We sent the smallest human at the office to try the smallest rideable electric bike in the world. Here’s how it went.
I suppose the reason they say ‘bigger is better’ is because it’s rather easy to get sucked in by the impressiveness of big things. They have a rather obvious wow factor - everyone wants to know the tallest building or the longest bridge or the largest animal in the world. But there is a certain charm to miniaturising things too. Perhaps a slightly less obvious, more understated charm; one that requires a loser look to appreciate. Just ask any scale model collector or bonsai enthusiast.
Practicing bonsai in the world of bikes is a man who goes simply by the name of Santhosh, from Mysore. What he has created is the rather oddly-named Moosshiqk3, which he claims to be the smallest rideable electric motorcycle world. To find out what it’s all about, we attempted to ride it.
With a wheelbase of just 130mm and height of 145mm, you can quite literally fit it in the palm of your hand. And despite weighing only around 3kg, it’s been ridden extensively by Santhosh who weighs 64kg. In terms of construction, it’s best described as an electric motor housed between what appear to be a pair of roller-blade wheels. Drive is sent to the rear wheel with a miniature chain and sprocket system, and the tiny V-shaped handlebar has just about enough space to accommodate an ‘accelerator’.
Santhosh gave me quite a few warnings about how difficult the Moosshiqk3 would be to ride, but to be perfectly honest, I thought to myself, “How hard could it be?” As it turned out, quite hard indeed. And the struggle begins before you’ve even set off. With no real seat to speak of, one has to place their feet on the footpegs and basically squat in position on the bike. With a bit of a struggle, I contorted myself on the bike. I then took a deep breath, and turned the dial to accelerate. And nothing happened. So I turned it a little more. Still nothing. I then turned it all the way to give full throttle, and the Moosshiqk3 shuddered a little on the spot, but didn’t really move.
Since I was still stationary, I had at least one foot on the floor to keep the bike upright, and Santhosh explained that the motor simply didn’t have enough power to overcome the drag of my feet being grounded. And so I lifted my feet, without realising that I was still at full throttle. In a split-second, what seemed like a feeble play-toy suddenly transformed into a startling speed machine, and leapt out from underneath me. I wish I could tell you that my following attempts were more successful, but unfortunately, this is an extremely peculiar little machine that requires a rather specialized skill-set to operate, and one that I simply do not possess. Nevertheless, in the right hands, it does work, as Santhosh has shown on his YouTube channel ‘Santhosh Bikes’. And that’s quite an impressive ‘little’ feat.