Evoke Motorcycles could be the new face of the Chinese motorbike industry, with its debut machine supposedly coming to North America soon.
For years, Chinese motorcycles have mostly fallen into two camps: small-displacement utilitarian bikes (often derived from successful Japanese designs), or budget battery-powered machines (these have been much more prevalent in North America lately, due to lack of restrictions by the EPA).
The Evoke lineup is neither of these. If anything, the bikes look a lot more like something from Zero, the firmly-established electric bike manufacturer based on the west coast of the US.
Evoke is bringing made-in-China electric motorcycles to market, but the plan is to undercut existing manufacturers while still offering decent range. The Urban S (a streetfighter-styled bike) has a Samsung-sourced 9-kWh battery pack, supposedly good for a 200-km range in the city and 120-km range on the highway. Top speed is 130 km/h.
The Urban S will carry a $9,400 US price tag in the American market; we’ve seen no indication of Canadian availability or MSRP yet. However, founder Nathan Siy is a Chinese-Canadian (here’s an interview with him on YouTube).
Of course, one of the major knocks against Chinese bikes for many years has been iffy reliability (although whenever CMG ran them, we never had any problems with our Lifan or our Konker). However, Siy has been running Beijing Electric Bike Tours for years, so we’d guess he knows a thing or two about what’s needed in the reliability department.
More importantly, Evoke Motorcycles has partnered with Foxconn, a well-known manufacturer of high-end electronics (iPhone, Playstation, XBox, etc.). While that’s no guarantee about rideability, it does sound as if the assembly of the electronics is carried out by a factory capable of high-end work, as long as proper quality control practices are in place.
Evoke has built a few dozen electric bikes in the past few months, but is hoping to grow that number to 2,000 machines this year. Find Evoke’s Facebook page here.