WE SHIP WORLDWIDE. ALL PRICES IN US$
Final assembly of Stark Drive (non-torque) is under final assembly and testing.
We expect these to ship by the end of April or early May.
Stark Drive Torque custom frames are being completed and should be in the Assembly phase by early to mid may.
Stark Drive Available
We have a few Units of Stark Drive City, City+ and Advanced available for immediate shipping from excess that we manufactured in this batch.
Stark Drive Torque Available
We have two units of Stark Drive Torque available for immediate purchase as part of that batch, you can pay the deposit here: https://starkdrive.bike/stock/...
Stark Drive Mini
We have 2 units of Stark Drive Mini available for immediate shipping here: https://starkdrive.bike/stock/...
Stark Drive Team
We are happy to announce that manufacturing of Stark Drive and Stark Drive Torque are proceeding for those that ordered late 2021 and early 2022 of this year. The global pandemic has affected all areas of our manufacturing process from sourcing materials, to batteries for our powerpacks as well as final assembly. We are cautiously optimistic as the whole process which we had refined to run like a well oiled machine has become more circumspect due to the issues that have been caused not the least of which is the stringent chinese government policy of 0 covid meaning that entire districts if not cities of millions of people are closed down if a case is detected. at the time of writing this post the latest was shanghai.
Below you can see some content of production and we plan to ship all standard Stark Drive models mid april with all Torque models shipping by the end of April.
Of note is that we have a few extra Torque models that we had ordered for review and demonstration testing for our partners and these are new and ready for sale meaning that if you purchase the 'reservation here: https://starkdrive.bike/stock/... you are able to then have it ship at the same time.
we also have several Stark Drive Mini units ready to go all tested and boxed.
With the rising prices worldwide for the cost of materials we were working hard here at Stark Drive to keep our pricing stable and held out as long as we could but the final straw was the seemingly now permanent shipping cost increases that we were subsidizing up to now.
Any purchase that was made before the price increase will be honored and shipped however any future orders will be at now at our new pricing structure.
While we hope to keep this new pricing for an extended term, with the global economic situation, we are unsure how long these new prices will remain before we are forced to once again adjust our pricing again.
Stark Drive Team
Stark Drive LLC
The Launch of Stark Drive
Stark Drive originally launched our unbelievably affordable and configurable electric bike on Indiegogo in February 2017. We were immediately criticized for being a 'scam' and that our bike must have been made of 'plastic' by a notable competitor Mate.bike whom had launched their electric bike several months prior on the same platform. Our launch must have been concerning to them as our bike was approximately half the price of their bike with a similar folding frame style.
A week later our campaign on indiegogo was cancelled and all funds refunded to our backers, at the time this was several hundred thousand dollars. Indiegogo at the time never contacted our team to inquire about any issues or questions that they had with our product and in fact we had been conjold originally by indiegogo to use their platform for our product with months of back and forth with their team to hone and refine our launch to ensure success.
Indiegogo broke off all contact with Stark Drive and would not respond to any messages.
As you can imagine this was a devastating turn of events for our team considering the over year long concerted effort that went into all the preparations in designing our ebike, not to mention the time spent on sourcing, contracts with our assembly partners, website design, advertising....the list goes on.
This seemed to be something of a personal vendetta from one of the founders of Mate.bike: Christian Adel Michael whom even reached out to our CEO Oscar Stark on facebook and told us that we should not launch that we had no idea about budgeting and that we were going to run into patent issues
Right Christian, patent issues on a bike that had been open source since around 2011 if not earlier and sold under various brand names around the world, not unlike the Mate or Mate X.
Oscar Stark took the rather unorthodoxx matter into his own hands and actually booked a trip to New York and went directly to Indiegogo's offices there in order to discuss 'launching an electric bike' on their platform, unannounced and without any meeting booked.
It was finally after this meeting that we heard from Indiegogo and they revealed WHY our campaign had been cancelled. Mate.bike International Aps used their lawyer to send a DMCA notice to indiegogo claiming we infringed on their 'patents'. These non-existent patents were not confirmed nor investigated before the platform took action to end our campaign and Christian ecstatic with the result even reached to Oscar again on facebook to gloat before blocking him.
Suffice to say, we did not give up there. After retooling our website we launched starkdrive.bike as a crowdfunding venture from our own website. While the traffic to our website is nowhere near what Indiegogo would receive in a typical day, our sales exploded and Stark Drive was alive again.
A few months later, we finally started delivering our electric bikes and ironically if what we have heard from the grapevine is correct we actually delivered our first Stark Drive batch before Mate had shipped their bikes out which had been delayed over a year from their originally delivery date
While in the playground that would have been the end of it, unfortunately for Mate and Christian, we are adults running companies and when you tortiously interfere with a company there are repercussions.
Check out this short 10 page history in graphical form below. You are welcome to download it and spread the word.
Merry Christmas and All the Best for the New Year From Stark Drive!
we are pleased to announce that the limited edition Stark Drive Torque - Limited to 50 units has started production and is on track to ship with delivery early spring to all of our pre order customers that have opted to purchase this unique Mid Motor Bafang based Folding Torque Sensing Bike. That was a mouthful even to write but the utility and novelty of this bike can not be overstated. There exists nothing on the market that is comparable to this custom built and patented design that we are manufacturing at this time.
We wanted to manufacture something that was not based on an 'open mould' design like so many of our competitors do on the market. We at Stark Drive had our start in this fashion as well with the original Stark Drive electric bike which was based on an open mould design. What we did differently at the time however was the ability to customize your bike from the ground up starting with just a PAS motor based bike and up to adding such enhancements such as the throttle, larger battery packs, and even cruise control on the bike.
We wanted to take a different approach with Stark Drive Torque and add features that you would normally not see on bikes that cost 4-5x the base price of Torque such as Fingerprint recognition unlocking. NFC charging for your mobile phone and using the most powerful mid motors that are available on the market such as the Bafang m620 which, due to its incredibly well built components have seen some 'overclockers' out there in the blogosphere enhance the power output on this motor to 2500w and above.
In the coming weeks, we will be posting images and possibly video of the production process and how we are coming along with completing these very unique bikes. If you were one of the lucky ones that found the pre order page on our stock link www.starkdrive.bike/stock you can follow along with us as we manufacture these bikes.
As always we remain available to answer any questions on the 'chat' function on our website as well as by email firstname.lastname@example.org and our US toll free number.
If you are interested in getting a torque based bike, we have gone ahead and manufactured a few 'extra' units that are destined for reviewers but we may be convinced to send one of these to you instead.
Stark Drive Team
Stark Drive LLC.
The history between Paypal and Stark Drive
When we originally launched our crowdfunding campaign through our website after the tortious interference caused by our competitor on Indiegogo by Mate.bike whom use their lawyers to cancel our campaign on that platform, lawsuit still ongoing, we shifted our crowdfunding campaign to our own website to launch the original Stark Drive in April 2017.
Our terms of backing were identical to those of platforms such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter with a donation and rewards based system. In fact, in order to process the payment, the backer would need to confirm their understanding of the crowdfunding system by clicking a checkbox at the last phase of the backing process before payment was processed.
Paypal renegs on their own Terms and Conditions
Paypal's terms and conditions on crowdfunding are exceptionally clear and have not changed since 2017 to the best of our knowledge, they do not cover 'not received' claims for any crowdfunding or donation based systems which is logical seeing as how there is no purchase actually being made, this is one way that bad actors are able to steal millions of dollars from hopeful and altruistic backers whom believe in campaign owners on such platforms. Stark Drive is not one of those bad actors, although we have not been without unexpected situations that needed to be overcome over the course of our original launch.
Stark Drive persevered and while it took us longer than expected to deliver our original first batch of bikes, we did deliver. Paypal whom we viewed as partner became yet another hindrance for us when they started to refund backers, whom had actually received their bikes eventually, even though they were later than anticipated, as well as limiting our account meaning that we suddenly had no ability to pay our suppliers as funds were frozen on their platform.
How to Sue a Global Company and Win?
Paypal is a US Based company as is Stark Drive. We found the way to minimize risk for our company while still being able to take this behemoth to task for their (unscrupulous) behavior and how they harmed our company through small claims court. While the limit in this court is fairly low, it does serve as a precedent and is prejudicial when a decision is reached. Paypal tried to deflect the suit claiming that we were 'selling' bikes not crowdfunding them at the time, all over our website as well as the launch video on the site, it was clear that Stark Drive launched through crowdfunding. Not only that but the payments would not be able to be processed without clicking the checkbox which appeared during our crowdfunding below:
The trial occurred via video conference due to the ongoing pandemic and after 7 hours of waiting for our turn to present our case and a 1 hour trial, Stark Drive was victorious in the eyes of the honorable Judge whom awarded us full damages as claimed in this case. Paypals legal representation pulled out all the stops including trying to deflect the fact that we were clearly crowdfunding when we launched and instead pointing to other terms and conditions in their user agreement such as needing signature confirmation of delivery for 'purchases' over $750 as well as their own backend not registering the fact that we were crowdfunding in the data that was sent to them when the customer wished to complete their order, trying to deflect the fact that to even get to the stage where payment is processed the customer 'MUST' click on the checkbox agreeing that they understand this was crowdfunding.
A very satisfactory result for Stark Drive and it goes to demonstrate that no matter if its a David vs Goliath situation, if you have the truth on your side you will prevail.
Paypal: if you are reading this, we will be expecting payment for your loss shortly, our accounting team will be in touch.
STARK DRIVE TEAM
stark drive LLC.
we are pleased to announce that production will shortly be starting on the first and only batch of Stark Drive Torque for our lucky pre order customers. Both the fat tire model as well as the regular tire as pictured below. thank you for those of you who want to be the first to own and love Stark Drive Torque.
we anticipate production taking 45 days at which point we will ship torque out to you via container ship. note that you will be contacted shortly with the final total and to pay the balance so that we can proceed with your order.
If you have any questions about torque or would like to see if there are any available you can contact us at email@example.com
Stark Drive Team
Stark Drive LLC
We are pleased to see that with worldwide cooperation there is a light at the end of the tunnel with our supply constraints and that manufacturing delays that have plagued us in Q2 2020 up to about Q3 2021. Our manufacturing partners are indicating that lead times for critical components have drastically reduced and are nearing our base expected scenarios which we have built into the lead times that are indicated on our website for custom configured bikes.
All indications are that our asian manufacturing partners are roaring back with the anticipation of supplying us as required and while there seems to still be some constraints in what we call 'last mile' delivery, referring of course to the build up of fully loaded container ships at main distribution ports worldwide that have not been able to fulfill the manpower requirements to actually unload these supplies so that they can be processed through customs and picked up by our delivery partners. this continues to be one of the aspects we are looking at closely in order to mitigate these delays but due to the shocking increase in container shipping prices which we see no signs of abating in the near future due, ironically, to an artificially created shortage of shipping container manufacturing by the respective manufacturing companies primarily based in china. As has been the case for what seems like decades now, the amount of finished manufactured goods that are shipped out of china vastly outpaces their imports and as such its not economically feasible to ship these 'empty' containers back to china in order to be reused. There have been moves to repurpose these containers to build everything from housing, retail locations and several other creative ideas to repurpose these containers instead of them either being recycled or worse yet piling up unused on vast swathes of land rusting away.
In order to mitigate this cost increase we are still compelled to continue with our practice of shipping in shared containers with other goods resulting in slightly longer delivery times to our end customers. These delivery times are calculated after you have configured your bike and input your address information on our website and before payment is processed.
Stark Drive Mini - Free Shipping for a limited time
We love Stark Drive Mini and we believe you will love it too, so much so that we want to offer a special limited time promotion of Free Worldwide Shipping when you enter the coupon code 'MINIMEFREE' at checkout. The link to this fantastically portable and powerful bike is here:
This bike comes with a powerful 350W motor and generous 7ah battery pack operating at an unbelievable 48V system-wide voltage ensuring that you can tackle any terrain thrown at it as well as it being light and compact enough to bring on public transit or even carry up to your apartment ensuring the safety and security of your bike.
We have fully loaded Stark Drive mini with front and rear lights for your safety as well as a powerful horn that lets people know your are coming up behind them before you zoom past using either pedal assist (PAS) or the electronic throttle as well as our standard USB charging port and rear rack so you can carry your bag, groceries or anything else, up to an inclusive loaded weight of 150kg.
Remember with our specially configured batteries you can even bring Stark Drive mini with you on any commercial airliner fully complying with TSA regulations on maximum battery power of 160WH and we have had many customers take advantage of this to travel with Mini and explore the great outdoors on vacation or wherever your travels may take you.
Stark Drive Team
We are excited to announce that we are going to be making a limited combined run of 50 units of Stark Drive Torque and Stark Drive Torque Max and while early birds have already received this information, we want to share it with all that are interested in owning the first folding bafang based mid motor electric bike at up too 1000W.
Stark Drive Torque Max - Fat Tire
We have written about torque and our master plan several times on the blog for example:
and so on.
We have gone through 3 iterations of Stark Drive Torque improving the bike along the way and adding feastures that we felt would enhance the user experience of Torque.
We have even had the opportunity to send Stark Drive Torque out for Review:
Computerbild.de ( In German)
With Torque you have the option to add Biometric Fingerprint Unlocking or use a key, configure the range with your choice of battery pack, display, etc.
Once all pre orders are in, we will begin manufacturing which will take 45 days and then we will ship out this one of a kind bike to the lucky people who managed to ge their pre order in before selling out.
Stark Drive Team
Stark Drive LLC
To say that the pandemic has affected the world is an understatement; Country borders are closing, travelling has become an unpredictable gamble where you do not know whether or you can even board a flight let alone deplane at your destination.
The manufacturing industry has also taken a hard knock and we have noticed a dramatic effect on the manufacturing of Stark Drive. Our suppliers are taking longer to fulfill our orders and even once we get a bike assembled, simply getting it on board a vessel has become something that flirts with impossibility.
Larger companies such as those in the clothing industry with margins in the 50-100% range will stop at nothing to get their products onto container ships so that their fashion conscious customers can ensure that pandemic or not, they are following the current fashion trends. Container shipping normally costs in the range of $2000 for a 20ft container pre pandemic but these costs have escalated into the unbelieveable range of $20,000 or even more per container. Note that historically there was always an oversupply of space on a container ship so it was a buyers market so to say. When the pandemic hit, container manufacturers (those that actually make the containers that are used to ship products) closed at first meaning that no new containers were being made, then when china cured covid country wide and these container manufacturers went back to work they did not go back to business as usual and work hard to catch up with manufacturing for the eager and impatient companies interested in shipping goods. Instead they slowed down manufacturing of new containers and with the majority of countries in a trade deficit with china many containers would leave china but few would return to be used again.
Stark Drive does not operate with margins of 100% nor do we operate with 50% margins. Our company has and and always will sell the most affordable electric bikes in the world and that means margins in the low %s.
Having spoken with logistics companies in china, we were surprised to learn that what historically was a buyers market for shipping has turned to a sellers market with container shipping companies and their associated agents dictating how much they will accept to send products. Even though the actual costs to ship product has not increased these agents are living in the lap of luxury with huge margins on their shipping contracts.
To add insult to injury, once we do actually manage to get our bikes onto a boat and it makes its way to the destination, they now become stuck at the receiving port because most of the world is still going through the scourge of the pandemic and ports are understaffed or suffering from pandemic related restrictions on staffing. Boats can be sitting for weeks in the harbour waiting to offload.
It really seems counterintuitive and duplicitous to me that those, where the pandemic first reach pandemic proportions, are not working to reduce the impact of said pandemic but rather looking to profit off it.
We will continue to do our best at Stark Drive to get your bikes out to as quickly as possible and we have a batch in production right now so for those that decide to order a custom bike the manufacturing time will be dramatically less than our website 120-160 days. We are shipping this batch in July 2021.
Stark Drive Team
Stark Drive LLC