Taiwanese company Graft has launched a super-lightweight new electric off-road motorcycle – or is it a pedal-free ebike on steroids? The EO.12 puts out a meaty 20 kW (27 hp), while weighing just 50 kg (110 lb) thanks to neat touches like carbon wheels.
Bikes like this really do make a mockery of categories. It’s some 17.5 kg (35 lb) lighter than a Gas Gas TXT 300 trials bike, but makes nearly twice the horsepower and a hilarious 440 Nm (324.5 lb-ft) of torque at the back wheel. If that ain’t a recipe for wild fun out on the trails or the bumpy back paddock, I don’t know what is.
It’s rated IP67 water resistant, meaning you can run it under several feet of water for half an hour. It runs high-end mountain bike-grade suspension from Fox, complete with 3-way adjustment. Parts of the drivetrain are 3D-printed in titanium to withstand the prodigious torque they’ll be subjected to, and the chain drive, partially hidden behind the swingarm, is “permanently lubricated” to bring maintenance down to an absolute minimum.
The 21-inch spoked carbon fiber rims are an off-road industry exclusive according to Graft. They’re 25 percent lighter than regular rims, which is nice, but we do wonder how they’ll stand up to abuse crashing over logs and roots.
The CNC-machined aluminum chassis sure looks techy, and it’s designed such that the battery pack can be removed, although it appears this process involves half a dozen screws, so we don’t think it qualifies as a quick-swap setup.
Typically, in any story about a really fun-looking electric motorcycle, this is the point where you’d expect us to tell you it’s far too expensive. And … Yep, you’re really on the money there. At US$9,800, the Graft EO.12 doesn’t even come with a battery pack or charger. You’ve got two options for those: for US$3,600 you can get a 2.7-kWh Monolith pack that Graft calls the “Endurance” version. Strikes us as a bit of a stretch. For US$2,650, you can get a 1.3-kWh “Race” pack that’s a bit lighter.
Oh, and the bike weight quoted at the top there? That doesn’t include the battery pack, which adds either 13 kg (29 lb) or 19 kg (42 lb) to the bike’s heft. I am Jack’s raging bile duct. I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise.
Look, it’s been four years now since we first wrote about the Sur-Ron Light Bee, which was selling for US$3,475 at the time. Granted, that’s a bargain-basement China-built machine making a more modest 6 kW (8 hp). It doesn’t have carbon wheels or a machined aluminum frame. But you can buy nearly four of these things for the price of a Graft EO.12, and I suspect you’ll have significantly more than a quarter of the fun.
To put it another way, for less than the price of this Graft jigger and its biggest battery, you can get yourself a Stark Varg Alpha – a genuinely revolutionary electric dirtbike. Indeed, probably the fastest one ever – designed to take on 450cc racers on the motocross track and the enduro trail. And it’s got a much bigger battery.
Sorry, I just don’t think there’s any excuse for this sort of thing any more, electric motorcycles have to start singing for their supper if they’re going to change the world. Nice looking bike, Graft, but good luck selling it!