There’s been a lot of hype lately about electric motorcycles.  There are some powerful and torquey machines out there.  Prices for the well-known models range from over $100,000 to about $13,000 for Lightning’s Lightning Strike.

Most bikes have average ranges somewhat over 100 miles.  Some substantially over 100 miles depending on riding conditions.  But $13,000 is still a lot of money.

Urban commuting

What if you wanted an urban only electric motorcycle and long range is not a consideration.  Well, there are a couple of bikes out there that look like they may handle the job.

The motor is housed in the swingarm. Photo credit: CSC

City Slicker

Take, for example, CSC Motorcycle’s City Slicker.  It costs $2,495 and seems to have the capability to get you around town easily.  CSC is based in Azusa, California and also offer gas powered bikes.  Most people probably know them for their “inexpensive” adventure and dual sport machines.

CSC’s machines are manufactured in China by Zongshen.  So if buying a Chinese manufactured product is a “no-go”, then you can stop reading now.  But for those where the place of manufacture is not a deal breaker, read on.

City Slicker display. Photo credit CSC.

Acceptable performance?

The bike is no sports machine.  But for getting around town or cities, it provides acceptable performance.  Top speed is only 46 MPH so you can forget about jumping on the highway with it.

But Electrek has done a full review on the bike and they pretty much loved it.  They claimed that although the top speed was limited, torque was excellent.  Their quote was that it “takes off like an electric bat out of hell”.

Without any gears, shifting is not necessary and makes the bike easy to ride.  It’s a simple “twist and go” exercise.  Noobs to two wheels take notice.

Power comes from a swingarm-mounted motor putting out a mere 5.8 HP.  While that’s a small amount of HP, the bike weighs only 216 pounds.  You’ll likely not be overpowered by this machine.

The City Slicker plugs into a normal wall outlet. Photo credit: CSC

Small battery

Its removable 72V 26Ah battery provides 1.9 kWh of energy.  The bike comes in two power modes “Power” and “Eco”.  Electrek says that they got about 30 miles range in “power” mode and 40 in “eco” mode.  That’s not a lot of range.

There is no level 2 or 3 charging.  So expect to spend 6 – 8 hours for a complete charge.

For getting around in the city and fitting into tight spaces, a small, “inexpensive” electric bike seems to make sense.  When all is said and done, do you think a bike like the City Slicker packs enough performance to justify its price?


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