This week has seen the debut of the Jeep Recon and Chevy Equinox EV, as well as the first drive of the VW ID.Buzz, but don’t sleep on the EV bike market. Kollter, a manufacturer with electric dual sports already on the road, is launching an electric commuter motorcycle, the Kollter RS1, that promises speeds of 80 mph with a range of up to 125 miles all at a competitive price of $11,995.
Last year, I wrote about Kollter’s first offering, the ES1 dual sport. That little motorcycle offered a mixed city/highway range of 62 miles, a 72 mph top speed, removable 2.3 kWh batteries, and a 15 HP motor for the low price of $5,990. The cost of that machine has gone up to $6,995 since then, but Kollter is actually selling them. They’ve been reviewed and, as Electrek reports, a Vermont police department put one into service. That’s to say that Kollter’s cheap bikes have proven themselves not to be vaporware, and the company already has new motorcycles in its pipeline.
I love all of these cheap electric motorcycles that have been announced and launched lately. Sure, flagships like the $22,799 LiveWire One and the $20,595 Zero SR/S are phenomenal motorcycles, but not everyone can afford to drop the price of a small car on a bike. That’s what makes these cheaper machines exciting. And we get to see some experimentation in design, from alternative materials to extreme cost-cutting. Some of these manufacturers are thinking about the many people who live in apartments, too, and bake in easy ways to charge.
If you have a little more cash to spend, Kollter’s new offering seems to offer a good bang for your buck. The Kollter RS1 is $11,995, or just under double the price of the ES1 dual sport. So, do you get double the motorcycle?
Where the ES1 is fitted with a 15 HP electric motor, the RS1’s motor puts out a peak of 46 HP through a chain drive. That propels the RS1 to a higher top speed that’s advertised as 80 mph or better.
Range is about double as well. Kollter says that the RS1 could travel 120 miles at a constant speed of 40 mph or 65 miles at a constant speed of 60 mph. Max range is stated to be 125 miles. The range is thanks to a Farasis Lithium Ion 8.0 kWh battery. That battery adds up to 127 pounds of the motorcycle’s 417-pound curb weight. Unfortunately, it’s not a battery that you can remove and take inside to charge. Granted, that would be a heavy battery to lug up flights of stairs.
The RS1’s suspension consists of an inverted fork and a monoshock. Stopping the electrified steed are hydraulic disc brakes. Those brakes are linked and are controlled through handlebar levers, like on a scooter. On Kollter’s spec sheet, the brakes are said to be backed up by ABS.
On the technology front, you get a color display, keyless operation, and an alarm system. The motorcycle also has a battery management system to protect it from being discharged too much, overcharged, frozen, overheated, and more.
It has a built-in 2.0 kW charger for topping up at home, and a J1772 charging port for filling up on the go. Kollter says that it’ll take six hours to fill this battery at 120V. The company backs the motorcycle up with a 5-year, 50,000-mile limited parts and labor warranty.
For about twice the price, it seems like you do get about twice the motorcycle than Kollter’s initial offering. The RS1 is entering into a pretty competitive market. It has more range and more power than the $6,500 Sondors Metacycle, but doesn’t have the futuristic looks. The RS1 also has more range than the $7,800 Ryvid Anthem, but doesn’t have features like the Anthem’s removable battery and seat with four inches of automatic adjustment.
Close competition for the Kollter RS1 comes from Zero Motorcycles with its Zero FXE. That motorcycle has up to 100 miles of city range, 60 miles of highway range at 55 mph, and a 46 HP motor. It even has a similar top speed of 85 mph. It beats the Kollter with its 298-pound curb weight and with what appears to be a more advanced suspension setup. The Kollter undercuts it by $1,000 in price with more slightly more range.
The last time that I wrote about Kollter, I noted that the company’s site was a bit confusing. There was another brand name there, Tinbot. And there was script that might lead you to believe that the bikes were German designed and built. The motorcycles actually come from Jiangsu Keyroad Transportation Technology Co. in China. Tinbot is an electric mobility company in Germany and Jiangsu’s European partner. Kollter is just a brand name for motorcycles that would otherwise get a Tinbot badge. That’s why Tinbot is sometimes on the motorcycles in Kollter’s images.
The site has since been updated to make those relationships clearer.
As for the motorcycle itself, Kollter says that deliveries should be starting sometime this month. Its pricing and specs give riders looking for electrified transportation more options, which is always awesome to see. I’d love to swing a leg over these offerings at some point in the future and tell you all about them!
I badly want to switch to an electric motorcycle for my commute, but it doesn’t seem like we’re ever going to get there. I need 100 miles of reliable, actual real world range, with a mix of city and wide-open-throttle highway travel, in year-round temperatures. With on-bike storage and reasonable weather protection too. And I don’t want to pay $20K for it. Not gonna happen. So I guess I just have to keep on keeping on with my Honda NC700.
I created an account to comment on this article! The shenanigans Zero is pulling with “unlocking” features like “heated grips” and “more range” *after purchase* should make them an automatic no-sale in my opinion. Nice to see some maybe-competition since Fuell doesn’t seem to be moving on their prototype bike at any speed.
I like the look of this better than the Zero, but Zero has been around for a long time and I would pay a premium for that industry experience.
For a new potential commute, I’ve been looking at all these electric options. I’m very interested in the Metacycle, and have come close to pre-ordering, but I’m not sure I really need it for my city-streets journey (which tops out at 35-40 mph). Right now I’m on the fence between a UFO scooter and an e-bike of some sort.
Do those “rear bumper style” tiny rear fenders really work? Do they work well? Or are they just a fancy way to display a license plate while meeting some bare minimum legal requirement hidden in some law book somewhere?
I really do appreciate fenders that keep the road spray off my back in wet weather, and many cycles are lacking in this regard these days.
It’s getting better for sure, just like EV cars. But I’m going to be like most people and wait for almost parity, let’s arbitrarily say the same performance numbers as ICE within ~15% of the cost. I paid around $12.5k out-the-door for my Speed Triple which is 140hp with a top speed of about the same. Same price for less than half the power is a tough sell, no matter talk of torque. And even the Zero bikes are too new to find good used prices yet.
Two-wheel BEV would be excellent for short commutes or running small errands, but these jamokes keep coming out with crotch-rockets with absolutely no cargo space. I have my eye on a NIU MQi GT EVO, but I need something with a bit more top speed for my commute. The scooter styling makes for more cargo space, which just makes more sense in this class.
They should design a mounting bracket that can bolt on a monokey plate or whatever in the back. Because aftermarket sure as hell isn’t going to bother.
Yeah, I can confirm that an electric motorcycle is the commuting dream. No maintenance, no gas stops (or smell on your clothes) and when you’re stuck in traffic you’re not wearing out your clutch-hand or sitting above a 10,000W space heater.
A higher-power e-scooter with underseat storage and J1772 charging would be a dandy thing. You should be able to hit 60 MPH with a 10kW motor.
Tinbot sounds like the world’s saddest superhero.
A top speed of 80mph for $12k? That’s a hard sell when an MT-09 is $9.5k. I get that someone is going to respond that its “for the person who…”, but all these hypothetical people only exist in the comments sections of car websites.
I feel seen.
I eagerly await the day when EV bike prices reach parity with their ICE counterparts.
Because indeed, 12-large gets you a lot of internal combustion motorcycle. Heck, even the $5,000 original price for the Sondors Metacycle still gets you a Honda Rebel 300 with a little cash to spare.
And that’s not even mentioning the used motorcycle market, which doesn’t really exist yet for e-bikes in any significant way.
Can we stop using the term “e-bike” to describe electric motorcycles? E-bikes are electrically assisted bicycles that go maybe 20 mph. If it can go 80+ mph and doesn’t have pedals, it is an electric motorcycle and not an e-bike.
Should we also stop referring to motorcycles as “bikes?” If the context is such that there’s no ambiguity, I say it’s fine. Trying to codify language to remove the need for context is a fool’s errand.
No offense, but I don’t see the relevance in this context. E-bike refers to a specific product that already exists, which are distinct from motorcycles. “Bike” is widely accepted as an informal term for two wheeled cycles including bicycles and motorcycles. Can’t an electric motorcycle just be called a motorcycle?
Incidentally, I have no idea why the use of “e-bike” to describe an electric motorcycle annoys me this much.