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I just wanted to take a minute to give you an update to my trip to China whose sole purpose was to visit the companies who in partnership with Stark Drive LLC are responsible for manufacturing Stark Drive Torque (SDT). Due to excellent planning, I was incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to visit every major player who has a part in manufacturing the mission critical components of Stark Drive. From the Frame Manufacturer to the Lithium Ion Battery supplier to our artisan boutique coatings partner (AKA Painter) and finally of course the main partner factory whom we have worked together with for over 3 years where everything comes together.
IT TAKES A LOT
It was a whirlwind trip and and really opened my eyes as to how hard our partner factories work to keep up to our demanding requirements and intensive schedules.
In the famous words of Henry Ford:
Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.
I will be going into more detail and depth to each of our partners in upcoming blog posts but sufficed to say, i was exceptionally impressed by the level of dedication, attention to detail and quality of SDT. The thin tire is a perfect commuter bike for the city and even has a little animal instinct being caged inside that Bafang torque motor for some off road action. SDT Max is an entirely different animal altogether. Max hides nothing in the way of power which is glaringly apparent from the first time you climb onboard and press on that pedal to start accelerating. We will be using the latest and most powerful motor Bafang has to offer on Max topping out at 1000W. Furthermore, even though it's officially rated at 1000W, at 160Nm of torque, the internet is abuzz with ebike enthusiasts who have managed to tweak the bikes internal controllers to achieve upwards of 2500W out of this mid motor.
In my testing of STD, i was able able achieve slightly over 40kph just pedaling in the highest gear. The number of gears on the bike i tested was set to 7 however we will be increasing this to 9 on the final version meaning that with a little effort a speed of up to 50kph should be possible.
My testing of SDT Max was much more fun and a different experience altogether. I would not say that SDT Max is a bicycle that has been made electric, i would more compared it to being a motor bike that has been switched to a battery driven electric motor. In my testing, remembering im around the 100kg (220lb) mark, i was able to achieve 64kph based on a 7 speed cassette and the amount of torque when you first start off the line is exhilarating and even a bit scary the first time you try it.
There have been upgrades to both models all around from feedback we have received for the original Stark Drive as well as feedback we have from our internal testing with the two original prototype models that we received several months ago.
This was one of the important factors we wanted to address from the original Stark Drive which used a spring based shock system that was adjustable only to turn it on or lock it out and nowhere in between. This gave a limited about of choice to our original backers when using Stark Drive and we knew we had to do better. Both models of SDT now use an air compression based front shock system that is fully adjustable, both with the amount of air pressure inside the shocks as well as a dial to adjust the amount of recoil you are interested in once the system is all charged. In all there are 9 user adjustable settings on SDT with a range of 120kg to 240kg of adjustable resistance.
The battery system for SDT MAX has also been upgraded to 48V meaning a lot more power from the motor and from our testing a lot more range when not using the bike to its limits. We have calculated that you can realistically achieve over 120km of pedal assist range from SDT and over 150km of assist from MAX based on the lowest amount of assist in average terrain conditions. We have also upgraded the batteries internally to house a high powered USB out at 10W which no one else has in the marketplace. The batteries used on Torque are state of the art and the best we could achieve.
We wanted to experiment with new coating options for SDT as the bike stands out in a crowd so your paint job should as well. With our coatings partner we are now able to finish SDT using Hydrographics designs such as the ones pictured at the top of this post. There are thousands upon thousands of different designs available however we settled on the two above as we felt that these bikes were something the military would want to keep a secret if they were to take it to the battlefield.
It was by necessity that we needed to upgrade the brakes for SDT as the bikes could achieve speeds that were so fast we needed to increase the brake pad surface area to help to stop the bike faster especially considering the extra total weight for MAX we needed something that would function reliably over a longer period of time without needed to replace the pads continually. The new brakes used on SDT have been battle tested and are based on the best bicycle brakes in the industry. We are not switching from disc brakes to hydraulic brakes for base model of SDT for the simple reason that the price difference in comparison to the improvement in performance negligible. This will be offered as an option for those that really want hydraulic brakes and for those die hard bikers that can not live without them can always put them on their bikes after they receive them.
It was a dedicated effort to develop our relationship with Bafang and work with them to incorporate their engines on SDT. The mid motor drives we are using for MAX is very new to the market and only a handful of other ebike manufacturers are using the same type of engine on their bikes. We wanted to go with the best and most powerful engines that were available and after doing a cost/benefits analysis decided that the only way to go was BAFANG. Their M400 Motor at 250W achieves more torque than a 750W hub motor at 95Nm and their 1000W motor tops out at 160Nm of torque. When you climb aboard SDT and start to pedal with the assist on its as if you are pedaling on a cloud. there is no exertion or resistance just speed and acceleration.
Im looking forward to going into even more detail on SDT in upcoming posts. Stay tuned and sign up for our launch at www.starkdrive.world
Stark Drive Team
Stark Drive LLC