Motorino Xlr eBIKE TEST
For 15 years, Motorino, founded by Steve Miloshev, a former mechanical environmental engineer, has been blazing a path for electric bicycles and scooters in Canada. This summer and marking a new era, the Vancouver, B.C.-based company took delivery of its new state-of-the-art lightweight e-Roadster. The innovative ironand-aluminum alloy frame is reported to be stronger than each of the materials on its own, but the real advancement is its weight, as the bike is just 28 lbs., including all of its electric components.
Pedal recently had the opportunity to take Motorino’s latest innovation, now dubbed the XLr, on a city-wide commute throughout Vancouver to get a feel for this lightweight, urban e-bike. The XLr is considered one, if not “the” lightest commuter electric bike on the market.
A sleek-looking bike, the XLr features a classic flat-bar road-frame design. There’s no bulky battery look to this beauty. The 36V 8Ah replaceable battery, built with Panasonic Lithium-ion cells, is integrated into the downtube and hardly noticeable within its TIG-welded aluminum alloy frame – a frame material that Miloshev specifically chose to ensure low weight, stability and long-term durability.
Equally low profile is the 250W 36V rear hub motor that features brushless geared 50Nm torque at stall. The mini hub motor tucks away nicely into the 700C 32H double-walled Alex alloy rim, which is also featured up front, sans motor, with a quick-release skewer. Each wheel comes with 700x28C ThickSlick WTB black tires with a white sidewall logo. Also adding to its classic look is a CNX Speed chromeplated chain, tan-coloured K.SAN Silverbow microfibre saddle and grips, and SVMONO 31.8x600mm flat handlebar. The single-geared XLr also makes use of 200mm Promax Forced Alloy cranks, Syun LPMO21 pedals and a U-Brake JK-AS2.6D both front and rear.
Control of the XLr comes from a three-button control pod mounted on the handlebar and features a program mode for changing speed and assistance, backlit LCD display with indicators for speed (“inst, avg, max”), trip distance, odometer, battery voltage monitor and power-assist level indicator. The XLr has five levels of programmable speed control, with a maximum speed of 32km/h on Level 5 pedal assist – to meet government regulations. On Level 2 assist (with a standard 75kg load), Motorino indicates that you can max out your range at 50km on a single charge. The XLr is charged via an easily assessible panel on the left side of the downtube.
When out on the road, the XLr’s motor provided smooth speed buildup when needed, with no surging. As soon as you hit the pedals, its motor engagement was responsive, with more than 50NM of torque, and when on the inclines, the responsiveness of the XLr’s torque sensors and the power of the XLr’s rear hub motor is really appreciated.
With a huge variety of grades in and around Vancouver, the XLr really met the challenge wherever it was taken and was a wonderful assist on the steeper grades around the city. The control panel was easy to manipulate and view, and speed-assist level changes couldn’t have been easier. The XLr was easy to handle throughout the commutes, and even when the motor was not assisting, the XLr was a fun bike for exploring the vast bike routes of the city.
The Motorino XLr is well-priced for a bike of this calibre at $2,390 and currently comes in a 51cm (20" from center of pedal axle to the top of seat-tube) or a 76cm (30") standover height and weighs in at 12.7kg (28 lbs.), including battery. Its colour options include black, blue or olive-green.
For more information, go to www.motorino.ca.