Can you really call it a bicycle at that point?
We knew this would happen. The lines between bicycles and motorcycles are beginning to blur. Electric motorcycles are getting smaller and faster, and electric bicycles are getting bigger and faster!
This e-bike, that is, it’s an electric bicycle, we’re pretty sure, is capable of a top speed of 45mph.
The Scout Pro comes from American electric bicycle and e-bike conversion kit manufacturer Hi Power Cycles (HPC) and these things are serious. On first glance it is definitely a bicycle; the electric components are tucked away under shrouds and the pedals are obvious. It has telescoping forks up front but a hard tail rear, and looks like any other high-end mountain bike. Taking to the street on one of these would be extremely inconspicuous.
The HPC Typhoon Pro, on the other hand, is anything but inconspicuous. It has pedals, sure, but it also has full front and rear suspension, some small plastic pieces of body work, a high dirt bike seat and a very obvious motor and battery. It's blurring the bicycle/motorcycle line.
Their top-end creation, the Revolution X, is definitely more a motorcycle than a bicycle, but they're sticking with bicycle components even though it has a stated top speed of 60mph.
Keep in mind these electric bicycles are quiet, so hooning around on city streets with either of them will not get you noticed like doing the same on a 2-stroke dirt bike would. Can we call a bicycle a bicycle? Most municipalities have restrictions on what kind of motorized transportation is legal on the street, and they rely on engine displacement and speed capability. You can get an HPC creation that will not exceed your local speed restriction, but would you?
The next matter is the cost of the thing: the most bicycle-y of the bunch Scout Pro base model starts at $6995. Fully tricked out with the 74V battery, upgraded drive system and optional fast charger it will run you nearly $13,000. The Typhoon Pro, which HPC is careful to specify as an offroad bike, starts at $11,500. With all the high-zoot options it tops out at $15,550. The Revolution, well, let's just say you can get a couple of pretty good new internal combustion motorcycles for what that will cost you with all the options.
For powered bicycles they are light weight (the Scout is around 50lbs), but keep in mind that their light weight is lent by their high-end mountain-bike frames and components. They are light but not beefy like motorcycle parts. If you compare things like brake pads (they might be bicycles but they have hydraulic brakes) to your typical motorcycle brake pads, they are very, very expensive.
The market for these bikes is probably not huge, but as battery technology gets better keep your eye out for more and more vehicles like this popping up, while the prices come down. Just don’t call it a moped!