Can’t Get Leg Over Motorcycle – Months, not weeks, have passed since I visited Idaho in late April. Since then, I’ve posted about the “so called” date I went on and the tattoo Ruby – calling me Grandma Dee – did for me. I will end this trilogy with my motorcycle adventures.
In March, when Gino, one of Ruby’s tattoo mentors, bought a new motorcycle, he bought the old one. Seeing that bike off to the side, I said, “You know, Ruby, I want to ride one!”
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It’s over for me. Not for Ruby. I don’t know, he was talking to Gino, whom I met a few days ago in his tattoo parlour.
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Ruby called to tell me the news: she and Gino would be picking me up in fifteen minutes.
Geno and Ruby arrive; I rushed over to greet them. . . and Gino on a motorcycle. Trey and Elisa rushed over to me. When Gino crowned me with a helmet, I looked like Darth Vader. There is no fear.
Wearing the helmet, I tried to swing my right leg off the back of the bike. Nope! I just couldn’t hold my leg – with its knee replacement and signs that a hip replacement was next – long enough to “throw” it into the back seat of the mighty engine. . (It’s times like these that tell me that at 86, I’m getting old, old, old…until OLD.)
Elisa and Ruby came to my aid, grabbing my right leg and pulling it up, until we had all 138 pounds of me, my clothes and this helmet propped on the chair.
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There was no backrest on the seat, so Gino encouraged me to sit as far behind him as possible and hold the front of his vest which was padded.
“Hold it!” he said. “And whether I lean right or left, you’ll do the same.” He demonstrated a graceful lean, explaining that I had to do it when we were rounding corners.
All ready, we left. For the next fifteen minutes, Ruby took us up and down hills and off onto what I call highways.
Only once did I feel a shiver of fear. In her enthusiasm to “show me a good trip,” Ruby was a bit ahead of us. As we rounded a bend, Gino had to speed up.
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I felt my hands let go and run down her ribs, then as I tried to hold on, my body started to recoil. Unstoppable delay.
A vivid image flashed through my mind of flying past the end of this supercharged cycle and backing through space to land like a steaming hot air balloon in the woods of one of the houses we passed through.
Years earlier, in May 1977, I was riding my ten-speed bike up a hill in Stillwater, Minnesota, and accidentally locked the handbrake when I hit a pothole. The bike and I separated; it flew through the air and – neighbors told me – made two circles before falling in a heap on the road.
I flew – neighbors measured the distance – about eighty feet in the air, landing on my right side. I was in the hospital for three days with my right collarbone broken in three places and the side of my face badly scratched and raw. For the next ten weeks, I wore my right arm in a sling. The therapy helped me regain mobility and flexibility.
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“Stop Dee!” Hold on ! Gino’s words went through me, I tried to bend my body forward, to resist the force of the momentum.
Cried Gino; Ruby heard him. Both are slowing down. And me? I’m glad I didn’t ride in the wind like I did at Stillwater in 1977. All is well. The CSC City Slicker is an urban electric motorcycle designed to be the most affordable. Now that I have about 200 miles on my City Slicker electric motorcycle, I can say with confidence that you won’t find another electric motorcycle that does more for less. This thing is an absolute hoot to ride. Read on to find out why.
CSC is a motorcycle company based in Azusa, California. They have offered an impressive line of fuel-efficient gas bikes over the years. Last year they made the wise decision to keep up with the times and add an electric motorcycle to their lineup.
All of their bikes are from Zongshen, which is known as one of the best lightweight motorcycle manufacturers in China. And before you complain about Chinese manufacturing, consider that market-leading electric motorcycles like the Zero and Lightning have many (if not most) of their parts made in China by a reputable factory. Just search for Zongshen and CSC. People appreciate their quality at affordable prices. And after a few months of riding the City Slicker, I know why.
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This bike is pure bliss. And for the price of even a fairly basic e-bike, you get a very capable (and fun!) commuter car.
Technically, although the City Slicker sells for $2,495, you’re probably looking at closer to $2,800, including applicable registration fees, inspections, etc.
For those who want to see the CSC City Slicker in action, check out my video review below. Then keep reading below for all the juicy details.
If you live near Los Angeles, you can pick up your City Slicker from the dealership. For the rest of us, ordering it is a surprisingly simple process. You just bought it online and it just comes in a box – all with free shipping.
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It’s ridiculously rare, and I feel like I went to Amazon and bought an electric motorcycle. A truck showed up at my apartment, dropped a box on a pallet, and I got a new electric motorcycle. Very easy.
The City Slicker is a powerful bike, but you have to remember that it was designed as an urban bike. I mean, there’s “city” in the name.
He reached top speed though! When you twist the throttle, the City Slicker takes off like an electric bat from hell. I would say it speeds up some popular gas sport bikes off the line, at least for the first two seconds until they wind up. Not having a gear to shift also makes the City Slicker easy to ride. You can take full advantage of that acceleration when all you have to do is hang on and enjoy the ride.
The swingarm-mounted motor is rated at 3.2 kW, but I put my power meter on and found it pulled 4.3 kW (5.8 hp). That might not seem like much compared to most motorcycles, but keep in mind that this thing only weighs 98 kg (216 lbs). The torquey motor makes this bike move quickly off the line. There’s still not enough front wheel lift, but that’s probably a good thing considering this is probably a first bike for a lot of people.
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The removable 72V 26Ah battery is good for 1.9 kWh of energy. I ride the bike hard and fast in Power mode, which gives me about 50 km (30 mi) of range. In Eco mode, you can expect a range closer to 65 km (40 mi).
But I like to take it on local (small) highways and spend a lot of time at top speed, which doesn’t help the size increase. It also won’t fire when the light turns green, which I’m also guilty of all the time. When you have power, it’s hard to resist temptation!
One thing to note is that the performance of the City Slicker isn’t always so sporty. When I first got the bike, the acceleration and body roll on the throttle was quieter. The original controller profile was quite conservative. It gave me better battery life, but limited speed and power. I offered to work with CSC on the hot rodding of the controller, and together with Zongshen engineers we modified the programming to get the most out of the engine power. Now, with the updated controller, this thing flies! I just give it full throttle right off the line, like an e-bike. Now there is so much power that you have to modulate the throttle responsibly.
CSC told me that all new City Slickers will now come standard with this improved controller programming, and that City Slickers already on the road can be upgraded with a controller swap, if owners want higher performance .
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The lights are sure to be seen and you won’t be missed. But it’s not enough to light up in the distance on a completely black road without streetlights. The high beams help, but it’s not enough for speeding in the dark. But again, it’s an urban bike and there aren’t many places without street lights.
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