An Electric Motorcycle Startup Has A Brilliant Solution To The Seat-Height Problem Many Motorcyclists Face

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Loving motorcycles but being shorter can be a real challenge. Many of the motorcycles that I’ve owned since 2018 were great, but their seat heights were just a touch too tall. Ryvid, a new electric motorcycle startup might have a great solution with its Anthem. And this thing is pretty affordable, too.

Ryvid Inc. is a fresh face in the motorcycling world, and it wants to hit the ground with its wheels turning. The company just announced its first motorcycle, and aims to bring some aviation tech and thoughtful ideas into the space for a surprisingly reasonable price.

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You’ll notice that something is different about the Anthem the first moment that you lay your eyes on it. There’s little bodywork; the bike’s frame is exposed.

There’s no typical tube frame here. Instead, the Ryvid team designed a structure that utilizes bent aluminum and stainless steel sheets.

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Ryvid says that the advantage here is two-fold (pun intended). First, the bones won’t rust. And second, the frame weighs just 12 pounds bare.

I’m always a fan of a motorcycle that uses its frame as a visual element, and this delivers. It also doesn’t have a false tank, even if the shape just aft of the handlebars is similar to what you’d expect from a typical motorcycle tank. Everything else is slim and minimal. It looks like it just rolled out of the production lot for a sci-fi film.

Let’s get into why I love this motorcycle.

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The big box just behind the front wheel is the battery. It’s a 4.3 kWh unit that when paired to the  swingarm-mounted motor provides a range of around 75 miles in Eco mode or around 50 miles in Sport mode.

What I like here is that the battery weighs 65 pounds and detaches from the motorcycle. You can then use its wheels to get it into your apartment, like a suitcase. Charging takes 3 hours on a 220V outlet or 6 hours on a 110V.

And when it’s time to get it back into the motorcycle, it leverages the motorcycle itself to get back into position so you don’t have to lift it.

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The other thing that I really love about the Anthem is its seat. It has an electric actuator in it that gives the cushion an adjustment range of four inches. It can be altered on the fly to be as low as 30 inches or as high as 34. That means that someone without a lot of leg like me can ride it comfortably, but so could a tall person.

Many motorcycles have a physical seat adjustment, but it’s sometimes not enough. Riders of different sizes are sometimes left having to modify their bike’s suspension or having to buy a custom seat. I’ve even seen some folks get drastic with custom fabrication. While 30 inches is still too high for some people, being able to have four inches of range without having to buy aftermarket parts and without having to physically adjust something is awesome.

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And that’s not all of the Ryvid’s tricks. It also has multiple mounting points for its suspension and head tube. In theory, this means that you could have something more cruise-friendly one day, then have a canyon carver the next.

That’s complemented with that swingarm-mounted motor. Ryvid doesn’t provide a horsepower rating, but it produces 53 lb-ft torque and delivers it through a belt and a 4.7:1 final drive.

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Top speed is around 75 mph.

Other features include LED lighting, a keyless starting function, a digital instrument cluster, and a lock for the battery.

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You get all of that in a package weighing in at 240 pounds total. Ryvid isn’t trying to have the fastest EV motorcycle on the block, but something that you or me could buy and keep on the road. And to help this become a reality, the company is packed with automotive and aviation engineers.

Ryvid announced the price to be $7,800 with deliveries expected next year. There will be a Launch Edition, limited to just 1,000 units. Sales begin August 14th, 2022.

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The specs, price, and aesthetic puts it in competition with the Sondors Metacycle. That little bike was advertised as being able to go 80 mph and hit a range of around 80 miles for an initial price of $5,000. Deliveries on the Metacycle were supposed to start more than six months ago, but continued delays mean that riders still don’t have them yet.

Hopefully, Ryvid is able to put its design into production because it’s really neat. It may not change the game, but something like this has the opportunity to make riding more accessible to more people, and that’s always great.

(All image credits to Ryvid Inc.)
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57 Responses

  1. Love the idea of a folded sheet aluminum frame. Looks cool and production is much easier to setup than, say weird hollow-cast AL frames like the Sondors has.

    That said, my old Zero XU is light with a delightfully low seat. I’d love to find a way to shoehorn a higher capacity battery into it.

    1. That alone made this the first EV that truly piqued my interest, the Honda E Porsche Taycan made me think “I’m glad these exist”, but this little bike is the first time I really thought “I should consider buying that”.

    2. Unless you have a location outside your apartment to charge it, a removeable and replaceable battery pack is the optimal solution for electric city bikes.

      The problem, as has been mentioned before in other publications, is that energy dense battery packs can and will burn or explode if they become defective. So, putting the battery next to your living room couch on an extension cord might not be the best way to do it.

      1. I’ll take a lot more bulk and use a LiFePo if it’s my choice. It’s a far safer chemistry than typical Lithium Ion cells. Range and size aren’t everything. And we’re not stuffing cells into a Lotus chassis anymore, so we can design around the safer battery.

      2. Heck, the tiny battery in your phone can cause some bad damage if it malfunctions in a way that causes a fire. Back in my IT days I used to repair a bunch of phones. One time I got bored and punctured an old iPhone battery with a needle. And…WOW!

        Currently, I have a lithium battery pack “generator” in my living room and the thought of it failing in some manner has crossed my mind more than once.

          1. A very brief (maybe 10 seconds?) but intense fire. Another time I split an old iPhone battery in half. That fire was a bit longer and more intense. Best comparison that I can think of is lighting a firework rocket and sticking around when it fires.

            I’m not an expert on fire, but the risk I saw is that a phone catching on fire would easily catch clothes, carpet, furniture or other stuff on fire. I would imagine that the fire produced by a chunky battery would be even worse.

            Growing up, a number of my friends lost everything to house fires. A couple of friends had to start over more than once because of house fires. The thought stuck around and today I do some things that I hope never would have to come into use. Some of my most important items (titles and keys) are in a fire resistant safe within easy reach. It’s near a fire extinguisher, a bucket, and a small cage that I can use to get my cute birds into if I need to.

            Keeping fire extinguishers around did have a practical benefit when one of my Gambler cars caught fire last year. The fire was able to be put out rather than allowed to spread.

          2. I work on iPhones, and can confirm once you pierce that battery, it’s like instant fire that doesn’t need the oxygen in the air to fuel itself. We’ve had some punctures where I work where we couldn’t get the battery out of the phone, and the damn thing still worked once it cooled down and we put a new battery in it.

            I also had one where I was removing a battery for a friend (who was watching), and as I took the battery out of the phone and tossed it to the side for effect and it burst into flames in the air. Was quite impressive.

  2. Harley’s Pan America 1250 Special has an Adaptive Ride Height feature that automatically lowers the seat height when coming to a stop (based on your braking inputs) and raises it up when underway. That enables it to maintain the clearance needed for its off-road jaunts. It would be great to see this function on other motorcycles in the future, to make the really tall bikes (e.g. Africa Twin, KTMs, BMWs) more comfortable for those with shorter inseams.

    1. Indeed! That feature alone (okay, and the cool style) makes the Pan America near the top of my list of bikes that I’d buy new. Currently, I stop my Triumph Tiger by putting my left foot down and holding the rear brake with my right foot.

      1. The ole triangle stand, accomplished after scanning the stopping point ahead to make sure you’re not going to stop where there are road depressions/tire grooves that would have you footing air upon stopping!

        1. I tried to put my foot down on air once…I don’t recommend it. It’s hard to stop a bike from tipping once it gets a little momentum. I stopped on the side of the road went to put my foot down only to find out the shoulder was a good 4 inches below the road surface. That was a fun lesson in paying attention to footing when on a motorcycle.

  3. What’s the over-under that this critter ever sees the light of day? I want an electric motorcycle, but it seems like the interesting ones are all vaporware. Just give me a Grom that I can plug in, that’s all I ask!

    1. An electric Grom is probably the worst for US roads. I’ll be getting a fat tire electric bicycle instead, for when I don’t want to ride on the interstates. With all the idiots in cars that make up the traffic in suburban and semi-rural areas around here, being able to occasionally get away with riding much slower but on the sidewalk is a great option.

      Too many electric motorcycles are small and sleek. Barely more than a large bicycle. But they have to stay on roads, even when it’s rather hazardous…

      For that, I want something like a Livewire that shows a little bulk, to be more visible in traffic, and more stable in crosswinds and in the wash when a semi passes. But I don’t want to pay anywhere near $30,000 for it.

      1. What about a Zero motorcycle? They’ve been out for a number of years already and are about as close to an ICE motorcycle as you can get IMO. Add some aux lights like Clearwaters or Denalis with yellow lenses and you can improve your visibility even more.

      2. I think an all electric Honda Navi would make more sense. There’s plenty of room for battery packs if you put them where the storage compartment is and where the gas tank is, put the electric motor where the engine went, etc.

  4. Other than the dog bone headlight, I can see this as an around the town option. Assuming you are not picking anything up beyond what you can put in a backpack.

    I would not want to commute to work on the highway (no place to charge once there), though for a restaurant run, going to gym, and things like that it can work.

    1. I think that part of the beauty of this is that you can just roll the battery in to work, plug it into a normal 120V outlet under your desk or in the storage closet or a corner of the warehouse or wherever, and by the end of your shift it’ll be charged. It’s not like a car where you really kind of need a dedicated charger.

      1. Mostly I am remote working, maybe a few days a year in the office so that could work.

        My main reason for not looking at Motorcycle is I am the combine trips type. Go to dump, gym, shopping, etc and will pick up quite a few items.

        I do not hate the concept, it would just have to be dedicated trip or ones that do not require cargo capacity.

        That is why the Slingshot interests me. Maybe an EV version? That would fit the bill.

    1. Yeah, I’m a lot more interested in what autonomous driving features they plan/claim. I wonder how big their software team is?

      Also, how much can this tow? If I can’t tow a houseboat (that I don’t and never will own), this won’t do.

    2. Not sure if they wanted to say “remote start” or “remote keyless operation”. Like in current cars where you can keep your key in your pocket, start the car, and go about one’s business.

  5. So if top speed is 75mph, why does the picture show 88mph? Perhaps they are going back to the future? Tell me doctor, where are we going this time? Is this the 50’s or 1999?

  6. That is pretty cool. I’ve always shied away from bikes due to inattentive drivers and my own push too hard tendencies, but this is enticing. Enough range to hit the BR Parkway for a bit and not worry about making it home.
    Of course, I’m too damn cheap to buy it new

  7. I’m not a motorcycle rider and have no plans to become one but out of curiosity how short does a person have to be before seat height is an issue? I’m 5’6″ so I wouldn’t be surprised if bikes don’t fit me right just like most clothes and many, many other things.

  8. Reading the fine print on their website revealed a Horsepower rating of 10.
    Using the following data:
    53 ftlb engine torque
    250ftlb at the wheel with a 5:1 reduction ratio
    240 lb bike
    200 lb rider
    24″ diameter rear wheel

    I calculated a maximum acceleration of 0.55g
    Given the above parameters a 0-60mph time of just over 5 seconds could be expected.

    The beauty of an electric motor is that the torque is nearly constant across the RPM range.

  9. Those wheels at the front of the battery pack will get gummed up with road debris within a week or two and stop rolling. The seat adjustment looks neat at first but with a fixed front, as you lower it you change the seat angle so the lower the seat is, the closer you come to ejection seat mode, especially with typical EV acceleration.

  10. Maybe I’m being a grumpy luddite, but I don’t really understand what problem electric motorcycles are supposed to solve.
    An electric Honda Cub or Vespa I get, those don’t need to have either long range or high speed/performance. Hop on, buy your groceries, go home, charge the bike – this makes practical sense.
    Electric dirtbikes too, very short range, but at least you don’t bother nature with engine noise on the trails.
    But for ‘normal’ everyday motorcycles that are usually leisure vehicles, and 99% of them do just a few thousand miles a year, why?
    Range is short, so touring or cruising use is compromised, range is even shorter when riding spiritedly – not an uncommon use case on a motorcycle. 50 miles is suitable for a moped maybe.
    Probably even less range with 2-up and some panniers.
    Do these even have a J-plug so they can be charged at most stations?
    From an emissions perspective, cumulative motorcycle emissions must be a really small drop in the ocean relative to everything else.
    All this makes me think this is just a new hype train to generate new business.

    1. This would cover my trips to work and back for a 5 day work week on a charge. I don’t have any EV charging stations near my apartment, so I could bring the battery to my apartment for a weekend charge. I have a car for my drives outside of my suburban bubble, I rarely ride my motorcycle on rides longer than an hour anyway. This would be a great commuter and get-around-town ride. Easy parking, easy charging, cheap as hell. I’m way into it.

  11. I like the low centre of gravity battery. I’m a touch concerned about the motor hanging on the suspension. Is that sprung or unsprung weight in this configuration?

    Speaking of weight. I like light weight commuters, so this slides in nicely at under 300lbs, so I am intrigued.

  12. I defer to Mercedes wisdom as to this bike but a few questions
    1. How does remote start work if the battery is in your apartment?
    2. A bike that weighs in at 200 pounds with the battery removed. How do you lock it for safety? Boom 2 guys with a pickup driving around at night could lift 6 or so into the bed.
    3. Do motorcycles have crash testing? Seems having the bolt adjustment feature could result in many failures especially if the rider keeps adjusting it and doesn’t use a proper torque wrench and specs.
    4. Seems range is about 1 hour of usage. About 70 miles at 70 mph 1 hour. I would think bikes would beat cars on MPE (Miles Per Electron) due to extreme lower weight. A Tesla at 4,000 pounds vs this at 280.

    1. The weight of the bike is lower but so also is the battery’s weight. You don’t want a motorcycle to have the crazy batteries of a Tesla because it effects its mobility and handling. This clearly isn’t a highway or touring bike, but that’s fine. Zero and Harley are making expensive electrics that meet those needs. A cheap, electric commuter bike that is livable in an apartment situation in a city is what the market doesn’t have right now.

    2. 4. 75 miles of range with a 4.3 kWh battery comes out to 17mi/kWh. That’s more than 4X more efficient than most electric cars. ICE motorcycles’ efficiency tends to exceed their car counterparts’ by about the same margin, not.

      Also, keep in mind that weight has little to do with highway energy consumption (gas or electrons). At 70mph, your mostly using energy to overcome drag. While a motorcyclist has very little frontal area, their coefficient of drag is abysmal compared to a car. So a car might weigh 20 times more than a motorcycle, but it’s not dealing with 20X the drag at highway speed.

    3. 1. Reading other releases on this, it seems that this system is just a keyless ignition. It’ll probably use a fob or an app.

      2. This is a problem with many small displacement bikes, sadly. When your bike weighs so little someone can just carry off with it. Some people install brake locks, chains through the wheels, chains through the frame, ground anchors, and other measures. Of course, none of those will stop a determined thief, just slow them down.

      3. They do not! And yeah, I’ve ridden a few motorcycles where the previous owner did a shoddy repair or modification and it greatly impacted how the motorcycles rode.

      4. Electric motorcycles do beat cars with efficiency, but remember that they have absolutely tiny batteries even compared to a humble Chevy Bolt. But now that you say this, I wonder what a motorcycle could do with a Tesla battery. lol

    4. 4 dudes, 2 2x4s and a box truck can steal any bike on the market. It is what it is, insure your bike and don’t buy anything nice if you don’t have a garage. Just be glad you’re not in the UK where even chained to the floor in your garage won’t help.

  13. – And when it’s time to get it back into the motorcycle, it leverages the motorcycle itself to get back into position so you don’t have to lift it. –

    I’m very curious to see this operation in action.

  14. Cool concept, I hope they build it. However, as a guy with a 28-inch inseam, this is about the 3,837,263rd time some company has made a thing ostensibly short-people compatible and it has still been too tall for me. When it comes to pants, I’ve had to learn to hem my own because nobody but nobody makes pants in 31/28 and if they somehow do, it’s only ever in the shitty, boring colors that I hate. I’m not even *that* short! I’m 5’7″! That’s short, sure, but it’s hardly extreme. And yet… *SIGH*

    1. For what it’s worth, if it’s as narrow as it look that 30″ seat height may actually feel a lot lower. I’m just shy of 5’7″ and with pretty short legs (not that you can be particularly lanky at this height, but I’m more Mr Potato Head shaped). A 31-32″ seat on a sport bike is definitely tip-toe height, but the 35″ seat on my DRZ400sm felt about the same since it was super narrow. I could flat foot on one side or be on the balls of my feet on both sides pretty comfortably. It’s definitely not ideal, and especially for newer riders, but it was manageable.

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