Falco Motors Hx 500 Video Review – Electric Bike Kit with Motor, Battery and Wireless Computer


>>Court: What we’re looking at here is the
Falco motor kit, and this thing comes in a range of different options and essentially
what you’re getting is that motor, or perhaps built into a wheel like we see here. And then
you can actually pair it up with multiple different choices of batteries. Of course
they have their own battery offering; either in a canister, sort of a mid-mount, which
I appreciate kind of balances things out. Or you can get kind of a rear rack mount and
this system right here, we’re looking at a 500 watt. All of the Falco motors are direct
drive or “gearless” and what makes them kind of unique is they have five hall sensors verses
three. So, those sensors tell the computer when to send energy and essentially they provide
a little bit more torque, smooth things out a little bit. And because this is gearless,
it also offers regenerative braking. So it’s a pretty cool system. The founder of this
company actually used to work for Wavecrest and Matra, which is I believe is in France
but those two companies were really innovators. And still, I think Matra is doing well but
Wavecrest in 2002, they had a bike, it was kind of ahead of it’s time, was like the battery
was like built into the front wheel and then the motor was built into the rear wheel and
they were like solid. And so it was, I think that one kind of declined a little bit but
this guy started Falco and these motors are just, very interesting. And kind of working
on OEM, trying to get them onto pre-built bikes but there’s also the kit which is what
we’re looking at here. Some of them are sold directly. I’m actually looking at this one
at Electric Cyclery in Laguna Beach California. And you can order them off their website,
they’ll send them to you or build you a bike and that’s what this is right here. We’re
looking at a bike that a customer wanted to motorize for his girlfriend so they could
kind of enjoy riding together. Again, I’ve got to say, this is a cool motor. Hard to
find, I’ve had to do some searching for, to get this and to do a demo on it but I’m pretty
impressed. There’s more and more of these gearless, um you know high torque offerings
out there and I just love that it can do so much. Even if you’re not generating that much
electricity in regen mode, you’re still saving your brakes a little bit and it’s just like
“why not”. Kind of a cool feature to have. This is their lowest end motor, so the 500
watt motor, it offers 40 Newton meters of torque. And then they’ve got another one and
it offers 60 Newton meters and then the highest end one, that offers 80 Newton meters of torque.
The drawback, and the reason you might want to stick with like a 500 or the next step
up is the motor ends up weighing a little more and you don’t have as much horizontal
space. Basically, the bigger motors are fatter. And then you don’t have as much room to mount
a cassette. You end up having to do like a single speed in the rear. Which kind of limits
the bicycle for riding purposes I think. You know, of course it’s up to you, it’s just
neat that they offer this. And again, it’s a fairly sophisticated system. I mentioned
before that you’ve got the motor, you’ve got the battery, well you also get to choose whether
you want a twist throttle. Whether you want torque sensing or pedal assist. And you can
kind of mix and match. And I’ve mentioned before, you know, pedal assist like with a
pedelec or crank sensor, you don’t have to push to get that to go. You just, it detects
that you’re moving and it kicks in verses a torque sensor, that’s a little bit more
responsive in however hard you push down, that sort of activates the motor. Of course
the twist throttle is very simple. You just, you twist it and it goes, right. So it’s neat
that they offer all of that and then there’s also like a cool LCD computer system that’s
wireless that they offer. And so that can kind of tie in. You don’t need it, again there’s
nothing here except a twist throttle, but you can upgrade to the computer and then that’s
what enables you to do pedal assist. And they, I think they even have another option with
the computer at a Electric Cyclery where you can actually kind of unlock higher speeds
for off road use and stuff. Because, right now this is limited to 20 miles per hour twist
throttle, that’s the law, right in the United States. But these motors of course go faster
and they offer a lot more power. So you could get, you could get going quite fast. And they
do the same in pedal assist mode with the whole speed pedelec movement that’s happening.
Bikes like the Specialized Turbo can get up to, you know 26, 27 miles per hour. So I just
think this is kind of a neat, sort of a fringe movement but done really well from a guy who
has a lot of experience in the industry. Um, and I’m going to hop on and do a quick test
ride. You can kind of listen for the motor. I’m on a pretty steep hill actually, you can
see the ocean down there, you can see the cars kind of slanted. And this thing’s doing
just fine. It’s like carrying me up the hill, here we go. There’s the twist throttle. And
here we go. [motor whirring] You can kind of hear it going there. Really smooth, especially
again, we’re climbing a pretty serious hill right here and it’s not making a whole lot
of noise. And when you turn around, there we go, and I coast down this, that’s when
the regen mode kicks in and you can still kind of hear the motor almost like an engine
brake a little bit. [motor whining] Wow, nice! It’s quite a hill… Having trouble stopping
there. Um, so I’m going to put on the wide angle lens and show that perspective. So,
same thing as before. [soft motor sounds] Woo! Just using that twist throttle, climbing
up this hill, going to turn here. [motor whirring] Super quiet, beautiful. So that’s the Falco
motor system, the kit, the battery all that stuff. I’ve got some pictures back at the
site. For the full written review and more info on this and other electric bikes and
kits, check out ElectricBikeReview.com I’ll see you there. So of course the battery you
choose is going to play, you know, a pretty big role in how the Falco motor system performs.
And the motor I was test riding on the bike, that was running off of a 36 volt 11.6 amp
hour pack. You know, the cool thing about this kit is that it’s open and so, depending
on the battery that you pick, you’re going to get better, you’re going to get more torque,
more power. So just worth considering. Um, and again, there’s a lot of info back on,
back on the website. I’ll have some links there for you.