We're not saying other electric bikes aren't cool; there are some undeniablysleek, innovative designs on the market. But, instantly you'll notice the M-1 ebike from Marrs Cycles is different from those other electric bikes. Their design is less about proper, compact bicycle chic as it is being a hot-rod inspired beast.
I'm sure I speak for some of us when I say — at last an electric bike we could use where Mad Max comes from. Or in New York.
Sure it's a heavier bike — in fact it looks like it borders on actual motorcycle territory. Yeah, you'll pedal a bit harder but don't forget you have an engine and some fat tires to help you along the path to looking flippin' sweet.
Heavier frame styling is a complete change from other electric bikes, but just what these designers had in mind. Since there's no rulebook on what an electric bike has to be like, rider Kacy Marrs and business partner hot rod parts builder Brad Fanshaw had the idea of approaching the M-1 ebike like they would a custom bike or hot rod.
Each M-1 ebike from Marrs Cycles will be unique depending upon what the client wants, and these guys have the chops to deliver.
The basic M-1 frame weighs about 140 pounds and is made from 4130 chromoly steel. Other components are a mixture of high-end motorcycle, bicycle, and custom-made parts. Frame color and the wood veneer are up to the buyer.
So what kind of engine will help you along? Rechargeable lithium battery packs power a three-phase brushless rear hub motor. The smallest pack (20 amp hours) is said to allow a 175-pound rider to travel up to 20 miles on one charge without pedaling.
When you are rolling under motorized power you'll be going 20 mph tops — anything more moves this machine out of electric bike territory and into the realm of a small motorcycle and that means a different set of rules and regulations under the law.
If a test bike were to eek out a little bit more power and speed, well, that would just be theoretical wouldn't it?
Understandably, these badass looking electric bikes are attracting some attention and some famous clients. James Hetfield from Metallica is reportedly standing in line for one.
Prices start around $7,000 — and that's not just because rock stars want them. It's because these guys are custom building each bike for each client. Kacy Marrs explained the price to Gizmag:
"This price is due to the high quality authentic motorcycle components we use and the labor involved in building our components. There is no other company that builds anything as close to a motorcycle while still allowing the product to fall under the electric bicycle category."
With that in mind, the price is a little bit easier to understand — not only are you getting quality craftsmanship, you are also getting a machine that is unique in the marketplace.
And yeah, you get to feel like a rock star. That's cool too.