CROWDFUNDING - OPEN TO BACKERS WORLDWIDE
We are super happy to report that the Batch 2 bikes are well on their way to being sent out as promised before the Chinese New Year and hundreds have already been produced as you can see from the images here. We are making improvements to the packaging and there have been several improvements to this batch of bikes enabling our backers even more control over Stark Drive.
-Bikes will now have three key positions and the total system power can be controlled by the key meaning that noone can start your bike without having a key.
-Improvements to the packaging to ensure that the most expensive component, the battery, is better protected as it seems UPS likes to manhandle Stark Drive in the USA.
-We include in this Batch a multipurpose 16 function tool to enable you to put the finishing touches on Stark Drive and simple maintenance free of charge.
-we have a new Seat for Stark Drive which we have tested to be more comfortable then the one used in Batch 1.
-we include better instructions in the box for the final assembly of the front wheel
We keep being reassured by our (soon to be ex) logistics partner that the TNT numbers should work this week, we are very sorry for the long delay here with customs and the holiday season they took much, MUCH longer then we anticipated to reach our non Nordic EU based backers. We thank you for your patience.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC
WIN WIN WIN
Now that we have had Stark Drive delivered from the Cook Islands to San Francisco To Oslo all over the world, we felt it might be a good time to hold a contest giving our Original Batch 1 Backers a chance to win a battery pack (always helpful when you are exploring with Stark Drive) as well as a 250 USD credit on a future backing of Stark Drive!
HOW TO WIN?
In order to be entered into the contest it doesn't require any significant effort at all! All you need to do to enter is to take the best photo of you out and about on Stark Drive exploring the beach, countryside, city, or wherever you may find yourself and posting the photo to any social media platform you choose. We prefer Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Post the photo, and copy us by tagging us so that we know you did so and we will go through and review all the photos and make a decision.
The Contest Starts now, as you are reading this and ends March 15th 2018 at Midnight PST.
The winning entry will be announced on our website blog on the 20th of March 2018.
Any questions? email us or send us a chat message through the chat function on our website.
Good luck to everyone and thank you to all of you who believed in us and supported our dream of making electric bikes affordable for everyone!
CEO, Stark Drive LLC
We are super happy to report that even more US backers have received Stark Drive. We have seen a smattering of Tweets and Facebook Updates about Stark Drive arriving by UPS. This makes us glad that all the hard work has finally come to fuition.
Note, we will receive the tracking numbers for Canadian backers soon. Once we do, we will post them to your account and/or Paypal. They will take a little longer to get up north as they are transported by UPS from California.
Note we have now added TNT numbers to all EU batch one backers but these will only start to work this Friday as the numbers were from our logistics partner and must be received by TNT and scanned into their system to begin working. They did this as they still needed to pay the final last leg fees to TNT, which of course we had to pay them in advance. These were only calculated once all confirmed duty/tax paid bikes were calculated.
Below you will see a happy Swedish Backer receiving his bike.
Below are also some photos of us loading to the brim a UPS truck with even more units of Stark Drive destined for these exotic locations. They should be with you in a few days. Use them with pride!
CEO, Stark Drive LLC
A quick update for those that don't follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
UPS has finally received the bikes and the USA tracking numbers will start to work as of this week. Canada backers will get tracking numbers from us this week as UPS first needed to get ahold of the bikes and then assign tracking numbers locally as it could not be done from China. We will be in touch with you once we get these.
We have now added TNT tracking numbers to our website and Paypal (if payment was made by paypal) for all EU batch 1 bikes. These numbers will begin to function this coming week, right now they are working their way into the TNT system as these numbers are provided by our logistics partner.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.
This post comes after our experience sending bikes to Australia but this has also effected several of our EU based backers specifically in Germany where they have some very stringent regulations on electric bikes and their motor power rating.
You see the EU has written regulations that govern the total power output of motors that are supplied on electric bikes opting to set this limitation at 250w which on the surface may seem like a reasonable power rating and more then enough for the average user as these bikes are strictly meant to 'assist' the rider in getting from a to b. The problem arises however that this limitation is ill conceived for several reasons for example, if one digs deeper into the entire reasoning behind this limitation its really based in the fact that these electric bikes should not provide assist to any rider past a speed limit of 25kph. That is quite fast and depending on the rider weight, there can be a lot of momentum generated for someone traveling at speed considering that the average electric bike weighs in excess of 20kg plus the rider weight. Assuming an average rider weight of 100kg you are looking at approximately 100KN of force being applied if we measure the stopping distance at about 3 cm. This is a huge amount of energy that is transferred into the opposing object, enough to cause serious injury.
The problem is the following, the average person can pedal (without assist) faster then 25kph for short periods and if you look at the amount of assist versus rider weight, you will find that the average professional biker can easily generate 400w or energy on a normal bike. What ends up happening for heavier riders is that there is a severe performance hindrance even on flat terrain not to mention if there are any hills involved.
As has been the case in several instances in the past, the lawmakers are not looking at the real root causes and solutions in order to make riding safer in that what really should be regulated is the max speed while assisted by the power system. A heavier rider on a 500w bike for example may in fact get the same performance during the acceleration phase as a lighter rider would up hills while only on a 250w equipped electric bike.
The power systems can be regulated with internal electronics or the bike computer and the max speed which can be easily tested (as opposed to trying to figure out what watts the motor on the electric bike installed is, if there are no markings on the motor).
As electric bikes are made more mainstream by such companies such as ours that are enabling people whom may not have seen the value proposition at a price of 1500 USD but can easily see the value when the price costs less then 500 USD, the regulations should reflect the desired final outcome instead of imposing limits that negatively effect the user's experience based on factors that were not taken into account such as rider weight.
All Stark Drive bikes include inbuilt electronics that limit the total final speed when being assisted by the electric motor and/or when riding on pure electric power with the use of the Throttle.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.
Timi, one of our earliest Stark Drive Backers received a nice surprise directly after christmas in Tahiti
Electric bikes are not so common on this island which is drenched in sun for a majority of the year and a definite contender for being able to supply all of their electric (and transportation needs) via 100% renewable sources, namely the sun. One of the barriers for these island inhabitants has been a lack of availability and a lack of affordability in terms of their electric bike choices.
These are two things that we endeavor to solve here at Stark Drive.
Price should not be a barrier to entry but getting bikes to an island in the south pacific is not without its challenges either, challenges that we meet head on at Stark Drive. One of the biggest things that has been somewhat a limiting factor for us here have simply been volumes. Although we have hundreds of backers around the world that have entrusted us with their hard earned savings for the reward of a fantastically well equipped electric bike, when we ship a single or a few units to any given country we are held somewhat at the mercy of the logistics terminals that our bikes arrive at. Although we prepay shipping charges in all instances, and in many instances to far away places the costs are higher then the 200 USD that we charge as a flat rate, once they arrive at any given port, its a whole different ball game as the local handlers that move and brake down the containers and ultimately readdress the package so that it can be handled locally do charge a fee that we do not see from our end. We are trying to improve this aspect of the customer experience and we hope that as volumes of Stark Drive increase, we will be able to ultimately eliminate this additional cost that is tacked on at the ports of entry. Flying Stark Drive to the final destination may seem like the ultimate solution to many however this is not without its challenges as airlines have very strict policies on high capacity lithium ion batteries which are a standard component of every Stark Drive unit. These are then marked as hazardous goods and it increases the shipping costs exponentially.
Timi Loves Stark Drive
I have just had the pleasure of speaking with Timi over the phone and ironically he mentioned that he was in Auckland, New Zealand when Stark Drive was transferred off the container ship from China to be loaded onto the container ship traveling to his home island in the south pacific.
Timi, has already had the chance to assemble and try out his Advanced bike and from his perspective he loves it, we hope to hear more from him in the coming days and will post anything that he sends us on our blog (with his permission) and we hope that we are able to enable anyone else in Tahiti the opportunity to own a solid electric bike to ease the flow of movement throughout this hilly region.
Thank you Timi for believing in our dream and backing our campaign even when we faced unexpected hurtles.
One of the benefits of being worldwide is that we have thousands of eyes following or progress and shipping 24 hours a day. Today we received word at about 230am Swedish time that bikes in the USA have cleared customs and that they were now moving forward to the final carrier for door delivery. More on this when it becomes available to us. We also have word that the EU bikes will ultimately be delivered by the carrier TNT for final door shipping for all our EU backers, more on this later.
Update on Batch 2
We will be posting an update on batch 2 soon with all the information as well as photos we know and its all good! the production is ongoing with all the major components for this batch having been ordered for the eventual 3rd week of January departure from the factory and ultimately having this batch leave China before the Chinese New Year which is a time when the entire country shuts down for about 2 weeks with people traveling home to their loved ones to ring in the New Year. We will post an update specifically on Batch 2 in the coming days.
From everyone at Stark Drive working around the world we would like to with everyone:
A Happy and Prosperous New Year, Dare to Dream and Dream Big!
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.
A very well done, professionally edited (at least from my perspective) Video of the assembly of two units of Stark Drive.
Finally an independent third party review that many have been asking about.
We want to take a moment to with everyone Happy Holidays and all the best for 2018!
Now that the bikes for Nordic backers have arrived and we have been able to get Stark Drive into the hands of several Stockholm based backers, we had the pleasure of receiving some unboxing photos from the first ever backer of Stark Drive. You can see them below. Note how we are super proud of the organization and packing of the bike within the box. We are interested in the whole ownership experience of Stark Drive. While the assembly is not at all extensive as Stark Drive ships with the front tire removed for more efficient space utilization within the box.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC
Below we have one of our early backers Manu describing his experiences backing not only Stark Drive but also a few words about crowdfunding in general and how Stark Drive has exceeded his expectations by delivering an ultra affordable travel mate in record time, especially when one compares it to competing projects/campaigns that he has backed in the past.
We want to wish Manu and his wife a merry christmas and we hope that he rides with pride knowing that he has helped us in achieving the altruistic goal of launching and making available the most affordable electric bike in the world.
Update: We have received images of the assembled bikes: