Mo­torino Xlr eBIKE TEST

Pedal Magazine - - Contents - by Paul Newitt

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.

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