Motiv Electric Bicycle’s Shadow—A Well Received New E-bike.
Early this year I had the pleasure of spending a week with a pair of Motiv cruiser E-bikes. The cruisers have been their main focus until now. With the introduction of this sleek new Shadow, they have helped to bridge the gap from cruiser to commuter. This bike is also very sport oriented, so putting an exact label on it can be a tad misleading. With new looks, plenty of power and a freshly designed pedelec control system, the Shadow will be on the wish list of many.
Scheduled release is spring of next year. This sneak peek and ride is your ticket to see the future and I am glad to be a part of it. A glimpse of the bike was mine via the net, then I got to see and ride it at Interbike this year. The Motiv crew was happy to bring the bike to my latest E-bike seminar and as luck would have it they left it with me for a few weeks. Those wheels turned many revolutions before they needed it back. The good looks are easy to see, yet let’s look a little closer.
The tidy cockpit fit me well. Seating and handlebar position felt well dimensioned. Even without the E-assist this would be a bike many would be glad to ride. A large display offers vital information, is close to the line of sight for the rider and was easy to understand. Your modes and power-assist levels are controlled by a three push button add-on mounted just to the left of the display unit.
A rough ride might come with other E-bikes but not with the Shadow. The uni-shock up front really smoothes out the road. It doesn’t have any adjustments yet the factory setting was right in line with how I would have chosen to set it. A suspension seat post works in tandem with the uni-shock and when the speed is ramped up, you smile with the roadway’s undulations. The saddle on this E-bike should be speced on so many more. No narrow, rock-hard seating here.
Decent sized disc brakes front and rear are needed on a E-bike like this and that is just what its got. Working strong, yet easy to control, I never was in want of better stopping power. A quality pair of 700c tires handle the connection to the road in an efficient and quiet manner.
Those super deep-wall rims not only add strength and stiffness, they give plenty of room for the Motiv graphics. When you are riding such a modern and fast E-bike it doesn’t hurt to show your colors as you ride.
Speaking of graphics, they are still working the color scheme combos. I thought matte black was the only color option yet the Motiv Electric Bikes website shows four to choose from. The bike I rode at Interbike was also black but had red cables, graphics and trim on one side and blue on the other. This bike is matte black with white trim. Only when it finally is available will we really know the color options I would think. If you are considering this is the E-bike for yourself, then give them a call or send a message to see what your color choices might be.
It has a redesigned pedelec control system that Motiv seems to be quite proud of. And well they should as I was pleased with its operation too. It is a true pedelec with no hand throttle. Some might balk at this lack of a hand throttle, yet after some time in the saddle they might be singing a different tune. Among the other potential benefits is the ability to allow the motor to propel you to higher speeds than most throttle and dual-control E-bikes. I am no speed demon nowadays, but I did ramp it up to the max plenty of times.
I personally usually cruise at 16-18 mph on normal rides geared for getting to my next destination. On some E-bikes going faster than that isn’t all that comfortable and safe. The speed blasts I did on the Shadow not only were fun, but they gave forth a feeling of excitement and stability. The suspension, tires, brakes and frame geometry all worked together to instill confidence at a crawl or a blur.
Like the Spark and the Sleek cruisers Motiv Electric Bikes make, the Shadow has three power and battery options. You can get either the 36 or 48 volt system, and on the 36 volt bikes you can get the larger battery capacity option for long rides. Each option up from the standard adds a little more expense to the bottom line, so if you can, get a chance ride all three to see which one fits your needs the best. Both Motiv Shadows I rode had the 48 volt option and I can say from experience it is worth having.
Like I mentioned this Shadow rides pretty nice. I try to spend some time on every E-bike I test with the power-assist shut-down to see how the ’bike’ part is. This E-bike passed the grade just fine. The seven-speed drivetrain had a good range, and even includes a super-low first gear. The weight isn’t too severe and everything else was on track for a good normal ride. Of course when you power up the motor, the hills flatten ahead of you and the head wind disappears. Oh the joy of an E-bike!
So you might have to wait until the next year comes around to get your hands on one of these new machines They do say things worth having are worth the wait. You be the judge.
The Shadow knows, Turbo Bob.
“The bicycle is the perfect transducer to match man’s metabolic energy to the impedance of locomotion. Equipped with this tool, man outstrips the efficiency of not only all machines but all other animals as well.”—Ivan Illich, Energy and Equity, 1974.
Motiv Electric Bicycle on the web and Facebook
A look at Motiv Electric Bicycle’s booth at this years Interbike
A view from the saddle of the Shadow at Interbike
My video that shows a closer look