MOD Easy Electric Bike Review 2023
From the onset of our MOD Easy review it was apparent that the Easy as much a statement as it is an e-bike. It is the assertion that any bike is green enough, practical enough and that prioritizing style isn’t a wildly unaffordable luxury, but in fact, can come as standard equipment. What may surprise many potential buyers is just how practical this e-bike is once we look past its, uh, look. Whether someone chooses the charcoal black finish or the army green, this e-bike evokes the look of the Harleys the military put troops on during WWII; all it lacks is the big, white star on the tank. That tank may look decorative, but it plays a real role in the bike’s design: the battery is hidden inside the tank. Our MOD Easy review will look at these features along with arguably its best feature, its motor.
The MOD Easy can be ridden as is, or it also comes in a version with what they call the Side Boat—a sidecar. The addition of the Side Boat further cements the old-school motorcycle styling while adding the option for carrying a pet, small cargo, or a little rider. It’s worth noting that the addition of the Side Boast drastically changes up the ride experience, and we’ll get more into that in the meat of there review.
Without the sidecar, this has all the hallmarks of a terrific cruiser. It has the upright position, back-swept handlebar, the low-slung design that keeps the rider closer to the ground than with more traditional bikes and a giant saddle that is keister friendly. And while this bike may appear to have placed form ahead of function, that’s not the case at all: MOD includes fenders, a rear rack and lights on the Easy. Maybe the message that they are trying to send is that it’s possible to both have the cake and eat it too.
- Style for days with or without the Side Boat (sidecar)
- 750W geared, brushless motor producing 69Nm makes this thing move
- Adjustable stem will help bigger riders find a comfortable fit
- Very comfortable ride thanks to a big saddle and a shock absorber seatpost
- The 7-speed drivetrain eases hill climbing and pairs well with available motor power to find the right pedal feel
- This is a big, rangy bike that will be difficult for smaller riders to handle
- Side Boat requires a very different kind of riding and balance. It can be learned quickly enough, but it will feel like two different bikes
- Battery: Samsung Powerpack – Li-ion 48V 15Ah (720Wh)
- Display: MOD BIKES S1 Smart Display w/USB port
- Motor: MOD DRIVE 750W (Peak 1050W) rear brushless geared hub -Hengtai
- Headlight: Integrated wide beam LED
- Taillights: Integrated LED w/brake light
- Peal Assist: Smart 0-9 level cadence sensor
- Range: Up to 45 miles
- Throttle: Thumb button
- Claimed weight: 88 lbs.
- Maximum rider weight: 265 lbs. payload
- Maximum load on rear rack: 55 lbs.
- Brakes: Tektro – Hydraulic Disc with 180mm Rotors w/cutoff switch
- Fenders: Full cover aluminum fenders
- Fork: Forged Aluminum 24″
- Frame: 6061 aluminum
- Drivetrain: Shimano ALTUS 7 speed
- Grips: Faux Leather ergonomic
- Saddle: Faux Leather Selle Royal – Drifter
- Handlebar: Aluminum Alloy, Low Rise, 700mm
- Kickstand: Aluminum, heavy duty, adjustable, center-mounted
- Pedals: Wellgo, aluminum
- Tires: Kenda Flame 24″ x 3.00″
MOD Easy Review: Bike Overview
Cruisers styled to look like motorcycles have been around for a while. But circa 2008 they were as impractical as a flying elephant. These bikes aren’t light, though, thanks to aluminum construction, rather than steel, they aren’t as heavy as they might be. With its olive drab paint, front tank (which houses the battery) and motorcycle-sized tires, this is a bike that doesn’t look like it will go, but it has a terrific feel on the road.
The MOD Easy is a very capable cruiser that at first look seems to be so long on style that it can’t be all that practical. It’s a surprising bike because it does so much so well. The bike’s real foundation is a very capable 750W brushless, geared hub motor that produces a potent 69Nm of torque, so while riders are likely to notice its style initially, this e-bike isn’t just flash; its motor gives the MOD Easy terrific performance across many needs.
With hydraulic disc brakes and a 7-speed drivetrain, not to mention a rear rack, full fenders and front and rear lights, the MOD BIKES Easy has everything we look for in a cruiser.
So what’s the catch? If this bike does all the things a good cruiser and even a proper commuter can do, then why aren’t more bikes this stylish? There are two big reasons. First, you pay a little more for such styling. There are more expensive e-bikes, but this isn’t exactly entry-level priced either at over $3000. Second, this much style comes with a price of its own; the Easy weighs 88 lbs, making it heavier than many cargo bikes. This is a bike that won’t be easy for smaller riders to manage.
So it’s fair to say that the MOD Easy and the MOD Easy with Side Boat are going to appeal to someone who is willing to pay extra to enjoy a certain amount of style while enjoying the revving that you can do while on this motor.
Just a final word before you hit the test section of our MOD Easy review: We performed all of our testing on the MOD Easy as just a cruiser—not with the Side Boat. Every result we publish here—range, stopping distance, hill performance and circuit averages—will all change with the addition of the Side Boat. Prudent riders will choose a lower PAS level for their riding, which should help make up for some of the loss in range that would be so readily apparent were someone to ride in PAS 5 with the Side Boat. Similarly, a longer stopping distance due to increased weight will be obscured somewhat by what are likely to be lower riding speeds. The penalty grows if a kid, dog or groceries ride shotgun.
MOD Easy Review: Motor Performance, Speed and Acceleration
To take a first pedal stroke on the MOD Easy is to be surprised. Thanks to a 750W geared, brushless hub motor that produces a very firm 69Nm of torque, this e-bike takes off a bit like a frightened cat. The acceleration, which comes on after a bit less than a half pedal stroke, isn’t so quick as to be alarming, but it is sharp enough to evoke a laugh. It’s a delightful kick that quickly gives a rider a sense of the MOD Easy’s capabilities.
The torque that this motor provides really impresses when hitting a hill. The expectation would be for the bike to slow noticeably upon rolling into a grade, but thanks to a peak power output of 1050W, it cruises up most inclines.
Our test rider made it around our circuit test at an average speed of 11 mph with no assist. The 11.5 mph PAS 1 loop may seem underpowered, but it is handy to have some assistance when moving at low speed thanks to the bike’s weight. The 5 mph jump between PAS 2 and 3 seemed a bit much and we’d have liked more difference between PAS 4 and 5. In short, the PAS level increases are rather erratic.
Because of this bike’s weight and the fact that a rider must make a half pedal stroke before the motor engages, it’s important to downshift before stopping whenever possible. Coming to a stop when in the largest gear makes getting going a little comedic.
The addition of the Side Boat fundamentally changes the Easy’s performance. Top speed and range will drop due to the additional weight. We also found that we weren’t as comfortable at higher speeds (~18 mph) with the Side Boat attached. Slowing for turns wasn’t just smart, it was mandatory; right turns were especially challenging.
We’ll discuss the practical effect this has on the range next.
MOD Easy Review: Range Test & Battery Performance
Despite being equipped with a 720Wh Samsung battery, we were concerned that an 88 lb. bike with a 750W motor would have a substandard range, and that riders wouldn’t be able to venture very far from home. We’re pleased to report that the MOD Easy performed reasonably well.
In PAS 2 (the PAS that felt as though we were receiving some amount of constant assistance), our tester covered 38 miles on the Easy in 3:08 for an average speed of 12.1 mph. That’s modest compared to most of the bikes we test, but context is key. There are few bikes that are in the same weight class as the MOD Easy so it’s a respectable enough result that will still be enough to power a whole weekend of riding for most folks.
The surprise came when we did our PAS 5 circuit. The Easy covered 30 mi. in just 1:39 for an average speed of 18.2 mph. This is a great result, and one that makes the case for going ahead and riding in PAS 5 considering what little penalty there is in range; we have occasionally seen a bike’s range as much as double in going from max PAS to minimum PAS.
The takeaway here is you’re not getting a huge difference in being conservative vs hitting the gas, so enjoy riding at the speed that’s more for you and you’ll have enough battery for any one day and then some.
You may get tired of me saying this before the MOD Easy review is done, but the addition of the Side Boat should come with the expectation that the results aren’t likely to be the same. When it comes to range the extra weight, drag, and other factors of having a side car will likely drop down your range some.
MOD Easy Review: Hill Test
In our test runs up our local hill, Hell Hole, the MOD Easy was a true surprise. On throttle alone, it climbed the hill in only 82 seconds, for an average speed of 13.2 mph. In PAS 5 the MOD Easy was even more impressive, zooming up the hill in 73 seconds at an average of 14.3 mph. To say we were pleasantly surprised isn’t an overstatement.
There can be little doubt that even after shifting into the lowest gear in order to assist the motor as much as possible, going uphill with the MOD Easy will drain the battery a good deal more than riding on the flat. This bike’s weight will be a penalty on hills, precisely because the performance is so good.
We didn’t notice any significant drop in hill climbing ability with the Side Boat, but that is due, in large part, to the fact that we never tried to go especially fast up or down anything as long as the Side Boat was attached.
This was a decidedly above-average performance from one of the heaviest e-bikes we’ve ever reviewed. Practically speaking, the real kick of this bike is that on lesser grades the bike doesn’t seem to slow much, if at all.
As for the experience up hills with the Side Boat (it didn’t get the Hell Hole treatment due to a narrow bike path), you start to appreciate the peak power of the motor. It gets you up hills with the same relative ease at a slightly slower pace. GIven that the handling is more akin to a trike than a bike, that’s not a problem for us as it operates at its best under more tame speeds.
MOD Easy Review: Brakes and the Brake Test
Braking was another dimension in which the MOD Easy surprised us yet again. Armed with Tektro hydraulic disc brakes and 180mm rotors, the MOD Easy stopped in just 14 feet 11 inches from a 20 mph stop. Again, this e-bike tips the scales at a rather ponderous 88 lbs. Stopping with such haste was a real surprise.
In our experience, one of the most important ways to make a rider feel comfortable at speed comes from making the bike easy to control. The rider’s sense of control stems from two different features: how it handles and how easy it is to vary the bike’s pace. Making sure a bike is easy to slow ranks as a critical function and the MOD Easy never feels heavy when braking.
With the Side Boat, the MOD Easy didn’t feel drastically different and still stopped admirably. Typically you should be operating at slower speeds with the Side Boat but the brakes are such good performers that the extra weight added is kept in check by superior stopping power.
MOD Easy Review: Ride Comfort, Handling and Cockpit
Be forewarned, running such big tires soft has its pluses and minuses. On the plus side, these tires can be run at very low pressure with little risk of a pinch flat and it will make the bike feel like a rolling La-Z-Boy. On the minus side, soft tires require more energy to propel, which will eat up more of the battery’s charge, further reducing the Easy’s range.
One of the other features of the 3-in.-wide Kenda tires we like is the traction they offer. With such a big footprint we found we could turn in hard and make it corner like a much shorter bike.
Because the MOD Easy comes in just one size, the bike was spec’d with an adjustable stem to allow riders to better tailor the fit by altering the stem’s angle of rise. It’s a terrific choice that will increase the comfort of most riders.
Out on the road or on the bike path the MOD Easy has the manners of a classic cruiser; the rider enjoys a relaxing, upright position. The suspension seatpost definitely makes a difference, but for heavier riders, i.e., over 200 lbs, the post is likely to be compressed without feeling like it comes all the way back up, unfortunately; it had trouble returning to its high position under my 170 lbs.
Some cruisers feature a design that puts the crank farther in front of the rider. What this does is allow the bike’s designer to keep the saddle closer to the ground while still allowing proper leg extension in the pedal stroke. We mention this because the saddle’s low position relative to the ground may cause some smaller riders to think they can comfortably ride it, but it’s easy to miss the relationship of the saddle to the pedals.
The relaxed steering of the MOD Easy satisfies in the way that only a cruiser can. When we say that it moves like the wind, what we mean is that it’s a summer breeze, not a gale force wind. The backswept bar means the reach never requires the rider to lean over like a Tour de France racer.
The MOD Easy with Side Boat—the version with the sidecar—comes with a caveat or two. Any trip out on this bike needs to be made without a deadline. Anyone on this rig is going to be stopped regularly by people wanting to know about it, how much it costs and where they can get one. Okay, not everyone will want one, but the average bystander will ask plenty of questions. That’s only partly a joke.
What riders do need to be alerted to is how the Easy corners with the addition of the Side Boat. Turns are not, uh, easy. Bicycles carve turns by countersteering. That is, the rider leans into the turn and the front wheel actually steers away from the direction of the turn ever so slightly; that’s how a rider initiates the turn. Well the Easy doesn’t lean with the Side Boat; the rider must steer, not countersteer and making the switch is something the body fights at first.
I found that when I first climbed aboard and went to carve right, I turned left because my body kept telling me I hadn’t made the bike lean over. I’d compare the change with driving a right-hand-drive car like in England or Japan. The brain sends out little messages of alarm because the view from the left side of the road seems wrong.
The MOD Easy with Side Boat forces the rider to lean their body and steer into each turn. The technique can be learned in just an hour or two, but allowing enough room for the sidecar takes some practice. It’s pretty easy to put the sidecar’s wheel in the dirt when riding on a bike path.
The cargo capacity of the Side Boat allows for a solid haul of groceries or bringing Fido along. Kids will love this thing until they start to outgrow it, which won’t take much time. The seat pad is comfy enough, but also thin enough that the tub doesn’t leave much room for legs.
We can’t argue with this e-bike’s style score (which is about 36 on a scale of 10), but when it comes to cargo bikes, there are easier ways to haul a load. A long-tail with a big basket will outperform this in all of the ways, but if you just have a bag or three you can toss them in here easily enough.
The display may only be a black-and-white LED, but its size makes it easy to read in all but the brightest conditions. The battery-life indicator sits in a corner and while reading it on the move is easy enough, the five-bar icon doesn’t give the rider enough info. We would like it if among the display’s functions like trip distance and average speed if there were a calculation of remaining range. This is not a bike to be caught out with zero battery.
MOD Easy Review: Summary / Where to Buy
When considering the MOD Easy a rider can easily be distracted by the bike’s overall look, seeing all the flash and perhaps little of its substance. What we keep returning to is how when we look at this bike on paper and not the motorcycle-themed frame design or echo of military styling with its olive drab finish, what we see is a solid e-bike with the features we expect from any up-market e-bike. All the MOD bikes we’ve reviewed spec well with unique designs.
With its powerful motor this thing can accelerate up to a spirited pace quickly enough not to linger in an intersection. A sturdy rear rack, full fenders and front and rear lights make this suitable for daily use and the 7-speed Shimano drivetrain allows riders to gear down and save some battery on hills.
On its own, the MOD Easy is a dynamite cruiser. Thanks to the battery hidden in the tank it is still very eye-catching, but without the sidecar, this e-bike is far more fun to ride. No doubt, the sidecar is cool, but the cruiser—on its own—is terrific fun and easy to recommend.
To anyone considering the MOD Easy with Side Boat, we say caveat emptor. An e-bike with a sidecar does not handle like a normal bike and some care must be taken in top speed and in turns—go slow. There are also easier ways to carry a load. But if you are okay with taking it slow and want to complete the look, or add a little cargo carrying capability then by all means think on if the Side Car works for you.
If the MOD Easy’s cruiser feel and awesome retro looks re for you then you can have MOD ship it all straight to you by clicking on the button avobe to see current pricing and place an order.
‘Happy Riding, make sure to let us know if you have any questions down in our comments section or if you think we left anything out in this review of the MOD Easy.
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