By now, you may have heard that television mogul, Simon Cowell broke his back this week in an ‘e-bike accident’. A deeper look into the equipment involved however reveals that it is no e-bike but rather a motorcycle with about 60 times the power of legal e-bikes.
The motorcycle Simon Cowell was riding is the Swind EB-01, sporting the following vital stats:
Top Speed – ~75 mph
Power – 15,000 watts (legal e-bike is 250-500 watts)
Battery – 1750 wh
Weight – over 100 lbs
Price – $20,400
More info – https://swind.life/products/swind-eb-01-mountain/
Machines such as the Swind EB-01 are dangerous motorcycle masquerading as e-bikes. They are so outrageous and unsafe its country of origin, the UK has banned its use on public roads.
It is a mystery why they call these e-bikes when they are clearly motorcycles. Perhaps its to avoid safety regulations and registration and licensing/training of owners that they try to fly under the radar. But clearly, they are dangerous machines that have no business being sold or used on trails, bike paths, or even roads.
Avoiding motorcycle regulations
In the US, motorcycle manufacturers have to comply with the NHTSA regulations detailed here when producing a motorcycle. Rearview mirrors, lights, brake fluids, tires, and displays are some of the key safety devices specified by the NHTSA. In addition, the driver needs to have a license to operate this vehicle.
This, in our opinion, is the reason some manufacturers are labeling their overpowered electric motorcycle an e-bike, to bypass regulations.
The dangers and the accident
Early details of Simon’s accident report that he was surprised by the power and fell on his back as the Swind motorcycle wheelied as he tested it in the courtyard of his home. How could Simon break his back in 5 places, riding a motorcycle in the courtyard of one’s home? Simon after all is an owner of many e-bikes but none like this one. This one has 60 times the power of a legal e-bike and it is very rear heavy with a massive motor in the rear hub.
In our opinion, this is what happened. Simon got delivery of the Swind motorcycle and wanted to sit on it and take it for a spin in his courtyard. With one initial blip of the throttle, the imbalanced bike looped out and wheelied throwing the rider backward with the motorcycle weighing in excess of 100 lbs landing on the rider. That’s why in the photo above and in the video of the Swind outrunning a Ducati, the rider is positioned, way, way forward, to prevent the bike from wheelieing and looping out.
We believe that this is what Simon refers too when he says, “read the manual”. The Swind manual probably has a bunch of disclaimers and warnings to prevent the dangerous bike from crashing. A motorbike with 30 times the power of a legal e-bike has no place outside of a motorcycle track, in trained, licensed hands. Electric motors to have almost instant torque available so it is truly dangerous in an imbalanced bike (no matter how much one ‘reads the manual’).
Overpowered electric motorcycle are nothing new as there are few of them that have tried to make a splash over the last decade. The Swind EB-01 that Simon Cowell used and crashed on is a shining example of these dangerous machines.
Folks, of course, are responsible for their own actions and they’re free to choose what they want. And manufacturers can push the envelope and create whatever contraption they can.
But these machines have 60 times the power of a legal e-mtb with so much weight in the back hub motor and no clutch to regulate the power transfer. To call this a bicycle puts folks at risk and makes many believe that bicycles are very dangerous.
Our steer clear of these bike or take the time to really understand what you’re getting in to. Ride a real, legal e-bike. Or if your heart desires, a real motorcycle.