“If Juiced Bikes’ Scorpion is your first e-bike ride, prepare yourself to be spoiled.”
- Best-in-class comfort
- Excellent value
- Standard rear rack and fenders
- Bright motorcycle-style LED headlamp
Ifis your first e-bike ride, you’ll be spoiled. There are many good things to say about the versatile moped-style Scorpion, but the first thing you’ll notice, especially if you’ve ridden other electric two-wheelers, is how smooth and comfortable it is to ride. The Scorpion is a Class 3 e-bike with a 28mph top speed, 45 miles maximum range per charge, and a $2,199 list price that’s frequently discounted by $200 to $400.
Why is it so comfortable?
Four primary factors account for the Scorpion’s smooth ride: the seat, riding position, front and rear suspension, and standard 20-inch by 4-inch wide fat tires.
The Scorpion’s bulbous, firmly padded seat looks like what you’d find on a moped than a bicycle. It reminded me of the retro minibike-styled Juiced Bikes City Scrambler. I found myself scooting all the way back on that seat for the greatest comfort, but isn’t necessary with the Scorpion, because its high handlebars and pedals allow an upright riding position that’s naturally comfortable. Sitting upright without a windshield will wear you out quickly at highway speeds on a motorcycle, but the Scorpion’s 28mph-ish top end, while perky for an e-bike, doesn’t cause wind-resistance fatigue.
The Scorpion also has front and rear suspensions. I left the adjustable front fork coil suspension with a hydraulic lockout in the default position. Many e-bikes have similar front forks, but rear suspensions are less common. The Scorpion’s spring-loaded swingarm rear suspension absorbed the jolts from curbs, driveway aprons, and speed bumps with aplomb.
Finally, the Scorpion’s puncture-resistant fat tires mounted on standard mag wheels have a 35-pounds-per-inch air pressure maximum, which I routinely dropped to about 26 to 28 pounds for riding mostly on smoothly paved streets. If you were going to ride the Scorpion on rougher terrain and take jumps, as shown in early Scorpion ads, it would be better to dial in the front suspension and run the tires hard. But I wasn’t jumping or going off the pavement (other than a few lawns), and I didn’t change the suspension settings or top off the tires.
I weigh 175 pounds. The Scorpion’s capacity, including rider and luggage, is 275 pounds, so different riders would likely adjust the suspension to suit their weight, riding style, and preferences. It’s good that the Scorpion has front and rear suspension, and even better, the suspension is adjustable.
There’s much, much more to like about the Scorpion other than its comfortable ride. The Scorpion has functional pedals with a Shimano 7-speed freewheel. You can pedal without electric power assistance, but this sturdy bike weighs in at 100 pounds even. Even if you remove the battery, you’re still moving 90 pounds. I tried pedaling to be sure I could do it, but I wouldn’t want to travel far or up hills.
The Scorpion’s electric powertrain consists of a Bafang 750-watt (1,300 watts peak) rear hub motor, a 13-Ah, 673-watt-hour, 52-volt, lithium-ion battery, and a 25-amp controller. This electric powertrain setup lets you travel up to 20mph with the throttle only, 28mph using the throttle and pedaling in Class 2 mode, and 28-30mph in Class 3 mode.
Pedal assistance with the Scorpion works via a 16-magnet cadence sensor and adds power proportional to the speed with which you pedal. There are several assistance modes selected via the Scorpion’s Matrix LCD. The top R mode unleashes the full electric assistance power even if you pedal very slowly — as long as you keep the pedals moving. The Scorpion has a twist-grip throttle similar to a motorcycle. You do need to pay attention that you don’t twist it accidentally when pushing the bike slowly — walking it into your garage, for example — because, like most electric vehicles, full torque kicks in immediately.
The Scorpion is equipped with 180mm hydraulic disc brakes front and rear, fenders, and a small luggage rack. In addition to side reflectors on the frame, the e-bike has a 2,000-lumen motorcycle-style LED headlamp plus an integrated LED rear light with brake lighting. A handy USB port near the left-hand grip allows you to plug in to charge a smartphone. Juiced Bikes doesn’t include mirrors on the Scorpion, so I added a set I keep for that purpose while testing. Mirrors are the only item not standard that I wish were included on the Scorpion, but Juice Bikes sells a pair the fits the bike for just $12. If I were to buy a Scorpion, I’d also pick up a set of panniers to carry extra gear and groceries or other purchases while running errands in town. The standard seat height is 30.9 inches, but Juiced Bikes also has a $49 tall seat option that raises the heat to 33.5 inches.
The Juiced Bikes Scorpion is an attractive, well-equipped, modern e-bike take on a retro moped style. The Scorpion is a product of Juiced Bikes, so you know it will emphasize performance, relative to other e-bikes anyway, but the Scorpion’s outstanding characteristic is rider comfort.
At 100 pounds with battery, the Scorpion is too much to carry up and down stairs every day comfortably, but the extra poundage is due to the e-bike’s confidence-inspiring ruggedness.
Is there a better alternative?
Moped-style e-bikes are a relatively new category, the first of which was Rad Power Bikes’ RadRunner. The RadRunner is smaller, lighter, and slower, but at $1,199, it’s significantly less costly than the Scorpion. If you like the Scorpion’s retro look but would prefer a minibike frame format, Juiced Bikes’ City Scrambler ($1,799) is a good choice, as is the Super 73 S1 ($1,995). Neither the RadRunner nor the Super 73-S1 has front and rear suspensions.
If you like the Scorpion’s style but want a little more “juice,” the performance-upgraded HyperScorpion version ($3,499) has a custom 1,000-watt (1,700-watt peak) custom Bafang electric motor, 19.2 Ah battery, and a 33-amp controller. The HyperScorpion also includes mirrors, turn signals, and a combination cadence and torque sensor for pedal assist mode.
How long will it last?
The Juiced Bikes Scorpion’s aluminum alloy frame and name-brand components lend assurance this bike will last for years. Juiced Bikes has a one-year warranty on electrical and mechanical components. During the first 30 days of the warranty period, the company pays shipping both ways for defective parts, but after 30 days, the customer pays for return shipping.
Should you buy one?
If you are looking for a sturdy Class 3 e-bike that’s exceptionally comfortable to ride, Juiced Bikes’ Scorpion is a speedy, versatile ride ready to serve as daily transportation.
Add mirrors and panniers, and the smooth-riding Juiced Bikes Scorpion is ready to be your primary around-town transportation.