We teased Local Motors about the retro styling of their Cruiser bike, but I can't deny I had a great time riding it when they gave me the chance. Now "Vintage Electric" shows up with their interpretation of the same idea and just like that, "hipster-style powered bicycles" is suddenly a competitive market.
You might recognize this thing as the Icon Electric Flyer, which is the special launch edition Jon Ward's Icon 4x4 outfit helped decorate and promote. Now the company's hoping to increase production and appeal; it's now available in colors other than "badass matte silver."
The Vintage Electric "E-Tracker" really is pretty damn close to the Local Motors Cruiser in styling... VE even says their machine is styled after "board track bikes" which Local Motors also cites as an influence. Not sure I like one over another in particular, but VE looks a little more like a motorcycle thanks to that giant headlight.
A two-hour charge gives the bike a 30-mile range and a top speed of 36 MPH, making it a somewhat reasonable alternative to a scooter I guess. At least you don't need a license plate or any of that nonsense, and if you run out of juice you've always got pedal power!
What do you think: cool retro swagger or "Must Be This Mustachioed To Ride?"
The E-Tracker is being offered at $4,500 in one of five colors, but the company warns current demand has new orders shipping about two months after they are placed. Here's the site if you want to get your own.
Vintage Electric's founder Andrew Davidge likens the experience of riding the E-Tracker to "leaving your parents' house for the first time on your bike, riding around your block," something just about every gearhead can get behind.
If it's anything like riding Local Motors' electrified bike, I can vouch for the validity of Davidge's statement. I'd love to see this market take off and have more of us riding boosted bikes. At this price point I might just be too tempted by the used motorcycle market, but I appreciate the bespoke quality here and that you're getting a dramatically different experience than what you would on even a small-displacement motorcycle.