Electric bikes saw a surge in popularity throughout 2020 as millions of people explored their local area and overhauled their commute. Halfords alone reported that electric bike sales doubled as the public health crisis forced millions to stay away from city centres and rendered their gym memberships useless.
In the UK, electric bikes are limited to 15.5mph (25kph) by law, so while they’re a great way to take some of the strain out of any daunting hills …they’re not a terribly efficient way to set a land-speed record. But someone forgot to give the memo to ONYX, when the US-based firm built its stunning new ONYX RCR.
Halfway between an electric bike and an e-moped, the ONYX RCR is a full-suspension bike with lashings of retro style. Clearly inspired by the Triumph TR6 Trophy that Steve McQueen rode in The Great Escape, this electric beauty can travel at a top speed of 60mph (96kph). Propelling this 145-pound bike is a 5,400 W peak-rated motor, which should provide enough acceleration to blow your hair back …although, perhaps not quite enough to jump a fence in a daring escape.
The ONYX RCR sports a long bench seat and scrambler-style headlight at the front. Unlike some other electric vehicles, there’s a distinct lack of techie goodies squeezed in here. You won’t need a smartphone app to unlock the bike and there are no built-in facilities to record top speed stats from your ride to share on social media.
However, ONYX has added three speed modes to the bike: Eco E-Bike (limited to 20mph), Norm (limited to 30mph) and SPRT Mode (unlimited top speed). Interestingly, that means the ONYX RCR could be counted as an “e-bike” in the United States, where the law limits these motor-assisted push bikes to 750W or 20mph, when set to the lowest power setting.
When it comes to recharging the bike before your next great escape, an optional 10A fast-charger can refill 50 percent of the battery in an hour, which is pretty impressive. If you want to completely refill the tank, you’ll need to leave the ONYX RCR plugged-in for some two-and-a-half hours.
When the battery is full, this lightweight bike can travel 75-miles before running out of juice. ONYX has also kitted-out its bike with hydraulic disk brakes with regenerative braking, so you can sip some power back into the battery as you’re travelling, which adds to the total range.
Unfortunately, this retro-styled beauty, which the creators describe as “the most fun ride on two wheels”, doesn’t come cheap.
You’ll need to cough-up at least $4,149 for the entry-level version of this bike. That’s £3,035 converted. And that model doesn’t come with the faster charging cable or the full 75-mile range. Bumping up the total range to the maximum available will add an extra $1,049 (roughly £770) to the price of the bike. Indicators – which some would argue are pretty essential for any vehicle – are an extra $200 (£150 converted).
Maxed out, you’re looking at spending some $5,488 (£4,015) for the best RCR that ONYX will sell you. That’s quite a price to pay.