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Like a Phoenix: the ONYX CTY is Back, Better

The bike that launched the brand on Indiegogo is back— and it’s better than ever!

The new ONYX CTY2 step-through model packs big power and moped style into a thoroughly conceived, detail-oriented package that is ready to ride you off into the sunset.

Full disclaimer: I’d like to be able to call ONYX Motorbikes CEO James Khatiblou a friend. We’ve hung out a few times now in Los Angeles and Austin and he’s made a great impression on just about everyone I’ve ever seen him interact with. If you don’t like James, that’s a “you” problem. Further, Matt Teske and I positively geeked out over the small, thoughtful design details of the RCR at the inaugural Electrify Expo event in Orange County last year, and I have never missed the chance to ride an ONYX whenever I’ve gotten one.

James is Awesome

From left, Jo Borrás’ fat head, James Khatiblou, and Matt Teske at Electrify Expo, Austin.

I’m a fan, in other words— but believe me when I tell you that everyone else who rode an ONYX at Electrify came away with a big smile, too. And, and even if “it’s too much bike” was a common refrain, their sales make it clear that the ONYX RCR isn’t too much bike for everyone.

That said, there seem to be enough of the latter type of e-bike rider that James was finally able to do something he’s been trying to do since the brand’s initial Indiegogo in 2018: build the step-through CTY model in real numbers.

Only, if we’re being totally honest, this isn’t the ONYX CTY. This is the CTY2, and it takes all the lessons James and Co. have learned developing the RCR into a genuine production bike and applies them to the ONYX CTY2 step-through concept that packs a 60V system (compared to the 72V system on the RCR), with a 23 Ah battery that packs 1,380 Wh into the e-bike’s frame. ONYX says the battery is good for more than 60 miles (about 100 km) of range at about 20 mph.

Go slower or pedal harder, and you’ll go further. Go faster and don’t pedal at all, and you won’t go as far. There’s really nothing new or particularly hard to understand there (I hope!).

Attention to Detail

Daymaker-style headlight, courtesy ONYX.

With ONYX, though, it’s not really about the specs (though they’re fine) or the price (which is high, but not as high as you might expect), but about the detail. About the vibe of the bike– the skateboard/1970s hi-fi stereo style wood, the stamped ONYX logo here and there throughout the bike, the cable management, the top-shelf lighting, the wire wheels, etc., etc., ad nauseam.

If that kind of thing speaks to you, there’s really no other bike for you. And, if that kind of thing speaks to you in a way that’s more vintage moped than classic motorcycle, ONYX finally has a CTY bike for you. Again!

While you wait for your CTY2 to get delivered, take a listen to the episode of the Electrify News Podcast that was being recorded while that picture (above) was taken/we were baking in the Austin, TX sun and let us know what you think of James and his latest e-bike project in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!

Live From AUSTIN: ONYX Brings the SoCal vibe to its e-bike lineup

Source | Images: ONYX Motorbikes.

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Written By

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and have been a part of the Important Media Network since 2008. You can find me here, working on my Volvo fansite, riding a motorcycle around Chicago, or chasing my kids around Oak Park.


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