Personal Transportation Sports

Kuberg Free-Rider gives electric bikes the power to play

The Premise. Gas powered motorcycles are becoming harder and harder to use for pleasure, due to rising costs and environmental restrictions, while their electric counterparts are mostly made only for young children or to cruise at low speeds.

The Product. The Kuberg Free-Rider is different. With a weight of 84 pounds, and a 2 kW BLDC motor, the Free-Rider can get up to 34 MPH for about an hour supporting a rider twice its weight. With quality forks, suspension, and brakes, this bike is meant for catching air and enjoying the thrill of the ride.

The Pitch. Kuberg learned how to make a quality electric motorcycle by first offering children’s sizes and models. Now realizing that the next step is to apply the same technology for teenagers and adults, they show off the Free-Rider in action as it hits off-road trails, gets some lift off of jumps, and does some trial riding both indoors and outdoors. This bike is not meant to necessarily replace the performance of a gas-powered alternative, but rather supplement it for training and in places where the exhaust could be harmful. Kuberg needs $100,000 strictly for materials and manufacturing costs, as they operate their own proprietary factories.

The Perks. Hitting the trails on a Kuberg Free-Rider takes a pledge of $1,999, nearly half the retail cost. A stronger-motor model, the RACE, is available for $2,999, and the TREX model, which is a lightweight trial bike, is available to backers in a preproduction model for $4,999. Other bikes are available at a discount for backers starting at $599 for the basic Trial E model that includes mechanical brakes and no seat kit. Additional battery packs are available at the $599 level, as are quick chargers that will recharge batteries in less than 30 minutes. Most rewards are expected to be delivered in September of this year, while the prototype TREX should reach backers in July 2015.

The Potential. These electric bikes have already been popular with younger, smaller riders, so the decision to make more grown-up models makes perfect sense. Aside from their entertaining aspects, electric bikes like the Kuberg Free-Rider could be the next breakthrough in urban transportation, and it helps that this company is paying attention to things like performance and design, not just trying to make an upper-end children’s toy.

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