The KBO Hurricane is a newcomer to the world of e-bikes and goes its own way. With a belt drive and no internal gearing, it opens up a new segment for single-speed bikes, combined with all the advantages of electrification.
As a single-speed bike, the KBO Hurricane is a specially built city street assassin. The bike’s single-speed belt drive virtually eliminates the need for maintenance and eliminates the need for a greasy chain in favor of a solid belt. The belt drive makes pedaling silky smooth and quiet.
It’s hard to explain how much nicer a belt drive is compared to a traditional chain drive setup, but it’s very similar to switching from a gasoline car to a quiet electric vehicle. No more clicking and rattling chains and gears. Instead, the perfectly intermeshing belt and gear system silently converts input from the pedals into forward motion.
The KBO Hurricane builds on the clean aesthetics of the single-speed belt drive with a compact 250 watt continuous, 350 watt peak rear hub motor that blends directly into the matte black look of the bike. The 9.6 Ah battery is also hidden in the down tube, with only the small cover of the charging port indicating its existence.
A small, backlit black and white display makes controlling the motor easily accessible. The display has two small multifunctional buttons that allow intuitive access to the headlight by tapping the power button once and the various pedal assistance modes – from levels 0 to 3 – with just one push of a button. Oversized numbers show the current speed so that it can be easily read while driving.
The KBO is a smooth scooter, with the belt drive creating a direct connection to the bike. The downside is that having just a single gear is very limited on the mechanical side of the equation. Fortunately, the engine is ready to turn on for assistance if needed.
Don’t expect the Hurricane to push you up steep hills with 250 watts of continuous output and 350 watts of peak output. Remember, this is not a Mountain Mauler, but a city commuter, optimized for the flat country. In these situations, driving the Hurricane is fun, always ready to assist with a nice tailwind when the time is right.
The advantage of the light, lower powered motor and smaller battery is a bike that is a featherweight in the electric bike world at only 36 pounds. It’s so easy to get around and transport so many non-electric bikes. The brakes are also optimized for low weight, with mechanical brake calipers and 160 mm brake discs. They are well suited for city driving, but leave something to be desired on steep slopes and occasional emergency braking.
Overall, the KBO Hurricane is fantastic value for money at just $ 1,099 and offers a smooth entry into the world of belt-driven electric bicycles. It’s light, and gives riders with little to no elevation changes when commuting, a very respectable extra boost. With a range of 18-53 miles, it is well suited to assisting many commutes.
The Hurricane isn’t a high-performance electric bike when it comes to power, range, or braking, but at $ 1,099 that’s not realistic. It’s solid value for the price and offers a nice low barrier to entry into the world of electric bikes. In the racing bike scene, where riders often pay thousands of dollars for a mid-range kit, this is doubly true.
Visit KBO Bikes to find out all the details about the KBO Hurricane and to buy one yourself.
- engine: brushless 250 watt continuous, 350 watt peak gear hub motor
- battery: 36 V, 9.6 Ah, 345 Wh frame-integrated battery with Panasonic cells
- Weight: 36 lbs / 16 kg
- Range: 18-53 miles of assisted pedaling
- sensor: Cadence sensor
- Support modes: 3 levels of pedal assistance (no gas)
- Frame material: 6061 aluminum
- Brakes: mechanical disc brakes front and rear with 160 mm calipers
- lighting: 36v LED headlights
- tires: 700c x 32 road tires
- Seat: Selle Royal Nebula Gel Seat
- Driver height: 5’6 ″ to 6’6 ″
- payload: 275 pounds
- price: $ 1,099
All picture credits: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica