Electra, a US nationwide brand with representation in local bike stores, specializes in cruiser bikes and the laid-back lifestyle. The Cafe Moto Go! model is their foray into a high-end cafe racer, and it expectedly hits the mark right on. While it’s not the fastest bike out there, it certainly delivers with comfort, quality, and style. With the added benefit of local support and reliable resale value, the bike has a secure place in the local markets, for those willing to spend the extra money for a high-end cruiser.
The Cafe Moto Go! is a beautiful look at what an electric bike can be; classic styling, smooth lines, an aggressive look, but smooth as butter to ride. Oddly enough, this strange combination actually makes for a really fun bike to ride, even though on paper it seems like a strange brew.
With a smooth drive system like this, it makes you wonder why it’s equipped with a speed motor and high-end parts. Also, that pedal-assist action, with no option for a throttle, isn’t the first choice for a cafe racer style seating position. But with some clever geometry, it comes together.
- Motor: 250W Bosch Performance Speed
- Top speed: 28 mph (45 km/h)
- Battery: 36V 13.4Ah (482Wh) lockable and removable battery
- Range: 40 mi (64.3 km) estimate
- Frame: Aluminum
- Weight: 59.5 lb (27 kg)
- Brakes: Hayes Prime hydraulic disc (203 and 180mm disc)
- Tires: 26″ x 2.8″ Vee Tire
- Price: $4,499.99
- Gearing: Enviolo Trekking 380% Continuously Variable Internal Hub
- Extras: integrated retro headlight, integrated taillight, metal fenders, genuine leather saddle and seat bag, locking side-mounted battery, Bosch Purion display
Cafe Moto, a quality tactile feel
Mechanically, this bike is oh so smooth. First up, it lacks a chain and instead pedals along with a smooth gates carbon belt drive. If you haven’t tried one yet, they are fantastic. They smooth out the ride, make it less jerky. With that, instead of a traditional derailer, with clanking indexing parts, you’re looking at an Enviolo internally geared hub, which has a smooth band of tension, and never chunks gears into place. Hyper smooth.
Add to this the small things, like the large platform pedals, the genuine leather saddle, and the laid back geometry. All of this, and it’s rocking pretty plush tires to carry it all around. The bike includes some awesome accessories, such as the classic headlight, stylish and functional fenders, a very well integrated rear light, and this cool looking leather saddlebag.
Ride like a boss
The bike is made with Electra’s laid back geometry, they call it “flat foot technology”. Pretty much, it means the bottom bracket is placed far forward from the seat, allowing the rider to easily get their feet flat at a stop. This also means they can offer a decent leg extension, for a bike with seemingly no range at all. Like most cruisers, the bike isn’t made for long hauls for days at a time pedaling. But for the quick jaunts, it offers a good balance of leg extension and livability with short stops.
Ride like a Bosch
Let’s get to the electrical side. The Cafe Moto Go! is rocking a 2020 Bosch Performance Speed Motor, the 500Wh Powertube battery. Bosch’s simple Purion display keeps the handlebars nice and clean, I like that, and the locking mechanism for the battery is quite snug, my personal preference.
I like Bosch’s systems, but it’s up to the bike company to make the choice as to which motor to use. In this case, they chose the speed motor, and if I were making the bike, my first inclination would be the regular motor. Why not have the speed, you ask?
Ride like a sloth (ok, it’s not that bad, but it rhymes)
The Enviolo mechanical hub is smooth and great, but it’s optimized for riding a European or non-electric bike with a fairly low top speed. This means, the mechanical Enviolo caps out, and cannot provide the tension necessary for the Bosch torque sensor to get the hint that you want to go faster.
In order to reach anywhere close to the 28mph the bike claims, I felt like I had to trick the system by spinning my legs like the Road Runner. The alternative is the 20mph Bosch systems, but the 20mph wall on those systems can really hamper the smooth feeling that they’re going for. If you’re looking for a fast motorcycle experience, this isn’t it (even though it looks like it). Aside from the odd placement of the “speed” concept, I don’t have any complaints about the bike.
If you’re looking for a fun and smooth ride, and quality touch points that everyone wants to try, you’re in the right place. If you want local support, and you like to swing some major brand name lumber, then get ready with $4,499.99.
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