The Manta 5 XE-1 e-Bike Hydrofoil Is Changing the Face of Water-sports

So you like riding bikes, good. And you like water, also good. So, why not bring the two together in one common space? Well, somebody did, and brought us a hydrofoil bike.
Manta 5 XE-1 8 photos
Photo: Manta 5
The team at Manta 5 have brought to our world this aquatic e-bike. Completed using state of the art materials, this beautifully functional hydrofoil performs just as well as your average foil sail-boat, allowing you to reach speeds of up to 12 knots or 13 miles per hour (20 kph). Sure, it’s no trimaran, but the functionality of it will be sure to impress.

The beautiful thing behind this trinket is that it offers a very known riding position and functionality. The rider of the XE-1 rides it as you would a bike. Sure, it may look like a manual ride, but after 5 prototypes the Manta team decided to kick in an electric pedal-assist system just to make things more fun.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, electricity, water, they don’t really mix. Apparently, they do, and quite well might I add. This thing looks hella fun. It’s like riding a bike and sailing at the same time. And it’s small, giving you the possibility to carve and cruise even through some chop and swells.

Photo: Manta 5
This wonderful ‘foil isn't able to carry you across oceans, so coast-lines are now open to exploration. Waterways are another area where this bike can perform well. Imagine you’re in Amsterdam or Venice. You grab breakfast and put on your more socially accepted swim-wear, a life vest, and go down to the canals to see your XE-1 locked up and waiting for you. At the push of a button she’s ready, and so are you. Two things will happen.

The first is the perspective that you’ll suddenly have on a water bike that you control. Your very own private tour. The next will be all the tourists checking out the local sights, seeing two people riding bikes through the canals of Venice. But don’t worry about that, you’ve got your own sights to see. Speaking of sights, if you feel like taking the XE-1 our on your local lake, it can do that too.

The power for the hydrofoil comes, well, from the rider, but an electrical motor is there to assist and offer more power for a faster, stronger, more stable ride. This four-propeller motor is powered by a battery-pack that allows for 460 watts pf pedal assist power. With a four-hour charge time, the XE-1 can offer up to 60 minutes of maximum power pedal-assist. Now, don’t be afraid, you won’t get electrocuted or anything as all components have a fully submersible IPX8 rating.

Photo: Manta 5
Don’t worry about anything failing on you while riding either, as the chassis is composed of aircraft grade aluminum, and offer the best possible buoyancy. The inner gears and drivetrain are all housed within this beautiful frame and are all considered easy-maintenance and assembly. Even salt has no place into the innards of the Manta 5 XE-1.

The foils are composed of our all-time favorite carbon fiber, and an all-purpose foil design gives it the ability to cross the above-mentioned terrains. The rear foil is 6.5 feet wide, while the front is 4 feet wide, offering an effortless action through water.

And the final perk to top it all off, there’s an on-board computer that can manage and operate a wide range of motor functions. Powered by GARMIN, the XE-1 comes standard with an e-bike remote that can track distance traveled, speed, ride time and battery levels. It’s also there to help you cycle through any of the 7 levels of assist.

At just a little over $9,000 US (8,000 euros) a piece, if you’ve got 50-grand to invest, you could pop up your own tourist attraction with a couple of these puppies on your local lake.

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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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