It looks like a bicycle, except that it isn’t. It even looks retro enough to have a place in the market back in the 70’s, except that it actually has modern amenities like bluetooth and an electric motor that can reach speeds in excess of 40 mph while running non-stop for 30 miles. This is the Bolt M-1, the latest in a long line of specialized electric motorcycles that is taking the market by storm.

Built and developed by Bolt Motorbikes, the M-1 is a moped that runs on electricity. While it isn’t actually venturing into new technological frontiers, it does carry with it a unique aura that highlights the industry-wide pursuit of blending old-school stylings with modern technology.

Despite what its design will tell you, the M-1 is far from a clunky and sputtering two-stroke moped. It actually has an electric motor that’s powered by a 1.6-kWh lithium battery pack and runs on two unique settings - economy and sport - each with its own advantages. For instance, the M-1’s economy mode allows a rider to cruise to speeds reaching 20 mph and covering a flat surface distance of 50 mph. If that isn’t all that exciting, riders can also opt for a more performance-oriented configuration to the aforementioned 40 mph top speed of 30-mile distance on single electric charge.

Make no mistake: the M-1 isn’t going to mess to give you any sort of speed thrills. But expecting it to so would be missing the moped’s overall purpose. What it lacks in gut-wrenching performance, it more than makes up for in usefulness, especially as an everyday urban ride that doesn’t rely on fuel to get to where it needs to go.

There are a multitude of things to like about the Bolt M-1, even though I’m not particularly excited about its $4,995 price tag. But I do see some value in the moped, one that could go a long way in determining whether or not Bolt Motorcycles has a promising electric moped on its hands.

Bolt Motorcycles expects to begin production of the M-1 this summer, but that’s also contingent on whether the company can secure the necessary funding to accommodate the healthy amount of pre-orders attached to the bike.

Continue reading to read more about Bolt Motorbikes’ M-1 electric moped.

Why it matters

The Bolt M-1 is the creation of Zachary Levenberg and Nathan Jauvits, two engineers who parlayed their expertise in electric vehicles to create Bolt Motorbikes. Part of their rationale in developing the M-1 was to create a product that spoke to the desires of moped purists who wanted to relive the machine’s glory days while also addressing the ever-evolving demand for environmentally friendly vehicles.

I’m moderately intrigued about the Bolt M-1, largely because I think the bike’s design is top class. That and the electric powertrain combine to create a pretty neat package, which has become very important, especially in a market that’s turning more and more crowded by the day.

The M-1 does have its own design trump card. You don’t often see an electric motorcycle packaged as a moped, let alone one whose design language imbibes the nostalgic days of the 70’s. Back then, mopeds were considered status symbols in the eyes of a public that seemed to gravitate towards the latest fad they could get into.

But the Bolt M-1 isn’t just about bringing nostalgia back up to current times. If you take the time to look at the photos, there’s plenty of modern tech installed into the bike, including a digital display neatly located in front of the chrome handlebars. Just beside the display is a USB port that allows you to plug in your smartphones of whatever gadget you have with you at the time. Speaking of connectivity, the M-1 also comes with bluetooth, which allows you to pair your phone to the bike and use an M-1-specific mobile app that has numerous functions at your disposal.

Source: Bolt Motorbikes

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