The Juiced Scorpion blurs the line between e-bike and motorcycle

Juiced Bikes from San Diego builds on its reputation for nostalgia powered electric bikes with the release of its latest model, the Scorpion. Just like the Scrambler bicycles of the company, the Scorpion has a fat-band, low-rider feel that will certainly appeal to fans of the taco minibikes from the 1970s. And with an approachable frame, an affordable price and an absurdly powerful battery, the Scorpion could be a good entry-level e-bike for anyone who is bored with traditional two-wheelers.

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When I was walking through Lower Manhattan on a recent Thursday to meet Tora Harris and his team, Juiced Bikes, I was the first to notice the headlights: large, round and impossibly bright, even in the bright sun. A motorcycle-style headlight on an e-bike is nothing new; The S1 and Scout bikes from Super 73 come with one. But Juiced really leans in style, and that is going to eliminate customers or stimulate their imagination, depending on their secret desire to attract passers-by.

Either way, it was a good reminder that e-bikes don't have to be boring. Sometimes they can look like motorcycles, mopeds or even scooters, as the new Oslo e-bikes from Karmic show. Although there will always be room for traditional-looking e-bikes, it is pretty cool to see more designers look outside the box.

With the Scorpion, Juiced leaves the parallelogram form of the Scrambler for an entry-level model that is probably more accessible to a larger number of people. There are two versions: the Scorpion basic model with a 750-watt motor and a 672Wh (52V, 13Ah) battery, and the Hyper Scorpion with a 1000-watt motor and a 998.4Wh (52V, 19.2Ah) battery. The batteries made by LG look huge and boxy from their perch on the lower tube of the bike, which is not my favorite look, but I understand the need for it. At the average power setting, the basic model bike can reach a range of 45 miles before it needs to be charged, while the higher-specification version can run up to 75 miles, according to Juiced.

The Scorpion is a class 2 e-bike, which means that it offers pedal and gas-assisted speeds of up to 20 mph. Juiced is working on a Class 3 model that can reach up to 28 mph, as well as an off-road, engine version that can reach 30 mph. The bike has a rotary throttle instead of a thumb throttle, which is my preference because it feels stronger and harder to break. The Scorpion basic model includes a 7-speed Freewheel gear lever, while the high-spec version comes with a Shimano 8-speed cassette.


Photograph by Andrew Hawkins / The Verge


Photograph by Andrew Hawkins / The Verge


Photograph by Andrew Hawkins / The Verge

One of the striking features of the Scorpion is the double suspension: spiral suspension with a hydraulic lock on the front fork and a spring-loaded swingarm – usually found on motorcycles – on the rear wheel. In the short time that I had with the bike, the double suspension system in combination with the thick 20-by-4-inch tires made sure that the omnipresent bumps and holes in Manhattan just melted away.

Disc brakes on both wheels made it easy to stop quickly, even when I was running at top speed. Tora and I also took our bikes across the Manhattan Bridge to Brooklyn, a route I followed twice a day during the week and it never felt smoother. But going off-road somewhere, especially on gravel or on uneven surfaces, would be the real test.

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My only complaint is about the size of the bike. I am an elongated guy, a little over six feet tall, and I prefer my knees not to hit my elbows when I ride. The low-riding design of the Scorpion would certainly take some getting used to, but it was not a dealbreaker. Thanks to the long, comfortable banana-style seat you can sit back while riding, which is more comfortable than the typical position of most bicycles.

Well, maybe the size is not my only complaint. While I was driving over the bridge, I felt some pulling of the engine, almost as if I was being pulled back a little. Harris later explained that the prototype version of the bicycle has a CNC bottom bracket with a slightly slanted edge. The cadence sensor cannot sit flat against the bracket, so the magnetic disk on the crank wobbles a bit and causes inconsistent signals at certain pedal frequencies. Prototype versions of the Juiced Scrambler had a similar problem, but Harris promised that the production version of the Scorpion will not have this problem.

Is Juiced sale of the scorpion via Indiegogo for an & # 39; early bird special & # 39; price of $ 1,299 (40 percent less than the MSRP price of $ 2,100). The Hyper Scorpion (MSRP $ 3,499) is available for an introductory price of $ 1,999. After that special expires, the prices go up to $ 1,499 and $ 2,499 respectively. That's not cheap, and there are less expensive options out there (the aforementioned $ 7399 Super 73 Scout, for example). Bikes will be sent to pre-order customers in March 2020, Juiced says.

The Scorpion is a good ride and is an exciting addition to the Juiced line-up, including the Scrambler, CrossCurrent and RipCurrent bikes. This is a vibes bike, the kind you take with you on a warm summer night when the sun is low over the horizon, you have some money in your pocket and the good taco truck is further down the street. Or maybe you're on the trailhead, with huge rock faces looming and the scent of pines in the sky.

If one of those sounds resembles your kind of atmosphere, the Scorpion might be the bike for you.



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