This week we spent a day at Blackmore Ranch riding the 2024 Rawrr (pronounced “Roar”) Mantis electric motorcycle–or E-moto, as the term has evolved. This is a lightweight motorcycle in the same vein as the Surron Light Bee and the Segway X260. Up front, we gotta say if you’re threatened by anything new or if you’re one of those guys who shakes his fist and yells “these damn kids!” you’re not going to like the Mantis. You’re not the target demographic. The guys at Rawrr quietly encourage the social disruption created by young riders breaking rules here and there. It’s for kids, moto parents and just about anyone who is open to something new and wants to have fun close to home.
The Mantis has a 72-volt Samsung battery that drives a motor with a max output of 7500 watts. It’s surrounded by a very substantial aluminum frame.
Here are the bullet points:
- It has four power levels from Eco1 to Sport mode.
- “Coming Soon” the power levels can be altered using a smartphone app
- Sport mode has a top speed of 45 mph
- Charge time is 3 to 6 hours with the provided charger and a 120-volt outlet.
- It has disc brakes and suspension components that are more substantial than bicycle components, but lighter than conventional dirt bike stuff.
- Overall weight is 165 pounds.
- It can carry a rider weighing 220 pounds.
- It has excellent tires–far more aggressive than anything we have seen so far in this world.
- The MSRP is $4999 and it’s sold though motorcycle dealerships. You can find one or purchase on-line at riderawrr.com
The Mantis is an absolute blast. A good rider can do amazing things. One of the problems we have always had with the lightweight electric bikes we have tested so far is that they can be broken at will. If you take them on a real motocross track, belts break, shocks fail and brakes overheat. None of that happened with the Mantis, and by the end of the day, we weren’t holding back. We were riding it as hard as we could. The track at Blackmore has moderate tabletop jumps that measure about 50 feet across. That’s well within the capabilities of the Mantis. How fast were its lap times? Hard to say. Clearly a pro kid on an 85 could walk away, but the Mantis could outrun a fully built pit bike easily. If any one factor sets it apart from the other lightweight electric motorcycles we have tested it’s overall handling. That starts with the tires and extends to the overall balance. It was very dirt-bike-like. As motorcycle guys, there are some things we had to get used to. The left-hand rear brake is one. The guys at Rawrr are currently working on a dual-sport version of the bike and they say that it will have a foot-controlled rear brake.
We rode the machine almost exclusively in Sport mode and wanted to know how far we could go on a charge. Starting with a full charge, we did a 20-minute moto without much issue. That put the “gas gauge” somewhere in the 50% range. Then the Mantis started trying to conserve the power it had left. The power and peak speed start to decline. Within another 15 minute, it was down to 20% and the power had continued to decline until it was in the equivalent of Eco 1 mode. That meant it could no longer jump and acceleration was very mild. The bike is designed not to strand you completely; as it runs out of juice it just goes slower and slower until it’s in a self-imposed limp mode. The battery is super easy to swap. It only takes a few minutes and extra batteries sell for $1600. Earlier versions had 60-volt batteries, and Rawrr has a reduced price for those guys to upgrade.
We took a Mantis home with us and plan on taking it to the hills and motocross tracks where we normally ride, so we will have more to report in the near future. Stay tuned.