There is nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned motor pedal. I’m a fan of the two-stroke mopeds that were all the rage in transportation back before I was born. Puchs, Tomos, Garellis, Honda Hobbits, Peugeots; Yes to all. But while there has been a recent resurgence in popularity this last decade, I didn’t expect to see the motor pedal concept revived quite like this. On the German-built eRockit electric motorcycle, the pedals don’t actually power the bike, they stand in for a right hand bar throttle, controlling the bike’s acceleration.
“You don’t control the speed with a throttle, but with pedals!” says a company press release. “It is intuitive and easy to use like a bicycle, but is as fast as a motorcycle. With a top speed of about 90 km/h (90 km/h), the eRockit is even well-suited for driving on the autobahn. It is powered by an air-cooled permanent synchronous motor with a peak output of 16,000 watts. The driving experience is absolutely unique, almost indescribable and magical.”
The eRockit is powered by a 22 peak-horsepower permanent magnet synchronous motor and a 6.6 kWh lithium-ion battery. It’s got a range of 121 km and can charge up from 0 to 100 per cent in just five hours on the plug. As a commuter bike with a 90 km per hour top speed, that range seems totally acceptable.
What makes the eRockit unique is its pedal accelerator, which forces riders keep a constant light pedalling to maintain speed. If you want to overtake a car in city traffic, simply pedal faster for a second. It looks a bit more like a bicycle than most motorcycles do, with a clearly visible tube frame, but it’s also larger and more substantial than an e-assist bicycle.
If you’re looking for something that purports to be a modern interpretation of the old-school moped, you can order an eRockit. It’s not cheap, priced at 11,850 euros ($19,406). Customers can reserve one right now with a $400 deposit. Check out the eRockit website for more information. It’s weird, and I’d sure like to give it a try, but I’m not convinced yet that I actually want one.