SSR Sand Viper Ebike Evaluation

Like your Eskimos and snow, we right here in California have 100 totally different phrases for sand. Common sand. Powder sand, silt, chonky sand, superb sand, &, blowing sand, deep sand, you get the image. The stuff’s all over, which is sensible because it’s a desert. So it’s good to have a car in a position to traverse it. Enter the SSR Sand Viper eMTN bike.

We don’t evaluation ebikes a lot right here at MO, however on particular events (like when someone affords one up), we’ll bend the foundations. SSR Motorsports, simply up the highway in Santa Fe Springs, CA, has been importing all types of automobiles from China for 20 years now. The value has all the time been proper, and in recent times, the standard of a lot of them has begun to rival the costlier manufacturers from different elements of the world too. The Sand Viper’s fairly swell, and retails for $1,999.

You will get going fairly good in compacted sand just lately run over by a bulldozer.

To not be confused with the sooner 350-watt model, the newest 500W Sand Viper is a 48-volt beastie that sprints as much as 20 mph lickety-splitly sufficient. A little analysis informs us it is a Class II ebike, as a result of you may rise up to high whack by both pedaling or twisting the throttle that makes up the internal half of the best grip. You get there quickest by pedaling and twisting, however when you’re up to the mark you don’t must pedal in any respect to whiz alongside at 20. The throttle’s additionally actually handy whenever you wish to preserve tempo with the vehicles leaving a crimson gentle, and even moreso whenever you’re making an attempt to navigate via rutted bumpy churned-up sand.

In sand, as a matter of reality, you’ve virtually all the time obtained the throttle pinned to maintain from bogging down, and often in Help degree 5 of 5. Final time I did my 15-mile trip to the ocean on a Yamaha Cross Core highway bike, I needed to push it via fairly a little bit of burning sand after I obtained to the seaside to lock it as much as a lifeguard tower, then I had to make use of my toes to hike right down to the water. On the Sand Viper’s fats tires, although, you may simply preserve pedal-throttle scrabbling proper to water’s edge. Which is sweet. 

(JB cellphone pic)

What’s additionally good is you might preserve going alongside the water’s edge on the damp packed sand, which can be unlawful however no one actually is aware of or appears to care so long as you’re not a jerk about it. Don’t attempt that in your Husqvarna in California.

The 26×4 inch tires could look cartoony, however they work. Form of. Similar to on a motorbike, some individuals squirt via sand simply, others must work at it. Airing the tires down from 25 psi would’ve helped so much, I came upon later…

The magic’s within the brushless motor conveniently situated contained in the rear hub, again there with the seven-speed Shimano Acera S/S derailleur. 

The left switchgear has your energy button, and + and – buttons to shuffle via help ranges 1 via 5. Ranges 1 and a couple of are no-go for me, on this 53-pound bike (SSR’s claimed weight), simply an excessive amount of like work. The highest three help ranges are elegant, although; they allow you to determine simply what sort of coronary heart charge you wish to drum up. Combine and match your motor help with the 7-speed gearbox, and you will discover the best rhythm for any event.

The throttle makes this a Class II ebike. You’ll be able to disable it with the crimson button if you’ll want to. Seven-speed Shimano derailleur clicks within the shift each time.

In contrast to the extra superior cadence-measuring software program discovered within the Yamaha and Harley-Davidson Serial 1 ebikes we’ve ridden, the SSR retains monitor of your pedal pace through 12 magnets in a hoop and a pickup mounted inboard of the entrance sprocket, like primary motorbike ABS. It’s not as fast to choose up on whenever you’ve picked up the tempo or slacked off, like sensing whenever you’ve come to a hill and are making use of extra pedal stress. But it surely barely issues because of the hand throttle, a factor the Harley and Yamaha lack. SSR’s system has obtained to be manner inexpensive.

House in on the Vary

The specs say 25 miles, relying. I headed out Tuesday morning on my 30-mile spherical journey seaside check path to unravel that. Operating alongside the Santa Ana River bike path close to my home in California’s OC, my legs’ pleased place wound up largely being Help degree 4 and sixth gear, at an indicated 17 mph. 

Dropping to degree 3 would increase my heartbeat about 10 beats possibly and drop me to 16 mph, however who’s counting? Pumping the help as much as high degree 5 and the trans to high cog, seventh, has you whizzing alongside at 21 indicated – pedaling straightforward and barely breaking a sweat.

Arriving on the mouth of the river 15 miles later, the battery indicator had not budged from 4 bars. Candy.

The 15-mile downwind leg homeward was deliberate to be a fullblast level-5 rip the entire option to actually check the battery, however no more than 2 or 3 miles after beginning out, we’d misplaced one bar of energy; a number of miles later, with 9 extra to go, we have been down to 2 bars and didn’t want to must dead-pedal this factor house – so I backed off to help ranges 3 and 4 in sixth gear to play it protected. 

The Viper’s energy indicator isn’t essentially the most correct factor on this planet, because it wanders between bars a bit; at one level we have been down to 1 bar. However by the point I reached house port after 30 miles, we have been two bars on the show.

Googling up the proprietor’s guide, we discover:

Ideally we’d have a far more correct readout of remaining capability, but it surely looks like my 30-mile trip used up solely about half of the battery’s capability, which, if correct, means we’ve obtained over twice the 25-mile claimed vary. (In the event you have been driving these 25 miles in sand, that estimate can be a lot nearer to correct.) Like I stated in my Yamaha Cross Core evaluation, any trip longer than 30 miles, I’m taking a motorbike or the bus. So for me, the Sand Viper has loads.

Fats tires will not be a joke

Once I first began seeing these fat-tire bicycles, I assumed they have to simply be a vogue totem for the surf/nose-ring neighborhood, but it surely seems these 26 x 4 tires don’t simply make it straightforward to trip via sand, moist grass, snow, and many others. (in the event you’ve obtained help, that’s), in addition they serve up a manner cushier trip than your typical highway bicycle. 

What’s actually shocking is that they don’t appear to have rather more rolling resistance than the thin 90 psi ones in your typical highway bike. The sidewalls say 30 psi max inflation on my bike’s Kendas, however even at 25 psi, Strava recorded a 16.7 mph common pace for my trip to the seaside – precisely the identical common pace as on the skinny-tired Yamaha Cross Core ebike virtually three years in the past, over the very same route.

On the Yamaha, I needed to put on padded bicycle shorts, assume the place, and endure the scowls of the clipped-in pedaling purists. On the Sand Viper, I’m simply one other perpetual sophomore sat fairly upright on a soft cruiser seat, which is even mounted to an adjustable shock absorber seat put up. It’s no Cadillac, however the Viper’s a lot smoother-riding than another bicycle I’ve ridden.

Additionally, although the aluminum body solely is available in an 18-inch measurement, the adjustable handlebar mount helps you to rotate the bar into no matter place works for you.

Each time I trip the Viper, I really feel like I’ve gotten simply pretty much as good a exercise as I did on the Yamaha, however my physique additionally feels so much much less prefer it’s been punished. Which it likes.

Bells, whistles…

It does have a tiny bell to ding at your left thumb, however no whistle. There’s a USB port on the aspect of the detachable battery, too, and the headlight can be plumbed into {the electrical} system; the taillight, nonetheless, isn’t. When SSR stepped as much as the 500W Sand Viper, in addition they added the bolt-on aluminum rear rack which is, after all, extraordinarily useful for popping right down to the outlets. You may completely mount a plastic milk crate to it with hose clamps and/or zip ties.

All of the parts, together with the Shimano derailleur, the grips and levers, are all prime quality. The entrance wheel is quick-release, the welds and lugs are all properly completed. The Sand Viper is a really good piece of labor.

Don’t be triggered

It’s not speculated to be a motorbike or a bicycle, it’s someplace in between. And it should be a reasonably interesting area of interest, as a result of there are a few thousand fat-tire ebikes prefer it in the marketplace – the market being, amongst different individuals, lazy previous chubby cheapskate Boomers like me who desire a little bit of a exercise however not an excessive amount of of 1, and to have enjoyable within the course of. It’s good to plug in a podcast or two and go for a spin, probably cease in for a chilly drink alongside the best way. I feel I’m solely giving the Sand Viper again when SSR’s rumored electrical scooter exhibits up. 

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