Let’s just say the Outrider USA recumbent electric trikes are high performance vehicles 🙂
Recently, Jesse, Daniel and Tommy from Outrider USA visited here in Sedona AZ and I had a chance to ride their top of the line 422 Alpha adventure vehicle.
Not only did I get to test ride this e-trike but the guys from Outrider had a chance to sample some of the scenic and twisty roads here in red rock country.
A Little Background
Jesse, Daniel and Tommy have been long time friends and now they are in the business of building and selling these high performance e-trikes.
They take a lot of pride in building these vehicles in Fletcher, North Carolina and they try to source as much of their components from the US as possible.
To prove how fast their adventure vehicles are, they entered the 2012 Pikes Peak e-bike race and took 1st and 2nd place!
Here is a video recap of the race:
As you can see, the Outrider USA adventure vehicles are not shy when it comes to high speed and cornering!
Getting Familiar with Outrider USA Adventure Vehicles
The Outrider USA electric recumbent trikes are all about high quality and high performance.
The Outrider USA trikes come in 4 different models with prices ranging from $5,995 to $11,995:
The 209 Enduro: 20 mph with 66 miles (with pedaling) or 45 miles (no pedaling) (ranges based on 20 mph) and up to 2086 watts of power. $5,995
The 311 Solo: 30 mph with 83 miles (with pedaling) or 56 miles (no pedaling) (ranges based on 20 mph) and up to 2800 watts of power. $7,995
The 411 Hyperlite: 40 mph with 83 miles (with pedaling) or 56 miles (no pedaling) (ranges based on 20 mph) and up to 4200 watts of power $9,995
The 422 Alpha: 40 mph with 165 miles (with pedaling) or 111 miles (no pedaling) (ranges based on 20 mph) and up to 4200 watts of power $11,995
Since I was riding the 422 Alpha, let’s take a look at some of the details of this high end adventure vehicle!
Looking fast; the Outrider 422 can fly at 40+ mph!
The Outrider trikes have a recumbent position for aerodynamics and a low center of gravity for stability.
The Outrider e-trikes have rear view mirrors and those really come in handy when traveling at high speeds. You can also see the safety flag mounted on the rear rack.
The 2131 watt hour lithium polymer battery is stored under the seat to keep the battery weight low for good overall handling. It is a 44.4 volt 48 ah battery! The range of the 422 Alpha is between 111 miles to 165 miles depending on the speed and how much you pedal. That’s a lot of range!
This is the on/off key located on the battery pack area under the seat.
Gates belts are used on the 422 to transfer the power from the motor to the rear wheel.
These are the belt drives that come from the motor and power the rear wheel. The power options are 750 watts, 2,100 watts, and 4,200 watts!
The large belt drive cog on the rear wheel.
The SRAM X.7 9 speed rear derailleur and Industry 9 rear wheel.
The 422 comes with a Cycle Lumenator (1000 Lumen LED) headlight for night adventures.
View of the cockpit of the 422. It really does feel like you flying; especially when going 40+ mph!
The Schlumpf High-Speed Drive 2 speed crankset allows the 422 to be pedaled at low speeds as well as at high speeds. To change from low to high gear you push a button in the center of cranks with your heel. It is pretty cool how you can be contributing power, even at 40 mph!
The Outrider 422 uses a Cycle Analyst which gives you a bunch of info and it is where you adjust the power settings.
The twist grip throttle on the left handlebar. Holding the bar and adjusting the throttle took a little practice but after a few times it became a bit more intuitive.
The SRAM X.0 9-speed gripshift is used on the right handlebar for adjusting the SRAM X.7 rear derailleur.
The 422 comes with Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes on both front wheels. It is advisable to apply relatively equal pressure to both brakes. If you grab one too hard the trike will pull slightly in that direction. The guys said that you can endo if you push yourself far forward and slam on the brakes. Yeah, you would have to really slam on the brakes!
Industry 9 Premium Trike Wheels (Aluminum Straight-Pull Spoke) are used on the 422.
The layed back recumbent seat on the 422 was pretty comfortable and it seemed to be the right position for the low riding style.
The Surley trailer is a good way to carry a lot of extra cargo.
The Test Ride
As you can imagine a recumbent electric trike with the ability to go 40+ mph took some getting used to!
When you sit down into the laid back seat you have to get used to the controls you have available to you in the “cockpit”. The Cycle Analyst display allows you to change the power levels and check a bunch of stats like: Battery Voltage, Instantaneous Speed, Instantaneous Motor Power, Amp-Hours Consumed, Miles Traveled, Watt-hours Consumed, Efficiency in Watt-hours per Mile, Average Speed, Maximum Speed, Trip Time, Lifetime Battery Cycles, Lifetime Energy Consumed, and Lifetime Miles Traveled.
Then you have the left brake lever and throttle on the left handlebar and the right brake lever and SRAM gripshifter for the 9 speed rear derailleur on the right handlebar.
When you place your feet on the pedals there is the option to shift the Schlumpf 2 speed cranks with a push of the heel button in the center of the cranks. The change in gear ratio at the cranks is really dramatic and it allows you to cruise at low speeds in addition to providing pedal power at 40 mph.
In order to engage the electric assist the Outrider has to be pedaled up to around 4 mph. This is a safety feature so that it won’t take off too quickly from a stop if someone accidentally bumps the throttle.
At first it takes a bit of coordination to handle all the controls you have at your disposal. Pedal up to 4 mph, turn the throttle, shift the rear derailleur, then shift the crank gear once you are up to a higher speed, check your mirrors, steer into a corner, prepare for a stop, apply both brakes evenly, down shift before you stop so that you are not stuck in a high gear, etc. This may sound like a lot but once you have a few miles on the trike it does become more intuitive.
One aspect I was curious about was how much of an effect my pedaling would have on a powerful machine like this. To my surprise I really felt like I was contributing a significant amount of power to the forward motion. Thanks to the Schlumpf crankset the bike was geared so that at 40 mph I could truly add pedal power that made a difference in the overall speed.
A note about pedaling: If you are used to pulling on the handlebars while pedaling hard you will need to get out of this habit while riding an Outrider. That is because pulling on the Outrider handlebars will cause the trike to turn. When you are going 40 mph, even the slightest movement of the bars can cause a bit of a turn. The best way to crank on the pedals is to push yourself back into the seat in order to isolate your upper body, while providing smooth pedal power. This take a bit of practice but it does become more natural after a bit of time in the seat.
Traveling at 40 mph so low to the ground was definitely a rush! At first it is pretty intense but I did feel more comfortable as I put more miles on the e-trike. We rode in an area where we could keep up with car traffic and we definitely got some interesting looks from car drivers. During the ride I focused on keeping my pedaling smooth and isolating my upper body from movement.
Cornering on an Outrider is a lot of fun! To get the most out of the corner it is best to lean into the corner. The guys from Outrider have even got the trikes up on 2 wheels! I stuck to 3 wheels on the ground 🙂 Since these adventures vehicles are so low to the ground it makes them pretty stable in the corners.
Safety? Yes, that is a concern. Since the Outrider USA adventure vehicles are so low to the ground it seems that visibility could be a problem. The e-trikes do have a visible orange flag that is attached to the rear rack and that helps with being seen. It would also help to wear bright yellow clothing.
Are the Outrider USA adventure vehicles legally considered electric bikes? Maybe. If you keep it on the low power setting and keep the speed at 20 mph you may be able to meet the e-bike classification. Of course if you go above those limits you are doing it at your own risk.
Another option is to register and insure it as a moped. Check with Outrider USA for more information on this.
Overall the Outrider USA 422 was a lot of fun to ride. The low seating position, high power and speed make it a unique pedal/electric vehicle.
The Outrider adventures vehicles could be used for everything from commuting to long rides in the country/mountains.
If you are interested in getting an Outrider USA adventure vehicle, contact Outrider USA directly to order one.
Alright, now checkout some of the riding pictures:
Jesse gives a talk on how to operate and ride the Outrider 422.
Your’s truly on the Outrider 422 Alpha. The test ride was really fun!
This is the type of road that I tested the Outrider 422 on. Lots of fun!
Now it’s time for a ride! Jesse and Tommy check out one of the roads in Sedona.
A hard corner and the end of pavement is no prob for the Outrider e-trikes. In fact, it seemed to make the ride more fun!
Yes, the Outrider USA Adventure Vehicles can handle some off-road adventure. They work well on relatively smooth dirt roads. Jesse and Tommy enjoyed a little 3 wheel drift through the corners!
Just one of the many places you could ride an Outrider e-trike to.
Not a bad spot for chillin out.
Outrider e-trikes and the open road.
Jesse and Tommy rolling into Sedona.
This happened a lot. The Outrider USA adventure vehicles definitely draw a lot of attention. The guys did a great job of getting people interested in their e-trikes.
The Outrider USA team after a full day of riding in Sedona. Left to right: Jesse, Daniel, and Tommy.
That’s a wrap. If you own an Outrider or you have test ridden one, please leave your thoughts on these adventure vehicles in the comment section below.