Torrot E12 | Bike Reviews | Kids' Corner
I did a three week test on the Torrot E12 with my 6 year old son who currently rides a noisy and smoky KTM 50 mini which he loves.
When you become a parent you soon figure out the rules: don’ t mention that broken legs hurt more than childbirth, new bikes can no longer spend their first night in the lounge room, no carbies in the dishwasher, and the biggest no no – don’ t start talking about the newborns first motorbike. However, with the new breed of electric bikes on the market, that first bike talk between parents just got easier.
I did a three week test on the Torrot E12 with my 6 year old son who currently rides a noisy and smoky KTM 50 mini which he loves. I wasn’t expecting to like the Torrot E12 after buying an electric trials bike for Marcello three years ago – bottom line; the package was difficult to ride.
I wheeled the E12 out of Procycles’ showroom and chucked it on its side in the back of my car, no fluids to leak out, brilliant. My first impression was “wow, it looks and feels like a solid motorbike”. I skipped getting fresh fuel from the servo because I had plenty at home lurking behind some power points.
When I got home my son was geared up and ready to go. Normally this would stress me out because there is fuel to pour, a bike to warm up and listening to a kid say repeatedly “Is it ready yet?” takes some joy out of the experience of watching your young kid about to ride. Then in a rush of wind noise he was gone, whoosh! He disappeared into our 5 acres of bush and didn’t give two hoots about the lack of ding ding noise, he didn’t even mention it, kids just want to ride.
The recommended age range for the E12 is 6-9 years. My 9 year old was too big for it but Marcello fit the bike really well and with the adjustable levers set as close to the bars as possible he had no trouble adapting to the electric power, especially when I had set the sneaky rocker switch to 50%.
Kids are smart and he soon found out about the switch, hidden in front of the head stock, and he kept using it on 50% for tricky slow speed obstacles and my figure 8 tests where feathering the throttle at 100% power was too difficult for him. It has proper heavy-duty wheels and Mitas tyres, the forks looked strong and the fake radiator shrouds were essential for mounting all the stickers kids accumulate. The rear shock looked a bit too mountain-bike to do the job but turned out to be ok and the chain and sprockets looked very lightweight.
Some of the early photographs of the bike show thicker chain and sprockets so Torrot has obviously tried the heavy-duty gear and instead gone for the lightweight stuff. Time will tell how easily the chain stretches but at least the chain adjustment is easy with the old school snail cam adjusters.
On our land bike noise isn’ t a problem for the neighbours, but until trying no noise we didn’t appreciate how much better life is for our own family when it’s quiet, if kids can cut laps right next to the house, they will. One of the huge advantages of a kid on an electric bike calling out and being heard. No more yelling or throat cutting signals to turn the bike off. Although electric bikes aren’t really noise free. The motor gives a quiet mid pitch whir but the real noise comes from the chain.
Marcello was bike swapping constantly during the test and some interesting things happened. He was much smoother on the throttle on the Torrot where on the KTM he constantly blipped. Acceleration was much better on the Torrot and the initial burst of electric power was not the crazy jolt like his previous electric bike. The KTM bogged down off the start by comparison and it has recently been rebuilt. A big plus of electric is the tuning is done once and doesn’t change with wear and tear.
I set up an unscientific timed drag strip over 30 metres. The KTM’s top speed is faster but on average the KTM was nearly a second slower over the distance (20%), in part due to the hesitation of the KTM, and all petrol bikes to a degree, at the start.
The brakes test was done at the end of the drag strip. The Torrot’s two hydraulic disks were amazing compared to his drum braked and admittedly old KTM 50. The Torrot had excellent stopping power and feel. He was confident to grab a handful of brake and release when the front slid on loose surfaces.
The suspension worked well. It was sprung on the heavy side but not so heavy that adults can poke around on it like some kids bikes. Just like adults, kids need the suspension to suit their weight and the Torrot does well with the intended age range. I got Marcello to hit some big rocks pretty hard, and even down some bush rock stairs; it soaked the bumps and didn’ t bottom out. The stiff suspension help pop wheelies off roots and rocks, he LOVED that.
Even with 5 acres on hand I would definitely consider an electric bike. If two mates were riding together the chatting on the trail would be great, just like mountain biking. The Torrot looks great to the kids I showed and they don’t have the internal combustion bias that a lot of riders have. It is an ideal choice for time poor and mechanically challenged parents as kids can re-energise the bike and get going by themselves.
MOTOR Type 48 volt Controller Torrot with programmable top speed, power, throttle sensitivity and regeneration
Battery Removable Torrot 48-volt LiNiCoMn 8.8Ah with integrated management system, 10,000mAh Charge Time Four hours on 54.6V lithium-ion charger Transmission Automatic
PRICE & CONTACTS Price $3195
Contact Procycles in Hornsby
(02) 9910 9530 or St Peters
(02) 9564 8003
BYLINEWORDS & PHOTOS // JOSH EVANS
See the full test in ADB issue #450