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This is the first of a series of posts where I will give some insight into the design and manufacturing process for the upcoming Stark Drive Torque(SDT) - Thin & Fat Tire that will be launching on Indiegogo August 2019 (www.starkdrive.world - to sign up to get the best pricing when we launch).
Challenges and opportunities....
The road to development for SDT has had its share of challenges as we have gone all out this time to design our own custom frame design as well as our ultimate and most important goal being keeping the price under $1000 for the base model of SDT. We were also not satisfied in simply building a torque bike but wanted to add features that are not available on even similar looking bikes in the industry and we wanted to offer premium features that can be configured a-la-carté while still keeping the pricing at a fraction of others with the similar features in our industry.
Iteration is your best friend...
The first prototype of SDT which is currently on its way to the US for reviews by independent reviewers was an excellent first try at making this ultra affordable mid motor drive. The biggest feature on this prototype was the Bafang Ultra Max mid motor drive which we felt that due to the size of the fat tire bike was a must have and we could not compromise on power as it was related directly to the final user experience. Of course this motor is not cheap and it took a lot of negotiation with our supplier to keep true to our company's mantra of the most affordable electric bikes in the world. An interesting note is that just the motor alone on SDT Max costs more then the entire original Stark Drive which we launched in 2017. Of course performance follows price and this motor is a beast in term of performance, torque, and speed.
The torque on SDT Max is double that of our hub motor brethren, with for example, a hub motor 750w offering a poultry 80-85Nm torque. Not only that, the motor is must more responsive measuring the amount of pressure you apply to the pedals instead of sensing when the wheel is turning which makes it near impossible to go uphill compared to our torque where no hill is a challenge. Another benefit of the torque based motor is that you no longer need a throttle which is simply not allowed on an electric bike in many parts of the world as it changes the class of the bike to something similar to a moped with all the legal requirements that follow, complicating the use of the bike.
Frame Factory Visit
On my visit to the frame factory i got a first hand look at our two prototype frames and we discussed fine tuning and enhancements to the V2 prototype frame. Arguably one of the most important components on any bike, we wanted to get the frame perfect so that anything we attached to it would function at its best. We have designed this frame from the ground up and of course registered it internationally so that unlike the many other electric bike companies in the marketplace that simply take 'open mold' designs and pass them off as their original creations, we have done something different and i would say better then what anyone else is offering in the marketplace.
Frame Assembly Process
Here is a quick description of how a typical frame manufacturer builds the frames on your bike, be it electric or non. Its an intensive process with several steps and most importantly the precision to get every bike perfect requires an extensive amount of tooling which one of the highest costs associated with designing a frame. As each frame is different, an entirely new tooling process must be configured to ensure that every bike meets quality control standards as per the blueprints for the bike. As these prototype bikes are not in 'mass production' as of yet, they have been hand built at considerable amount extra effort and time.
I hope that this sheds some light onto how we designed Stark Drive Torque and check back here for the next installment where i will go into more details on our battery pack and how we have engineered the best battery in the marketplace for stark drive with features not found on comparable electric bikes in our class.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC