Tank G100 review: This epic thing is the most motorcycle e-bike I’ve tested yet

In the e-bike world, we often joke that some of the beefier and more massive US-market electric bikes are more like small electric motorcycles. Well, a brand called Happyrun must have heard us and pulled the ol’ “hold my beer!” The result is the Happyrun Tank G100, which may wear a pair of bicycle pedals but is all motorcycle from the ankles up.

Yep, this is one of those special e-bikes that comes along in a rare yet epic moment in the constantly evolving North American electric bicycle market. I don’t mean it’s a great bike, but just that it fills a great spot in the market.

There’s a lot to love about it, but there are also some obvious compromises and a few legal grey areas to jump over, Evel Knievel-style.

But as usual, this an e-bike you’ve got to see to believe. So take a look at my review video below before continuing on with the rest of the article.

Happy run Tank G100 video review

Happyrun Tank G100 tech specs

  • Motor: 1,000W continuous (2,000W peak) rear hub motor with 95 Nm of torque
  • Top speed: Tested to 34 mph (54 km/h) stock
  • Range: Claimed up to 130 miles (209 km)
  • Battery: Dual 48V batteries (18Ah and 20Ah for 1.8 kWh of capacity)
  • Weight: 107 lb (48.5 kg)
  • Tires: Chaoyang puncture-resistant 20″x4.0″
  • Brakes: Dual-piston DYISLAND hydraulic disc brakes
  • Front suspension: Dual-crown suspension fork
  • Rear suspension: Dual coil-over spring shocks
  • Extras: Looks like a motorcycle, color LED display, NFC card unlocking, included fenders, large LED headlight, tail/brake light, turn signals, horn, kickstand, and an extra heaping serving of swagger.

A LOT of bike!

Let’s just address the obvious here first. The G100 looks like a motorcycle. Yes, it’s got pedals, but they’re what I like to call vestigial pedals. They’re basically left over from the previous generations of e-bikes it evolved from, but are no longer necessary in its current state.

Instead, we’ve got a motorcycle-lookin’ thing that feels much like a motorcycle when you hop on it. Not only is the battery shaped like a gas tank, but the tall front fork gives the entire bike a chopper-like feeling that slopes back toward the rear. When you add in the other features like motorcycle-style turn signals, the bench seat, and the dual coilover shocks in the rear, you’re left with some serious moto cosplay.

And don’t forget the bike weighs a hefty 107 pounds, meaning all of that heavy kit contributes to more than just the look. Though to be fair, you get some performance with all of that weight, too.

For example, a bunch of the bulk comes from the two batteries. That’s right, there are two batteries on this e-bike. The gas tank battery is the obvious one, but there’s actually an underslung battery sitting right beneath it. Together, they pack in 48V and 38Ah of pure, unadulterated lithium-ion joy.

Then there’s the chunky rear hub motor, rated for 1,000W of nominal power but a serious 2,000W of peak power. That’s part of the reason you need those two batteries, to supply the power drained by that chunky motor.

But what about the performance?

Interestingly, the e-bike comes right out of the box in “off-road” mode, meaning I didn’t even have to unlock it to access the faster-than-legal-in-most-areas speeds. They claim a top speed of 38 mph (61 km/h), but I found that I truly topped out at more like 34 mph (54 km/h) on flat ground.

I also found that while the acceleration was pretty good up through around 20-ish mph (32-ish km/h), the power seemed to slow down past that level. To keep going to the bike’s top speed took a bit of waiting with the throttle pegged. However, making up for the slower top-end acceleration is the fact that the bike can hit these speeds in throttle-only operation. That’s a good thing too, since you’re definitely not going to want to pedal this thing to try and unlock the higher speed like a true Class 3 e-bike.

That brings me to the e-bike classes. Out of the three legal classes, Class 3 is the highest at 28 mph on pedal assist and 20 mph on throttle. And the Happyrun Tank G100 can be limited to Class 3 operation, but the off-road mode it comes in doesn’t give a flying flip about your local laws and just gives you all the power and speed that it can right out of the box. That’s perhaps a bit irresponsible since you never know who is going to be opening that box, and I’d rather see them at least make the rider go through some semblance of an unlocking procedure that would make it harder for kids to reach such high speeds. On that note though, the bike does have NFC cards it uses to unlock the bike, so if you don’t want your kid borrowing your motorcycle with pedals, you can just keep the card safely in your wallet. If they want to take the G100 out of the garage, they’ll be stuck pedaling that heavy bike at 3 mph.

How does it ride?

It weirdly feels like a motorcycle. I say “weirdly” because you just don’t expect it to. Yeah, it looks like one. But when you pop a squat, the way your feet are splayed still makes you feel like you’re on a bike. And yet, when you ride it off-road or learn hard into the turns, it definitely has more of a moto-feel than a bicycle feel.

I’d call the suspension acceptable but not great. Riding off-road is possible, but I found that the saddle would come up and give me the ol’ one-two perineum punch sometimes, as if the rebound was just dialed up way too high. Of course, this isn’t very refined suspension, and those piggy-back reservoirs are definitely fake, leaving just simple spring shocks in the back. I often find that e-bikes with dual rear shocks are overly sprung anyway, but I’m a light rider and perhaps you’ll sink into that suspension more than I did.

What about the components?

As much fun as the bike is to ride, it’s important to remember that these are basic bike components here. The tires aren’t super high-end; they’re just basic Chinese Chao Yang tires. The derailleur is a cheapo Tourney derailleur. The brakes are DYISLAND hydraulic disc brakes, but they aren’t particularly upper-shelf ones, either.

So, basically, you’ve got a rocket of an e-bike that weighs a ton and is riding on mediocre gear. It’s not exactly a recipe for long-term success, that’s for sure.

It works just fine right now, and I never felt like the bike was underbraked or anything, but none of these parts are known to last for years of carefree riding.

But then again, this is a $1,699 electric bike. It’s not a motorcycle, and it’s not a high-dollar ride. It’s a budget-minded electric bike that looks like it probably deserves a rap sheet but at least comes in at a budget-minded price. So, no one expects high-end parts here.

I definitely would advise a serious word of caution regarding both the intensity of riding and the location/style of riding. This is a fast bike rolling on non-motorcycle parts, and it’s also either questionably legal or definitely not legal in many areas due to its higher power and speed specs. So keep those issues in mind.

But if you’re riding in an area where it’s acceptable and you want to have a seriously fun time on a bike that looks like a one-of-a-kind moped, you’ve found the answer right here.

One more thing

While I did my review on the yellow and black Bumblebee style e-bike, they also make a version that is all ‘MURICA!

I couldn’t help but borrow one real quick for the photo op, either!

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