CYC, a small Hong Kong-based company, makes the X1-Pro, a small conversion motor that has an output of about 10 to 20 times that of a typical electric bicycle motor. 5,000W may sound intimidating, but riding with a rocket ship between your legs is actually pretty cool.
Surprisingly, the motor is easy enough to install, has a clean form factor, and encourages customization by design. This, combined with a fair price, is sure to make the X1-Pro a staple in the hot-rod e-bike world for years to come.
Most electric bikes I ride feature a motor in the range of 250W to 1,000W. This is because most electric bicycles are trying to mimic the feeling of a bicycle, which makes total sense. With a well-made electric motor from the likes of Bosch or Yamaha, even a 250W motor can deliver. On the other end of the scale, some 1,000W bikes have lackluster performance, simply because the batteries or controller were skimped on.
Not so with the X1-Pro. We have a bombing motor with max voltage and batteries that can handle a high discharge rate. The only limitation is me, the rider.
CYC X1-Pro (Gen 2) tech specs
- Motor Power: 5,000W at 72v
- Top Speed: I stopped at 49 mph (78.8 kmph)
- Max RPM: Over 300
- Battery Compatibility: 36 to 72V, drop in compatible
- Gearing: Your choice of 32, 38, or 42 tooth front chainring
- Weight: 7.7 lbs (3.49 kg)
- Bottom Bracket Width: 69/73/83 or optional BB92 or 100mm, 120mm
- Price: $1,088 (without battery)
- Extras: brake cut-offs, torque sensor, optional CYC display, compatible with EggRider display, compatible with ASI controllers (wiring harness necessary), optional twist or thumb throttle
This little guy weighs in at 7.7 lbs, which is somehow less than the Bosch Performance line from 2019. The controller is integrated inside, as well as a torque sensor that is enclosed in the bottom bracket. And I’m also adding a throttle into this review.
The installation of the motor was not nearly as hard as I expected. The manufacturer has videos and tutorials online, and in print, but honestly, with a bit of bike know-how, the installation isn’t hard. I’ve got it equipped on a Specialized hardtail. The hydraulic disc brakes are a must for high speeds, and the hardtail is a very familiar platform. If you’re curious, we’re using 21,700 cells, which are more adept at handling a high-amp load. This motor is compatible with 36, 48, 52, or 72V, just drop it right in, and the motor knows what to do. But shoot, ain’t no one using a 36V battery with this! I capped it out at 72V, but I also used a 52V battery to get to my racing destination at an empty track nearby.
Off road, this is a billy goat. It can carry heavy loads and power better than any motor I’ve tried off-road. Realistically, the motor is so strong that it puts a fair amount of burden on the rider to balance and attempt to keep traction. As long as you can do those two things, this motor will continue to deliver power to the drivetrain. The motor can be mounted in a few orientations, so if you want even higher ground clearance than what you see here, you can do that, too.
The fastest e-bike (for me)
I’ve easily hit 40 mph using this motor, and it scared me to death. On one such occasion I hit 49 mph, which was too rich for my blood. Honestly, at these speeds, I think a motorcycle is much safer. Cars on the road expect motorcycles to be fast and loud, and they have bigger lights and safety features. The larger vehicle is less prone to small variations that affect balance. Add to this the fact that the entire operation is on 2-inch-wide tires, and available roads for this kind of testing aren’t freeway smooth.
High-speed e-bike kits
You’re an adult, you can figure this out for yourself. Riding this fast is indeed scary and thrilling, but oddly enough, I somehow feel safer using the X1-Pro motor, because I know it’s made for high speeds. Other fast motors and systems I’ve tried use DIY software to unlock supposedly hidden potential. The performance of an overclocked motor doesn’t feel that much better than this stock version of the X1-Pro.
Custom e-bike motor
Did I mention you can customize and tune the X1-Pro? Aside from replacement parts available for the gearbox, the windings, mounting, and more, CYC is going after hot rodders who eat fear for breakfast. You can switch out the stock controller, rated for 65 amps, and easily swap in an ASI BAC800, which has a higher rev range. This one does about 100 amps.
All in all, the X1-Pro is an easy contender for the best hot rod conversion motor on the market today. Other motors might be more durable, cheaper, or smoother on assist, but for a new system, the CYC X1-Pro excels in power output, form factor, and customization.
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