Remember the Black Tea Moped? It’s OK if you don’t. 2020 was a weird time for everyone, and even in the best of times, it can be hard to remember last week, let alone a year ago. Since announcing that bike, the Munich, Germany-based electric startup managed to raise over 600,000 Euros (over $705,684) via crowdfunding. The bike, Black Tea says, is about to go into production in July, 2021.
As we pointed out back in 2020, although the first design was called “Moped,” it didn’t actually feature any pedals. It was a low-speed design, meant to allow European riders to hop aboard with no need to first obtain a true motorcycle license. Still, Black Tea changed its mind about the name between then and now, and is selling it to customers in 2021 as the Bonfire.
It still features that retro, minimalist scrambler styling from the original design—just with a much better name. Black Tea anticipates releasing it in both Europe and the U.S. in 2021. Just how soon will that happen? If all goes according to plan, the bikes should start shipping to customers in August. Things were slightly delayed for Black Tea, as they were for companies big and small—but now they’re starting to get back on track.
Gallery: Black Tea Motorbikes Bonfire
To begin with, the Bonfire is being sold as a strictly off-road motorcycle, with plans to certify it as a dual-sport, street-legal model through TÜV Süd by the end of 2021. Black Tea founder Viktor Sommer anticipates that the street-legal version should hopefully be on sale by April, 2022.
In order to keep costs down, the Black Tea Bonfire features many off-the-shelf parts. Each bike will be assembled and shipped from the company’s headquarters in Munich, though. Top speed in Eco Mode is still 45 mph, and it’s 40 mph in Normal Mode. In Speed Mode, you’re limited to a top speed of 35 mph, which seems like some confused mode naming.
It’s powered by a PSM rear-wheel-mounted hub motor, with power output rated at 4 horsepower and max power at 7 horsepower. Claimed torque is 195 newton-meters, or just under 144 foot-pounds, and we’re not entirely certain that isn’t a typo. If accurate, that number seems more than a little disproportionate on this model. Claimed range is 55 kilometers on a single charge, or about 34 miles.
It charges via an external charger that works with your standard household 110 V or 220 V outlet, depending on your country. Zero to 80 percent of charge can be achieved in three hours, while you can hit 100 percent in four hours. It’s built for commuting to/from work and school, or other short trips where you’ll be staying in one place for several hours.
Wheels are 18-inch spoked aluminum rims, which come wrapped in Heidenau K41 rubber. Suspension consists of a hydraulic fork with 31mm tubes up front, and 200 mm of travel. Rear suspension is comprised of dual adjustable 335mm shocks with 80mm of travel. You get disc braking all around, with two-piston calipers and 220mm rotors.
What’s this retro-inspired electric city runabout cost? It starts at 3,999 Euros, which works out to about $4,705. As of July 23, 2021, delivery time is currently listed on the Black Tea website as five months.