The Rad Power Bikes RadBurro is a purpose-built electric utility bike platform that is not your grandfather’s work trike. For starters, the RadBurro tips the scales at 227 pounds (103 kg) without any of the available attachments. The hefty weight is a direct result of a bike built with work in mind. That translates to an impressive 700-pound (317 kg) carrying capacity that allows the Rad Burro to be adapted to a wide range of applications.
Flexible By Design
The RadBurro was designed to be a workhorse of a platform and that means maximum options from the factory. Rad Power Bikes offers four different attachments for the RadBurro including a cargo box, people mover, truck bed, and flatbed. The fun doesn’t stop there, as owners can build whatever their heart desires on its minimalist frame.
The base price of the RadBurro is $5,799 and climbs up to $6,999 for the fully loaded ‘Burro. That gives buyers flexibility to purchase the right bike for their needs or build something to suit. The four attachments offered by Rad Power Bikes provide a pretty impressive number of options right out of the gate, allowing owners to run a pedal cab business with minimal effort, among other stock options.
Business owners around the world have already started using these workhorses as mobile libraries, maintenance vehicles at zoos, and much more. After experiencing the capability of the RadBurro, it is not uncommon for these very same businesses to stretch out into the world of e-bikes even further with the addition of some of Rad Power Bikes’ two-wheeled creations like the RadRover or the RadRunner for other staff including site security.
The RadBurro’s software can even be modified a bit to suit the needs of the customer, thanks to a special new software build for this commercial beast. The top speed and throttle sensitivity of the trike can be raised or lowered to ensure rider safety and to best fit into the environment where it will be operating. For example, areas with more pedestrians might be better suited with a lower top speed while RadBurros operating in cities as parcel delivery vehicles might want a higher top speed, within legal limits.
A Robust Commercial Platform
The base configuration of the RadBurro is as a flatbed truck, kitted out with a diamond plate bed that can stand up to all the rigors of not just daily riding, but daily use and abuse in commercial operations. Think hauling parts around a warehouse, serving as a maintenance vehicle for larger campuses, or as a pedicab where money is only coming in when the bike is in motion. Rad Power Bikes is well known in the recreational e-bike market, but don’t let their familiarity with normal e-bikes make you think the RadBurro is just another three-wheeled version.
That could not be farther from the truth as the RadBurro’s massive double crowned fork makes clear right from the get-go. The fork is bolted onto a steel frame that stands in contrast with Rad Power Bikes’ typical alloy frames on all of its other e-bikes.
Below the frame, the RadBurro hits the road equipped with motorcycle-grade rims, spokes, and 6-ply 2.5 x 17″ Kenda motorcycle tires that ensure it is more than capable of carrying just about whatever weight you want to throw at it. To keep all that weight in check, the upgraded hydraulic disc brakes come with reinforced discs and calipers on all three wheels to give it plenty of stopping power. More durable fenders wrap each of the tires and ensure it can operate without making a mess of everything regardless of the weather.
For more utility in day to day use, Rad Power Bikes included the ability to set a passcode on the bike that provides an extra layer of digital security in addition to whatever physical protections owners put in place.
More Power, More Range
Legally, the RadBurro is a Class 2 electric bicycle in the US, meaning it can be ridden on bike paths and in bike lanes just like a normal bike. Its 750-watt geared motor puts out 750 watts of power on average and 200 Nm of torque, with peak power surging higher than that for short bursts. Up front, the driver can switch between the 5 levels of pedal assist, or even shifting into reverse.
A parking brake helps keep the bike and its cargo in place when stopped for a bit of extra control when it’s time to stay in one place for a bit. They even built it with a differential to let the rear wheels round a turn appropriately without any unnecessary strain on the motor or bearings.
Out back, a beefed up 48V lithium-ion battery built from Samsung cells can store up to 52.5 Ah of power, or 2,520 watt-hours for an estimated 40 to 80 miles (64 to 128 km) of range. The wide span of estimated range makes sense, given the open-ended scenarios the RadBurro will be tasked with handling. The contribution of the rider to pedaling also contributes to the actual range achieved by the RadBurro in the real world, as you would expect.
At the end of the day, 5-6 hours on the charger will top the RadBurro back up to full capacity, ready for another day of work.
- Battery – 48V, 52.5 Ah (2.52 kWh) with Lithium NCA 18650 Samsung 35E Cells
- Charger – 1,400W, 20 Amp smart charger, operates on both 110V and 230V AC power outlets
- Controller – 48V, 750W
- Display – Rad Power Bikes proprietary color LCD
- Lights – Front: 300 lumen LED with horn, Rear: Integrated brakes lights and turn signals
- Motor – 750W geared electric motor with 200 Nm of torque, 10:1 planetary gear reduction
- Pedal Assist – Intelligent 5 level pedal assist with 12 magnet cadence sensor
- Throttle – Full twist throttle with on/off button
- Wiring – Water resistant connectors and wiring harness
- USB Ports – Display: 5V, .5 Amp
Total Cost of Ownership
The RadBurro not only gives business owners another environmentally friendly option for providing business critical transportation, it also has the potential to save cash. This starts right up front, with a lower purchase price for the RadBurro compared to the competition.
Moving out into the later months, the savings should continue, with the obvious reduction in fuel cost compared to similarly capable vehicles. Maintenance is a necessary expense for any vehicle and the RadBurro is no exception, but the cost to maintain it is more on par with a bicycle or motorcycle than a car. That translates to a more predictable maintenance schedule, thanks to the electric powertrain, and a lower average cost to maintain one.
Overall, the RadBurro is an interesting entrant to the world of e-bikes that brings a tremendous amount of capability and durability to the table. The four attachments give many business owners, entrepreneurs, and dreamers the ability to build businesses on the back of its impressive capability. At the same time, its durability and the strong Rad Power Bikes brand give business owners the assurance they’re not simply buying a one-off bike from a direct ship manufacturer that might go belly up next week.
The perceived risk of switching to a completely new mode of transportation might seem like a tall hurdle to surmount, but in the end, the RadBurro retains much of the bicycle format that came before it. Most people know how to ride a bike and introducing them to an even more capable bike that makes them feel like a superhuman just might improve the way they feel after a day of work. Who knows.
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