On display at this year’s LikeBike Monte Carlo show was this totally bonkers looking machine. Known as the Trefecta DRT, it’s an electric bike like no other and at present it’s the most expensive e-bike on sale.
Designed primarily for military use, the DRT treads the ever-more-blurry line between an electric bicycle and an electric powered motorcycle. Yes, either side of the Trefecta’s substantial aluminium frame there’s a pair of cranks, and a 14-speed Rohloff hub will provide power directly to its rear wheel – but the chances are you won’t be using them much.
That’s because the DRT’s stealthy black frame contains a motor, and it’s not just any old motor. Churning out 4Kw of power through its own automatic gearbox, the unit develops a colossal max torque figure of 250Nm or 184ft lbs. Trefecta lists the DTR's top speed at 70km/h (43mph).
That gives the DRT comfortably more oomph than any bike we’ve ever featured on this website. To put it into context, this thing has more torque than any motorbike we’ve ever heard of, and likely to have considerably more than the last car you travelled in too. Trefecta staff have even used this bike to tow a Range Rover! In practice, that torque is good enough to push 160kg (353lb) of rider and cargo up a 45% incline.
All of that go requires a lot of juice, and that’s just what the DRT carries. Its lithium-ion cell is good for 55km of tarmac cruising. Meanwhile, the DRT's battery pack has been made easily interchangeable for those who need an extended range.
Smarter still, the DRT’s braking system can regenerate power in a similar way to that of the KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) in Formula One cars, further boosting the battery’s range.
As the long-travel suspension might suggest, the DRT is fully intended for off-road use. The single-legged anti-dive fork of this version offers 120mm of suspension travel but a dual-crown conventional option is available with a longer 180mm travel fork. The suspension is seriously smart too, with both front and rear air sprung units getting remotely adjustable, electronically controlled damping.
The DRT rolls on 26in six-spoke carbon wheels paired to downhill bike tyres. Several other components are lifted straight from mountain bikes, namely the Hope F20 flat pedals and V4 hydraulic disc brakes.
At the centre of the handlebar is a main display, which takes vital information from the bike’s main sensors and displays relevant power, gearing and suspension settings. Either side of that display there are wireless controls to adjust all of the above.
At the bike’s top tube is a waterproof smartphone dock, which when fitted with a compatible device can be used to control further functions of the bike. Along with more usual computer features on ride data, the bike’s torque output can be adjusted, its battery information is displayed and riders even get access to an adjustable ‘wheelie mode’ where the bike can be set to wheelie (and not loop out) at an angle chosen by the user.
We couldn’t find an exact figure for this bike’s weight but with the alloy frame totalling 37kg alone, we sure wouldn’t want the battery to go flat. Thankfully an integrated stand means the DRT securely holds its own weight. In a short amount of time and with minimal tooling the whole bike can fold down neatly into its own flight case too, which presumably was a military stipulation.
The Trefecta is a true no-expense spared technical showcase and we've seen nothing quite like it. If you're feeling flush then head across to the Trefecta website for more info.
Trefecta now offers four different variations of this bike including two urban versions that get components optimised for road use including slicker tyres, reflective highlights, mirrors and mudguards.