Electric motorbike manufacturer ONYX unveils new low-cost CTY2 as US-made electric moped.


ONYX Motorbikes, a California-based electric moped maker, has unveiled a new step-by-step bike called the ONYX CTY2.

It follows the original ONYX CTY, which was unveiled as part of the Indiegogo campaign, which was originally launched about four years ago by electric moped makers.

Insiders of the company explained to Electrek that the 30 mph (51 km / h) ONYX CTY has been sold for more than 10: 1 through the high-spec top tank style ONYX RCR, which can reach two-stage speeds through CITY.

Eventually, a few dozen CTY’s were produced to meet orders from Indiegogo, and then the model was put on an indefinite hiatus as ONYX advanced at RCR’s native California production.  Since then, ONYX has focused solely on RCR to increase sales and improve design over the years, including doubling its original battery size and range.

Now ONYX has announced the return of the low-spec and low-cost Baby Brother Electric Moped on the new ONYX CTY2.


CTY2’s 60V system has less power than the 72V system on the RCR, though the 23 Ah battery packs in a massive 1,380 Wh.  ONYX says the battery is sufficient for a range of 60+ miles (96+ km), although that statistic is calculated at speeds of 20 mph (32 km / h).

The design has been updated in many ways from the original CTY as described by the company:

We have increased the volume of the battery carriage to accommodate more power and capacity batteries.  We moved the speed controller to the bottom of the frame for maximum cooling and airflow performance.  Integrated LED Lights – Bike Brake Lights and Halo Running Light and our Signature Headlight with Ultra Bright High Beam.

The CTY2 has pedals but its twist throttle gives “instant torque”.

As it stands, ONYX’s other electric mopeds retain the pedals as a mostly vestigial feature.  They are functional, but pedalling heavier bikes is no easy task (CTY2 may be north of 90 lb or 41 kg).  Instead, the pedals offer some minimal support for anyone trying to argue that the moped is actually an electric bicycle.

This may sound strange to Europeans, but US e-bike laws combined with police departments that don’t know the details of e-bike rules usually allow such high-powered electric mopeds to be masqueraded as real electric bicycles.  In most US jurisdictions, pedal bicycles can ride electric bicycles anywhere and are generally free from the hassle of licensing, registration or insurance related to motorcycles and occasional mopeds.

ONYX has never shied away from pushing the limits of e-bike rules, and they intend to stay on course with CTY2.  Describing it as โ€œpart bicycle.  Part motorbike.  The center finger to the world, “The corporation isn’t worried with the excessive velocity and excessive electricity nature of electrical bikes.

That being said, ONYX is not even coming out and speaking of peak speeds accurately.  The original CTY was marketed with a top speed of 30 mph (51 km / h) and is known to reach even higher speeds at times.

ONYX has not released an exact motor size, although early reports suggest it is a more powerful motor than the original CITY’s power plant, meaning the CTY2 may hit even higher.

The company says CTY2 climbs a 45-degree hill, which is 100% grade – never seen by any riders on a daily commute (most steep roads in the US are in grade 30s).  For that kind of climbing ability, expect a high-powered motor with some serious torque behind it.

The lack of detailed specs may seem off-putting, but this is par for the course with ONYX.  Even for the 60 mph RCR, the speeds on the company’s website are not listed for speed and power, and are instead widely known figures.

Despite the ambiguity, thousands of riders have reduced US $ 4,500 for high-speed RCR.  Now CTY2 is looking to offer a slightly less spec but more affordable version with a pre-order price of $ 3,699.

At that price, the CTY2 competes with the other 30+ mph, full suspension electric mopeds, the $ 2699 Juiced Hyperscorpion, the US $ 3,299 Ariel Rider Grizzly and the US $ 3,495 SUPER73 R-Brooklyn.  ONYX says CTY2 will start shipping in July or August of this year and international shipping will also be available.

ONYX is one of my favourite full-fledged electric moped companies.  In the traditional sense I don’t consider them an e-bike company.  These are small electric motorcycles and they work.  I will forever kick myself for not buying one of the original RCRs from the Indiegogo campaign, when they first launched for just US $ 2,299, or roughly half of today’s cost.

I finally managed to check out an earlier version of RCR and it was such a fun ride.

CTY2 is looking to bring the ONYX back to the grey area of โ€‹โ€‹the law between e-bikes and e-mopeds or light electric motorcycles.

I have no doubt that the 750W-limited version of the bike will produce a top speed of 28 mph (45 km / h), thus meeting the requirements of 3rd class e-bikes in the US.  In fact, the ability to turn the switch (or perhaps a slider on a phone app) to unleash significantly more speed and power is a tricky proposition for regulators.  This requires some serious responsibility on the part of the rider.  Hitting the bike lane at high speeds and bumping into someone in a hurry is not cool, and the increasing congestion between e-bike riders, traditional cyclists, electric scooters and pedestrians makes the responsibility of riders more responsive to avoiding accidents.

So, while there are some key grey areas here, CTY2’s reboot is a good prospect for anyone looking for an electric moped with ONYX’s trademark styling, but it comes at about $ 1,000 less than the company’s current flagship offering.  Hitting 30-35 mph is enough for many riders who don’t need the RCR’s high speed, and the CITY can prove to be a powerful little electric moped that combines classy looks and emission-free urban travel.

Sources ONYX CTY

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