The highlight of the evening I spent at the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum’s bike night on Aug. 25 was taking my first ride on an electric motorcycle. And that test ride of Land Moto’s District Standard model had my adrenaline surging in a way few other motorcycle rides have.
I hadn’t planned to take part in the test ride fun, but a conversation with Land Moto founder Scott Colosimo convinced me the product was worth a try. Scott and I talked about the Land District models’ minimalist appearance and attractive features — such as their light weight and low seat height — that make them ideal for new riders.
The “Standard” submodel I rode wasn’t equipped with a headlight or turn signals, but there’s another District model — the Street Scrambler — that is fit for street riding duty. One of the first features the Land Moto team showed me before I started my test ride was the power output control. My first outing was a short one around the parking lot on Setting 1, which is the equivalent of an eBike.
Setting 2 is the equivalent of a moped, and Scott told me it was about 2 horsepower. In another short ride around the parking lot, Setting 2 didn’t feel that way. The instant torque and ultra-smooth power delivery was crisp and impressive, and had me wondering how much more the bike had on Settings 3 and 4.
I was forewarned that Setting 4 was essentially “wheelie everywhere,” so I exercised caution and just turned it up to Setting 3 before heading out to a side street behind the museum. As I was testing the District Standard out on the street, Land Moto’s marketing officer Alex Kerr pulled up next to me on another District and offered to lead me on a short route in the University Circle neighborhood.
I got behind him, and wow, the little District packs an awfully big punch. The handling was smooth and predictable, the bike was very easy to balance — but the real story is the power. Unlike an internal combustion engine, there was absolutely no lag when I got on the throttle. I liked the sound of to the motor’s whine as it spun up to whatever my right hand asked of it.
I won’t write what speed I got the little District up to on a city street, but how quickly and aggressively a bike that small accelerated was most impressive. I thought I’d really miss having gears to shift through, but I didn’t even notice the lack of a transmission until the end of the ride. And it was great not having to clunk through gears while maneuvering through stop-and-go urban traffic.
The ride confirmed everything I’d heard about riding an electric motorcycle, and the excitement of the test ride was equaled by the knowledge that such an impressive product was developed — and is manufactured — in northeast Ohio.
The DIstrict also has a few other neat features that the Land Moto team pointed out to me, including how the front sprocket is attached to the swingarm pivot to limit chain wear and how easy it is to remove the motor unit. They also had a sportbike-style prototype on display that really caught my eye.
According to the Land Moto website, the District models have a top speed of 65 mph, a range of 30-80 miles (depending on the battery configuration) and a recharge time of three hours or less on a standard wall outlet.
You get all of that for an MSRP starting at $7,800 for the Standard submodel and $8,200 for the Street Scrambler.