Bolt M-1 Electric Bicycle, Moped, Motorcycle Thing (w/videos)

AUG 25 2015 BY TDILLARD 10

Via Gizmag, here’s another eBike/moped/but not a motorcycle/pedal thing that looks actually kind of cool.  Go to their website for all the goodies, but there we saw this photo of the motor and battery pack:

Bolt ejected

Bolt ejected

Now, being as we’re a little obsessive about details, we’re noticing that motor looks a little familiar…  could it be one of the Golden BLDC motors we heard about a while back?  Perhaps, yes.  Have a look.


Golden BLDC 5kW motor

If so, this is one of the first instances we’ve seen of this motor’s use in any type of commercially available vehicle.  Which is cool.  If you’re a nerd like us.

At any rate, motor aside, the bike has a swappable battery pack, similar in concept to the Brooklyn Motorized’s mopeddy-type-motorcycle bike that never really launched.  Why does this make so much sense?

Well, look at it like this.  If you live in the city, say, on the 5th floor of an apartment or something, and you have a bicycle, you generally carry it up the stairs, or up the elevator (if you’re fortunate enough to not live in Boston’s Back Bay, where the buildings were built before elevators, but not before people wanted five stories and a roof deck).  Now, if you have a eBike, you can pretty much do the same (especially if you’re planning on a Maxwell-type eBike that weighs like, oh, 30lbs).  If you have a motorcycle, well, you park it on the street, or in a garage or something, and a Vespa-style scooter?  Well that goes on the street, too.  So would a moped.

Now, OK, how would you charge such a thing?  In the case of anything big enough to have to chain to a post, you need either a cord and a plug (not too likely on a sidewalk), or you need to be able to pop the batteries out and carry them up to the apartment, right?

Here are the specs:

Technical Specs

  • Battery – 33 Volt / 300 Amp / 1.68 kWhr LiFePO4
  • Power – 1000W (economy) / 5500W (sport)
  • Charge time – 5 hour (maintenance) / 1.5 hour (fast charge)
  • License required – None
  • Weight – 140lbs
  • Wheelbase – 45”
  • Wheel size – 17″
  • Seat height – 27″

Economy Mode

  • 20 MPH top speed
  • 1000 watts of power
  • up to 50 miles range
  • no pedaling required

Sport Mode

  • 40 MPH top speed
  • up to 5500 watts of power
  • 30 mile range
  • for off-road use only

What?  Off-road use?  Yes, that’s all about the “motorized bicycle” classification limiting speed to 20mph in some states, and no, they’re not fooling anybody.  The price?  The M1 sells for around $5500, and yes, they’ve taken quite a few orders apparently.

There’s been a lot of coverage of the Bolt project, including a (kind lame be still interesting) interview with Dr. Nathan Jauvtis, one of the founders (where the first question they ask is about the name.  Really?) on TechDrive, here.  Also, a cool video.  Of eBike moped thing stoppies.  You’re welcome.

Also this lengthy interview video:

Categories: Bikes


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10 Comments on "Bolt M-1 Electric Bicycle, Moped, Motorcycle Thing (w/videos)"

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Sport Mode ”for off-road use only”. Sure, pal!

Did a great job of putting all the weight as high as possible.

Probably why it’s apparently so easy to do “Headers” while trying to stop. 😛

No, you couldn’t put the batteries lower and have a convenient, useful, utilitarian step through frame. That would be too sissy, gotta look macho as if it’s carrying flammable liquids between the rider’s knees. Apparently they’d rather be poseur than sissy, which is a shame because doing the other would take more courage.

Also, if it was a step through frame, if be interested enough to research this further, even at almost $6000.

Well, there *are* benefits to their D-loop frame: it’s stiffer (for better handling and suspension isolation), more secure (gives a chain or lock something to loop through that can’t be unbolted curbside), more convenient (no bending over to remove the battery modules), and easier on the powertrain components (motor and batteries are isolated from chassis flex).

Having ridden dozens of step through mopeds, scooters and motorcycles, and dozens that are not step through, I can tell you from real world experience that the top bar isn’t going to make a noticeable difference at the speeds this is capable of. Not if the u shaped lower frame is appropriately sized.

Cosmetic engineering wouldn’t override greater practicality if I were in charge. I think they’re losing more potential buyers than they’re gaining with this choice.

Having owned an electric bicycle and an electric motorcycle, i like this bike alot. However, i think Yamaha is going to want them to change the name as they have been selling a Yamaha Star Motorcycles Bolt for a couple years now. Even if Yamaha doesn’t give them a hard time, you can bet Chevy will if the Chevy Bolt ever makes it to production. If it was a little bit less money, if be reserving one for myself right now. I’ve already had a motorcycle license for 21 years now so id rather spend less than $5k on a Honda Grom 125 or a little more than $5k on a fire sale Brammo Enertia plus. But, i will say neither one of them look as cool as this electric moped bobber thing. I think people will pay a little more for this than they would for Tomos Streetmate R moped but not twice as much. The big plus on this bike is the mode that allows it to max at 20mph and not require insurance or registration or moped license. Although, this thing definately looks like a moped and in my state the cop that pulls me over is… Read more »

Pack is kind of wide, am I right? And it’s 2 modules. I wonder if they tried to mount them in a vertical line. They’ve to space in the frame there.

I’ve owned two e-bikes and ride all over SF & Marin. I test rode Bolt last month and its got MORE power and acceleration than any bike I’ve ever ridden. Pretty fun ride, more thrilling than my other bikes.

I did some testing myself with the golden motor. It is quite loud.