Motorcycles The Disruptors: Super73Los Angeles startup Super73 has entered the electric motorcycle market with affordable, pedal-assist motorbikes and a fast-growing following.
- Words Julia LaPalme
While the first electric vehicles were invented in late 1800s, it has been gas-powered vehicles that have ruled the roadways for over a century. But there is a growing movement determined to change that, and over the past two decades, electric vehicles have slowly slipped into the mainstream as the public’s impression of EVs has improved. People are now more aware of the effects of noise and exhaust pollution, and the cost of owning and operating a gas-powered vehicle is driving more traffic toward EVs. Technological advances, cost of operations, and other barriers to entry have been lowered, making it easier to enter the market; as a result, a handful of boutique motorbike and motorcycle companies have emerged. Each of the following seven companies present their own electric motorcycles and e-bikes with a unique approach, hoping to make a lasting impression on the personal mobility market.
Affordable, pedal-assist motorbikes with a fast-growing following.
When Super73 launched through Kickstarter in 2016, the founding team hand-built their first line of bikes in a warehouse in Orange County, California. The Super73’s charm lies in its approachable retro bike aesthetic, which lures both millennials and aging boomers alike, and the starting price of $1,400 is the lowest in its segment. Co-founder Michael Cannavo says, “Electric or bust at this point, man. As much as we love the roar of a gas monster, we see how the environment is changing. Cities are beginning to outlaw combustion engines, and people are looking for smaller, more portable means of transportation.”
The Super73’s 2018 lineup included the basic Super73-S, which has a throttle and pedal assist, maxes out at 20 mph, and has a 25-mile range; the Super73-S1, which adds hydraulic brakes, lights, a luggage rack, and 10 miles of additional range; the Super73-SG, the global version of the S model that has a top speed of 15 mph, a 25-mile range, and is pedal assist only (no throttle); the Super73-SG1, with almost double the range as the SG; and the Super73-Z1, which has a throttle-only motor without pedal assist, although all Super73 models have what Cannavo calls “lawyer pedals” to meet federal regulations for electric motorbikes. “We also love our pedals because it’s an emergency escape for those who may adventure a bit too far and run out of charge,” he says.
Cannavo hopes that light electric vehicles become more affordable and approvable in the near future. “So many amazing electric vehicles are out of reach to the general public because of cost, availability, and regulations. As the industry grows, we would love to see an answer for every demographic, rider group, and segment of society.”LEARN MORE ABOUT SUPER73