Tech

The silent stump jumper

Motorcyclist - - Contents - —Zach Bow­man

IN SOME WAYS, the Oset 24.0R was an in­evitabil­ity. The elec­tric-bike man­u­fac­turer has steadily grown along­side founder Ian Smith’s chil­dren. When his son, Oliver, out­grew his 20.0R, Smith went back to the draw­ing board.

“It’s al­ways bet­ter to de­velop out of a need,” Smith says. “The prod­ucts are bet­ter that way.”

The re­sult­ing ma­chine shares just a hand­ful of com­po­nents with the rest of the com­pany’s lineup and nudges the elec­tric tri­als­bike com­pany ever closer to com­pet­ing with gas-pow­ered ri­vals.

Bat­tery

The 24.0R aban­doned the four 10Ah AGM bat­ter­ies found in the 20.0R for a sin­gle 20Ah lithium-ion bat­tery. The change al­lowed Oset to in­cor­po­rate a di­ag­nos­tic port. “Elec­tric bikes strug­gle with range in most mo­tor­cy­cle ap­pli­ca­tions—but not with tri­als. We can come in after a lap at a tri­als event and see peo­ple fill­ing their tanks, and we’re good to go for an­other lap.”

Mo­tor

“Tri­als is not about speed—it’s about torque and light weight,” Smith says. “The goals of a tri­als bike are bet­ter met with elec­tric power, es­pe­cially on the smaller bikes.”

To that end, the 24.0R uses a 1,400-watt, 48-volt mo­tor, but its com­pact size helps the bike weigh in at just 112 pounds.

“The power is lin­ear, so it’s not too hard to get the hang of. Be­cause the bikes are so light, the idea of throw­ing it around comes in, so the rider can have a big­ger im­pact from their body move­ments than on a nor­mal gas bike.”

Sus­pen­sion

Oset turned to a tele­scop­ing spring fork with com­pres­sion ad­just­ment and oil damp­ing up front. The bike uses an oil­damped rear shock with ad­just­ments for both preload and com­pres­sion.

“In the U.K. we get a lot of com­pe­ti­tion tri­als rid­ers from 10 to 13 years old on the bike. In the States the core is adults out for fun,” Smith says. “One of our core philoso­phies is ‘tak­ing fun se­ri­ously’—that rid­ers will learn by sim­ply spend­ing time on bikes and hav­ing fun.”

Im­pact

Oset has al­ways fo­cused on what the com­pany calls nondis­rup­tive mo­tor­cy­cles, that is, bikes that are quiet, ap­proach­able, and re­lent­lessly fun. Where neigh­bors may frown on a kid turn­ing laps on a CRF50 in the back­yard, no one bats an eye at the near-silent elec­tric Oset. The 24.0R is that idea grown large. Of­fi­cially, the bike can ac­com­mo­date a 198-pound rider. No sur­prise, then, that the ma­chine is now one of the com­pany’s best­selling mod­els.

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