In June 2015 we went on our fourth journey to explore the limits of the latest achievements
in electric bikes. Three experienced test riders - trial world champion Marco Hösel, light electric vehicle designer Norbert Haller and myself - set out to discover the versatile
nature of Trefecta, an e-bike that can be pushed to 70 km/h by pedal power and a
We documented our journey through urban Berlin and its surrounding woods in this video, filmed and edited by Mark Nickels.
Trefecta – bicycle and motorcycle in one
Trefecta is a new kind of speed-pedelec that comes with the power of an electric motorcycle, easily flowing with city traffic or dealing with the toughest paths. While driven by pedal-power and optionally controlled by a throttle, the bike reaches 45 km/h within seconds; the top off-road model even accelerates up to 70 km/h. Thanks to a 1,600-Wh-battery and regenerative breaking the power-bike can do over 100 km on a single charge.
Because of a speeding ticket …
Trefecta is the mind-child of founder Haiko Visser. “It all started with a speeding ticket and a gift,” he remembers. “The first resulted in a driving ban; the latter secured my agility on wheels” as he took to an e-bike once his car was off limits. It opened Visser‘s eyes for the “pleasure of cycling, the freedom of body and mind while riding in an urban as well as inter-urban environment,” as he describes it.
Coming from a military background, the e-bikes on offer back in 2011 did not live up to the entrepreneur‘s expectations especially when riding in such challenging terrain as the Swiss mountains, where Visser lives. Hence, he set out to recruit a Swiss-Dutch-German engineering team from the aerospace, automotive and biking industries to construct a precision engineered, high performance, all-terrain vehicle.
Ready for the adventure
This summer, a pre-series of Trefecta was finally ready to face a Pedelec Adventure in Berlin. After our unforgettable tours through Morocco, Mongolia and Iceland, this time the adventure took place right at our doorstep in Germany‘s capital city, Berlin.
I was more than happy to be joined by designer Norbert Haller known for his works for A2B and other well-know light electric vehicle brands, and trial champion Marco Hösel for this project. We set out to explore Trefecta’s suitability to city life and to see how the urbanites would react to the hitherto unseen vehicle. “I was amazed by how many people of all ages got attracted to the bike,” said Marco Hösel.
Lots of off-road power – soon to be street-legal
In a 45 km/h version with 4-kW-motor Trefecta will be allowed on the road. “Finding the right balance between power, function and design while fulfilling legal requirements was a big challenge,” resumes Norbert Haller who builds on 18 years of experience in LEV development. With the Trefecta a “new category of vehicles” has been created. “While combining the riding feeling of a bicycle with the power of a motorcycle this e-bike offers a smooth ride up to a speed of 70 km/h. This is unique,” he says – and he is damn right!
A passersby in Berlin agreed, when concluding that “this is a bike that James Bond would ride!“. The truth is that after getting used to the 40-kg-bike over the trails and freeride tracks of Berlin‘s Grunewald, Marco Hösel pulled out some impressive stunts and jumps. His first time of riding the Trefecta resulted in “one of my best trail days ever. With Trefecta, a new sport is born for me! A mixture of MTB enduro and motocross”, said the 6-time trial world champion. I felt like superwoman riding the bike through Berlin. Can't wait to do it again!