This is sort of a flow of thoughts answering a lot of questions brought up:
Well a lot of people are asking about the motor options and really that is still being sorted out. I will tell you I am going to be offering several brushless and brushed options that will cover the range of ebike (1000w), moped (2hp,30mph), and of course the "offroad only" version (10-15kw). There will be quite a range in price and performance avaliable.
This frame is very structurally sound and truly is over built. The main tube is not going to bend or move, it is very thick 4130 Chromoly. The engine mounts and engine provided very little structural re-enforcement and is not required as a structural member, though it all adds to the rigidity. The metal that the sub-frame mounts to, provides additional support to keep the tube from flexing, if it could. With a rear shock and no exhaust it weighs in at around 26lbs. The stand over height and general length of this bike makes it extremely comfortable, it feel like riding a normal bike. All the pit bike frames on the market are usually built for extremely small/young riders and provide very little comfort and rideability for the normal adult. You also have no jack shaft on those so there will be some changing chain length through the travel. They still utilize oversize shocks based from their full size brethren and have the weight penalty to show it. My end weight goal is around 100lbs complete bike for 30mph max, 30 mile range.
The pedals are surprisingly functional at low speed due to little drag and but are limited since you are a fixed gear. But heck the fixed gear guys do some pretty amazing stuff here in San Francisco, so its all in how you gear it up. There are two parts to the Moped electric bike law in California, and I don't believe there is a VIN required for either. It would be fairly easy to offer a light and mirror package if other states required them. Other state law have not yet been researched.
* There are two types of motorized bicycles, defined in the California Vehicle Code (VC) Sections 406(a) and 406(b).
* Section 406(a) VC refers to a moped or motorized bicycle as any two or three wheeled device having fully operative pedals for propulsion by human power, or having no pedals if powered solely by electrical energy, has an automatic transmission, and a motor which produces less than 2 gross brake horespower and is capable of propelling the device at a maximum speed of not more than 30 miles per hour on level ground.
* Section 406(b) VC refers to a motorized bicycle as a device that has fully operative pedals for propulsion by human power and has an electric motor that:
o Has a power output of not more than 1,000 watts;
o Is incapable of propelling the device at a speed of more than 20 miles per hour on level ground; and
o Is incapable of further increasing the speed of the device when human power is used to propel the motorized bicycle faster than 20 miles per hour.
As this product gets rolled out and hopefully has a good response, our next step of course would be to work out how to offer them at a reasonably price to folks outside of the USA.
This product dream got started because I made my own downhill conversion. I received an amazing amount of interest and a great response every time I brought it out to ride. That bike had plenty of problems that would make it completely unmarketable and could not be owned by the average Joe. The Motoped is the next step in that evolution. It is a very solid frame that still retains many of the advantages of a downhill type bike without many of the limitations. Providing pedals give you options. If you need it to be legal, then this will be an option to you. If your willing to risk it, then you can have the power and ride where you please.
A trials bike would be absolutely awesome. Maybe just change out the sub frame for a lower or no seat. Run lipo, 1500w brushless, and gear it down to 10mph, you would have a 75 lbs trials bike!