The past decade alone has seen a lot of technological advancements when it comes to mobility or transportation. Electrification of vehicles is one thing — ditching the traditional petrol-guzzling engine in favor of a motor and packs of batteries. It has been transforming the automotive space since it offers power without the need to burn fuel.
Using the same technology, it has now come in smaller forms like electric scooters and e-bikes and there’s actually a wide selection in the market right now.
Although for those who want something that has a lot of character in it, something that will make passersby give a second look, and something that channels that classic pursuit of speed, then Vintage Electric might have something for you.
This is the Tracker.
Let’s not kid ourselves. You’ll get this primarily for its design. That overall retro vibe with its cruiser-style frame and classic headlamp brings so much character and attitude that it already says a lot about the owner.
You have a hydroformed aluminum frame that supports its nicely styled battery in between your knees, hub motor at the rear wheel, leather seat, rise handlebar, and pedals for when you run out of juice, for example.
The Tracker stands on 26-inch wheels which easily let you pick up speed and are nimble enough to worm your way through traffic when needed. On the other hand, reliably slowing you down are hydraulic disc brakes.
Vintage Electric calls this color Indy Red which also has that vintage vibe going on. There’s also Graphite Blue as an alternative.
As a helpful tool , it comes with a small digital counter on the left handlebar that displays all the needed information. Details for speedometer, odometer, battery life, and its five power modes are all compiled in one easy-to-read panel.
Plus, it’s LED headlamp automatically turns on when it gets dark. That’s pretty cool but I think I’d personally prefer to have a dedicated switch for the headlamp.
Alongside the right grip is a thumb throttle that makes the bike launch and is pressure-sensitive so it’s basically like a regular accelerator.
Both levers control the front and rear hydraulic disc brakes and what’s noteworthy is that the rear employs regenerative braking. This means whenever you brake, unused power is returned back to the battery so you conserve more energy to take you further.
The five power modes that range from 1-5 are basically your transmission and dictate how fast its 750W hub motor will propel you — the greater the number, the faster you go. I’ve had it set at Race Mode (Level 5) on open roads and it can really push you forward in almost an instant.
The company says it can go up to 36mph (60kph) and I was able to sustain a speed of exactly 50kph during my ride.
Okay, numbers aside.
Riding the Tracker in an urban setting is what it’s made for and you can feel it as soon as you get on. It’s very convenient to use, feels like an ordinary bicycle without the sweat from having to pedal, and gives you a bit of a confidence boost because, well, you’re riding a nice-looking bike!
I’ve even had a guy come up beside me just to confirm that it runs on battery and commented that it can even accelerate faster than his own underbone.
The 720-watt hour battery can go up to 50 miles (80km) in one single charge. This is, of course, depending on your riding style. If you’re always on Race Mode, your distance will be cut shorter. Riding conservatively, on the other hand, will yield more mileage.
Once the battery has been exhausted, plugging it to a regular wall socket for three hours will be enough to fully charge the bike and bring it out for another ride.
Here in The Modern Creatures, we’d like to present a Creature Feature highlight for our reviews to focus on something particular that makes the product more desirable — something that makes it stand out from its competition and worth buying.
Now, the Vintage Electric Tracker doesn’t come cheap with what it offers, but what makes it worth buying, for me, is the experience when you ride it. Apart from being just a regular electric bike, you feel like you’re riding a piece of history — a fusion of past design and technology of the future sort of thing.
On top of that, it’s reliable and can reach decent speeds when you
need want it.
While it’s true that for the price of almost PhP 400K you can buy a decent motorbike with a lot more power, the Vintage Electric Tracker is for someone who just likes to go for that casual, laid-back cruise downtown and look great while doing so. This electric bicycle from the California-based company basically lets you relive the time when motorcycle racing was at its purest and offers a great amount of fun to bring around.
If I were to compare it to movies, it’s not the best film that’s showing on the block, but it’s definitely a feel-good movie that will leave a smile on your face during and even after watching it.