Originally published in Trikkeworld Magazine
The blue planet we call home became a little greener this past week with the release of the new 2011 Tribred Pon-e’s, fresh from the Trikke Tech stables with some subtle changes and helpful improvements.
The repackaging is the first noticeable change. Talk about 95% pre-assembled and good to go. Twenty minutes after opening up the box, you’re ready to hit the road.
A longer package means the hub motor and fork assembly are already mounted for you. No more figuring out how to plug in the nervous system of your Electric Powered Vehicle. All wiring connections have been removed from the customers’ responsibility. This Pon-e is completely tested and tamed at the factory.
Unleashing the Pon-e from its coral, aka the box, is easy. To unfold your carving machine, depress the locking pins located behind the cambering unit on the inside of the trailing arm. Bring your Pon-e to a proud stance by lifting the front structure to its final resting place. The throttle and brakes are already set and waiting to come alive.
The Tribred’s fairings (or wings) come standard on the new breed, their appearance reminiscent of the alien in the movie Alien. To forgo the front fairing, just removed its four bolts. The matching covers on the trailing arm are also easily detachable.
The hub motor on the Tribred’s two models (250-watt, 36-volt and 350-watt, 48-volt) come on rather quickly. Before you know it, you’ve got power.
The 48-volt battery is long and does interfere with the fairing when first sliding onto the guide. Once installed, insert the key and bring this baby to life. Each Pon-e battery is individually keyed for security.
To start your EPV, depress the green button on the throttle for 5 seconds. The lights on the throttle will tell you this Pon-e is ready to ride. New on the current breed is a 2-3 second delay on acceleration. This avoids the burnout that eats up tires when the throttle is in the hands of less experienced jockeys.
The hi and lo selector switch (marked 1 and 2) allow full control over the speed of the Tribred. Lo speed ranges from 10-12 mph; hi speeds go upwards of 18mph.
I found the 48-volt Tribred to be strong, stable and extremely fun to ride. Solid cambering bushings give the Pon-e a firm stance.The carving is smooth, even with no power to the motor. Handling is controlled and the Pon-e easily returns to center.
New for 2011 is a plate with a bolt hole added to the right trailing arm. This is for the all-new Trikke trailer. That’s right, now your Pon-e has a carriage to pull.
The 48-volt battery comes equipped with a fast charger. Re-energizing the battery takes 2.5 hours with the 3.5 amp charger. The 36-volt battery needs five hours charge time with its 2.5 amp charger. The current flavors for the 2011 36-volt Tribred Pon-e are blue clear coat and yellow clear coat. The 48-volt model comes in flat black or white.
The Pon-e’s tires are heavy duty with a front directional, 10.5 inch motorcycle-grade tread leading the way. Two 9.5 inch tires manage the rear with excellent traction. Rotors are bolted to the rim for the disc brake assembly. Stopping is very responsive with quality calipers and brake pads.
Riding a Tribred around town is convenient for daily tasks. The added weight and firmness can also add a new dimension to your work out. We’re talking transportation, fitness and fun in one awesome package. With zero emissions, making it perfect for a planet in peril.
Word is these Pon-e’s are popular and going quickly. If you’ve ever thought of grabbing the reins to this hearty horse, you had better act soon, you might miss the ride.