Stealth Bomber Ebike Review

The Stealth Bomber is the highest end, most powerful electric bike in the Stealth lineup. And it’s quite possibly the most powerful and rugged commercially available ebike anywhere. Weighing in at 116lbs it’s not the easiest thing to transport (and that includes pedalling if you run the battery all the way down). It offers so much torque in fact that hill climbing, burnouts and even wheelies are possible with little effort. Now I should say, this statement depends somewhat on your weight but for those under 200lbs it’s not an issue. With impressive front and rear suspension and braking systems that can be upgraded, an enormous 1.5 kilowatt-hour battery pack and 4 hour fast charge system that can run on 110 or 240 volts, this thing is in a class of its own.

I love that Stealth offers a lifetime warranty on their frames and rear suspension. The battery only gets a year (along with the other components) but that’s not bad considering the abuse these things are sure to encounter off road. The LCD computer on this bike is from Cycle Analyst and offers more advanced information about battery condition (specifically, battery performance and capacity) than most ebike computers. It is also backlit for night riding and Stealth offers some optional headlights for the bike that work really well (shown on the bike in the video review). Cycle Analyst computers are not cheap, and that adds to the overall price of this bike, but they are high quality and they offer readouts on everything from volts at rest or when riding, current flow into and out of the battery and relative to time, speed in m/hr or k/hr, energy limit in amps or volts to control speed and power (hence the USA mode or Competition mode).

Driving this monster is a 4,500 watt rear hub motor (that’s more than 10x what normal electric bikes use). Because it’s gearless, the motor is actually able to regenerate electricity when set to regen-mode which also acts as a soft brake, slowing the bike down and minimizing wear on the disc brakes. Note that the brakes themselves do not include a regeneration switch, instead, there’s a red button positioned near the left handlebar. It’s a neat system that stays out of the way, is easy to use and works quite well given the overall weight and force of the bike. The motor itself runs pretty quietly considering the size (decibels at 50 miles per hour is 65dB), provides a ton of torque and accelerates fairly smoothly using the twist throttle. Compared with the lower-end Fighter electric bike from Stealth, the bomber is touchier and provides more torque. The built-in Cycle Analyst computer monitors the system and is designed to keep the motor from overheating.

The battery powering all of this performance is a 1.5 kilowatt-hour Lithium Iron Phosphate pack. This technology offers less energy density than some other Lithium-ion chemistries (meaning it’s heavier for the same amount of juice) but is known for being very stable and long-lasting. Considering the high charge and discharge rate and potential vibration and impacts one might endure off-road or in competition, this is a great thing. It means longer life and fewer chances of a fire between your legs. Capacity and chemistry aside, the battery is removable (if you’ve got a hex wrench handy) and is actually pretty easy to take out. It’s not something you’d want to do regularly however and I love that the bike has a keyed on-switch, making it harder to steal or vandalize. It’s more like a motorcycle than a bike in this sense.

The Bomber is an impressive machine that demands respect. While it’s not as powerful as many gasoline-powered cycles, it’s a lot quieter, can be pedalled (and thus ridden through parks, on sidewalks and hiking trails) and offers amazing torque. Consider the last bits of the video review, we were riding on sidewalks and through a park and nobody was really alarmed. Sure, we were pushing the limits, but we weren’t making a lot of noise. It’s awesome that there’s a company out there building custom ebikes that really push the envelope and garner attention. These bikes are high quality, customizable and well supported (having been selling bikes since 2008). While they aren’t for everyone and they are clearly focused on performance vs. commuting they certainly deliver… for a price.

During my tests of the bike, riding off road and through some neighbourhood streets, the long travel full suspension felt really great. The simplicity of operation combined with a few advanced features on the LCD computer (ability to switch from USA mode to Performance mode for more power) made me feel in control. The tests were fun and considering we simply rode from the shop to the trails it was also very easy but keep in mind the weight and that that means for transporting a Stealth Bomber of your own. You might need to buy a special motorcycle rack for your car… and a hitch if you don’t have one! If you love the idea of an electric motocross bike that you can pedal and mod, this is an awesome choice.

No comments:

Post a Comment