Hanebrink Hustler; 80-MPH Ebike

October 26, 2012

Dan Hanebrink has been building  high powered electric bikes in his workshop high in the mountains of Southern California for many years. He is most known for his Electric fat bike (read review),  which has massive 8 inch wide tires and is capable of riding on all terrains including sand, snow, and street. He also helped with the development and design of the Picycle (read review).

In our review of his fat bike, we thought it had some impressive innovation (mid drive hub motor with double freewheel) but was a little rough around the edges for its high price. All of its components and wiring are exposed and it is not slick looking. We also wish it had more power, rather than its mild 36-volt system. However, this bike was exceptionally well built, had great power for only being 36 volts, was a great hill climber, and performed at its power level almost flawlessly. It was one of my personal favorites of all the ebikes I have test ridden.

Dan Hanebrink has been busy in  his workshop and has made a brand new product based on a full suspension version of his fat bike. The end result is an incredibly slick street rod with rice-rocket motorcycle style  fairings. It breaks the 20-MPH speed barrier on ebikes with a sledghammer (capable of speeds up to 80-MPH!) , but only if the user decides to change the factory settings.

In legal mode the beast becomes like a pussy cat with a long range thanks to its mammoth battery pack. By giving his ebike the capacity to do break-neck speeds, Hanebrink has stepped into an elite group of ebike builders, who are willing to build such fun (and potentially dangerous) machines and offer them to the public. Hats off to Hanebrink for making this bold and admirable step. If ebikes are every going to have mass appeal in the United States, they have to go faster than 20-MPH.

The Hustler made our list of 10 Fastest Production Ebikes.

Here is a pic of Dan Hanebrink racing his new Hustler on the racetrack against other electric and gas powered bikes at a go kart track in Southern California (see story on ebike racing).

The Hanebrink Hustler uses the same basic drive system as the Hanebrink Fatbike (read our review). This is an innovative and effective system. A waterproof, and dirt-proof hub motor is used in the middle of the frame.  (read on the benefits of a mid drive). A custom-machined double freewheel attached to the hub motor works really well in providing a bicycle plus ebike experience.

The Hanebrink Hustler swaps out the hub motor you see here with a Crystalyte 5304, the same powerhouse that is used on the Stealth Bomber. With a 100-amp controller running 82-volts, the motor is putting out over 8000 watts of power, and all that power goes through a derailleur 8 speed gear system, making the Hustler ultra efficient on flat ground or when hill climbing. By using this set up you get the reliability and silence of a hub motor and the efficiency and balance of a mid drive.

The aim of the bike is to be a very capable street electric 2-wheeler, able to keep up with (and ahead of) normal car traffic on city streets and highways. Massive battery capacity, and advanced electronics allow the rider to select power modes for any jurisdiction or situation. (this is already being done by competitors Stealth and Optibike with selectable settings for: Legal, or off-road/Competition). The bike has operable pedals, and can be pedaled, with the belly pan of the fairing removed.

Pedaling does, however, reduce the range and speed (efficiency) of the bike (In a pedaling position, the increased aero drag will more than cancel out the benefit of pedaling).

The aero design of the bodywork greatly benefits the bikes speed, range, safety, and comfort, and also provides convenient compartments to carry needed items. The benefit of a legal electric bicycle is, of course, that it does not require registration, drivers license, or special motorcycle permit, etc. and can be operated where motorcycles are not permitted (National Forest, BLM land, etc).

The owner can license it as a motorcycle, if desired, and  benefit from applicable tax rebates. Of course, there are some states where this Ebike could only be registered as an electric motorcycle, in spite of its working pedals.

Here is another look of the unique pedals the Hustler uses:

Chassis type: Dual Suspension Monocoque. (watertight sheet aluminum box section, housing batteries, etc.)

Front Fork; Inverted triple clamp coil/ hydraulic with 7-inches of travel.

Rear suspension: Monocoque swing arm with air adjustable hydraulic shock. Travel is 5-inches

Optional adjustable offset triple-clamp Forks allow the rider to adjust for corner-entry reaction from very quick to very stable, or anywhere in between.

Dashboard: Cycle Analyst for accurate battery monitoring (read review)

Battery Options:
Lithium-ion Nickel Manganese Cobalt, liquid-cooled battery pack can provide 200+ mile range, and over 80-MPH top speed (competition mode). Battery pack and controller are custom made and programmed to suit the needs of the individual customer.

Each bike is semi custom built to comply with the requests of the purchaser. Prices start at $16,000 depending on options. Deposit required: 1/3 of total price.

Check out the new Hanebrink website for more information.

hanebrink hustler


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.


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