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Reviewed: Maeving RM1

MRM1_1

Up to now, options for buyers looking for a relatively inexpensive electric commuter have been limited. Chinese brands like NIU and Super Soco have been delivering brilliant products which offer a practical and low cost proposition, but if you wanted something a bit more special then the options have been almost non-existent – at least until now.

Meet the Maeving RM1.

 

 

Designed and built in the heartlands of British motorcycle manufacturing, Maeving set up shop in Coventry in 2017, led by Seb Inglis-Jones and Will Stirrup. The company now employs a growing team of 22, many of whom used to work for another Midlands-based bike manufacturer you might have heard of - Triumph. 

We spent a sunny afternoon riding the new RM1 through the busiest streets London could throw at us, to see if this super-cool heritage bike could really perform in its natural environment when the going gets tough.

I can’t recall a time I’ve enjoyed riding through a jam-packed central London, nor when I have received that much attention from a bike. People walking on the street, taxi drivers at the lights, couriers, even a nice lady at the café where we stopped for a trendy coffee.

They all asked the same thing; “That’s so cool! Is that electric?”

First, let’s talk specs.

The RM1 comes in two variations: A single battery version for £4,995 and a dual-battery option for £5,990. Both give you the same level of performance with a top speed of 45mph, but the extra battery doubles the range from 40 to 80 miles. The Bosch hub motor means a direct drive system with no gearbox, giving a really simple to ride twist-and-go operation.

 

RM1_3

 

When you’re done riding it’s easy too. Slide out the snazzy-looking brushed aluminium Samsung battery (or batteries depending on which model you have) and drop it onto the charging unit, which you connect to a standard 240v wall socket. The main battery compartments are located where the engine and fuel tank would typically be on a traditional petrol motorcycle. Run with just one battery, and the ‘fuel-tank’ provides 10 litres of storage space – handy for small shopping runs. Each battery weighs 12kgs, so depending on how many you’re carrying, the bike will weigh either 112kgs or 124kgs. Recharge time is up to four hours for each battery.

And the batteries look great too. Unlike some other removable batteries, which look like unsightly car batteries, they have been styled in line with the exterior of the RM1. It might not seem like a big deal, but they really compliment a trendy office vibe and certainly won’t create an eyesore charging in your living room. There are also no plugs to worry about. You just slide them out of the bike and drop them onto the charger. The batteries are industry-standard Li-ion 35E cells and are rated at 2.03kWh.

In terms of battery life, Maeving says the batteries retain over 60% of capacity after 500 cycles which should, according to Samsung, should give you about 20,000 miles of travel before needing a new battery.

 

RM1_4

 

Performance

Boasting the first spoke-mounted design of its kind, the RM1’s Bosch motor on the rear wheel drives the bike without any need for belts or chains. Everything is connected by a braided hose which links the batteries through to the motor and voila - we have battery power!

The motor produces 4.4kW peak power (5.9bhp) and feels comparable to a 110cc bike. It’s also A1-friendly so can be ridden with just a CBT and L-plates.

Ride Experience

This is an urban-focused machine. Swing your leg over the bike and it feels light and narrow. The seat height is a user-friendly 785mm, meaning even shorter riders will be able to get both feet down. The bar and footpeg position put you in a traditional roadster riding position – dare I say, even a little sporty! Seb from Maeving mentioned that the ergonomics for the RM1 was inspired by the Yamaha MT-03 – which gives you an idea of where they were coming from.

A single analogue speedometer with an LCD display gives you all the vitals, including the all-important battery state of charge. The front headlight is a crisp LED and accompanied by neat LED indicators to boot.

 

RM1_5

 

Pull in the rear brake lever, press the D button on the right switchgear, and you’re ready to go. Press the N button, and you drop back into neutral. I also found that putting the side stand down also engages neutral – a nice touch.

The bike comes with three riding modes, but I left it in full power mode for the day. Modes two and three offer reduced battery consumption at the expense of lower performance, which is handy if you’re just pootling around.

Twisting the throttle gives you a gentle climb up to 10mph. At first, I wondered if I would hold up the traffic, but keep it pinned open and the jump from 10mph to 30mph+ is rapid thanks to the direct drive and massive torque. Even though that initial pull from a standing start is slow, the pick-up, once you get going, is plenty.

The turning circle on the Maeving is super tight and almost bicycle-esque. It’s easy to make sharp flowing U-turns on the RM1, which came in handy as we rode through the tight London streets.

The bike’s 19-inch wheels are wrapped in Dunlop K70s which are grippy enough. You wouldn’t want to push extreme lean angles on these, but for tackling the dusty, gritty streets of London, the Dunlops provided reassuring traction in addition to fitting the Maeving’s retro looks perfectly.

Pull hard on both brake levers and the bike's linked front and rear disc brakes bite into action well enough. There is no ABS on the RM1, but it doesn’t feel like it needs it.

The suspension setup on the Maeving is simple and does the job. Keeping the ride smooth and handling things like speed humps with surprising comfort.

 

rm1_6

 

Out on the roads, the bike feels light and nimble. The seat, while a little firm, has a nice shape and has beautifully detailed stitching. All the switchgear is simple and follows suit with the rest of the bike, being very easy to use. You might wonder if 45mph is enough for a city bike, but I rarely found myself topping 35mph – especially in the deepest streets of central London which are lined with speed humps and 20mph zones.

The memorable feature of the RM1’s riding experience is how quiet it is. While other electric motorcycles usually generate a ‘whirring’ sound as you accelerate, the Maeving is almost completely silent. This means you can hear everything around you, which, in a big bustling city like London, is a godsend. You can even chat with your mates if you’re riding in a convoy!

The other notable benefit is zero heat from the engine. If you’re doing lots of stop-starts with a petrol engine, things will get hot quickly and start cooking your legs! With the RM1 however, it’s as cool as a cucumber.

Speaking of cool – this bike draws a lot of attention. If you park up outside a café, expect to be quizzed about it. People seemed surprised by the price tag. Flabbergasted by the low running costs. Enamoured by its classic heritage design. It does look great and has four distinctive colour options that are traditional yet contemporary at the same time.

In terms of battery performance, I covered 30 miles of riding around central London and used about 34% of the charge. I found that once I’d reached optimum speed, I just blipped the throttle now and again, and the bike kept its place at the front of the traffic. I rarely had the throttle pinned open for long durations which in turn, saved even more battery.

 

MRM1_2

 

Verdict

There’s nothing else quite like the Maeving for the money. It breaks the mould of futuristic scooters and e-bikes, allowing riders to conveniently zip through busy streets and get to the front of the traffic in super-cool style. Out on the open road, the RM1 would struggle, but this is the same for any 110cc petrol bike. The city is where the Maeving thrives. A silent classic roadster that costs peanuts to run and pulls admiring glances from anyone and everyone. Even in the heatwave-stricken London city centre, riding the RM1 was an absolute pleasure.

 

Maeving RM1 2022 Specs

Website

maeving.com

Price

£4,995 (single battery)/£5990 (twin battery)

Engine type

Electric

Battery

2.03kW/h, 50.4V, 42Ah

Recharge time

4h 10min (0-100%), 2h 55min (0-80%)

Motor

Bosch rear-wheel spoke hub

Power

3.0kW (4bhp) continuous, 4.4kW (5.9hp) peak

Torque

160Nm

Top speed

45mph

Transmission

Automatic

Range

40 miles (single batt) / 80 miles (twin batt)

Frame

Steel tube

Front suspension

Non-adjustable traditional forks

Rear suspension

Twin shock, adjustable preload, 80mm travel

Front brake

240mm disc, three-pot caliper

Rear brake

180mm disc, one-pot caliper, linked

Front tyre

3.25 x 19 Dunlop K70

Rear tyre

3.25 x 19 Dunlop K70

Seat height

785mm

Wheelbase

1395mm

Kerb weight

124kg (carrying two batteries).


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