The high-powered electric bike deviates from the brand’s simpler, frugal offerings
- The RQi was first showcased at CES 2020
- Projected performance to equal that of 300-400cc ICE motorcycles
- NIU claims a range of close to 130km
Chinese electric mobility brand NIU had shown off its first-ever performance-oriented offering, the RQi, at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). It was earmarked for global release in the second quarter of the year, but unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic struck. And now, news has emerged that the RQi is being readied for production, but only for its home market at the moment.
Right off the bat, the RQi shares more than a passing resemblance with the Husqvarna Vitpilen. In fact, everything from the design of the headlight, taillight and side panels to the rear tyre hugger-mounted number plate holder and indicators are a dead ringer for the Husky (albeit the 401, as the 250’s indicators flank the taillight).
The NIU RQi is powered by a 6.5 kWh dual (and removable) battery setup, driving a mid-mounted motor that delivers 40.7PS (30kW) and boasts a belt-operated final drive. NIU says the RQi can hit 160 kmph and return up to 130km of range on a single charge.
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In terms of tech, the RQi gets built-in 5G connectivity (enabling anti-theft systems along with GPS tracking) and a Bluetooth-enabled TFT dashboard. Also on offer are the de rigueur additions of traction control and ABS.
As mentioned, the RQi will be sold primarily in China (and subsequently in the US). Considering NIU has a presence in Nepal, we cannot summarily disregard the chances of an Indian debut in the future. Once here, though, it will have to contend with the likes of the upcoming Ultraviolette F77 and Emflux Two, which are still in their prototype stages at the time of writing.