WE SHIP WORLDWIDE. ALL PRICES IN US$
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.
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.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC
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 :
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.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 partnership 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.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
USA & Canada Bikes
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.
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.
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.
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...
Stark Drive Team
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
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.
Stark Drive Team
Stark Drive LLC