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BC company launches e-bike-motorcycle crossover

Squamish-based electric vehicle startup Lyric Cycles soon to demo ‘Graffiti’ in Vancouver.
The Graffiti.| Courtesy Lyric Cycles

These days, more and more of us are trying to drive less and reduce our vehicle footprint — but still enjoy the journey.  

A local company says it has created an e-bike that fits that bill: an eco-friendly alternative that works for commuting, errands and weekend fun rides.

Squamish-based electric vehicle startup Lyric Cycles, which was founded in early 2020, has launched an electric bike and motorcycle crossover, Graffiti.

When the need arises, it allows riders to convert their ride from an e-bike to a moped. 

It is the company's first in-house e-bike. 

It runs for roughly about $4,000 and the company will start shipping them in September.

You don't need a motorcycle license to operate it.

Plans are underway for a demonstration day for the bike in Vancouver. Register for a demo through the company's website.  

With a standard house plug, it takes about four hours to fully charge the bike.

The company's co-founder and Graffiti co-designer Andrew Lester, who moved to Squamish four years ago, says what is unique about the bike is that it features a 2,500-watt hub-drive motor, which offers more than twice the power of most other e-bikes in its class, dual batteries and regenerative brakes supporting 130 to 160 km range (80 to 100 miles), and a top speed of 60 km/h (38 mph).

The bike's direct drive motor reaches 4,700 peak watts, which allows riders to take on hills with the throttle alone.

Lester, who has a high-tech software background, described the bike as having motorcycle bones. 

"Long motorcycle seat, single-sized frame — so taller riders fit further back, shorter riders sit further forward."

The bikes are designed, developed, engineered, and tested at the company's headquarters in Squamish.

They will be manufactured in Alberta. 

(Its promo video was filmed in Vancouver.)

While the e-bike is aimed at folks living in any community, Squamish is ideal for it, Lester said. 

"I think Squamish is perfectly set up for this kind of transportation because we just have such an amazing network of pathways and our bike lanes don't tend to run out like most cities — there are endless amounts of beautiful spaces you can ride through."

Lester says the bikes are built for B.C. weather. 

"The bike is completely rainproof. we've got a fairly encased-off area where all the electronics are, where it can't even be splashed up from the wheel. So it keeps it fairly protected from the weather," he said.