Doing Boise on a Moped, eh, Scooter, um, Bicycle Thing

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Last week while attending the Western Power Sports annual sales meeting in Boise, Idaho, I took a little side trip over to Scooters of Boise to have a look around. The store is a scooters-only dealership that stocks machines fromIMAG016Genuine Scooter Co., QLink, SYM and Kymco and all the gear a scooter-lover could want. It’s a really cool little joint that fits in well with the sort of bohemian/earthy feel I get from Boise. 

 

I first discovered the store last year during the WPS show and got to talking to co-owner Kathy Navin about business. Well, this time around Kathy was again tending shop and she remembered me from last year’s visit. After poking around a bit and checking out the Genuine Buddy, I noticed an odd looking machine over near the entrance that looked more moped than scooter, and a bit more bicycle than moped.

 

Kathy brought me over and immediately offered me a test ride on the A2B, an electric-motor-assisted bike from Ultra Motor. Go out, check it out. Take it for a spin through Julia Davis Park (which is a really beautiful public park along the Boise River), she said. So I did. 

 

a2b1The first thing you notice when you get on the A2B is the suspension. Front and rear, it’s sprung like a high-end mountain bike. The next thing is how much it feels like a bicycle, even down to the twist-shift seven-speed gear changer. It works like this, you pedal right up until you feel like giving it some juice. A twist of the throttle spins up the 500W motor that’s housed in the rear wheel. Then just sit back and cruise while the direct-drive motor takes over. I’m a big fan of the instant torque available from an electric motor so it was a blast grabbing some throttle and zooming up and over the park trails. While it has a claimed max speed of 20 mph, I was loathe to get it up that high while buzzing through a city park. Should you get going that fast, it doesn’t take much more than a quick squeeze of the back and front disc brakes to haul you down fast. Really fast. Endo fast. 

 

The A2B (Point A to B?) parts spec sheet is a pretty nice list of bicycle parts. Shimano Alivio Derailleur. Avid BB5 disc brakes front and rear. All of these bits are fitted together in a TIG welded 6061 aluminum framea2b3that’s sort of sleek looking and beefy. 

 

When I got back to Scooters of Boise Kathy came outside and asked how I liked it. I’m thinking my big goofy grin told her exactly what I thought of it. It’s a fun little machine to zoom around on, though I’d be wary about taking it to its claimed 20-mile range (extendable to 40 miles with another battery pack). Fun stuff.

 

If you’re ever in Boise, stop by the store and give it a look. 

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