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Stark Drive Mini Launching August 30th

08/17/2018

You can see the teaser launch video for Stark Drive Mini above.

In order to build and ship the most affordable electric bike in the world (again) we relied on tried and true principals of using open mould standardized frame design and building the best bike we could possibly build around it. Developing Mini was a challenge for our enthusiastically ambitious team as we knew what we wanted, an electric bike that would ultimately ship for less than $300 US, one that was light, powerful and could get respectable range in order to become a partner in your daily commute.

To our knowledge this is the first 250W 36V folding electric bike ever for under $300.

With Mini we addressed several shortcomings with our original Stark Drive design which just due to cost, mechanical and weight limitations we could not improve such as:

  • easier to carry
  • compact and portable on public transit
  • ability to take a flight with your bike
  • industry leading weight/power ratio
  • breaking through the $300 barrier to entry
  • better control of system power

Recently while browing the web for the latest in affordable bicycle tranportation i came upon a wired review on:

TERN A7 (Click to see the Review)

At first glance i thought that Stark Drive was finally making some headway with its goals of inspiring our competition to lower the prices of electric bikes but although it looks similar to other electric bike frames on the market, this one was your standard bicycle, no electric to speak of, at a price that matches our base model Stark Drive City (a fully electric pedal assist bicycle). Its clear that there is still a long way to go in order to get the industry to more aggressively pursue a more competitive pricing structure for their products to open the door for those that would otherwise not be in a position to afford an electric bike.

Stark Drive Limited Edition Stock Units Ready for Immediate Shipment

08/12/2018

We are pleased to announce the availability of a limited number of Stock units under: www.starkdrive.bike/stock ready for immediate shipment worldwide.

These are, for the most part, Limited Edition units not available to configure from our web shop and in neon colors.

Check it out now, these are only available in very limited quantities.

Sincerely
Oscar

Stark Drive Batch 3 Canada - Boat Delayed

08/08/2018

Hello,

Canada Batch 3

we just wanted to report that the batch 3 bikes for Canada which should have landed at the beginning of august at the canadian port were delayed and will nwo arrive tomorrow (August 9th), it will be a few days going through customs as these are a LCL (less then a container load) and are mixed up with other items in the same container. We hope that your tracking numbers activate this week but for sure they will activate early next week.

Batch 4

Batch 4 manufacturing is progressing very well and we expect it will be done as scheduled at the end of august at which point we will ship out worldwide. note that you can still get into Batch 4 by getting a STOCK bike here: (www.starkdrive.bike/stock) and this will ship at the same time reducing the lead time considerably.

Sincerely

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC

Stark Drive Mini Launch

08/03/2018

Hello Everyone,

That atmosphere at our offices is electric with excitement. We have at the end of last week finished filming the launch video for Stark Drive Mini and the preliminary video we have received is prodigious and eye appealing. The Mini video will focus not on selling a product (as does so many other launch videos in the marketplace) but rather telling the story of Stark Drive and how we got to where we are today.

Stark drive was not just a bike but an idea, a concept, a goal to enable affordable electric transportation worldwide to everyone who wanted it.

We all live on the same planet so helping even one more person commute in a more environmentally way will make a difference.


Stark Drive MIni will be an electric bike of many 'firsts'.

  • First electric bike ever launched under $300 USD
  • First electric bike that can travel with you when you fly (batteries and all)
  • First folding electric bike completely customizable to your usage case senario from the factory
  • First folding electric bike that arrives to your door fully assembled and ready to ride

For us here at Stark Drive we hope this is just the first of many firsts for our company with the Launch of Stark Drive Mini (tentatively scheduled for the end of August 2018) we have come to realize our phase 2 goal and with a successful launch we we be moving on to our phase 3 goal of the worldwide launch of the most affordable torque based electric bike at under $1000 USD.

Stark Drive Mini will be launching on Kickstarter.

Sign up for our launch email and the chance to back our most well equipped Mini for a limited number of early adopters.

www.starkdrive.world.

Its with a debt of gratitude that i extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone that believed in the premise and concept of Stark Drive during our relaunch in 2017, when even our former crowdfunding partner cast a shadow of doubt and prematurely ended our crowdfunding campaign (refunding all of our backers) to our dismay and detriment. They may have delayed us, but the idea and belief in affordable electric transportation lived on and with our relaunch we proved that united we can make anything possible.

Sincerely

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.

Batch 3 USA & Europe Bikes Delivered (or nearly), Remember Battery Controls System Power

08/01/2018

Hello Everyone,

we are super please to be getting reports from around the western globe of bikes being delivered to anxious backers (the final backers actually, as now we have switched to a regular for sale website).

Its important to remember to take your bike shop to get assembled if you have any doubts as this is a high performance machine that can reach some serious speeds and having a professional fine tune it for you can only help in the long run.

SYSTEM POWER

Please remember that every single batch three bike has a battery pack that turns off total system power. The bike will not turn on if the battery is not turned on. The key has 3 settings, OFF, ON (but not locked in the frame), ON (locked in the frame). the key can not be removed when the bike is on, this is a security feature. It can be a bit of a challenge the first time you try to turn the key as its placed under the bike but with some practice it will become second nature. its important to have it this way in order to reduce any foreign particles entering the area.

Without the key the bike will not turn on.

Insert the key and turn in order to enable system power and then the bike computer and all other power functions will work.

Batch 4 and Stock Units

Batch 4 is progressing very well and we anticipate that it will be done as originally anticipated at the end of august for shipping worldwide. Fortunately at the same time our Stock units seen here: https://starkdrive.bike/stock will also be done so its not too late to pick up Stark Drive and have it delivered in record time. Minor modifications can be made to these units if you contact us after purchasing. We hope to have these stock units located in warehouses in Europe and the USA to further reduce deliver time to just a few days after purchasing.

Sincerely

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC

EU Batch 3 Bikes have Cleared Customs

07/25/2018

Hello Everyone,

EU BATCH 3

we are pleased to announce that the EU Batch 3 bikes have cleared customs and are now just a few days away from their new homes all across europe.

If you are part of this batch then you can track the bike using your tracking number on your account.

BRAKE PADS

We now have replacement brake pads on our accessories section on the website, the first of these will begin shipping early september.

USA BATCH 3

We have been informed these have cleared customs but UPS has not recieved them in their warehouse yet. this will take a few more days and then you will be able to track the bikes using your tracking numbers.

Thank you

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC

USA Recent List of Tariffs on China Based Products - No Impact to Stark Drive

07/11/2018
Hello,

just a quick note to anyone looking at Stark Drive in the USA and the ongoing trade tariff escalation between the USA and China.

Its good news for the time being with the latest tariffs not covering fully assembled electric bikes from our understanding of the recently imposed proposed list of tariffs from the POTUS:

Here is a list for you to investigate yourself :

https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/301/2018-0026...

We at Stark Drive sincerely hope that tariffs never apply to green transportation technology such as electric bikes as this will have an extremely negative impact on the development of this transportation field.


Thank you

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC

After an incredibly Successful Launch 'Crowdfunding' Coming to an end...

07/07/2018

Hello Everyone

Inspiring

Its been a year full of trials and tribulations, notable victories and good learning experiences and struggles that continue to this day, however, one thing for sure is that Stark Drive has achieved so much more then we had ever anticipated with the launch of our ultra affordable electric bike thanks to you backers. It has been a incredible experience with the community that we discovered that had the same vision as we did in bring ultra affordable electric bikes to everyone. The understanding demonstrated by nearly all our backers when we faced hurtles and delays was humbling and we are incredibly thankful to all of you who believed in us.

Its been a long road to get to where we are today

Just to recap what it took to get Stark Drive here today I wanted to briefly go over the history and finally reveal information that has not been discussed on our blog previously which will serve to clarify precisely why schedules seemed to lag behind my original expectations.

Kickatarter


Stark Drive originally launched on kickstarter on November 1st 2016. At the time we were new to this whole crowdfunding business model and this inexperience showed. We made many mistakes including not promoting Stark Drives' launch, setting our funding minimum at a level that was assessed improperly as well as not spreading the word about our campaign after the launch in the best way.

After a few days on kickstarter we were contacted by Indiegogo. Indiegogo thought we had an excellent product at an unbelievable price (perhaps too unbelievable for some?). At the time Mate, offering a similar electric bike based on a similar frame, had been on their platform since around July 2016 with the 'backing' to get one of their bikes at around 2x Stark Drive's prices, and they had raised millions of dollars.

Indiegogo saw an opportunity to further improve their revenues (all crowdfunding websites take a cut of the total revenue when anything is launched on their platform) with Stark Drive, a handsome well built and well equipped electric bike stood out in the crowd.

On contacting us, they told us at the time that if we cancelled our crowdfunding with kickstarter and moved to their platform they would provided us a dedicated support team, something that kickstarter did not offer at the time. Although it was not unheard of to launch on two platforms at once, they cited 'backer confusion' as a good reason to end our cooperation with kickstarter. We decided that this was the way to go and thus, cancelled our crowdfunding campaign with their platform and instead Follow the advice that they provided us regarding how to launch a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Thus began round two with much better marketing, much better promotion and spreading word of mouth about Stark Drive and our new upcoming launch which was now scheduled on February 15, 2017. During the interim. We focused our efforts on everything that indigogo told us about and when we did eventually lunch, or more correctly relaunch, we were a striking success raising just shy of US$300,000 in the span of about one week with the momentum building daily.

Indiegogo

Then started the most chaotic time up to that point for Stark Drive and our continuing existence. At around 10 PM Swedish time on February 23 2017, we started receiving emails from indigogo stating that They were issues with our account and that they were going to be canceling our crowd funding campaign. All of our emails to indigogo went unanswered and we learned then that there actually is no way to contact indigogo besides email. They do have a 1-800 number however this is a number that just provides more information verbally as opposed to via their website text. True to form as they have stated via their email to us our campaign was in fact canceled and all the backers refunded.

Obviously, in terms of a company trying to crowdfund a new product, this would cast a significant level of doubt as to the credibility of the product and/or the company that was tried manufactured. Not resting on our laurels we in the following days frantically tried to establish what had gone wrong and the reasoning behind why our campaign was canceled.

After contacting legal representation And trying to get a hold of anyone at indiegogo unsuccessfully i decided that the only way to get some answers was to go straight into the dragons den and visit the indiegogo offices. I booked a flight to New York And traveled to their offices and met with them. I have summarized this visit In a blog update which you can read If you're interested here. I won't discuss too much on this now, however, the visit was fairly successful in terms of them once again demonstrating a high level of interest in our product and they were impressed at the level of refinement And professionalism in our Advertising campaign. They especially Liked our promotional video which they felt to be clear concise to the point And enticing.

Relaunch

After leaving indiegogos’ offices once again we set to work on the Seemingly insurmountable task of relaunching Stark Drive. As our account with indiegogo had been suspended I had no way of contacting any of our existing backers. However one thing that I have done correctly Was to keep a database of Email addresses of those whom were interested in Stark Drive and these people were once again contacted and informed about the relaunch at the end of April 2017. We were successful in raising enough funds in order to proceed with manufacturing Stark Drive just hours after our relaunch.

Conspiracy Within Our Ranks

As the relaunch had done so wellI we were easily able to proceeded in placing the first order with our manufactures in China whom we had already signed contracts with almost 6 months prior. We sent money over to our local representative in China, Lance Liu (pictured below) Whom had a company registered there and able to accept US dollars. It was his responsibility to transfer the funds over to the factory to begin production of all of the electric bikes. He role also included QC to ensure that every bike met our expectations.


I traveled to China at the end of June Approximately 2 months after the launch Expecting to see hundreds of electric bikes ready To be boxed and shipped out to backers around the world. When I arrived There were only two prototype bicycles manufactured. I had known Lance for years and had worked with them on projects prior to Stark Drive and thus trusted Lance to handle the funds and begin production of Stark Drive.

It turns out that this was a huge mistake which I will get into more later. The visit went fairly well with the factory owner demonstrating a clear level of enthusiasm to work with us and to manufacture the highest quality electric bikes possible. Upon leaving the factory We were promised by special contract that the bikes be finished by the end of July. It was at the end of July that the deception was discovered.

New Start

Fortunately I had the private contact information for the factory owner which Lance was not aware of and I Contacted a friend whom was fluent in Chinese and thus began the dialogue That unraveled the deception that had occurred. Lance had not transferred any money to the factory. In fact left the factory was a bit confused about my company and exactly what we are doing because a lot of promises kept coming from Lance but there was never any action (ie $$'s moving).

This was a catastrophic event. Knowing that there is a lead time between 45 and 60 days to manufacture Electric bikes as per our factory contract. I immediately used my personal funds and wired them to the factory's new contact to start production. Now remembering that it was now the beginning of August That meant now that the bikes were going to be finished at the end of October And shipping at that point. And this corresponds with our actual batch one shipping dates and when our backers received batch one bikes. There was of course an unfortunate knock on effect to batch two due to the fact that batch one had been delayed. This delay of course being caused by the former business partner Lance whom we had now filed criminal charges against in Chinas well as being forced higher legal representation there in order to reclaim our funds.

HSBC

As a small business owner i would like to mention that HSBC was incredibly uncooperative during this whole situation. the funds were transferred to one of their accounts and when we learned of the decption, we contacted them in order to place some flag on the account. Call, after call, email after email, there was no cooperation from their side and the only thing that they would tell us was that if the police contacted them they would cooperate fully. In the mean time however the account was open to further moving the funds and making it even harder to reclaim what was stolen from us.

Determination

This did not deter me or dissuade me from my ultimate goal of launching ultra affordable electric bikes worldwide. The knock on effect only really had a significant impact on batches one and two, batch three which were starting at the time did not have as significant a delay as was associate with the first two batches and thoughts we are able to improve our delivery by reducing the delivery time in every consecutive batch.

Ironically this deception by our former business partner Lance might actually have been a good thing If we look at it from the perspective of the relationship between Stark Drive and our manufacturing partner in China. Such a deception could be said to not look so favorably upon the country as a whole and the factory decided that they would work even harder in order to achieve our extremely ambitious pricing targets. Not only that but they are willing to work with us to do customizations which would normally require large initial orders. This is how we were able to compete with the more established bigger players In terms of providing ultra customized electric bikes versus our competition which provides one model that's identical with the possible color change. If you look at it from the perspective that every single bike was unique and required exceptional monitoring to ensure that it corresponded to the backers customizations on our website. I know of no other bike manufacturer offering this level of customization.

I like to think of myself as an optimist and think of the glass half-full. A positive perspective on life and words to live by.

Payment Processor

Ironically the deception that was caused by our former business partner in China did not only effect us in terms of the delay in the manufacturing of the electric bicycles. This also had a significant Impact on our payment processing partner PayPal. Of course It is understandable that PayPal wants to protect their customers from fraudulent transactions as they ultimately have contracts with all credit card providers in order to do so with the extended delivery of batches one and two It raise some eyebrows over a PayPal and they decided that it was In the best interests of all their clients to put a hold on all of the funds that Stark Drive had with them. This caused us even further problems as even though we had an Excellent repor with our manufacturers in China they must also purchase all of the product in order to manufacture Stark Drive and Ultimately cash is king. We then faced a situation where our cash flow was causing us difficulties. Once again for the sake of keeping the dream alive i was compelled to use my own funds in order to keep Stark Drive on track.

It took approximately one year for the situation With PayPal to resolve itself however with this resolution came more problems In that we were no longer welcome on the PayPal platform. Fortunately for us we had a good relationship with our other payment processors and were able to continue our crowdfunding via of those means.

Stark Drive MIni


If you stand still the world will pass you buy. While we were working with our very funds and dedicated team to deliver bikes all around the world we were also hard at work to making our Master Plan a reality. In the coming weeks we are going to out do even ourselves and once again launch the worlds most affordable electric bike at $299 US. The bike will still have the same ability to customize it to your needs and not only that we are going a step further and every single bike that leaves the factory will be fully 100% assembled. All you need to do is remove it from the box, turn the key and start riding.

Stark Drive Torque

Furthermore the launch of Stark Drive Torque is well underway with customized moulds being completed as we speak so that we receive the first prototypes with the batch 3 bikes that are being shipped out. This of course being important so that we can test and fine tune the performance to deliver the best torque based electric bike experience possible.

We don't have the resources of our competition, all of our team have day jobs and 'work' at Stark Drive for free with the reasoning being that an altruistic goal such as ours is one that will never come easily. There will always be those that want to uphold the status quo and prevent companies such as ours from lowering the global prices of electric bikes and hence the barrier of entry into owning this environmentally beneficial technology.

Just because our competition has tried to prevent us from being a green transportation enabler does not mean we just let them walk over us either. there are some fairly significant legal actions that are ongoing as we speak which could result in a fairly significant slap on the wrist for those that tried to cause the global electric bike market harm. This has yet to be decided and we will of course report on it when a resolution is reached.

I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone that believed in Stark Drive and our mission, as difficult as it was to achieve. For your patience, for your understanding and for your and your unfettered belief in what we are trying to do.

The world thanks you.

Sincerely,

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.

EU Batch 3 Ships / USA & Canada Batch 3 Ship - How does Tracking Work Clarification.

06/23/2018

Hello Everyone!

We are super excited to announce that Batch 3 has left the building!

Below you will see photos of first the EU bikes which actually left the factory to be sent by Train to the EU (same as we did last time, however we send it to Hungary for import as opposed to the overcrowded and overloaded port we used in batch 1). We have found this import point very efficient and have had no issues with it in terms of delays.

The USA and Canada bikes are traveling by Boat and the tracking numbers for these bikes will be uploaded to your backer page once we receive them in about a week. they will be shipped by UPS. This whole process is definitely much more efficient now then it was when we first started and we have a much more predictable. We have photos below of this shipment as well.

On every batch we have improved on total production time (from factory to end user) with the first delayed to circumstances that were beyond our control taking about 6 months to the second batch taking on average about 5 months and now this shipment which technically closed end of March and now has shipped and will be received mid July 3.5 - 4 months!

We will continue to work to improve delivery times and are even making headway into having stock in all major zones so that if you get a standard bike, it will be sent out to you in just a few days.

The tracking works like this:

UPS tracking numbers will be uploaded to all of our accounts (if you forgot your password or cant access your account email us at hello@starkdrive.com and we will reset this information for you). These tracking numbers will show up at:

Processed, Ready for UPS

That means that the tracking numbers are in UPS's system and once the bikes clear customs in the destination country they will be passed onto UPS and then activate. Boat shipping takes about 4 weeks, we will provide information on the boat so that you can track its progress online when we get it. Train shipping takes about the same time.

I personally want to once again thank everyone that has believed and invested in our groundbreaking concept of ultra affordable electric bikes we will continue to work hard to improve features and reduce prices.

Our journey is still just beginning, and its one of passion, dedication and altruism.


EU BIKES




USA & Canada Bikes



Sincerely

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.

Stark Drive now with L1e-A Certification (Up to 1000W Coming soon)

06/11/2018

Hello!



We are exceptionally pleased to announce that as of today, Stark Drive is officially L1e-A Certified as per the eu regulations which can be found here:

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/2078/0975/files/EU_L1e-A_Regulation.pdf?2502859001790126765#page=43

What does this mean for anyone with Stark Drive that was backed with greater then a 250W motor? Quite simply, it means that as long as you have not modified Stark Drive in any way, and depending on your local countries regulations (if they differe with this EU Standard) you are now able to use your bike legally in your location no matter where you are in the EU.

You should be extra aware about your local regulations as in many countries an L1e-A certified bike needs to be registered and insured (be sure to consult your local laws and rules) and with registration comes the security that the bike can be tracked if it is stolen or misplaced. This approval that we have received is European Union wide and even those countries that are not part of the EU but rather EEA do adopt similar regulations in order to keep the market common but you will need to consult with your authorities. We will detail more about the registration process in an upcoming blog post but if you have any questions you can email us and we will respond in kind.

Throttle

we have recently reworked our configuration page so that both throtle and cruise control are combined and with the throttle you can choose if you want to pedal or just move quickly up to speed without needing to pedal whatsoever. This is especially useful when you are trying to move uphill from a standstill.

Configure up to 1000W Motor

Up to today we have been offering up to 500W of power for those that need this extra umph depneding on rider weight or terraine but now with up to 1000W soon configurable from our hope page you will have the power you need to handle any situation. Tow loads with Stark Drive, leave the car at home and use pure electric power to bring home your groceries from your local market. Take your kids with you wherever you would like with a cargo carrier.

Lights?

Stark Drive has always included a front head light by default at no charge for safety with the rear brake light being optional for those who needed this. Now we have reconfigured the homepage so that the rear headlight options i clearly visible and availble without needing to compllicate matters by adding it from our accessories page. We highly recommend a rear brake light no matter what motor you choose for Stark Drive.

Helmets?

We always recommend one wears a helmet when using Stark Drive no matter what motor configuration you choose. You only have one head and these dont heal very well when impacted. This is why Stark Drive is developing and soon launching the ultimate LED equipped helmet which you can read about here: https://starkdrive.bike/blog/eu-batch-2-delivery-a...

Sicnerely

Oscar Stark
CEO, Stark Drive LLC