How does your local postal service deliver your mail? For decades, if you lived in Australia, you’ve likely received your mail from a rider on a little Honda CT90 or CT110. Laden down with saddlebags full of letters and postcards, these humble little workhorse bikes simply go out and do their job every single day. Rack up those kilometers and this little bike simply won’t care.
For fellow Americans, the postie bike, as it is affectionately known, is as common a sight in the land down under as our USPS mail jeeps are here. That’s about to change, though. You see, by 2025, the Australian Post plans to phase out all its remaining postie bikes, according to Aussie bike news site Motorbike Writer.
What’s going to replace them, you ask? Since 2018, Australia Post has been trialing little electric trikes from a Swiss company called Kyburz. The reasons are many, with visibility and comparative safety often cited highest among them. It’s also possible that riders may not require a motorbike license, meaning that more postal carriers could theoretically hop aboard one of these trikes.
There’s also the fact that Australia Post, like many other postal systems elsewhere, now delivers more packages than letters. Those postie bikes may have an undeniable charm, but they can’t carry as many packages as the new Kyburz DXPs. Each trike can apparently carry around three times what those postie bikes can manage.
"We have a great team and we’re committed to providing our people with sustainable employment, so we’re always looking at how we can change and improve the way we do things so we can stay relevant and valued by our customers,” Australia Post head of network optimization Mitch Buxton said in 2018.
“One of the things we’ve done is a review of our equipment and processes to make sure that we have capacity to support increased parcel volumes – the introduction of the KYBURZ vehicle is one way we are doing this,” he added.
So, what are the specs like on the incoming electric postie trike fleet? According to the manufacturer, top speed is a blistering 45 kilometers per hour, or just under 28 mph. Range is 50 to 100 kilometers (31 to 62 miles), and clearly a number of variables will affect which end of the range it’s closer to in practice.
Interestingly, Kyburz is also taking steps to answer the question of what happens to batteries when they reach their end-of-life. The company claims to have created a process that allows 91 percent of materials used in the making of these batteries to be recovered. Even more amazingly in our intellectual property-happy day and age, Kyburz says it purposely didn’t patent its process, and is instead happy to share this knowledge so that others can make use of it, as well.
Since they may soon be a thing of the past, here’s the world’s favorite Australian automotive YouTube show duo at Mighty Car Mods restoring a thoroughly abused postie bike they got at auction. Take some time out of your day and give this a watch if you haven’t already.