Back in October of 2019, we saw that the “mini-bike” style of frame was really catching on, and we high-lighted 10 models so readers could see if one of them suited what they might want (to read that article, click here). A lot of riders began calling them “taco” bikes, because they are very popular near the beaches in Southern California, and it’s the kind of frame where you can cruise along the beach-front with a taco in one hand.
Most of them had a solid frame and fork to keep the initial price as affordable as possible. However, as soon as they began catching on, most companies offered a suspension fork as an upgrade, which is very easy to do. I wondered how long it would be until someone went to the time and effort to provide a rear suspension, which is much more involved and more expensive.
Speaking of the higher price, even if several companies offered a “full suspension” taco bike, we had no way of knowing if enough customers would pay the higher price for this option to survive in the manufacturers catalogue. Well, the news is finally in, and it’s all good news. Taco bikes are selling well enough that every possible option is selling briskly.
As of November 2021, you can’t buy one of these quite yet, and I’m putting it first because it’s a pretty good-looking example.
Rather than only using the common round tubing to make the frame, Sondors is using hydroformed tubing, which allows the manufacturer to create interesting shapes in the tubing. The price is currently listed at $2700, but you have to deposit $300, and wait until they arrive…whenever that is…
To check out the Madmods website, click here.
Hyper Scrambler 2, from Juiced Bikes
We’ve been fans of Tora Harris over at Juiced Bikes for a long time. He jumped onto the Taco bike bandwagon like so many others, but…he then decided to offer an optional dual-battery set-up. The stock pack is 52V and 19.2-Ah of range, and with the dual pack option, it’s a massive 39.4-Ah of range
The list price today is $2800 for the single battery model, and the dual pack is $3300. Concerning the cast wheels, some people love them and others don’t love them, but…one thing is undeniable, cast wheels mean you never have to worry about spokes getting loose and needing to be tightened and the wheels trued-up.
To check out the Juiced Bikes Hyper Scrambler 2 website, click here.
The Cirkit LV2 is very heavy-duty, and is made by “Le Bui”, in Indonesia (it’s a group of large tropical islands in South-East Asia). The base model shown below is a geared rear hubmotor, but they appear to have other motor options. They are most famous for their hot rod off-road ebike, the “911 Adventure”
An interesting feature of the Cirkit LV2 is that it has an idler sprocket built into the swingarm pivot. This eliminates the need for a chain tensioner, and it’s a very upscale feature. The bikes are built to order, and they can take as long as 90 days to arrive, but…so far, all customers who have bought one have received their ebike.
I’m giving these guys two pics in this article because they are total bad-asses and they deserve some recognition.
The Challenger is the latest addition to the Biktrix catalogue. It is one of the more affordable options at $1700
This model provides the US-legal 750W in a light geared rear hubmotor. This price is for a “pre-sale”, and the first deliveries are scheduled for December 2021 (in one month from now).
This looks a lot like the Biktrix Challenger above, but I haven’t ridden either one so I can’t tell.
The escape is currently listed as $1800. The pic below shows a portable charger, which is not included, but…I liked this pic of it.
Ariel Rider Grizzly, and X-Class
The Ariel Rider company has two full suspension models with this frame. The “X-Class” has a single geared rear hubmotor, with either a 48V or 52V battery.
The one that really caught my eye was the “Dual Motor” AWD Grizzly. Whether it’s a sandy beach, a snow-covered field, or for off-road…AWD provides a capability that you just can’t get any other way. It also has the option for a dual-battery, to make sure you have an extra-long range available.
These features come at a price. The 52V single-motor X-Class is currently $2200, and the dual-motor Grizzly is listed at $3100
The taco bikes shown before have handlebars with a small rise on them, which allows you to ride with a more relaxed upright posture. The Onyx comes stock with a lower handlebar set, and it looks a little like a “scrambler” style of motorcycle.
If there is nothing else in the picture for scale, looks can be deceiving. The tires are 17-inch moped rubber, with a 2-3/4 wide tire. The 17-inch moped rims are heavy-duty, and are equivalent to 24-inch bicycle wheels. This places the size of the RCR at just a hair bigger than some of the other taco bikes here.
What the Onyx RCR really has going for it is…POWER. The rear hubmotor is a beefy direct-drive 205/50H from QS, and the power system feeds it 72V X 200A = 14,000W
Super 73 R-Series
If your sole criteria for a taco-bike frame is that it is a full-suspension, the Super-73 line has several models, from $3,000 to $4500, depending on options.
Coast Cycles Buzzraw-X
Coast Cycles has a “pedal only” version (acoustic?) called the Buzzraw, and the Buzzraw-X is their electric line. It has a very wide range of options and accessories. If you just want the bare full-sus frame for a custom build, it listed at $1470, and the turn-key electric bikes with this frame are $3600-$4200, depending on the options you choose (hubmotor or BBS02 mid-drive…250W/750W/1,000W).
I had a gasoline “mini bike” with a lawn mower engine when I was a kid, and that was one of the most exciting memories I have from my childhood. When taco bikes first came out, they immediately caught my eye. Two thoughts immediately occurred to me. I don’t know if customers will like these enough for them to stay around, and…the upright posture could really use a rear suspension.
Having choices is a good thing, and I’m glad these are available. Ride safe, my friends, and…have fun!
Written by Ron/spinningmagnets, November 2021