California-based CSC Motorcycles has just unveiled the company’s newest electric scooter, the 2021 CSC Monterey. The vintage-inspired electric scooter it is exactly what we’ve wanted to see from companies like Honda for years.
2021 CSC Monterey electric scooter
The CSC Monterey isn’t a Honda Cub clone, but it sure looks to be inspired by the iconic scooter.
The original Honda Cub scooter is the most produced motor vehicle in history with over 100 million units sold since 1958.
Honda teased us with an EV-Cub concept over a decade ago at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show. But with the exception of a recent patent application related to the scooter, Honda hasn’t seemed to make any other progress.
That has led to electric Cub conversion kits to pop up, but those require significant mechanical skills.
For anyone who doesn’t want to wait to throw their leg over a vintage-styled electric scooter, the CSC Monterey could be right up your vintage alley.
I mean, c’mon folks. Just look at it!
Everything down to the metal switch clusters has the feel of a classic Cub (and I say that with all of the authority of a proud owner of a ’69 Honda Sport Cub that I’m currently doing an EV conversion on).
The CSC Monterey’s performance is even in keeping with a classic Cub. It sports a top speed of around 32 mph (52 km/h), which is just a hair below that of an original 49cc Cub.
But it also requires almost infinitely less maintenance than the original bike, and can probably be shoehorned into the 30-mph-and-under moped laws in many states, thus allowing it to be ridden without a motorcycle license.
The CSC Monterey is powered by a 1.5kW continuous and 2.6kW peak motor and a 60V 26Ah (1,560 Wh) removable battery. It’s rated for a range of between 20-65 miles (32-100 km) depending on rider weight and road conditions.
That’s quite a wide estimate window, but is probably fair, considering how drastically the range of light electric vehicles can vary.
The scooter features front and rear suspension and is rated for up to 300 lb (136 kg) of payload. That should make for a comfortable ride for larger riders or a pair of medium-sized riders. My wife and I will both fit with room to spare, and you better believe I’ve got a scooter on the way to perform a full review!
The CSC Monterey even holds an advantage over Honda’s own EV-Cub concept in this regard, with a second seat and pegs for a pillion rider. The rear seat cushion looks to be removable so you can swap on a storage box. But with a scooter this cool, you’re going to want that second seat.
There are even neat little features like under-seat storage, USB charging, and a pair of open storage compartments behind the front shield.
The scooter is quite competitively priced at just $1,995 with free shipping (plus $400 in documentation/dealer prep so that it arrives ready to ride). It’s already in stock at CSC’s headquarters on the outskirts of Los Angeles and shipping now.
I don’t know how much a Honda EV-Cub will be if they ever turn the concept into a production vehicle.
But considering a gas-powered 2021 Honda Super Cub costs nearly $4K, and an electric Vespa Lettrica costs another few thousand on top of that, the Monterey is sure to be the cheaper bet.
And while the 32 mph speed limit means that you’re limited to urban riding, that’s exactly what these types of scooters excel at.
CSC has other electric scooters that bump the speed up well into the 40s for anyone who needs to take on larger roads.
But if you’re set with urban speeds and love the idea of embracing a time gone but not forgotten, the CSC Monterey looks poised to take you there.
I’m in love, people. Just look at the Monterey. It’s equal parts adorable and practical. It’s basically the next step up from an electric bicycle (especially if your state lets you ride it without a motorcycle license), yet offers better quality and more robust parts like DOT-approved lighting, turn signals, wheels, brakes, etc.
And as I discovered when I started upgrading from e-bikes to Vespa-style electric scooters like this, cars seem to give me much more space and respect on the road when I’m on a scooter instead of a e-bicycle.
I’ve been a huge CSC Motorcycles fan for years since I first tested their City Slicker electric motorcycle back in 2018. I visited the CSC shop earlier this year to test out the latest version of their Honda Grom-sized electric motorcycle, seen below.
My sister even picked up CSC’s 250cc San Gabriel cafe racer after I wasn’t able to convince her to go electric. (I’ll begrudgingly admit that riding that fun $2K motorcycle is a guilty pleasure of mine.)
And yes, CSC’s bread and butter is still their broad lineup of various gas motorcycles. But the company has embraced electric vehicles with open arms, offering both types of vehicles and becoming one of the first motorcycle dealers of its kind in the US. With three different electric models and counting, not to mention two awesome electric fat tire bike models, CSC is absolutely ahead of the curve when it comes to embracing the electric future.
The Monterey is an awesome new addition to the CSC family. Its single major drawback is its speed limit, but that’s OK by me. This isn’t meant to be a high-speed scooter. I love my NIU NGT Pro electric scooter with 50% more speed and motor power than the Monterey, and I ride my NIU on faster roads all the time. But it also costs twice as much as the Monterey and frankly doesn’t look as cool. So for urbanites that want the retro look that the CSC Monterey embraces, 32 mph is likely plenty. Revel’s scooters all do 30 mph and people seem to love those, so 30 mph electric scooters absolutely have a place in cities.
What do you think of the 2021 CSC Monterey? Let us know in the comments section below! And stay tuned to Electrek to see our upcoming review of the Monterey soon. (And spoiler alert: We’ll also be testing out the new 2021 CSC Wiz electric scooter soon too!)
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