There’s a new bike in town, although it might not exactly be the kind of bike that you’re used to seeing. This electric bike, called the Ultra Motor, has a detachable, rechargeable battery pack that gives the contraption a silent boost good for 20 miles at 20mph. That range can drastically increase if the rider is willing to donate some leg power to the vehicle. I spoke to Jeff Russo (photo) at The Buffalo Scooter Company who told me that, “…there is no license needed, because it is essentially a bike. It’s completely silent and the electric motor only kicks in when you need it – it’s great for commuting to work. You can pedal it all the way to your destination, and if you’re having a tough time getting home (or it looks like rain), the motor is there to help. The bike plugs into a regular outlet and you can detach the battery from the bike to make it easier to recharge inside the home or workplace. It takes three hours to charge, and that runs you about 7 cents worth of electricity. It’s a bike with a built-in electric boost – what could be more fun than that?”
Jeff explained that these types of bikes have become very popular in the tourism industry – rather than going all out for a scooter, they are more affordable, completely quiet, and most people think they are nothing more than a bike. They are easy to ride… actually quite effortless. It’s a bizarre sensation to ride an Ultra Motor (Jeff let me try the demo model). When the throttle is turned (on the handlebar – it actually looks like a mountain bike shifter), there is a sudden sensation that you just started going downhill. It’s a very bizarre feeling since there is no sound other than what’s already around you. The motor just kicks in and off you go. It’s hard not to light up a smile. You can pedal on your own, let the bike do it for you, or contribute to the ride as much as you want. To see one of these bikes coasting down the street at 20mph is a sight to behold. The price for an Ultra Motor can range from $1100 to $3000 depending on the style. That’s not exactly cheap, but for those who have thought about purchasing a scooter, but are not sure about making the jump from bike to machine, this is a fun alternative/combo and depending on the model is more affordable. Not to mention environmentally friendly.
The Buffalo Scooter Company