Motorcycle riders have their own unique risk-management calculations. And while everyone loves a good deal, I’m not sure how many riders will be signing up to go canyon carving on what might just be the cheapest electric motorcycle in the world.
Each week I dive deep into the abyss of Alibaba, the internet’s kitchen junk drawer, to find an interesting new electric vehicle at (usually) unbelievable prices. And today’s entry in the Awesomely Weird Alibaba EV of the Week series has me ready to wheelie my way off into the sunset for barely more than the cost of a cheap electric bicycle.
As an electric motorcycle rider myself, I’ve long enjoyed the benefits that come with cleaner and more powerful electric steeds.
But I’ll also readily admit that despite all of the advantages, going electric can still add some serious heft to a price tag.
As much as I enjoyed riding the Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle, I’ve got a decent hunch that my wife would divorce me if I tried to spend $30,000 on a bike.
The good news is that Alibaba seems to have my marriage counseling covered in the form of the FLY-3 electric motorcycle. This bike, which I can only assume represents the finest in Alibaba’s cheap e-moto collection, costs significantly less than my dream electric Harley. Nearly $30,000 less, in fact.
Priced at a mere $1,082, the FLY-3 is likely capable of outfitting even the stingiest biker out there.
The bargain-basement electric motorcycle is offered in a few models, with motor power ranging from a modest 3 kW up to an also fairly modest 8 kW.
Even on the low end though, its top speed of 80 km/h (50 mph) makes for a pretty decent little urban runabout.
That’s enough power and speed to get me into just the right amount of calculated trouble.
The 95 kg (209 lb) electric motorcycle is light enough that it doesn’t need too much power anyways, and the 72V 35Ah Li-ion battery gets sensibly sipped for up to 75 km (47 miles) of mild-mannered mischief.
The 2.5 kWh battery pack is even hidden away in a pseudo gas-engine-lookin’ case, though if you want to be taken seriously as a gasser, you’ll have to provide your own sound effects by mouth. There are pillion pegs and a seat long enough to bring a friend, and so with a passenger helping with the sound effects you could presumably produce twice the engine volume!
So by this point in my Alibaba electric motorcycle deep dive I had gone back and forth with the vendor a lot and I was in up to my wrist guards. I was pretty much ready to throw caution to the wind (and certifications, since this thing is apparently only street legal in Russia) in order to make the world’s cheapest electric motorcycle mine.
The only problem is that the manufacturer, an unassuming little outfit known as “WUXI FSTMOTO International Co.,LTD,” wasn’t super keen on shipping me just one bike. In an upsell attempt, they wanted to offer me a full container of these – 26 bikes – for $3,500 in shipping fees. That works out to just over $30,000 total.
I mean, come on, folks. At that price it almost sounds crazy not to fill my garage with 26 of these. I’ll have bikes to lend out to friends on group rides and still have plenty left over to cannibalize for spare components as parts inevitably start shaking off of the first ones.
For anyone keeping score at home, that’s either one Harley-Davidson LiveWire or 26 FLY-3s. I didn’t major in economics or anything, but I think that’s nature’s way of telling me I need 26 new motorcycles.
Caveat emptor, dear shopper
Wait a second, don’t start lacing up your riding boots with me just yet!
If you’re new here, then welcome! My weekly readers of this column will already know that this Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week series is mostly in jest.
I’m not suggesting anyone go out and buy this bike, though the process of writing this article has half-convinced me that I should actually do it.
Sure, I’ve purchased plenty of things on Alibaba and her sister site AliExpress, but I always advise caution when considering shopping direct from China. There are awesome deals to be had, and there are also legitimately awesome products, but it can be hard to know what you’re going to get in advance. Communication is key, though it’s not always a strong suit of some vendors on the platform.
If you do grab one of these FLY-3s though, I’d love to hear how it goes! And if anyone gets lost in the Alibaba abyss like me and finds their own awesomely weird electric vehicle on the site, feel free to send me a link – I might just feature it in one of my weekly columns. You can find my contact info in my author bio below.
Lastly, if you enjoyed this week’s entry in the series, then you might want to check out some of the other fun and weird Alibaba EVs I’ve found in previous weeks.
More Awesomely Weird Alibaba EV of the Week:
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