Alrighty, so I've been testing my sample bike and I'm pleasantly surprised. Here's my somewhat comprehensive review:
At first the noise annoyed me, even when costing there's some sound from the front cog as there's obviously no freewheel. But then I'm used to the complete silence of a sinewave hub motor. On the road if feels like it could do with a tad more power. But these aren't legal anywhere to ride on the road so that hardly matters. On the trails they're pretty damn good and on the same single track where I ride my e-mtbs it was a blast. With the moto rims front and rear and the heavier duty fastace suspension I was plowing over some really rough terrain at speed, stuff that I couldn't have pulled off on my FUTR with 26" DH front end. I'm talking trails strewn with shoebox size rocks, and smashing straight over it. Likewise it climbed up the steepest nastiest terrains I could throw at it - stuff so steep and loose that when I had to step off I struggled to be able to walk up pushing it.
I slid it under a fence coming and going on a particular trail and both times it caused me to lose power. Turning the key on and off again fixed it, so I think it might have a tilt sensor in it ?
What would I do to improve it ?
The forks could do with being about 2"longer. I'm going to see how the geometry feels with a 26" front wheel, and if it's not whacky a 21" moto front wheel might make this aspect of it perfect, albeit at the expense of front suspension travel. As Aebrennan note to me when I picked the bike up the bars feel a bit low too. He flipped his stem around to raise them a bit but I think fitting motocross style riser bars with a brace would be appropriate.
Power wise this is already fitted with the revised motor and I DID have the case rather hot by the end of riding it like I stole it up big hills. It was not too hot to keep my hand on it but obviously it'd been working hard. But it never cut out or seemed too down on power beyond what I assume was voltage sag as it got down to 30% capacity. I reckon you'd have to be 100kg and flogging the bike up some hideous terrain to make it fail. I'm only 72kg but certainly showed it no mechanical sympathy. Overall the power level is pretty damn good as is for it's intended purpose and often on tight tracks I was only easing the throttle on. It has a normal and sport mode but on mtb type trails even normal is fine, with sport giving you extra poke to power hard out of corners or flick the tail in loose stuff. But to make it perfect I reckon bumping it from 60v to 72v and giving it another 20-30 amps would make it be perfect. It doesn't have enough power to pop the front wheel on demand but that could be seen as a good thing too as you can mash the throttle in most situation without fear of it hurling you off (something I can't do on my 10kw alpha). That said I did have it in a 2 wheel slide a few times when coming into corners too how and then powering out at full throttle
The speedo on the bike is out a little bit but not dramatically. At top speed it's out by about 5km/hr , reading 73km/hr when GPS showed 68. Realistically for the most part top speed is around 60-65km/hr which for trails I found fine. For where I was riding I wouldn't want to be going any faster and even at 65 I felt the brakes were only borderline good enough to cope with a sudden emergency braking situation - which I came across twice in my ride with trees down across the trail coming around a corner and over a crest. A few extra teeth on the rear sprocket would probably sort it without any futher changes to the electrics, though obviously at the expense of top end. I think the top end now it good and I wouldn't want to sacrifice it too much, hence why a few extra volts with a larger rear sprocket would make it ideal.
The brakes are supposedly quad piston, but the fronts could do with being stronger IMO. Considering this isn't even pretending to be a bicycle I'd actually go with pit bike brakes on the front end. At the expense of a few hundred grams extra they'd be much heavier duty, and would be cheaper for larger calipers and rotors too. I feel like I'm going to chew through these pads in no time. Alternatively, regen would be good.
They have ebrakes levers that just diasble the throttle currently which is only of use to total noobs. The front one is really sensitive and a number of times I had power cut and thought I'd broken something, but it turned out it was just the hall being sensitive and pushing the brake levers deliberately back past where they usually sit let me use the throttle again. I might actually remove these as I actually like to power on against the brakes sometimes in really technical steep terrain or when walking the bike up tricky place or on the back wheel (like a hill start against the hand brake)
I'll post some more thoughts as I do more testing. That may sound like a bit of criticism but I've been building ebikes for years so I guess I'm holding it to a high standard. And for a new company, especially Chinese, they've actually done an amazing job. Out of the box most people would probably not fault them.