eMTB Randoms - Sea Otter 2021

Oct 10, 2021
by Alicia Leggett  
This conversion kit was one of the more intriguing eMTB items on display at Sea Otter. The Bimotal system claims to turn any standard mountain bike into an electric one - it just takes adding a "stealth battery" where a water bottle usually goes and installing a(nother) rear wheel drive operation. The kit swaps out the rear rotor for one with a cog attached to it, which is driven by a motor.

Installation is done by Bimotal pros because it's important to get the distance right from the driver to the disc. Other than that detail, installation is reportedly quite simple.
There's a throttle up front.

Jared Graves' Yeti 160-E.

An all-wheel-drive eMTB. Yep, you read that right. Controlled with a switch on the handlebars, power is transferred from the rear hub to the front one through a series of shafts and gears. Christini claims that with the AWD system it's nearly impossible to lose the front end in a corner.

Why bike and make tea separately when you could do them together?

We may see more and more eMTBs using belt drive systems.

Maxima Racing Oils had this Intense Tazer out to draw people in and get eyes on Maxima's tire sealant.

A QuietKat x Jeep overlanding vehicle.

Fantic had this aggressive e-DH rock crusher on display, along with a full range of other eMTBs from the Italian motorcycle brand.

According to Bosch, the future of biking is connected (and presumably motorized).

Bosch had a full fleet of display and demo bikes.

Some of these creations, like Hi Power Cycles' one-off extremely high-powered e-DH-fatbike, blur the lines between eMTB and motorcycle and/or whatever other categories this may fall into.

Another from Hi Power Cycles.

Brad Copeland's mechanic's superbike, in case you missed the full bike check a few weeks ago.

With a total of three wheelsets, two Topeak Tubibooster canisters, and lots of carrying racks, Brad's bike is set up to meet pretty much any need.

The ultimate World Cup support bike.


  • 164 91
 Motor + cycle = motorcycle, even if the motor is powered by electricity.
  • 122 43
 Outside needs to just start pink moped and be done with it.

a low-power, lightweight motorized bicycle.
  • 30 9
 @redneckhippiegeek: dude you are so smart
  • 52 4
 yup, Dont confuse a motorcycle with a Moped. More important is to not confuse a throttle system with a pedal assist system, that seems to be the problem made by many manufactures that call their motorcycles E bikes.
  • 35 5
 These Hi Power Cycles bikes illustrate so well the issue that non bikers are having with e-bikes. There needs to be regulation at some level here because local land managers can't make sense of the differences and we're going to start seeing all e-bikes & regular bikes lumped in with each other when they finally decide to ban bikes from trails. E-bikes themselves might be not be an issue but these hi power cycles give me nightmares.
  • 39 6
 No. Pedal assist bicycle is not a motorcycle. A lot of those pictured above are, though.
  • 9 1
 @jgainey: A number of these bikes are throttle AND pedal assist. So yeah, it's getting confusing.
  • 3 1
 @vandall: the pedal system on these is put on for show. In the states you can ride them on the street while speed limited if there are pedals.
  • 38 22
 @stuie321 my washing machine has a motor, and it cycles so it must be a motorcycle by your definition...
  • 13 3
 I was watching a classic car museum tour on YouTube today. He came across the motorcycle exhibit and it started with bicycles and then bicycles with motors which led to the motorcycle exhibit. History repeating itself.
  • 21 15
 Have to pedal to move forward , 20mph cutoff, no throttle = e-bike

Try to expand your thinking beyond simple black and white definitions.
  • 13 16
 E Bike - motor = Very slow climbing old timey retro bike.
  • 9 10
 If it's pedal-driven, it's not a motorcycle. HTH.
  • 4 0
 @nickfranko: third picture down...
  • 10 12
 @traildad69: unfortunately it's going to take the death/serious injury of few innocent trail walking children before local policing clamp down on these unregistered motor vehicles, driven by unlicensed operators.
  • 7 9
 You have a dick + you have a head = lol
  • 7 1
 @mhoshal: and you ride your washing machine.
  • 3 1
 @mhoshal: triggered?
  • 1 0
 @matt-k-md: exaggerate much?
  • 2 1
 @teethgrinder: his mrs has a few times !
  • 3 0
 @RGonz: the only ones triggered are the ebike hating whiners that are in these threads.
  • 1 0
 @platnum: my comment is for the high power machines. more than Van Aert's FTP, is not cycling
  • 1 2
 All motors use electricity. Engines use fuel and combustion. They should be called engine cycles..
  • 1 0
 What's your point. They're fun...
  • 31 0
 Why not a front hub motor for AWD
  • 6 0
 Because Christini patented his system before e-bikes were a thing. Now that e-bikes are a thing and front hub motors exist ... yeah.
  • 2 0
 What if we add two more wheels and called it a dual-bicycle, or a car?
  • 27 1
 Boy.... Some of those look sweet, some of those, should be burned before they reproduce..
  • 2 1
 That yeti looks sweet !
  • 16 0
 This reminds me of random interbike DH bikes from magazines back in the 90's. A world where WTF and CNC are combined. Sometimes awesome, often hideous, always entertaining!
  • 13 3
 The Yeti is on point but the others have a long way to go and that Hi-powered crap should be burnt with fire, seriously..
  • 14 4
 modern day junk yard
  • 7 0
 At least no images of the dead fox hat. Maybe Brad's fixin' for the Fox Straw hat instead.
  • 4 0
 What are the laws like in the US and Canada regarding land / road access with unregulated ebikes? I thought there is a speed limit of 20 mph? Is pedaling required, or is the use of a throttle the same, legally speaking?
I don't get all those high powered e moto thingys, in Europe you can ride those on private property and nowhere else. The enforcement is lacking at the moment, but that will change if people fly up the mountain / trails or get spotted on the road with 50 kph.
  • 10 0
 The country is huge, and regulations vary, but the 20mph max speed is for Class 1 and 2 e bikes. The most populated trails in Colorado (ie Front Range) mostly allow Class 1 e bikes on all trails where mountain bikes are allowed. That varies elsewhere in the country. Often, small tourist towns with active shuttle companies don’t allow e bikes on their trails.
Unregulated e bikes don’t have much legal clarity yet, other than they are definitely not Class 1,2, or 3. They can be ridden on moto trails, though. That’s what I do with my Sur Ron.
  • 8 1
 Future events will be called E-Otter from now on, starting with E-Otter 2022.
  • 5 1
 I love bicycles (pedal assist and non) but those are pretty bad. The HiPower stuff are electric dirt bikes with a pedal system attached. Other companies do this too to make it legal on the street (when speed limited).
  • 5 1
 I’m sorry but I really don’t want to attach a motor (that will most likely be under a large amount of torque) to my brake caliper bolts. Feel free to convince me otherwise.
  • 2 0
 Was looking for this comment. These PM tabs are designed to be loaded by compression primarily. The motor subjects them to shear. The bolts will be fine (as these are the same bolts used for the IS brake mount) but the tabs on the frame itself might disagree.

The other issue I see is that the article states that the motor needs to be installed by their staff. If so, doing basic maintenance on your brake (bleeding the brake in particular) seems like outright horror.
  • 8 5
 You know, I've always found the E-bike approach funny. Bicycles have multiple gears so that you can change your leverage ratios due to the constraints of our ability to exert a certain amount of force. However, despite taking advantage of the massive amounts of torque that the motors have, they limit their power output and speed so they can use conventional shifting. There's no reason for this. You could literally set it up so that it's a single gear and have the motor supplement the torque necessary to overcome what humans cannot generate. You'd have pseudo gearing via the motor.
  • 2 0
 Dam dude ur so right, I never though about that
  • 2 0
 But wouldn't asking more torque for the same motor would need more energy thus reducing autonomy and/or increasing battery size and weight counteracting in your whole point of eliminating gearing from e-bikes?
  • 1 0
 I was thinking the same, but what if you have motor off going downhill. You might want gears for occasional pedal stroke? Or is motor always on?
  • 1 0
 I shift my e bike just as much as my normal bike. Mine is a low powered e bike, but there are many times a lower gear is needed on a steep climb. The amount of torque it puts out is finite. Why do motorcycles, dirt bikes, cars, a lot of lawnmowers, etc have gears? It allows us to maintain a small motor and battery that only puts as much power down as really needed.
  • 1 0
 @Dixonm: yea, but electric cars have no gears. Motor makes up for it. Does it make difference if it's more or less power??
  • 1 0
 @bagoran: I'll be honest, I legitimately didn't know that. All I know is if I am in a high gear I still can't overcome it with the max torque my Orbea Rise can put out from a stop. I'm assuming it would need a more powerful motor or bigger battery to overcome.
  • 3 0
 Having met the Christini guys way back in their early days in Philly, I’m always intrigued to see their design pop back up again. Hasn’t ever taken off, but maybe they just been waiting over 20 years for e bikes.
  • 10 0
 It's a bit heavy to take off.
  • 2 0
 How is Fantic showing up anywhere??? With anythin?? I loved mine but after 2 yrs of ownership, you can't get an email returned, phone call answered, or parts ordered. I had to go to Bike Bling as they were the only shop in America selling them (if that tells you anything) to get any kind of person and well, if you've ever bought from Bike Bling...well.... I know Italy was rocked hard with Covid so maybe that's it but there weren't many buyers to support and they didn't. Cool bike otherwise.
  • 1 0
 ebikes508.com is a Fabric dealer
  • 2 0
 Fantic... Android autocorrect foils me again
  • 13 8
 So are we doing motocross or mountain biking? I'm confused
  • 8 1
 Throw a leg over a modern 450. You will cease to be confused. Promise.
  • 2 0
 how can the christini not lose front end grip? if youre not pedalling in a corner, which in most cases youre not, then you're free wheeling, like on a normal bike, so itll lose the front end just the same as any other?
  • 1 0
 Front wheel is driven by the back wheel through a really complicatated system of bevel gears and telescopic universal joints, so if you're free-wheeling, you'll get pulled around.
  • 7 0
 @ir-bandito: OMG at last!
  • 1 0
 @mudcycles: :-D
  • 1 0
 I was going to make a jibe about the Maxima Oils display stand not being about 2 feet higher to cover that hideous pregnant seahorse Tazer, but then I looked at some of the other bikes on display and figured it's not really that ugly...
  • 4 0
 Ebikes will not make URT successful…..
  • 2 0
 That Yeti looks great in that paint job, although I'd love to see it with the blue and yellow switched for full 90's Missy Giove vibes.
  • 1 0
 That Bimotal conversion woul be great to get power to front and rear wheels w/o the system of shafts and gears. Link up some torque sensors and a processor to even out power to both wheels and you're set.
  • 1 0
 "Christini claims that with the AWD system it's nearly impossible to lose the front end in a corner." That's not how AWD works. They've clearly never driven a Subaru or Audi lol
  • 3 0
 that last paint job is slicker than oil
  • 3 1
 Please ... disassemble those DVOs to use them for real bikes. You can reassemble the Zoom.
  • 2 0
 I don't need to see more belt drives on e-bikes, I want to see them on downhill bikes!
  • 5 3
 High powered hub motor ebikes are a death trap
  • 1 1
 @mhoshal: then don't buy one?
  • 6 3
  • 3 3
 I wont ever succumb to an e-bike(i'm poor) but goddamn at first glance I wouldnt have known that Yeti was electric, definitely one of the best looking super scoots to date .
  • 4 2
 Hmmm think I’ll hold out them to come out with a petrol powered e-bike
  • 3 0
  • 2 0
 26" tyres on that Jeep bike? Unrideable
  • 2 1
 its all a vague sense of geekdom freedom and trouble.
  • 1 0
 That Christini has a very weird frame
  • 2 1
 the future of biking is connected... to how big ur wallet and battery are.
  • 3 4
 I come to the post for the technology and innovation (however odd it may seem), but I stay in the comments section to have a laugh at the haters, ha-ha!
  • 3 3
 emtb are great. electric motorbikes eg surron, on mtb trails can F right off.
  • 4 2
 RC warned us
  • 1 0
 That camping rig looks bad ass for trail building. Chainsaw mount??
  • 4 3
 Most pointless post ever
  • 9 10
 These bikes destroy the purpose of mountaineering
  • 6 0
 I suppose you would piss off a lot of people if you tried to take one up Mt Everest
  • 4 5
 @boozed:. Great idea, it would be like having your own Sherpa with the walk assist on the way up. Then just blast down real quick.
  • 1 0
 They’re putting a chair lift up everest
  • 10 13
 Ebikes are sick, but you won’t ever catch me rocking a throttle.

I like my bikes very acoustic.
  • 9 2
 There are bikes and ebikes. Save the words acoustic and analog for hifi and instruments,please..
  • 1 2
 Barf. Much disgust.
  • 9 12
  • 8 9
 That is what everyone said about 27.5 and 29ers. Most people are on 29ers now. Lol. 27.5 parts are easy to get while everything 29 is scarce.
  • 10 4
 @tacklingdummy: wheel size doesn’t fundamentally change the sport though. I’m not pro or con ebike (they have their place) but conflating this argument with the wheel size controversies of the past is comparing an anthill to a mountain.
  • 5 3
 @topherdagopher: I disagree. Been riding bikes my entire life BMX, MTB, and a little road. I put down more miles and vertical feet than most MTB riders in my area (Santa Cruz area) on non-electric Trail/Enduro for past 15 years. Over that past year I have had an overuse knee injury and my riding has been cut in half. An ebike is not such a bad idea. I have yet to get one but definitely see the value in them. All PBers as they get older will want one to extend their riding life because they are very big time riders...
  • 9 5
 Obese bikes for an obese world.
  • 2 5
 @danstonQ: Ebikes at not just for unfit, they are for people that have injuries. In my case overuse injury. I am 5'7" and weigh 138 lbs with high level of fitness. Mountain bike and run. Sorry, that doesn't fit your narrative. Lol.
  • 2 0
 @tacklingdummy: I’m not arguing the virtues of ebikes just that using historical wheel size arguments as a comparison is comparing apples to oranges.
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