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Trusty Trucker Founders' Circle Reservation

Trusty Trucker Founders' Circle Reservation



Now through June 30th, you can become part of our Founders’ Circle with a refundable $100 reservation. Get a $500 discount off Trusty Trucker! 


Exclusive Founders' Circle Benefits:

  1. Access to a first-production Trusty Trucker at $2,699 + S&H ($500 discount off retail).
  2. First 60 backers will reserve the right to buy a unique, Founders' Edition Trusty Trucker!

  3. Exclusive Founders’ Circle updates as we bring the Trusty Trucker to market. Get inside insights into how a bike is produced and where it comes from.
  4. Direct communication with the development team building your product - help us shape the future of Paka! 

Don't miss this offer! Share with your friends and family, and tell them it’s time to start Truckin’.

    • How much range does Trusty Trucker have?
      Short answer: You'll get about 40 miles of range in real-world riding conditions (moderate trails, moderate load, moderate temperature, etc.). You'll get up to 75 miles if you ride in circles on a flat test track, but we really hope you'll take Trusty to the trails instead. Long answer (if you're nerdy like us): Range is heavily dependent on your riding style, terrain, and loading of the bike. Strong acceleration, high-speeds, heavy loads, and big hills will all lower a bike’s range. This is why we feel that Trucker is an ideal vehicle for electrification. Off-road riding is inherently low-speed and distances tend to be short. Trusty Trucker’s calm riding characteristics and low weight all add up a vehicle that does NOT require a massive and expensive battery in order to be practical. When comparing vehicle range, there is no standard that manufactures are required to follow. In many cases, this leads to vehicle range being over-stated. In our case, we claim that Trusty Trucker has a range of 40 miles (65km) on moderate terrain, at a moderate riding pace, with a moderate weight rider. To put this in perspective, this is 4 hours of non-stop riding at a normal average trail speed of 10 miles per hour. Rather than listening to company claims, a better way to compare range is to look at battery pack capacity. If two vehicles are of similar mass and being used in a similar way, then their power consumption will be relatively similar. Therefore their range will be proportional to the capacity of their battery packs. The capacity of a battery pack is measured in Watt-hours (Wh). Watt-hours = nominal voltage (V) x Amp-hours (Ah) Don’t be tricked into thinking that Amp-hours is a measure of capacity. A low voltage battery will have a high Amp-hour rating for the same capacity as a high-voltage, low Amp-hour battery. Also note that the voltage of a battery is not constant. For example, Trusty Trucker’s battery is nominally 72V. This means that at 100% charge its voltage is roughly 84V and at 20% charge its voltage is roughly 64V. Watt-hours are accurately compared using nominal voltage.
    • How much power does Trucker have?
      Similar to petrol engines, electric motors can produce large amounts of power for short amounts of time before they over-heat or self-destruct. And, just like petrol vehicle manufacturers, those high numbers can be used in spec sheets to impress customers. The motor used in Trucker can probably produce 20HP for 5 seconds (we haven’t tried it) but this isn’t very relevant to the user experience. Trucker is designed to output 5HP (3800W) for an extended period of riding. Because the base limitation on motor output is heat, this output could be indefinite on a cold day and may be limited to several minutes on a very hot day. Either way, it’s plenty of power to be useful for the tasks to which Trucker is designed. It’s important to understand that an electric motor’s efficiency is dependent on its speed. For a given throttle position, highest motor efficiency is achieved at approximately 80% of maximum speed (ie. the wheel speed achieved when the tire is lifted off the ground). For example, if the throttle is at 50% and the wheel spins at 15MPH when lifted from the ground, then the bike will achieve highest efficiency when resistance pushes the speed down to around 12MPH. This resistance is the combination of climbing a hill, wind resistance, tire friction, etc. As the resistance increases, the motor will slow down further and produce more torque to overcome the resistance. As it slows down, the efficiency of the motor will decrease and more waste heat will be generated inside the motor. As load on the motor increases further, torque will continue to increase and efficiency will continue to decrease. As a rider, you don’t need to focus on keeping your motor at the most efficient speed because 1) this is nearly impossible due to constantly varying terrain and 2) it may cause you to ride in an unsafe manner. What IS important to know, is that, just like a petrol motor, an over-loaded electric motor will waste a lot of energy and overheat quickly. Trucker’s electronics have thermal protection to prevent permanent damage by limiting power and eventually shutting off due to high temperatures. However, it’s better to avoid pushing the bike to these limits. If your motor is being forced to operate at low speed due to heavy loading and/or steepness of terrain then please consider whether Trucker is the correct tool for the job. Afterall, you don’t use a VW Beetle to pull a semi-trailer or a go-kart to cross the Sahara Desert. Every vehicle has its limits.
    • What is the climbing ability of Trucker?
      Almost all electric vehicles have only one gear ratio. This simplicity is one of their great advantages. They don’t require a transmission like a bicycle or a petrol vehicle. However, this means that any gear ratio change that increases top speed will have the secondary effect of reducing maximum wheel torque. Again, this is a reason why TrustyTrucker is an ideal electric vehicle. Because, Trusty Trucker doesn’t require a high top speed, its gear ratio can be used to deliver lots of torque from relatively small and low-cost electronics. Trusty Trucker is able to easily start from a dead-stop on a 35% grade (equal to the steepest hills in San Francisco) with 250lbs (100kg) of rider+cargo load. It delivers 230Nm of torque to the rear wheel equivalent to 1300N of thrust. Theoretically could climb vertically with a 100lbs rider.
    • Why doesn’t Trusty have a display?
      In keeping with Trusty Trucker’s design philosophy that simple products are more affordable and durable, we decided to forego a display or a Bluetooth connection. We find that in most cases, these are gimmicks. Riders often play with settings the first time that they use the bike and then just set them back to defaults. Otherwise, a display is only used for showing speed and distance. As an everyday offroad transportation tool, these are almost never relevant . In cases where Trucker will be used for exploration, we strongly recommend that users carry a GPS unit or at least a smart phone that can provide accurate location data along with speed and distance information. Trusty Trucker’s other functions, such as battery gauge and its three riding modes, are positioned in other sensible areas. The battery gauge is located on the top of the battery. Riding modes are delivered via physical switches on the handlebar that are more convenient and visually effective than placement on a display. Now you don't need to worry about damaging your display or getting stuck when it malfunctions.
    • What kind of suspension does Trusty Trucker have?
      We decided to keep Trucker simple by using large volume tires and 100mm of front fork travel without including rear suspension. Additional rider comfort is provided by a suspension seatpost and a sprung saddle. In addition, just like simple mountain bikes ridden on rough terrain, riders can quickly learn to use their legs to absorb bumps by raising their bums slightly above the seat.. This allows the bike to move independently without transferring shocks into the rider’s core. Even with rear suspension, this is an important skill and will aid your control and confidence as a rider. We chose not to give Trucker extremely high-volume tires borrowed from ATVs and minibikes because these are not road legal. We intend for Trusty Trucker to achieve road legal certification within 12 months.
    • Is Trucker road-legal?
      Trucker is built around road-legal components. Of course, certification takes time and costs money. We intend for Trucker to be road-legal within 12 months of selling our first off-road only versions of Trucker. Under Federal regulations, Trucker will be classified as a “motor-driven cycle”. For users, this isn’t very important because it is actually state laws that dictate rider requirements. In many states, Trucker will be classified as a moped with reduced requirements for licensing, registration, insurance, and rider age. Check your state laws to understand what is required from you for on-road use.
    • Why doesn’t Trusty Trucker have two-wheel drive?
      In short, it’s expensive and doesn’t provide much benefit to the riding experience. While a couple of companies actually make 2WD petrol motorbikes, the temptation of producing a 2WD electric bike is greater because of the general availability of hub motors. In fact, the first prototype that Paka built was a high-power 2WD fat bike. It had three problems: 1) a lot of riders didn’t find the giant tires very friendly 2) fat tires are built for bicycles and therefore aren’t designed for the loads and speeds of motorcycles; they’re also are not legal for on-road use and 3) 2WD didn’t deliver the performance we were hoping for. The first problem is that the power density of hub motors is low. This is because they must operate at RPMs that match the wheel speed. Getting a lot of power out of a small motor is achieved by allowing it to operate at high RPMs and then gearing it down to appropriate wheel speeds. To get a lot of power out of a hub motor, it must be large, heavy, and expensive. Large and heavy is exactly what you don’t want in a wheel used in an off-road context since it creates a rough ride and puts a lot of stress on suspension components. The second problem is that 2WD isn’t very useful. In the context of climbing steep slopes, the front wheel of a bike has little weight on it and therefore little traction. It’s common for the front wheel to spin uncontrollably while contributing nothing to the task of actually climbing the hill. In contexts of mud and snow, 2WD can be more useful but these are the same situations that require large amounts of power to navigate. For an electric vehicle, this means a sharp reduction in total range. The third problem is that multiple motors require extra electronics to operate. This adds cost, complexity, and failure modes. For us, it was quickly evident that the 2WD didn’t deliver enough value to overcome its small occasional benefits. In the end, we went back to the drawing board and came up with today’s Trusty Trucker which is friendly and easy-to-ride, has greater hill-climbing capacity, and is more practical and affordable.
    • Does Trusty Trucker require maintenance?
      One of the general benefits of electric vehicles is low level of required maintenance and the ease of conducting that maintenance. There are no messy oil changes or filters to service. However, Trusty Trucker still has components that are considered consumable. These are brake pads and rotors, drive belts, chains and sprockets, and tires. Below is an approximate service schedule. Actual requirements will depend on your environment and riding style. Brake Pads: Replacement is technically easy and requires basic tools. Drive Belts: Replacement is moderately easy and requires basic tools. Drive Chains: Replacement is moderately easy and requires basic tools. Tires: Replacement is very difficult to perform by hand and generally requires professional tools available at a tire shop or motorcycle service shop. Dedicated and skilled home mechanics can replace tires independently but it’s really not easy. Resources like YouTube can provide details on the challenges and risks.
    • Who can ride Trusty Trucker?
      On private property in the USA, there are no legal limitations to who is allowed to ride or where they are allowed to ride. This is at the discretion of the landowner. Paka strongly advises against the use of Trusty Trucker by unsupervised minors or anyone younger than the age of 12 years. While it’s always a personal choice in off-road contexts, we strongly advise the use of appropriate protective equipment for anyone riding any type vehicle. At a bare minimum, this would include a properly fitting and certified helmet. As the terrain and riding style become more aggressive, it becomes increasingly critical to include feet protection, gloves, and ultimately body and leg protection as well. For on-road use, though protective gear is always recommended, your state laws will dictate what is legally required. From a practical perspective, riders starting from a height of 4ft 6in (137cm) can ride Trusty Trucker and place their feet flat on the ground due to its adjustable seat and handlebar position. Riders from height of 5ft (152cm) to 6ft 4in (193cm) are likely to be the most comfortable. With regards to seat comfort, Trucker uses a standard two-rail bicycle seat interface which allows riders to choose and change their seat with any commercially available option. Just remember that a seat used in a motorbike application has a tough life and that low-quality seats will have a short lifespan. Choose wisely.
    • How do I charge and maintain my Trusty Trucker battery?
      Batteries are not as sensitive as they used to be. You don’t need to worry about “battery memory” or maintaining the battery at a particular state of charge as vigilantly as previously necessary. That said, batteries should not be neglected if you want to get good long-term performance and value from them. Here are the simple practical principles that you should follow: Don’t deep discharge a battery pack. Its on-board electronics will reduce the output of the battery as its state of charge becomes low but this won’t prevent you from pushing the battery to a very low state of charge if you continue to ride the bike. If this happens occasionally, you don’t need to worry too much. Just don’t do it frequently. Trusty Trucker’s NMC chemistry battery will be happiest if discharged between 0°F (-20°C) and 130°F (55°C) and charged between 30°F (0°C) and 130°F (55°C). The closer the battery comes to the extreme ends of these temperature ranges, the more detrimental it is for battery health. Battery charging is safe when conducted with the correct charger. However, this does not mean that there is no danger. Problems stemming from manufacturing mistakes, damage, age, etc. can lead to very dangerous battery fires or explosions. In this regard, battery packs and battery charging should be treated similar to a tank of gasoline. Battery packs and battery packs under charging should be kept away from flammable materials or areas that are frequented by people or that would block exits in case of an incident. They should not be stored adjacent to other battery packs. Covering a battery pack to restrict the spread of a fire is a good idea as long as that cover 1) is not flammable 2) creates an air gap between the battery pack and cover of at least six inches on all sides and 3) would not be subject to containing significant heat or pressure that could lead to secondary danger. A battery pack can be placed in storage at 100% state of charge but it is technically less safe with this amount of energy in the battery pack. If the battery can be placed in storage at 80% state of charge, it is safer. A battery will self-discharge slowly in storage. It is a good idea to check the battery periodically to detect if state of charge has decreased below 30%. If it has, ideally it should be recharged to ‾80%.
    • How do I service my Trusty Trucker?
      First and foremost, service should NEVER be performed on Trusty Trucker with the battery pack installed. Remove the battery pack from the motorbike in order to remove the source of energy that could lead to electrical shock, activate the motor, etc. These hazards could lead to serious injury or death. ALWAYS remove the battery pack before performing service. Second, NEVER attempt to open or service a battery pack. The battery pack is a closed system. Openning the pack exposes a person to significant risk of electricution and other forms of serious injury or death. Once the above precautions are observed, we can say that Fluhm’s company ethos affirms the customers “right to repair”. We seek to empower our customers to be self-sufficient. We believe this saves you time and money while also allowing Paka to deliver amazing value as a direct-to-customer company. Our product service videos will detail every step of maintenance tasks so that you know exactly which simple tools you require and the steps you'll take in order to be successful. Of course, if you choose, you can take Trucker to a competant mechanic. If your closest mechanic is 50 miles away and needs a week to provide service, roll up your sleeves, we've got you covered.
    • Is Trusty Trucker future-proof?
      Trusty Trucker is intentionally built around technology that is NOT cutting edge. This is what allows it to be affordable and reliable. Therefore Trusty Trucker is future-proof in the sense that it does not use trendy solutions or unproven ideas that are likely to go out of style tomorrow. We designed Trusty Trucker based on decades of experience using classic solutions to timeless problems.
    • Can Trusty Trucker be ridden in water?
      In order to keep Trusty Trucker affordable, we have decided not to incur the cost of making Trucker entirely waterproof. Trusty Trucker is resistant to the normal amounts of rain and mud encountered in outdoor applications but should not be submerged in water deeper than 12 inches (30cm). Like all vehicles, Trusty Trucker should also not be subjected pressured jets of water from devices such as pressure washers. This water forces itself passed seals causing corrosion and degradation of internal components. Trusty Truckers used in marine environments will be exposed to air containing salt and high levels of humidity. This environment is corrosive and is likely to cause premature corrosion of the vehicle. Truckers with failure caused by corrosion will not be covered under our warranty policy. Direct exposure to salt water, such as riding in the surf along a beachfront, creates particular risk for corrosion and should be avoided to any degree possible.
    • How much can Trusty Trucker carry?
      265lb rider + 265lb on rear carrier + 40lb on front carrier = 570lb 120kg rider + 120kg on rear carrier + 20kg on front carrier = 260kg 10" (26cm) wide rear carrier height make loading easy and keeps center of mass low. However, note that as load increases and terrain becomes more challenging, vehicles require greater skill to operate. Average riders will carry 70lb (30kg) comfortably and 110lb (50kg) with minor riding-style adjustments. As loads increase further please slow down, ride cautiously, and consider the use of a cargo trailer.
    • Can Trusty Trucker carry passengers?
      Trusty Trucker ships with pegs for passengers included. An add-on passenger cushion can be ordered as an accessory. However, please note that riding as a passenger incurs risks. It is advised that passengers wear protective equipment and only ride with experienced operators. Passengers should understand their risks and their responsibilities in allowing the operator to maintain control.
    • Are electric motorbikes better than gas?
      We believe they are. However, it would be dishonest to say that they are better in all contexts. Here the biggest advantages of electric motorbikes: Simple controls. Electric bikes have only a throttle and two handbrake levers. Gas bikes require the rider to control a clutch with the left hand, a front brake with the right hand, a rear brake with the right foot, and shifter with the left foot. A gas bike might take days or weeks to master while an electric motorbike can take minutes. Electric motorbikes, like Trucker, can also have multiple ride modes New riders don’t need to be intimidated by high power/torque. They can start in a mild riding mode and then increase the bike’s capability when they’re ready. Less maintenance. Gas engines are complicated. They require oil and filter changes and even regular re-builds for those being used for high-performance. Electric bikes only need their consumables replaced such as brake pads but on average this is much easier and much less messy. See the maintenance question below for more details. Clean and quiet. Electric motorbikes are silent when stopped. They don't need to idle like gas bikes. When moving, they aren't silent but their noise is reduced and a tone that doesn’t travel like the thumping of an engine. Electric bikes also don’t require product exhaust plumes. Without the noise and stink, they are much nicer to use around people and wildlife. Electric motorbikes have some disadvantages too. Similar to electric cars that are primarily range and charging time. Big batteries are expensive and heavy while short charging times require special electronics that are expensive and may require special electric connections. However, for motorbikes, like Trucker, that are designed for modest speeds, loads, and distances, these factors don't come into play. That’s why golf carts and forklifts have been electric for decades. If you want to go adventure-touring to the next state, then Trusty Trucker isn’t for you. If you need transportation up the trail, down the beach, or around the fields, then Trucker has everything you need. See our range section below.
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