Niu's XQi3 E-Dirt Bike Is About To Step Up to the Plate and Swing a Street-Legal Home Run

XQi3 10 photos
Photo: Niu International
The electrification of everything is a fast-moving industry, and when a name like Niu cranks out something new, you can bet it's going to be an amazing machine. That seems to be the case with this crew's XQi3, a street-legal off-road dirt bike with a noise level that lets you hear the birds as you fly around woodlands and trails, no matter the time of year.
Ladies and gents, take a nice long look at the images in the gallery. What you have before you is nothing more than the freshest machine to come out from under the Niu umbrella. It's called the XQi3, and while news of it has been spotted since late 2023, at the end of May 2024, this thing goes live, and oh, what fun are we in for?

Now, two versions are available under the XQi3 name, and both are powered by the same components, with the only difference being found in the top speed. Motor and battery power output and capacity are all the same, but as you'd expect, the Wild version, the one destined for off-road use, drains the battery much faster as it has a top speed of 75 kph (47 mph). The Street or the street-legal version maxes out at 45 kph (28 mph); it's basically a moped at that stage. In all, a 32 Ah battery running under 72 V is in place and suitable for a peak 90 km (56 mi) of riding.

Photo: Niu International
Up next, it's the motor's turn. On the XQi3, Niu drops a proprietary unit that maxes out at 8,000 W! That's nearly 11 hp with a peak of 357 Nm (263 lb-ft) of torque; as we can see, it's enough to be wheeling it around salt flats. Best of all, this is a mid-mounted and chain-running bugger.

That's a whole lot of power, if you ask me, so to help keep things tamed, Niu also dropped a pair of solid hydraulic brakes on the XQi3. The rear is sporting a 203 mm disc, while the front has 220 mm, and both systems are operated with what appear to be four-piston hydraulic brakes and sintered brake pads.

But, a dirt bike needs to do a bit more than just be fast and powerful, it needs to absorb bumps and road chatter like a champ, and so Niu has chosen to go with KKE to help smoothen out bumps and even give this baby some rather light airtime capabilities, assuming you're hitting those landing as best as possible. Preload and rebound adjustment are available on the front fork, while the rear shock lets you mess with compression and rebound, too.

Then there's that exterior design and the way this baby presents itself, both aesthetically and structurally. Niu mentions that they used aluminum to craft the frame. It weighs 76 kg (168 lbs), and clearly, some steel and composite materials are part of the mix.

Photo: Niu International
Once all these elements are wrapped up into the final product, we're looking at a dirt bike that some may consider a tad chunky and sporting a mixed geometry. Considering most people are going to be using their XQi3 on a road surface, the slightly relaxed geometry makes sense.

Now, part of the XQi3's magic is its ability to trick the system into being road-legal and to do this, Niu has added an array of extras designed for a safe and smooth experience. This includes turn signals, side mirrors, front and taillights, and a plate mount. With these trinkets, this baby falls under the M1 and M2 categories in the US and L1e in Europe.

With most of our focus on the XQi3, let's take a closer look at the riders' experience and what this EV can do for you. Well, a few tricks up its sleeve are included in that big and bright display. According to Niu's website, the display can help you track speed and range, lap times, routes, and even answer incoming calls. This is made possible by an app, and it even allows you to lock and unlock your vehicle directly from your phone, not to mention an NFC unlocking function, too.

Photo: Niu International
The rest of the XQi3 is completed with things like foot pegs, a kickstand, that "halo" headlight, a motor kill switch, and an integrated USB charger for your devices. Be sure to check out the elongated saddle, designed to allow riders to find their sweet spot no matter the terrain; this is to be tested.

The question now is how much we can expect to pay for one of these babies. According to Niu's international website, both versions are set to start off at €6,000 ($6,500 at current exchange rates). This means that your version, depending on any cosmetic changes or extras you want, will fetch a tad more than that, so balance those checkbooks. Oh, and if you're wondering what this thing can do and how it handles, there are plenty of videos with it in action. Some are added below.

Don't be shy; feel free to comment on what Niu has put together for us here, and be sure to be on the lookout for the official launch of the XQi3 on May 31st, 2024.

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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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