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Electric bicycle giant Bafang expands into electric motorcycles with powerful new motors

Bafang is best known for its electric motors, batteries, controllers, and other powertrain components that help millions of electric bicycles zip through streets around the world. But after two decades in the bicycle market, Bafang has now launched a new brand known as T&D to expand its influence into the electric motorcycle industry.

The Suzhou, China-based company recently announced the formation of T&D to leverage its electric vehicle powertrain technology on a larger scale, namely for faster and more powerful electric two-wheelers like electric motorcycles.

As the company explained:

T&D is an evolution of Bafang’s electrical drive-system offering, focused on the sphere of e-motorcycles. After 20 years in the cycling industry, Bafang remains a brand committed to providing innovative technology and unique riding experiences – T&D represents a confident step towards new opportunities and green mobility solutions.

Along with the announcement of the new electric motorcycle component company, Bafang has also shared details of T&D’s first drivetrains.

The FE01 (Storm) Off-Road Drive System is said to offer 6 kW of peak power (8 hp) and 125 Nm of torque, with the ability to climb gradients up to 60%. The system weighs just 22 kg (48 lb.).

The new LI01 (Forest) City Commuting Drive System offers an even higher 240 Nm of torque and a top speed of 80 km/h (50 mph). The system uses a 72V 50Ah (3.6 kWh) battery, which would put it in line with several leading commuter e-scooters and motorcycles.

Bafang is leaning heavily into the environmental aspect of electric motorcycles, as the new head of T&D, vice general manager of Bafang Sunny He, explained:

As a team, we sincerely value the harmonious existence of nature and humanity and are keenly aware of the natural demand for sustainable and intelligent products for our shared future. One way to achieve that coexistence is to follow the natural rhythm of things, and the time of e-motorbikes has truly arrived, the time is ripe to go green.

Even the company’s name has an earthy origin, with the T&D title originating from the Chinese characters “tian” and “di,” or heaven and earth.

Electrek’s Take

Well, jeez, it’s about time!

Bafang has long been the Chinese alternative to Bosch, offering e-bike drivetrains with higher power and speed yet at more budget-friendly prices. That means while Bosch systems have found their way into nicer (and pricier) electric bikes, Bafang motors are often associated with either more affordable e-bikes, higher power e-bikes, or both.

And since their claim to fame has always been good power at a good price, expanding into the electric motorcycle market just makes sense. Hopefully this results in some new, more affordable electric motorcycles headed out way.

I had assumed that Bafang would originally start with more a scooter-style target, something like the currently Bosch-powered NIU electric scooters. But their off-road system with 60 kW of power sounds like a true electric dirt bike, so we may actually see some serious muscle from T&D.

When can we expect these new drivetrains to roll out on OEM bikes? No one is saying for sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we get some offerings before the end of the year. Bafang has proven itself to be more agile than a lot of European heavyweights in the same industry, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the company moving quickly here too.

Oh, and if you’re curious what the inside of Bafang’s factory looks like, check out the video below from my last visit to China.

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Avatar for Micah Toll Micah Toll

Micah Toll is a personal electric vehicle enthusiast, battery nerd, and author of the Amazon #1 bestselling books DIY Lithium Batteries, DIY Solar Power, The Ultimate DIY Ebike Guide and The Electric Bike Manifesto.

The e-bikes that make up Micah’s current daily drivers are the $999 Lectric XP 2.0, the $1,095 Ride1Up Roadster V2, the $1,199 Rad Power Bikes RadMission, and the $3,299 Priority Current. But it’s a pretty evolving list these days.

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