 35 km), depending upon how hard the rider is twisting on the throttle, and a dual-battery doubles that range spread to 22 to 43.5 miles (36 to 70 km). The batteries are also removable.

Unlike other motorized snow bikes that are motor bikes with conversion kits, the MoonBike was designed from the ground-up as a snow bike
Unlike other motorized snow bikes that are motor bikes with conversion kits, the MoonBike was designed from the ground-up as a snow bike

MoonBikes don't have the all-out speed or range of full gas-engined snowmobiles, but the quiet, clean motor drive seems to pair quite well with the small, flickable frame to create a bike that should be a ton of fun to ride. Where the MoonBike does outshine a large, 400-plus-lb (181-plus-kg) snowmobile is in its compact, 176-lb (80-kg, with one battery) construction that will ensure much easier transport and storage.

MoonBikes Motors plans to put its bikes up for preorder in late January. It hasn't finalized pricing yet but will announce it during the preorder campaign. The company is careful to point out that the models pictured are prototypes and not the finalized product. Likewise, specs are still subject to change between now and production.

The light, sleek construction of the MoonBike makes for quick, nimble handling
The light, sleek construction of the MoonBike makes for quick, nimble handling

Unlike many of the startups we see every year at Germany's ISPO show, MoonBikes, an ISPO BrandNew Award finalist, plans to bring its products over to North America, where they'll make an interesting alternative to popular snowmobiles and snow-converted dirt bikes and electric bicycles. It expects the first American deliveries to begin in December 2021.

Below you'll find the polished, drone-shot minute-long promo and a 30-second clip compilation without music.

MoonBikes x Drone - MoonBikes, 100% electric snowbikes
MoonBikes - 100% electric snowbikes - Winter 2020 - Best of January

Source: MoonBikes Motors

View gallery - 14 images
13 comments
13 comments
CAVUMark
Heated seat and hand grips a must!
VincentWolf
I want one. I always want a new 20 year old body and dump my 70 year old one.
Daishi
The thing I like the most about it is that mechanically it's an extraordinarily simple machine. There is probably opportunity to borrow from the design for a larger battery ebike if you fork the ear part of the battery to allow the taller rear wheel to be in the middle.
buzzclick
Going downhill fast in deeper snow may cause the front ski to dig in for a tumble.
paul314
I would be thrilled not to spend much of the winter listening to snow machines playing on local trails.
michael_dowling
I consider it a real blessing that they actually gave us a video of this thing without the annoying loud music,just the ambient sounds.
clay
Man, those are great! Yeah, seat and grip heaters would be pretty...hot. I'd prol try to use waste heat from the controllers and motors rather than resistance materials though... no point in wasting KWh :-)
Username
Yes please.
BlueOak
Super cool. And finally a company that recognizes the benefit of skipping the music sound track in favor of hearing the actual sounds (second video)! Love the French brand/company name Moonbikes as well!

Although, even living in a northern Midwest US state that gets snow, the price will likely be out of reach for this 3-4 month of the year France-based toy. Seems like they'd benefit from a dirt off-road conversion kit even if the "bike" is sub-optimal for that use.
Nelson Hyde Chick
How much for this fun machine? Too bad it is entering a shrinking market what with climate change making the earth warmer, ergo less snow.