Motorcycles Volcon Grunt: The EV Trail Bike We Want in Our GarageTexas-based Volcon ePowersports has built a worthy competitor in the two-wheeled UTV segment.
- Words Adam Fitzgerald
- Images Gregory George Moore
Straddling an engine producing thousands of tiny explosions per minute will always make our hearts flutter, however, it’s clear that electrification actually is the replacement for displacement that combustion diehards can’t argue with. Electrification has certainly proven a winner in the arena of speed; the Tesla Model S Plaid, for instance, has a 0-60 time of 1.98 seconds versus the 12-cylinder Lamborghini Aventador SVJ with a 2.8 second 0-60 — and it costs five times as much as the Tesla.
Not all contests come down to speed, though. Electrification also produces torque that is hard to compete with. Where combustion motors rely on momentum to achieve maximum torque, electric motors do not. This means 100% of an EV’s available torque is ready to party from the second you tell it to go. For those seeking a two-wheeled utility vehicle — such as the Volcon Grunt — this is an absolute game-changer.
Volcon, the Texas-based electric powersports brand, started shipping the fat-tired electric Grunt in September of 2021. We got our hands on one a few months ago and haven’t stopped geeking out over it since. Touted as an “innovative, easy-to-operate electric motorcycle that allows people to experience outdoor adventure or get work done in an efficient and fun way,” the Grunt is an aggressive-looking yet well-styled machine. The design language looks like something borrowed from the book of custom shop Classified Moto, meaning the Grunt doesn’t appear solely utilitarian. That attention to detail is evident in components like the triple-cradle “Exo-Arch” frame, the rugged cast-aluminum swingarm, and even the hand-stitched seat. The tapered aluminum handlebars hold a simple, easy-to-use, multi-function single gauge with rotating aluminum bezel that switches between displaying speed, ride mode, battery stats, and more. Everything about the Grunt feels well-designed and intentional.
If we were to draw lines to the closest combustion comparators, they would go in two very different directions: the Yamaha TW200 and the 2WD Rokon Trail-Breaker. The TW200 is a handsomely-designed, versatile on/off-road bike that’s both an easy to ride and fun entry-level bike. The Rokon, on the other end of the spectrum, is a rugged, purpose-first and style-never, utility vehicle built for a very specific consumer. The wonderful part of the Volcon Grunt is that it seems to take the best of both of these platforms and combine them into a vehicle that is a maturely-designed, easy to operate, performance-focused utility vehicle in a future-forward package. Oh, and it’s an absolute blast to ride.
The Grunt is powered by a 60-volt electric motor and 2.0KWH lithium-ion battery producing a batshit, instantaneous 75 pound-feet of torque (the Rokon by comparison produces 9.1 pound-feet of torque). The motor and battery are both IP67 rated, which means the Grunt’s power plant can withstand up to 1 meter or 3.3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes.
The unique frame design allows for a second backup battery to be stored directly behind the first, which can be swapped out with essentially no tools. Each battery on a full charge will provide a claimed 75 miles of range depending on the ride mode being used: Stroll, Explore, or Sport. Stroll keeps the pace slow for maneuvering through difficult terrain, while Explore and Sport up the power. We had no problem hitting 40+ miles per hour in Sport, and though the Grunt is rated for “off-road use only”, it was able to keep pace with traffic when we had to hit the pavement between trails.
Braking is provided by two-piston hydraulic discs in the front, and a single-piston hydraulic disc in the rear. Regenerative braking is also a feature extending the range of the Grunt. Inverted front forks and adjustable coil-spring and hydraulic rear suspension combined with the 28″x8″ tires make for a soft ride that still feels planted on any surface.
...the Grunt checks off a lot of boxes; it’s powerful, easy to ride, and a heck of a lot of fun to rip through the trails.
So we’ve established the Grunt checks off a lot of boxes; it’s powerful, easy to ride, and a heck of a lot of fun to rip through the trails. The cons are the lack of a street legal version, though we imagine with some minor modifications — fitting DOT-rated tires being the most difficult — this wouldn’t be a lot of trouble. But it still begs the question: who is the Grunt built for? For one, if you have ample land or trail systems close by, there is no doubt the Grunt would make for a useful UTV to get around. And with a load capacity of 400 lbs, a towing capacity of 700 lbs, all in a quiet package (sans chain noise and knobby tire rumble, the Grunt is near-silent), we could see applications in hunting and farming as well.
The ATV and UTV powersports market is rapidly growing, and electrification is only adding more options to this ever-growing segment (Volcon also produces a side-by-side, the Stag). The Grunt comes in at $7,999 (though right now, you can snag one at a year-end price of $5,999). When comparing it to pricier Rokon or the less-expensive Yamaha TW200, the Grunt edges ahead in enough ways to justify us wanting one in our garage.Explore The Volcon Grunt