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DJI's Newest Hustle – Taking Down the E-Bike Industry With a Proprietary Drive System

Avinox 13 photos
Photo: DJI
Avinox MotorAvinox MotorAvinox DisplayAvinox DisplayAvinox BatteriesAvinox MotorAmflow E-BikesAvinox Display and ControllerAmflow E-BikesAvinox MotorAmflow E-BikesAmflow E-Bikes
I recently covered a move by DJI where they unveiled a pair of portable power banks with which to begin their takeover of yet another market; drones and cameras are so yesterday. Well, they're at it again, and frankly, I was blown away to see this manufacturer now aiming for the e-bike market.
Folks, take a nice long look at the images in the gallery and the video below. There you will behold nothing more than one of DJI's newest endeavors, a friggin e-bike system that they feel is ready to compete with brands the likes of Bosch, Fazua, TQ, and even Bafang. Most importantly, they even spawned an entire brand of e-bikes to handle their new drivetrain, as no other manufacturer is yet ready with frames and molds that can accommodate the fresh units.

Since there's a whole lot to talk about, I'll be breaking down DJI's latest bombshells into two separate articles. This one will be about the drivetrain, the Avinox and all the magic it brings to the table, and another will be about the e-bike itself, the Amflow.

Avinox Motor
Photo: DJI
Now, when I last covered DJI's moves on markets where they're not active, they unveiled those battery banks, and personally, I felt as though solar panels would be the next move. Instead, we're being offered a motor, two battery sizes, controllers, screens, and even apps to go along with all the magic. Oh, and DJI clearly did the research here, aiming for a mid-mounted motor from the get-go, which is the right way to do e-bikes.

Starting with the motor, DJI is claiming a weight of 2.52 kg (5.55 lbs) for the drive unit, which is almost 400 grams lighter than Bosch's Performance Line CX, but quite a ways away from TQ's HPR50's weight of 1.85 kg. One way DJI achieved this weight is by using polymer gears, which also suppresses noise. Yet, are they going to stand up against the abuse such units can be exposed to? Time will tell its tale.

Up next, we have power levels. Right off the bat, DJI states that this puppy can spit out a peak of 850 W, so a bit above the market standard, but nominally, this puppy is rated at 250 W. Yet, as small as it may be, this powerhouse can crank out a peak of 105 Nm (77 lb-ft) of torque, so a bit above what Bosch's CX can produce and over double what the HPR50 can deliver. Honestly, all that sounds rather promising, but I'm still waiting on the results of how they fare in the real world.

Amflow E\-Bikes
Photo: DJI
All that's then coupled with several assist modes, but the one that sticks out the most is the Boost mode. While this mode doesn't support sustained use, it does offer 30 seconds of magic where the motor will spit out a peak of 120 Nm (88.5 lb-ft) and 1,000 W of power. Apparently, the numbers I mentioned earlier aren't the true peaks for this little machine. Walk assist, auto hold, and hill start are also part of the magic here, made possible by a controller, wheel speed sensor, and an inertial measurement unit (IMU).

With the motor and part of its abilities out of the way, let's move on to the batteries DJI has devised for this ecosystem. Overall, two options are available, either 600 Wh or 800 Wh, with which a peak range of 117 km (73 mi) or 157 km (97.5 mi), respectively, is possible. These digits are derived, of course, from testing on a flat and paved road with an 80 kg (176 lbs) rider and a speed of 21 kph (13 mph), so any off-road adventures are bound to affect that number, not to mention the size of your lunch.

But it's the recharging capabilities of these batteries that are sure to attract some attention. According to DJI's website, the 800 Wh battery can be recharged from 0% to 75% in around 1.5 hours. Suppose you've drained your battery during a morning ride. In that case, this recharge time is short enough to allow you to simply pull over for lunch, take a siesta, and then hit the trails again in the afternoon.

Avinox Display
Photo: DJI
This final component that makes up this ecosystem is nothing more than a 2-inch OLED interactive display mounted into the top tube of whatever bicycle adapts this setup. From here and through an app, you'll be keeping track of ride times, distances traveled, and remaining battery levels. The display is dust-proof, water-resistant, and antiglare. Oh, not to mention that the info displayed here is collected from "nearly 50 data points," so you know it is accurate. A handlebar-mounted controller lets you mess around with this display without ever needing to access your smart device.

As for pricing for this system, DJI isn't selling them separately, so you'll actually have to purchase an Amflow e-bike, which starts off at around €7,000 ($7,500 at current exchange rates) and caps off at €12,000 ($13,000). Oh, and so far, these babies are only available in the UK, Germany, and Australia. Bummer, as I would have loved to test one of these babies out. But, if this thing catches on, and it just might, other countries are sure to join the jamboree.
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Editor's note: Images in the gallery also showcase the Amflow e-bike.

About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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