Now, this rabbit hole brought me to the European capital of Bucharest, Romania, where I found Smart Balance, a family-owned EV distributor that gladly offered me this gem to test ride. Why? They probably knew that I'd be hooked and will end up buying one myself, eventually. Some paperwork and a signature later, I was ready to ride.
If you haven’t heard of Horwin, this is where you’ll find out what they’re all about. As far as the humans go, they’re a team of motorcycles enthusiasts, professional racers, and industrial experts from a few corners of the globe including Austria, China, and Germany, all with their thinking caps on.
The MachineAs for the EK3, it’s a moped where the whole “motorcycle enthusiasts, professional racers” bit can be felt every time you twist the throttle, except when your reach 15% battery levels, that’s when an economy feature tunes down engine performance to make sure you reach your destination.
Since I'm already on the subject of engine performance, the 2020 EK3 is equipped with a very capable mid-mounted motor with an output of 6.2 kW (8.3 hp). It may not seem like much, but when you’ve got only a 209-lb vehicle (without battery) housing all that power, it won’t feel like just 8.3 hp; it will hit the 60 kph (37 mph) mark in just six seconds. In my experience, that same power is also available when going uphill. You'll seen in the video below.
If horsepower means nothing to you, note that the chain driven motor cranks out a max torque of 195 Nm (143.8 lb-ft) and a top speed of 95 kph (59 mph).
Overall, the EK 3 comes in with a length of 74.8 in (1900 mm), width of 27.1 in (690 mm), so a tad wider than the Super Soco TC we recently tested, and a seat height of 30.7 in (780 mm); easy to mount if you ask me.
One thing to note about the EK3 is its award-winning design. When I first saw it, I was quickly reminded of the timeless classic, the Vespa. Apparently, I'm not the only person that loved this design; the judging panel over at the Red Dot Design Award feels the same way and gave this puppy the “all clear.”
CBS braking offer the control and safety you need, while the dual-shock suspension on both the front and rear offers a smooth ride even when you hit unexpected speed bumps (was admiring the neighbor’s yard).
Depending, on your dealership and if you’re getting a discount on the price, you can get an EK3 anywhere from around $4,800 to $5,200 and up. As of right now, I need another $4,300 before I can get my hands on an EK3 for myself.
Horwin also includes a few techy features to stay in tune with trends. A USB port for recharging your device is hidden behind the shield and will fit a wallet and phone if needed. There’s also an anti-theft system, lots of LEDS, and a bright, large display with information like battery levels, speed, trip meter, and even cruise control, although I never used that last feature.
The RideLuckily for you and me, I was granted a test ride with the EK3, and managed to get the old GoPro working, albeit the sound may be a bit rough, and put together a few snippets so you too can hear and feel what I did.
Now, my recommendation is this: if you get your hands on an EK3 and you’ve little experience with motorcycles of any kind, do not, I repeat, do not pull the throttle all the way back. If you do, you’ll experience two things: the first is the sound of an airplane taking off, while the second will be you lying on the ground and the EK3 riding off into the sunset all on its own, possibly into a parked car. Really, the whole “Motorcycle Heart” bit from the title is there for reason.
Upon my first ride on the EK3, a miraculous thing happened, a smile. Smiles are where your happiness lies, and to receive them means you’re on the right path. I know I am. The only time my smile faded while riding the EK3 was when I hit 15% battery level and the EV went into a sort of battery saver mode, ensuring I would make it back to the shop, and I did.
One feature of the EK3 I specifically wanted to test, was the motor's ability to handle traveling uphill. To my surprise, the motor took a hill and climbed it as though it were riding on flat ground; you can really feel that torque kick in.
The hill also offered the perfect traffic-less segment of urban road to test the 59-mph top speed. I’ll be honest, the moment I hit 46 mph (75 kph) and the display gauge turned red signifying I was nearing the top speed, i continued pushing it but got scared and eased off at around 51 mph (82 kph). Plus, I was coming up on traffic.
Also, to test the motor, I took a ride around town with a passenger. Even though her and I weigh around 286 lbs (130 kg) together, hills, straights, passing, stopping, squeezing through traffic, all of that was handled effortlessly. Her ability to hold on, and to do so comfortably, was also achieved, thanks to a grab bar and footrests.