CROWDFUNDING - OPEN TO BACKERS WORLDWIDE PRICES IN US$
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:
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.
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.
Confiture 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.
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.
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...
CEO, Stark Drive LLC
NORDIC BATCH 2 BIKES
Great news to those of you in the Nordics or waiting on your batch 2 bikes (not being included with the MAINLAND EU based bikes) we have received word that they are finally arriving and we will contact each of you individually for the final leg of your bikes long journey within the next two weeks.
These were delayed approximately a month due to an issue with the shipment leaving china and this was out of our control. we sincerely appreciate your patience and are working hard to fine tune the entire process. For those of you that were missing small pieces from your bikes in batch 1 or batch 2 we will also be receiving some spare parts with this shipment and will be sending those out to you on a case by case basis.
BATCH 3 MANUFACTURING
Batch 3 production is currently delayed 2 weeks due to an issue with a few components which were delayed from the supplier to our manufacturer. the current estimated completion date is mid june. we will keep you updated if this changes but for the time being it seems to be holding fast.
STARK DRIVE TORQUE
We are well on our way to launching Stark Drive Torque early 2019. Below you can see the finalized frame design which will be completely new and made specifically and only for Stark Drive. Originally due to the high cost of moulds and tooling we were forced to use standard commonly available frame designs which is what the original Stark Drive and Stark Drive Mini are based on. These save tens of thousands of dollars which translate into the worlds most affordable electric bikes. However, due to our continued expansion and improved volumes, not to mention our excellent relationship with our manufacturing partner in China, we are now in a position for Stark Drive Torque to design our own custom frame design while still maintaining our industry leading pricing.
Stark Drive Torque will be the only torque based electric bike on the market starting at a sub $1000 price point.
We have decided on using an industry standard Bafang motor for Stark Drive Torque with industry leading torque, reliable performance and excellent efficiency. Stark Drive Torque will be available in either 1.95'' tires (otherwise know as standard tire) configuration as well as Fat Tire. Our initial offerings for Stark Drive torque will be 250w, 350w as well as 500w.
Stark Drive Torque will launch through online crowdfunding with initial pricing only available to backers.
More information will be provided on this later.
STARK DRIVE MINI
We are super excited about the upcoming crowdfunding launch of Stark Drive Mini. this will be the most affordable electric bike in the world starting at an unbelievable $299 US. Stark Drive Mini is light, portable, and durable. Register your interest at www.starkdrive.world so that you receive the launch email in due course in order not to miss our most affordable configuration when we launch.
Stark Drive Mini will come in 250W and 350W configurations with various battery capacities and it will be the only electric bike in the world (that we know of) you can take with you when you fly, battery and all.
The nordic bikes are in the home stretch. These will be arriving soon and will be contacting all the backers individually about their bikes to ensure that the right bike gets to you as soon as possible after your extremely patient wait. The good news is that summer seems to have arrived to the nordics and Stark Drive will get to you to where you are going in the sun. For those that backed a fat tire bike, we would love some shots on the beach if you happen to live near one. Along with the nordic bikes we will be sending out bikes to several other countries which would have been very difficult to ship to otherwise such as Norway, Iceland, Isreal, Turkey, and several others. If you have not been notified of a tracking number for your bike as of yet, it means that your bike will be sent to you soon.
Mid Motor Drive Update
Development on the mid motor drive is going well with the prototypes being manufactured now. We have opted for a Bafang Motor system (not just the motor but the entire system inclusive bike computer, controller etc designed to work together) to ensure complete compatibility. We hope to receive these with the batch 3 bikes for testing and final confirmation. once again our price target for Stark Drive Torque is under the 1000 USD mark, making it the most affordable folding mid motor drive electric bike in the world. Stark Drive Torque is the sportier cousin of Stark Drive with better hill responsiveness.
Being an american based company we are abliged to follow regulations that are set out for us in the US which takes into account the correct parameters when imposing limitations on electric bikes. the regulations in the US allow you to have up to a 500w Motor so long as the maximum speed does not exceed the prescribed maximums. From this perspective the EU systems are a bit outdated as they have limited the motor power instead of limiting the maximum speed. Not very logical from our perspective but we hope that regulators in the EU will soon see the error of their ways.
That being said, we still believe that there are some backers out there that need 'more power' and based on this we have now formally filed for the EU standard L1e-A certification which will enable us to ship up to a 1000W motor based Stark Drive (be it hub motor or mid motor driven) anywhere in the EU. There are special criteria for this certification which i will not delve into now however we will in short order introduce the original Stark Drive to include options for 750W and 1000W hub motors in addition to the original 250W, 350W, and 500W. This also means that if you are in an especially strict country which does not let you ride anything higher then 250W and part of the EU, then with some minor modifications, your ride will now be perfectly legal in your region. The certification is not something we believed we needed to have from the start but we see the writing on the wall and that this is the way the entire industry is moving.
Batch 3 / 4
Batch 3 is anticipated to be complete end of May and we anticipate them leaving china mid June (as it takes some time to get them to the port, load them etc). Batch 4 backing is moving along and we hope to close this batch in the coming weeks. Updates on these batches will come as we learn more.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC
BATCH 2 EU DELIVERIES ONGOING NOW!
We are ecstatic to see that the EU batch 2 bikes are now being delivered all over the EU, many of our backers have already received their bikes! choosing UPS as our delivery partner was the right move as the bikes not only moved faster through customs this time around, they are also much more transparent with the tracking online as well as easier to contact if you have any issues, we believe we will use them as our EU partner for the foreseeable future.
If you dont already have your tracking number you can find it by logging into your account at starkdrive.bike (click REWARDS) at the bottom (footer) of the page. If you dont see it there then just send us a message through chat or email and remember to include your backer number or full name. we will get back to you with your tracking numbers.
Note: when you receive your bikes, check the boxes for any damage and if so report this to the carrier on delivery. this is very important for warranty claim purposes if there is any actual damage but that being said we have learned a lot from batch 1 and have improved packing substantially. if you do have problems with your bike please do not panic, just send us an email and we will troubleshoot the issue with you, seeing as how these bikes were delivered much more quickly, battery drain should not be an issue.
We strive to ensure you get the perfect bike that you backed but we are people too, please treat us kindly and we will do the same.
Stark Drive Helmet
In the near future we will be launching a SMART helmet that not only has LED indicators but also full bluetooth connectivity with your mobile and ability to play your tunes on the go as well as take calls and use your smart assistant.
A comparable product on the market which is of excellent quality is called Lumos
This product does not have all the features we intend to have with our smart helmet and the cost of this helmet is somewhere in the 230 USD range.
We intend to launch Stark Drive SMART for a cost of under $100 US. Indicators on the LED will be controlled from the handlebars enabling those behind you to see what you plan to do and making you safer on your journey especially in bustling and crowded city environments which we hope will reduce even further the chance of any accidents occurring to our valuable backers.
Not only will Stark Drive SMART have more features then the competition but just as we apply our company mantra to the most affordable electric bikes in the world, so does this apply to bicycle accessories and espeically those that have an impact on safety.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC
Well its about time that I shared a few words about when your very on custom configured Stark Drive arrives to your door. We have had some situations where our backers are a bit unaware of the procedures involved in receiving your stark drive to assembly to riding and maintenance. Its really important to understand what you should be checking for and doing in order to ensure your warranty remains valid and even to assist us in validating any claims if such occur.
Firstly I wanted to talk about the final delivery of your bikes. When we send out the bikes from the factory, the have already been assembled once and tested by our QC team who works (and nearly sleeps) locally at the factory. Their job is to ensure that the bike matches what you backed and that everything works as it should. Once the bike is tested the front wheel is removed as are the pedals and its boxed. We learned from Batch 1 that our bikes are roughhoused especially in the States so we have significantly improved packaging on subsequent batches but this unfortunately does not guarantee there will be no damage
Before accepting your Stark Drive from the final Carrier, check the box for obvious damage or whether the box has been opened.
All our bikes have tamper proof seals. If the bike is opened for customs purposes they will have their own special branded tape which indicates as such. if the box has been opened and not resealed or resealed with normal tape, it means that items may have been removed from your box. Be sure to mark this on receipt with the carrier and immediately contact us with photos.
Damage must be reported within 1 week of reception.
If when you get Stark Drive there is damage that was caused in shipping it must be reported to us and fully documented with photos/videos within 1 week otherwise our factory WILL NOT honor the warranty they provide us and we do not have any spare parts. The factory can track reception as can you or we with the information available online via tracking with the final carrier.
Any damage or defective parts will be replaced by shipping them from china at our expense. Final installation is the responsibility of the backer and must be done professionally.
Stark Drive Warranty
Our warranty is 6 months (unless you backed an additional warranty of up to 2 years). The warranty does not include ware and tare and frankly the warranty is mainly for the electrical system (including the battery) as these components are expensive to replace, the other components on the bike are time tested to function durably as we use all brand name parts such as Shimano.
If something goes wrong during your warranty period, we need to send evidence of this to the factory. Before contacting us, take photos and video of the problem and describe the problem well to us in your email. This information will be passed along to the factory whom make the final judgement of how to repair any problems.
Just like anything else Stark Drive requires maintenance. You need to keep it properly lubricated and tuned. In fact we recommend that you take your bike to a bike shop for final assembly and tuning before even riding it the first time as the bike gets jostled around a lot in shipping and bolts nuts etc can get loose. This is a high performance machine and to keep it operating optimally why not start with it being perfectly assembled and tuned?
we are working on improving the documentation and manuals for stark drive. we have assembled the most important documents in one location here. We are working on getting a translation of the bike computer manual with all settiings included there as well:
Does this need to be assembled at a Bike Shop or can i do it?
CEO, Stark Drive LLC
Here at Stark Drive, our company's Mission Statement is first and foremost to be an enabler of electric bike technology to the masses. This primarily means lowering the barrier to entry so that the primary hurtle, affordably, is removed. Not everyone shares this conviction however as is seen by the Stromer ST5 Electric Bike which is to be released soon at a price of 10.000 USD for the base model.
This is 25X the cost of the base model of Stark Drive!
It's truly unbelievable even after putting it in black and white. There is no doubt that this is the pinnacle of electric bike tech with all systems housed internally, no brake cables or any other cables to speak of visible and a host of wireless features which are ultra cool and connect to your Smart phone but 25X the price?
We are eagerly reviewing the tech with our engineers both in house and at our factory and our goal is to incorporate as many of the features housed inside this luxury electric bike so that we can bring it to the other 99% at an affordable cost.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC
We are delighted to announce that the Swedish bikes have finally successfully been loaded onto the containership. Its been very frustrating as our competition or other manufacturers whom decided to cut corners and use lower quality lithium ion cells in their electric products (be it bikes or otherwise) caused a number of fires on containerships over the last several months resulting in an increased government intervention and presence when it was found that containers contained large quantities of lithium cells.
We anticipate this arriving around the end of May at which point bikes will be sent to the final backers.
We are excited to announce that batch 3 has also been submitted to the factory and paid for. The bikes were submitted according to schedule and we anticipate upholding our original manufacturing schedule with an anticipated shipping of end of may for batch 3.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC
One of my personal greatest inspirations in my continuing endeavors to become a global enabler for electric bike technology comes from one of the pioneers of this movement: Sondors.
Sondors brought the affordable electric bike movement mainstream with a $499 USD Electric bike as below on both the kickstarter and indiegogo platforms:
Sondors raised millions for his electric bikes that were backed all over the world and i even had a chance to see one on a recent trip to Riga, Latvia below:
We recently received an update email from Sondors with the fantastic news that they are entering the 'Folding' ebike space meaning that we over at stark drive were onto something when we launched Stark Drive, as the original Sondors above no no ability to fold.
Their first entry into the folding space was Sondors Fold (below), and we are intensely interested in introducing a complimentary product as part of the 'Stark Drive' line-up of bikes, more on this later.
More importantly, Sondors has now introduced the Sondors Fold Mini which seems to be a distant relative of Stark Drive Mini (which we are launching in Late Spring/Early Summer.
Sondors has priced his Mini for $799 with an impressive set of features. One design choice he made which we thought was a bit of overkill was disc brakes on a bike with low inertia and momentum, such a powerful braking system adds, unnecessary cost to the design, in our opinion.
Stark Drive Mini will be infinitely upgradable and starts at an unbelievable $299 US.
Backers will even have the possibility to back a Stark Drive Mini you can fly with anywhere in the world, batteries an all.
The First eBike in the world designed to fly!
Sondors Fold Mini
Sondors Fold Sport (Starting at $899 US)
Sondors Fold (Starting at $1229 US)
Note that if you do want to have some weather protection (fenders) and a rear rack for a Sondors fold, the cost to upgrade this feature is $169 USD. If you compare to Stark Drive City the cost to upgrade this feature on our bikes is a rather more affordable $70 USD.
We think competition drives innovation. Instead of competition we consider these other players our mate that in a functioning market economy it is the backers that decide what ultimately survives in the marketplace and what is out-innovated by competition.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.
Although our blog updates have been somewhat less frequent things are still moving and shaking here at Stark Drive headquarters. Bikes have been leaving the factory and the new batch of bikes has officially closed and been released to for production. The factory is just finalizing some issues related to currency fluctuations which has held up the physical start of production but we anticipate this very soon. The currency fluctuations have been caused by the devaluation of the RMB over the last several months in comparison to the USD which has several contributing factors not the least of which has been the trade war which has ensued between these respective superpowers. The factory originally quoted us in USD and as we have such excellent pricing, it does have an effect on their bottom line. In the future we have requested all pricing in local currency to avoid any hold ups in this regard.
EU Tracking Numbers Added
We are pleased to announce that all the EU tacking numbers (minus Sweden, and a few other countries) have been added to your respective accounts and/or paypal (if you backed us via paypal). These are placeholders. The numbers are accurate (Delivery via UPS) and will begin to function once imported into the EU. This is the same as how the US/Canada bikes were sent meaning the numbers will show no activity until they reach the carrier after clearing customs and they take possession to deliver the bikes to the backers. This could take a few weeks but less time then it took for our overseas based backers.
Non EU bikes Shipped (if you have covered additional shipping/import charges)
the following countries have also been sent out:
We will be in touch with the respective backers with tracking information once we receive it as well as ETD, and ETA dates.
Delays to Sweden Bound Bikes
In the last several weeks there have been some catastrophes due to lithium ion batteries on board cargo ships bound for countries around the world departing China. We are super please to report and feeling quite fortunate that Stark Drives Cargo Container Was Not Among the Damaged. However due to the catastrophes which you can read more about below (use a translator as the news in in Chinese) the Chinese government has really stepped up monitoring and security precautions for any containers containing lithium cells meaning that although the Sweden bound bikes left the factory several weeks ago they have been stuck at the port waiting to board a cargo ship for the last few weeks. This is horrible news for our manufacturing partner as they are legally forced to cover all 'storage' charges at this port while the government conducts their audits and this has already run into the thousands of dollars. This will not effect any of our backers or Stark Drive but it does effect the bottom line of our manufacturing partner and consequently in the future possibly Stark Drive.
The first meeting between our respective councils and the arbitration judge took place as scheduled. It baffles us at Stark Drive that Mate decided it was not worth their time to take part in the proceedings. Indiegogo was there in a more reserved fashion. This type of behavior would only serve to frustrate the judge and does not reflect well upon Mate. The judge has given Mate until the 27th to respond in written form.
On an aside, I remember watching cartoons as a child, specifically those of an ostrich whom when frightened or in danger decided to duck its head in the sand and since it could no longer see the coming peril it obviously did not exist. From what i remember in these cartoons, it never worked out too well for the Ostrich.
I would like to revisit one of my favorite songs by one of the best groups of all time below:
CEO, Stark Drive LLC
Super excited to report that the EU bikes as of a couple days ago left the factory. Below you can see photos of the bikes as they head to the logistics partner for eventual loading on to a train bound for the EU. Last time (which was near christmas 2017) we experienced really long delays during the EU import process and we were very hesitant to send the bikes the same way this time but we were assured that this would not occur now as the christmas rush is over and we are using a different import point. Theoretically, the train should be about 50% faster then the boat for transport to the EU at 2-3 weeks.
Once it arrives to the EU, they will go through import and inspection and then will be sent to the local delivery agents warehouse for final delivery to your respective doors.
Since the delivery will be much faster then time, we dont anticipate any issues with low voltage batteries and we have packed these bikes much better so we anticipate no damage during the shipping process. Further, EU delivery agents generally are much kinder to our bikes then their partners in the USA.
Tracking Numbers for your respective bikes will be sent after they are imported to the EU and once the local delivery agents get the bikes, these will be uploaded to paypal (if you backed us that way) and/or sent to you via email.
We have closed batch 3 and submitted it to the factory, manufacturing will take approximately 1 month and then we will ship. We are moving forward with our MASTER PLAN and have included in this batch 2 units of STARK DRIVE TORQUE which will eventually be the first ever torque based electric bike launching at under $1000 USD as unbelievable as that may seem. (comparable bikes on the market start at around $4000)
Rest of The World Bikes (Non USA/CANADA/EU)
Talk about a logistics nightmare! we have been trying to find the most affordable ways to get bikes to far away places such as Costa Rica, Argentina, Uruguay, Kuwait, Mexico India etc) and due to the various import procedures and taxes etc the delivery can vary from Express air shipment to Boat shipment delivered to the port.
Note: we always work to get you the most affordable delivery method but in some cases such its impossible due to local regulations to get a super low price. We have a solution for this however, tell all your friends when you get your bikes so that next time we send a minimum of 150 units to your respective countries and then we just send a container which is ultra affordable.
All of these bikes are going out next week, we should have photos of them as they leave the factory which we will publish when we receive them.
We love feedback and some of our backers have thoughtfully taken the time to send us reviews of their bikes from batch 1 which we appreciate, we want to improve all the time and make Stark Drive the best electric bike in the world. Also if you have the opportunity to review us on Trustpilot, that would be excellent, good or bad it helps us to improve.
Indiegogo/Mate Arbitration in USA
The first meeting regarding this arbitration for tortious interference between Mate/Indiegogo and ourselves has taken over a year since the events took place (February 23 2017) but its finally happening. April 10th is the first meeting between the respective parties. We will of course keep you updated on the events as they transpire as we aim for full transparency.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC