It’s been 12 years since Former McLaren designer Richard Thorpe launched the original GoCycle. Now, his company Karbon Kinetics Limited has launched its fourth-generation e-bike, using the latest in materials technology and weight-saving engineering to create what Thorpe calls his “two-wheeled electric dream.”
The biggest change comes in the frame, which now utilizes a carbon fiber skeleton to connect the hydroformed aluminum front frame with the injection moulded magnesium drive section. In race-car parlance, it’s the monocoque chassis.
Clearly that kind of state-of-the-art construction will cost, and the GoCycle does. Prices start at $3,999 and go all the way up to $5,999 which is more than the $3,399 to $4,999 Harley Davidson Serial 1. Still, the Harley isn’t made out of space-age materials; it weighs up to 59 pounds, compared to the GoCycle’s 37 (excluding the kickstand), a 2.2-pound improvement over the previous generation.
Nor does the Harley perform the GoCycle’s other party trick — the ability to fold into a compact package that will stow neatly in a car trunk or reasonably sized cubicle. It takes just 10 seconds to accomplish and can then be either carried in a travel bag (sold separately) or wheeled along like a stroller.
The G4 comes with a new electric motor housed in the single-sided front fork. GoCycle says that it provides more power and torque, although exact figures weren’t given. Base models have a range of up to 40 miles, while higher-spec G4i and G4i+ models can go up to 50. By contrast, top-grade Serial 1 bikes can travel 105 miles. Of course, you can pedal it yourself as well.
A full charge requires 3 to 3.5 hours, depending on the trim. The capacity of the removable lithium-ion battery was not disclosed, but previous-generation GoCycles used two versions of a 13.7 Ah, 22-volt that stores a trim-dependent 300 Wh or 375 Wh.
More racing cues come with the tires, which are said to be inspired by MotoGP motorcycles and infused with silica compound to provide better grip. Increased air volume helps cushion the ride as well. What GoCycle calls the cockpit is said to have been inspired by F1 cars, while predictive gear shifts and DRLs take a page from modern road cars.
Fourth-generation GoCycles also add a USB charging port on the handlebars as well as BLE (low energy Bluetooth) connectivity. The company plans to launch a host of additional accessories as well, including mud guards, lights and pannier rack (although G4s will also be backwards-compatible with existing panniers).
GoCycle will offer a limited launch edition G4i+, which comes in exclusive colors and a lightweight carbon fiber wheel. The company is taking to pre-orders now.