Before I begin talking about the YikeBike, I’m going to get rid of the ‘punny’ white elephant in the room. Yes, the first thing that came to mind when I first saw the YikeBike was indeed:-
“Yikes! That’s a bike?!?”
Well, it’s not really a bike, it’s an E-bike to be fair and at first glance, it looks so far-out futuristic, if someone told me it was a prop from Tron, I’d believe him. Mr. Khoo Boo Hian of Funsportz had rolled the YikeBike out of its carry bag and within seconds, he had it unfolded and ready to roll.
This was the Carbon Model of the YikeBike and with its glossy black carbon fibre body, it looked like it meant business. Mr. Khoo began explaining to me how the YikeBike works and other than the unique Mini-Farthing design, it was fairly easy for me to understand the basics of riding the YikeBike.
Riding the YikeBike
As the YikeBike follows the Mini-Farthing design, your riding stance is closer to that of a recumbent bicycle rather than a conventional bicycle. Just keep your arms relaxed on the handlebars, lean back and squeeze the accelerator trigger gently to launch the YikeBike. A gentle launch is important as the YikeBike can accelerate to a top speed of 23km/h very quickly! Here’s my take:
Don’t forget that with the inertia of acceleration, you will be pushed back slightly and that’s where being relaxed and leaning back slighty when riding the YikeBike helps a ton! Within 30 minutes of fooling around on the YikeBike, I managed to get the hang of handling it around corners and stopping suddenly. The brakes on this YikeBike are electric anti-lock brakes and even if you were to press hard on the brakes, the modulation done by the brakes will keep you safe and in the saddle.
During the time I had to test out the YikeBike, I’ve had to contend with real world traffic and all the risks that come with it. There were a couple of close calls where I had to jam on the brakes to avoid an impatient driver cutting me off but very rarely did I have the urge to ditch my YikeBike and hop off. As always, bad road conditions in KL are also one major thing to look out for as the YikeBike’s 20 inch tires won’t be too happy with potholes.
Range & Recharging
The YikeBike is a fully electric bike and has a range of 10km and some change due to the built-in regenerative charging system (Your batteries recharge as you coast the bike or hit the brakes). A full charge only takes 120 minutes with the standard charger and 50 minutes when using the optional fast charger. I managed to clock an impressive 13 km during the first part of my test and as Mr. Khoo had provided me with the additional battery packs, I could extend my range to 25 km which is more than plenty for a daily commute.
Folding & Unfolding
For the record, YikeBike claims to have a fold time of 15 to 20 seconds and with some experienced users taking as little as 10 seconds! How long did it take me to fold it the first time? As shown in my video, even clumsy ol’ me took under 30 seconds to fold it and I reckon given a couple of days, I could do it in 15 seconds.
Either way, it folds quick and I’m sure once you get the knack of folding it, you could do it in style, further showing off the ‘wow’ factor of the YikeBike.
Bells & Whistles
The YikeBike comes in three different versions, the Carbon Model which is fully decked out with carbon fiber parts, the Synergy Model with its mix of carbon fiber and aluminum composites, and finally the Fusion Model, an aluminum composite YikeBike.
The bikes each weigh in at 11.5kg, 12.6kg, and 14.7kg respectively. In terms of features, all three models are equally kitted out with Hi-visibility LED lights, anti-lock brakes, and even a built-in horn.
After having a full day of testing the YikeBike, I thoroughly enjoyed playing with the YikeBike and using it to get around town but the two issues that stood out for me was the difficulty in fixing flat tires as and when it happens and how the YikeBike reacts to fairly rough road terrain. These are, of course, issues that can be avoided by the rider by simply paying attention to your surroundings but if and when it happens, it can mean a whole lot of trouble for the rider. However, put the YikeBike in a dense metropolis like Singapore or Tokyo, the YikeBike will fit right in with the future.
WHERE TO BUY?
The local distributor is Funsportz Sdn Bhd.
For more information, do call 012-6183 939 or 012-3022 480, alternatively drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Amir Othman