I ride and write about all sorts of light electric vehicles including electric bikes, scooters, motorcycles, and dirt bikes. But I have no idea where or how to classify the new Splach Transformer. It’s something of a hybrid light electric two-wheeler that not only fits in multiple categories, but allows users to easily modify it into more of one type of rideable or another.
First, let’s start with the recognizable components.
The Splach Transformer is an electric two-wheeler with dirtbike-style foot pegs yet smaller electric scooter-style wheels. Riders can choose from either on- or off-road tires depending on the type of riding they desire.
Both wheels feature suspension (hydraulic up front and spring suspension in the rear), and the rear wheel is powered by a 960W peak-rated motor.
That motor powers the Splach Transformer up to a top speed of 24 mph (38 km/h) when in Sport mode, though three lower modes of Eco, Middle, and High offer more efficient riding options.
Between a torquey geared motor and small diameter tires, the Transformer sports impressive hill-climbing abilities. The company claims it can climb up to a 28% grade.
Front and rear disc brakes bring the Transformer back to a stop, and are designed to prevent overheating – a serious concern with such fast-spinning small diameter wheels.
Powering the Transformer is a 490 Wh battery rated at 48V and 10.2Ah. It’s not a huge battery, but it’s also not a huge vehicle, either.
It nestles right into the center of the aluminum trellis frame where it can be accessed to remove for off-site charging.
Splach says the battery should offer around 22-25 miles (35-40 km) of range for road-style commuter riding. Off-road riders will presumably see less range, but I imagine that a spare battery could easily be swapped in to extend the dirt-riding shenanigans.
And the fact that the weird little vehicle can be ridden both on- and off-road is certainly part of its draw.
Check out the test riders showing off both possibilities below.
The entire thing weighs just 50 lb (23 kg), making it one of the lightest off-road electric two-wheelers that can actually perform real jumps. You can see riders getting impressive air on the two-wheeler in the video at the bottom of this article.
But perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the little runabout, and the source of its name, is the customizability of the Transformer.
Riders can swap a number of components to transform it into all sorts of role-specific rides.
For example, a short stem and small seat can be swapped on to turn the thing into a pocketbike-style ride that looks as funny as it sounds. Five interchangeable body panels can be swapped for various looks. And larger peg extensions can be added for a wider foot support.
While the Transformer looks a bit ridiculous, it definitely charts a new path. And it even includes some decent features to get some real-world usage out of it.
As much fun as it would be in the dirt or playing around in the park, the inclusion of added LED lights and fenders mean that it would make a decent commuter as well. I can see students rolling this right into their dorm room as a convenient and fun little campus commuter.
It even beats out most electric bicycles on price.
For those wanting to get their own Splach Transformers, they’ll want to act fast.
The $1,099 price is just an introductory offer and it won’t last long.
Fortunately the company is already working on production plans and says they’ll begin deliveries in October.
As a caveat, Splach is taking pre-orders via Indiegogo, which is a crowdfunding campaign that isn’t the same as a direct pre-order through the company. In the past, some companies have failed to deliver on their promises and left early pre-order customers high and dry.
In this case, Splach has already run three other Indiegogo campaigns over the last several years and has delivered thousands of e-bikes and e-scooters, so the company is fairly reliable. They haven’t always delivered exactly on time, but that’s par for the course with crowdfunding.
Even so, if backers want to wait for the company to reach production, they may feel better about ordering directly from the company at that point – for a higher price.
What do you think of the Splach Transformer? Let me know in the comments section below – and check out the crazy riding in the following video to see what’s possible on this wacky little two-wheeler.
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