At the time Munro Motor first started grabbing international headlines with the Munro Motor 2.0 e-bike (back during the days of CES 2017, where the bike debuted), it had already been on the Chinese market for a while. Initial plans for international expansion were bold and promising (for the customers here): the 2.0 would come to the U.S. sometime in the spring of 2018 and other territories worldwide would follow suit.
There’s been complete radio silence on this aspect. The 2.0 never came to any of these promised locations and, as far as we can tell, it’s still selling only in China. We reached out to Munro Motor and will duly update this coverstory if we hear back from them with more details.
The Munro Motor 2.0 is named after Burt Munro, who on in his 1920 Indian 953cc Fuel Streamliner set a new land-speed-record of 184 mph (295.4 kph), back in 1967. The inspiration for the bike is also an older Indian motorcycle, but on a smaller and much simpler scale. The Indian heritage is made apparent through the inclusion of skeuomorph V-twin cylinder heads over the triangular box that actually houses the battery or batteries.
Through the inclusion of footpegs, all resemblance to a traditional motorcycle ends. A 2.0 could never hold a candle in traffic to a real moto in terms of speed, being able to deliver a maximum 28 mph (45 kph), which puts it in line with faster electric bicycles or e-scooters. It’s also lighter than a moto but definitely heavier than an e-bike, at 35 kg (77 pounds), but offers a comparatively more relaxing ride because of the obvious fact of not having to pedal to get it moving.
A rear-hub Bosch BLDC High-Tension Magneto motor rated at 400w and 48V 11.6Ah lithium battery promise an estimated range of 30 miles (48 km). The battery pack is housed in the triangular box in the middle of the bike, and owners have the possibility to place another pack on the other side, thus doubling the range. Even at 60 miles (97 km) on a single charge, the 2.0 is able to deliver only a decent range, compared to what other e-bikes are able to offer today.
In China, the e-bike is available in several color schemes and with differently sized handlebars. The plan was for this recipe to be applied to international markets as well.
“As people become more and more environmentally conscious, people are changing their transport options,” Zack Wong, Munro Motor founder was saying at the time, on the topic of expansion plans. “It’s foreseeable that electric vehicles will be the mainstream in the vehicle market.”
However, all these features and even the appealing exterior had nothing against the Munro 2.0’s hottest selling point: pricing. In China, one such e-bike retails for anything between $800 and $1,200 depending on configuration and extra options. For the U.S., estimated pricing was reported at $1,700+, which would have made it a mid-level entry on the e-bike segment. For a retro-styled motorcycle-like scooter, though, it would have been extremely affordable.