Top 10 Fast Electric Bikes

Contrary to popular opinion, the fastest electric bikes in the world right now were built in  garages, not in factory workshops. Maybe its because companies are not interested in making illegally fast electric bikes because of liability, maybe there isn’t enough profit in making expensive and fast electric bikes, or maybe companies lack innovation and are waiting for individuals to make the bold steps forward. For whatever reason DIY garage-built bikes right now are the fastest electric bikes on the planet. I can put it this way, when Specialized announced last month that they were releasing the “worlds fastest electric bike” with a 25o watt motor, there were chuckles heard from garages everywhere. Some of the bikes on this list put out 200,000 watts. And racing any of these bike against the Specialized would be like racing a Hyundai against a Formula 1 car.This is a list of the 10 fastest electric bikes that we know of right now. No marketing BS here.  To qualify for this list, the builder must have shot a Youtube video that illustrates the claimed speed of the electric bike. As we know the electric bike world is full of exaggerators…DIY builders being no exception.All the people on this list are respected builders, and are named by their Endless-Sphere forum handles. Endless-Sphere is the hang out spot for DIY builders and hot rodders. On this list  are some of the biggest names in the DIY community.There are a few (very expensive)  commercially available E-bikes that would make it to the middle of this list, but we have excluded those for now and will celebrate  those instead  in this  story… Top 10: The Fastest Commercially Available Electric Bikes.This here  list is to honor the achievements in the DIY community:

bike of doom

#1  Liveforphysic’s “Death Bike” 80-MPH

Liveforphysics, tired of frying fragile and lightweight RC motor setups, has discovered a magical combination of  massive axial flux motors intended for E-motorcycles, Sevcon controllers, and Nano-Tech Hobby King LiPos strapped  onto a custom built non-suspension frame. He is achieving speeds never seen before on an electric bike, all the while keeping his bike’s weight down under 200lbs. My favorite video of his is of the first carnation of the “Death Bike” which he built (in 7 days time) specifically to win a race I was putting on last summer called the “San Francisco Hill Climb”. Here is the crash that ensued and was caught on camera:

“Pinky”  was sold and shipped to a wealthy Hong Kong business man and  Liveforphysics would go on to build faster and more powerful versions of  what he would now call the “Bicycle of Doom” culminating in track recorded speeds of 80-MPH and cranking power levels far exceeding 100,000 watts (not a misprint !!!). LFP would win a few races, but is known more for smoking countless electric motors on race day. Says him: “I do tend to lean on things a little harder than most folks.

Liveforphysics now works for Zero electric motorcycles, and was instrumental in building the 100-mile range 2012 Zero battery pack. In his off time, LFP’s passionate hobby is building the fastest electric bikes (with pedals) on the planet. He is #1 on our list of most influential E-bike people. In his spare time he rides around town on his beast which he claims is mild mannered, efficient, and controllable when not pinning the throttle wide open. Liveforphysics is a brash display of electric bike technology…and a breath of fresh air in a community dominated by more conservative and slower thinkers.

Luke and death bike


#2  Farfle’s 72mph 2 Pi

Farfle decided one motor was not enough for his latest race bike creation and took 2 Golden Motor Magic Pies and joined them into one. He re-made many of the parts inside the motor.  He then laboriously (over 40  hours)  rewound his Frankenstein hub motor (a grueling job) and cut air cooling holes to end up with one of the most powerful hub motors ever put on a bicycle .The bicycle itself was purpose built from Autocad files to welding bench, to final frame. This bike has a top speed of over 70mph and still is used as a commuter and has over a thousand miles on it.  Recommend Farfle to bulders everywhere: Build to last…
“It will be assaulted by the elements, It will be ravaged by time and it will be destroyed by the user. BUT, if you Stick to the little rules: K.I.S.S., Overbuild everything, and test, review, revise, repeat. It will last”


#3  Dr Bass’s 66-MPH Giant DH Comp Hub Motor

Canadian “Dr Bass” is considered one of the pioneers in hot rodding hub motors (read our hot rod hub motor primer here) and has been doing it for years. His motor of choice is the large Crystalyte 5304, the same 25-lb rear hub-motor used in the Stealth Bomber. His bike of choice like many other guerrilla E-bike builders is a full suspension bike with an extra large triangle for convenient mid frame giant battery strap-ons….the Giant Down-Hill Comp. This bikes battery uses 100-volts, and puts out 150-amps for a mind-blowing 15,000 watts (20-horsepower, the national street-legal limit in the US is one-HP). Dr Bass holds the only official world speed record on an electric bike at a verified 58-MPH.  He is in contention with the young guns:  Liveforphysics and Farfle  to break the E-bike 100-MPH barrier. He has his hands full.

Listen to podcast interview with Dr Bass:   Standard Podcast [ 1:05:23 ]


#4 Motomoto’s Santa Cruz 66-MPH

The Motomoto home-built Santa Cruz is the fastest electric bike I have ever ridden (or heard of) which actually still  feels like a bike. The entire bike and power system weighs only 60-lbs, and puts out close to 10-HP with its 5-lb Astro motor that’s being fed 8000 watts. Ten horsepower on a light weight bike is an awful lot of power when its run through the pedal gears, and it can be seen propelling this Santa Cruz down-hill bike to 65-MPH on the following video:


#5 Cedric Lynch’s 60-MPH Feet First Streamliner

Cedric Lynch not only built his electric bike around a mid-drive, but also built one of the worlds most efficient light weight motors to power his rig reliably at 60-MPH for great distances. He would later set several world records with his axial flux motor and bring it to market as the Lynch / Agni motor. Briggs and Stratton would eventually buy this technology which would lead to the Etek motor, which is now famous for making high speed efficient electric hot rods (see our story on the original e-bike hot rodders).

One tactic that Cedric uses to achieve high speeds is by following the rules of aerodynamics, and building a bike that is as aerodynamic and as efficient as possible. The other builders on this list bypassed this step, and Cedric uses this bicycle as daily transportation on real commutes. (read our article about Cedric here) Although this high-efficiency motor uses “old school” brushes, this fact allows builders to use very affordable controllers. He has proven his design choices through thousands of miles of commuting, and the Lynch motor is highly respected.


#6   Zombies’ 59-MPH Hubzilla-powered machine

Zombiess is a builder who is bringing to market an oversized 25-lb hub motor (a large version of the 9C) which was designed for large 45-MPH Chinese electric scooters, but some daring E-bike  builders such as Zombiess have recently been adapting them to electric bikes, and of course…upping the voltage! Just like the Crystalyte 5304, Hubzilla motors are extra wide and they need a custom-built extra-wide frame. Zombiess managed to get his 59-MPH speed run proven and on youtube:


#7  Dogati 55-MPH Super Electric Bike

The Dogati super electric bike (see story here) is an Astro Flight 3220 powered machine running through a NuVinci variable transmission. This awesome bike is capable of  incredible acceleration, frightening hill climbing, and blistering top speed. This E-bike is one of the most elaborate and beautiful DIY bikes ever, (read about top 10 elegant ebikes) and it was crafted from the ground up (not a converted bicycle, like almost every other bike on this list). Make note of the special-order extra-wide wheel rims, which allow the use of heavy-duty moped tires.


#8 Recumpence’s  50-MPH Trike

Matt  Recumpence has been a pioneer in adapting powerful RC-motors to electric bikes (specifically the top of the line Astro Flight stuff). After building several super powerful bicycles, Matt decided on a trike for his own set of wheels where the weight of the battery is down low, and 3 wheels is better than 2 wheels when handling the incredible high power that the Astro motor puts out in high-speed turns. Matt sells his reduction drive kits to the public, and many in the DIY community have used these to build themselves scorchingly fast and lightweight RC-powered bikes. (see our article on this trike here)


#9 GreasyPant’s 50-MPH electric bike

Greasypants not only built a clean looking Crystalyte hub motor powered 50-MPH bike and documented it on youtube, but he also created a book on how to build such a bike. He sells his book on the web for $50. For the last few years he has had a great presence on google searches, and has managed to make himself a few dollars while spreading the word on how to build an electric bike.


#10 Thud’s 45-MPH Mid Drive Race Bike

According to thud the bike above will go 65mph if geared for it. However Thud is not a big believer in speed tricks and instead focuses on twisty race track performance. Thud is well known in the community for making some of the fastest, lightest, most reliable electric race bikes ever created. He has won his share of electric bike races, and has blown away gas powered bikes as well. Below is a rare 2-speed mid-drive. Thud is a machinist, and when he couldn’t find a 2-speed transmission that was strong enough and as light as he wanted, he made one from scratch! Thud built the pictured bike for a friend, for him to compete with it at the Willow Springs Race track against gasser pedal bikes:

List of exceptional achievements from this list

Purpose Built Ebikes

The Dogati bike, the Farfle,  and the liveforphysics death bike (2nd incarnation) are the  bikes built from scratch to be electric bikes. (read our purpose built e-bike story)

Race Proven

The Liveforphysics bike and the Thud E-bikes are the bikes that were race proven, racing on twisty swirvey race tracks against other electric bikes and also gas-powered bikes. Motomoto’s bike and the Dogati are also race worthy given that they are lightweight and well balanced, but have not yet been raced.

Custom Built Motor

Of  these bikes, the Farfle bike and the Cedric Lynch have custom built motors.

Mid Drives

To be honest its considered rather easy in the DIY community to build an awesomely fast hub motor powered  bike (read our hub motor hot rod primer).  All you really need is a fat wallet and the right list of components (battery, controller, and motor) which guys like Dr Bassand  Zombiess,  can sell you (greasypants will sell you a book to help you choose which components to buy). Hats off to the guys on this list who did it the hard way with  mid drive motor systems.  These mid-drive builders  are – Liveforphysics, MotoMoto, Cedric Lynch, Dogati, Recumbence, and Thud.

Best Hub Motor Job

Farfle took hot rodding a hub motor to a new level. Read about his elaborate hub re-build here.   With over 90 of hours of skilled  labor into this motor, Farfle invested heavy into making one of the fastest electric bikes ever.

Most reliable Speedster

Of all the machines on this list, only one has been used as a commuting device, and has been driven thousands of miles. Hats off to Cedric Lynch for building the undisputed most practical speedster on this list. The Farfle bike deserves mention because he has claimed to put over 1,000 miles on this bike commuting.

Most efficient Speedster

No contest here either. Cedric Lynch wins this hands down with his recumbent complete with aero-fairings. Car manufacturers do wind tunnel testing for a reason….the faster you go over 25-MPH, the more energy you will throw away to wind resistance. Going fast is very inefficient unless you can deal with the wind resistance factor…which Cedric has done.

 Road Legal Award

All of these machines in this list would be over any federal limit definition of “electric bike” so therefore all these electric bikes would be considered to be illegal in most countries. All except for one. The Cedric Lynch machine has turn signals, headlights, horn etc, and actually has a license plate, making it completely street legal as  motor bike. Unfortunately Cedric’s bike would also win the “booby prize” because I discovered later this bike does not have pedals.

Entrepreneur Spirit Award

Although nearly everybody on this list tried to make money off their electric bike ideas, 2 have seemed to make enough to make a living off of it. The entrepeneur spirit award goes to Cedric Lynch and Greasypants. Cedric Lynch’s motors are sold all over the world in high performance electric vehicle applications such as E-motorcycles, and Greasypants’ electric bike E-book is one of the most predominant electric bike products on the web, which is clearly sold at a great profit. Greasypants has a real knack for internet marketing.

Independent Spirit

Only one of these builders it seems has made no attempt to make any money out of his electric bike creation, and in fact has spent probably more money per operational mile on his creation than anyone on this list. The independent spirit award goes to Liveforphysics, who seems to build his bikes for the pure fun and belief in promoting the electric bike cause. There is no “secret sauce” to LFPs creations…he shares all the info from his builds with pics, and his videos show the sheer joy on his face and also those around him.

Would you like to join this list?

Are the gears in your head turning? Would you like to join the elite 50-MPH club and accomplish what only a handful of people have done on youtube? Do you have an extra $3000 to spend and are good with your hands? Remember 50-MPH bikes are for offroad use only and safety gear is highly recommended.

To start with Read our hot rodding primer.

Read the high cost of speed article to know what you are getting into

Read how to get away with riding an illegal fast bike on the street

We leave you with Liveforphysics as always, trying to achieve the elusive 100-MPH mark on an electric bike. Notice he rides this bike in the right place…at the race track with a helmet and gloves.


Eric has been involved in the electric bike industry since 2002 when he started a 6000 square foot brick and mortar Electric Bike store in downtown San Francisco. He is a true believer that small electric vehicles can change the way we operate and the way we think.

  • thebigMoose

    Thoroughly enjoyed this article! Great to have been a spectator as these guys built these incredible machines. History in the making for sure!

    • ElectricBIke

      Welcome Bigmoose and thanks for stopping in! Yeah it has been a lot of fun to see these machines evolve.

  • Retrox

    Do you guys think that you would need a steering damper for some of these bikes? Some motorcycles come with them built-in to avoid any speed wabbles.

    • ElectricBIke

      The yellow trike actually has a steering dampener…but no its usually not necessary.

  • Paul Nicholas Blezard

    I enjoyed this article but I have two points to make, both about Cedric Lynch’s Feet First streamliner, which I have had the great pleasure of riding on several occasions. Firstly, I suspect it’s the only machine here which is actually street legal and properly road registered, complete with number plates, indicators, insurance etc. Secondly, it’s not any kind of bicycle, since it doesn’t actually have any pedals! More pix of Cedric’s machine here: http://bikeweb.com/image/tid/57
    PNB in London, UK.

    • ElectricBIke

      Thanks for the insight on the Cedric machine. Those are two very important points. The article has been re-written….added a “road legal” section. Regarding no pedals…that is a real bummer. :(

    • ron davison

      Hey Cedric, add some pedals and brake the record!
      EE that is very impressed with these builders acomplishments.

      Lets start a anti-kickstarter campaign with the top 10 or 20 builders being funded top down to build the first 10 to 50 bikes for each funding round.

      A common co-op for machine shop and alignment rigs could be done to save capitol cost.
      Better yet put it in an old bread truck and can be moved to each builders garage as needed.

      In time perhaps a west coast east coast UK and EU east west portable shops could be envisioned if it took off and grew over time.

      I don’t want cooperate crap, if I have a job I want to buy ne of these type of masterpeices, if I don’t have a job I want to try and join the lofty ranks of these fine Designers-Tinkeres-Garageteers.

      What is a shame is that we do not have a way to propel these innovators into production of real volumes of e-bikes

  • Sara & Warren Eldberg

    That Giant DH Comp is aluminum. Note the fat weld beads. Aluminum weld beads are 3x as fat as steel beads. Aluminum is 1/3 the weight, 1/3 the strength, but can be made 3x the diameter of chromoly for the same weight. That, and lower material, and fabrication costs, is why all major firms now use it, almost to the exclusion of chromoly.

  • Toan Ngo

    Use of a poll would be insightful as to which is the readers favorite

  • patrickza

    Also loved this, I should make the list, my bike hits 53mph on the flat, though I imagine there’s a bunch of other doing even higher speeds now :)
    Here’s mine:


  • russ e

    awesome effort, how about doing one on some of the other builds not so fast but something different or innovative about them?

  • doodoo

    How old is this article? Do they know that the Zero S goes 95 miles per hour?

    • spinningmagnets

      No pedals on the Zero-S. We love that particular E-motorcycle, and endless-sphere’s liveforphysics works for them, so we know more about the Zero models than any other E-motorcycle/E-scooter.

    • Bike sporter

      The TWIKE goes 90 kilometres per hour and is faster than some of these e-bikes. They write other articles about the Zero S and the TWIKE.

    • Angelo

      That is a motorcycle not a ebike and it is not a DIY.

    • JB

      The zero s is not an e-bike its a motorcycle douchebag

  • ffomega

    I wish we have that kind of bike here in the Philippines because it will lessen the pollution here.

    • Bob Jp

      I have one here in Dumaguete City nice thing is out electric power supply is geothermal. So completely eco friendly. But the speed is limited to 35 Kph and only 45k range. Perfect however for city like Dumaguete as its mostly pretty flat.

  • DrkRydr

    how fast does this bike goes?

  • blue

    The Santa Cruz was my personal favorite since I really want an electric bike that is made specifically for doing big jumps and high speeds. My idea of heaven is a Dh MTB that has an incredibly powerful electric motor and is tough enough to withstand wrecks.

  • erider

    Hey Im trying to build an ebike sort of like dr bass’s. I like how the motor is from crystalyte but i dont know what controller or battery or ect to put on it. I want the bike to go maybe 40 mph and have a 20 mile range. please help

  • leo

    Hi would like to contact the person that built the Motomoto Santa Cruz my email is leo@cubafutura.com

  • Ryan Winn

    Can someone tell me where to buy this?

  • EdB

    If an ebike goes beyond speeds when pedalling is no longer (even remotely) relevant then surely it’s a motorbike? At which point the Brammos etc of this world are better made, faster, nicer to look at etc.

  • EdB

    Let’s look at the Math…No.6 weighs 60 lbs and has 10 hp (and looks great!). But you have to add the weight of the rider – so now we have 260lbs and 10 hp. Power to weight 26lbs per hp. The new Zero has 55hp and combined weight is 550lbs. 10lbs per hp. Gas bike? 580 lbs and 180 hp or 3.2 lbs per hp. Electric is not even remotely in the game for speed. That’s not to denigrate the achievements of these guys…but to point out that ElectricBike’s comments that “the fastest electric bikes right now were built in garages” is misleading at best. (I think the M55 probably beats all these bikes in the real world).

    • dd

      So what is the fastest gas powered bike? What a dumb comment. In the game of speed a jet engine on a bike would have the best hp to weight ratio. Not a great idea. You can’t put an 1100cc engine on a bike anyhow, but you can put an electric motor on one. The fastest ebikes are built by hobbyists, no question about that. There isn’t a market for a fast production ebikes. If a normal person wants to go 100mph, they should be on a motorcycle not a bike.

      • EdB

        You are missing the point dd. The point is that if pedaling is completely irrelevant then it’s not an electric pedal bike anymore; it’s an electric motorbike. Once electric bikes start hitting 40+ you may as well take off the pedals – they’re just getting in the way. If you want to start judging electric bikes on speed and range then gas bikes are going to win, since gas still has a way higher energy density than batteries. You dumb schmuck.

        • dd

          I am missing your point. Your whole comment was comparing weight to hp ratios. I am saying that is absurd due to the fact we are talking about 60lb bicycles – not motorcycles. And by the way the new Zero MX is only 260lbs. It’s lighter then the Honda cfr450r which is Honda’s light weight comp bike of the same hp. It all depends on where you get your data points. But back to the bikes – have you not seen anyone pedal faster than 40mph? Should the Tour de France eliminate pedals? Their time trials average 34mph. You also have ultimate range on a bike, until your fat butt runs out of steam. Range on an ebike is about 30-100 miles on one charge. Don’t know anyone that really wants to go any further than that but I guess you can stop off and fill up your gas bike at around the same point. Gas bicycles suck. Let me say this again – this articles was about bicycles, not motorcycles, cars or scooters. These bikes technically can ride in the bike lane.
          Your whole argument is flawed. Moving on.

          • EdB

            Again…slowly so you’ll understand…post 40 or so mph human power is irrelevant. You are into motorcycle territory. This magazine is about electric bicycles, not motorcycles. Yes, Tour de France athletes go faster than 40 down an Alp, but that’s a pretty special (gravity powered) situation. Yes, they do 34 on a short time trial, bent over on the profile bars, giving it full whack, but again that isn’t 45 or 55 is it? The max output of a human is 250 Watts. You go past the 5,000 Watts or so you need to do 40 mph plus the human is irrelevant – so take off the pedals and call it what it is – an electric motorcycle (which I agree are super cool by the way). Now electric bike said, “Contrary to popular opinion, the fastest electric bikes in the world right now were built in garages, not in factory workshops.” I’m saying two things. 1 – Since anything going faster than 45mph is no longer affected to any serious degree by the rider’s pedal power then it should no longer be classed as an electric bike, it should be classed as an electric motorcycle – in which case the Mission R is far better looking, better made and way faster than anything on this website – so electricbikes’s comment does not hold water. 2 – I think it’s odd to start calling electric bicycles super fast. That’s not what they are about. They are about a good mix of human and electric power. Go too fast and point 1 comes back into play. Geddit?

        • ron davison

          That’s just wrong,
          pedaling will add 5 to 20 mph to the electric speed if properly geared like a mid motor.
          minus the % hit for wind resistance. This is exponential increase in drag that is significant at low power levels. getting past 45 miles an hour without something like Sedwic’s areo shell.
          You are correct in the thought however of the blurring of definitions at these 30 to 60+ speed becomes an issue.
          That’s not these builder fault english has not caught up with innovation and garageteers.
          The speeds obtain miss the point of why these are so desirable.
          If I am about to get side swiped by a pickup truck, acceleration is my best friend. going 10,20,30, or 40 miles an hour is not relevent getting out of the way before being run over is.
          I almost died 30 years ago by almost getting side swiped under a semi. The motorcycle acceleration is the only thing that is allowing me to breath for the last 30 years.

          with proportional drive control you still get aerobic exersize, where you would not get much on a motorcycle electric or not.

          And no one is saying this is the answer for everyone.

          But I bet if you come back in 50 years and see what has evolved these machines will be copied and mimicked by high volume manufacturers for the masses.
          Perhaps 50% of the popiulation in the future will be using some form of human power + electric propulsion.

          As a note an electric skate board can also go to to fast, but that does not mean it should not be done by those that want to. There was a time I would want to do that but my time is passed for skateboarding days.
          Will have to settle for one of these little masterpieces of joy

  • riya

    Really its a nice book ..but i found Finally An inspirational & Life changing book in this Decade-One Book for Life Success by Mr Venu G.Somineni

  • http://dehondservice.com/for-automotive-repair-rochester-can-believe-in-come-to-dehond-auto/ tony664

    Nice one..

  • Pete Kurtz

    I have to ask–When was the list updated?

  • DaRula

    this article had to be updated ;D

  • Eddy Jawed

    I just can’t wait when they build lighter sulphur based Lithium batteries – much lighter with nearly 3 times the energy to weight desnity. You’ll see some amazing bikes.

  • Dat nigga Bender

    Might as well get a motorcycle… What is the point of this?

    • Angelo

      Anyone who calls himself “dat nigga” wouldn’t get it anyway. You wouldn’t get it for another reason to. You don’t even speak english, you speak some type of ebonics type shit. I saw your comments. Out of 300 of them you actual say the word “nigga” in 298 of them. I can’t believe you actually learned to read and type. Props for that son!

  • domino anonomouse

    I think the market will mature with manufacturers making e-bikes limited to 20mph. All the effort by manufacturers to make electric vehicles that are street legal and go faster than 20mph will be towards electric motorcycles, scooters, and cars which will need licenses and insurance. Of course there will always be garage builders making whatever they want but they will be a minuscule segment of the market.

  • Kako The Tiger

    HAHAHA you put in all this hype and none of em can even go over 100mph?????

  • 1914

    This was a frigging awesome article. Very inspirational. Thanks for writing it.

  • AidanR

    Very inspiring, now where to start

  • Airroll Tangeeon

    should be called beach cruzers and taken all the way to key west by way of Florida’s beachs