The New Affordable “Honda-Based” E-Cafe Racers


East Gem Denzel

As the electric motorcycle market continues to grow, it’s no surprise to see players from outside the motorcycle world get involved.

Recently a Spanish designer partnered with a Chinese factory to deliver a pair of sexy, reasonably priced electric cafe bikes that are heavily influenced by classic Hondas.

The project is a collaborative effort between Barcelona-based design whiz Pablo Baranoff – a self-described multidisciplinary artist and designer with a wide range of skills that combine innovative art and design principles – and Russian native Alex Guliyants, the general manager of the Chinese electric vehicle company East Gem, aka Denzel. Baranoff has ample experience designing electric bicycles, and Guliyants’ East Gem factory is equally experienced running a production operation that builds them. The idea was to create a good-looking electric motorcycle that is as affordable as it is reliable, and it’s hard to say Guliyants and Baranoff didn’t deliver on exactly that.

East Gem Denzel

Baranoff admits that he had no experience designing motorcycles, nor did he follow the custom moto scene prior to this project, but the Spaniard spent weeks scouring the interwebs for one-off cafe machines to study. Ultimately, he decided to start from scratch, though he did borrow elements from other existing bikes to help piece together the two machines. He also thoroughly researched what was vital to the machine for daily use and what superfluous parts could be jettisoned.

The two bikes – unimaginatively dubbed the “Honda Model Electric Cafe Racer 1 and 2” – were built to compete with 125cc bikes and are loaded with a lot of pretty cool practical features for such a reasonably priced two-wheeler.

East Gem Denzel

The bikes are driven by 7500W power mid drive motors powered by 72V Panasonic lithium-ion batteries. This all translates to a top speed of just over 60 mph, and a range of 75 miles thanks to their curb-weight of about 160 pounds. Both bikes also feature Kelly KLS 7218SW controllers, regenerative braking, wireless access key with alarm, small storage compartment, 17-inch rims, cruise control function, speedo and tach, and a digital display in the “tank” showing battery-level, voltage, and energy.

East Gem is currently taking orders for these fantastic little machines, and both models will begin shipping on New Year’s day 2018. A 30-percent discount is being offered right now for buyers who are willing to pony up half of the $5,000 cost. The electric cafe racers both also come with a five-year warranty. You can get more info on the East Gem website.

Categories: Bikes


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12 Comments on "The New Affordable “Honda-Based” E-Cafe Racers"

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How about getting rid of the chain, and putting the motor in the rear wheel? That would be an interesting engineering challenge.


There are a couple of reasons the hub motor is a bad idea. It increases the unsprung weight of the wheel and having the motor in the frame creates a more compact center of gravity. Both affect the handling. Also a chain is better than a belt because it allows easy gearing changes for rider preferences


Unsprung weight always gets brought up, and it’s always pointed out that this is solved with suspension. Plus the weight isn’t as much as you think.

Center of gravity can be balanced with putting more of the battery weight towards the front.

Gear changes? This is an EV. No extra gears!


As a rider, I’ll tell you that you want your mass centralized for best handle handling. Also, a higher center of mass (above the axles) is not a bad thing, as it “can” make the bike more responsive.

As a good example of what not to do, imagine a Porsche 911 being driven by an inexperienced driver.


I’m guessing the traction motor would not weigh any more than the components already in the wheel. For example, Tesla’s motor only weighs 70lbs, but puts out 362HP. We only need 50HP if that. Assuming a linear relationship, that would only be 10lbs for the motor. I’m guessing it’s not a true linear relationship, but even if we double the weight, that is only 20lbs. Plus there’s no sprocket/chain needed.

David Moore

How about running the bikes off the proverbial long pier?
Motorbikes have engines and chains.
I consider Harleys crap, because of their final drive.
Now electric motors?
Spare me!


Sounds like sour grapes to me.


Article should read 35% discount, as the east website seems to currently list.

The extra $250.oo savings can go along way to paying for the additional battery capacity option, that adds $650.oo before discount.


It’s cool to see one of the major bike makers start to release electric motorcycles. It looks like they’re continuing the tradition of building EVs that won’t compete with their gasoline products. Why a 125cc? I would love to see them release a 500cc or 600cc equivalent.


Are you referring to Honda? They’re not connected to this in any way as far as I can see, nor are they mentioned on the East Gem (manufaacturer’s) or Russian designer’s website.
Jay, could you clarify? It’s not like this is a conversion of an existing Honda motorcycle, or looks like one more than it looks like any other small ICE UJM.


The range makes it acceptable as a commuter bike, but the cost blows it out of that category for me.


Beautiful! Lets see if it survives the Kickstarter production run.