Super73 S2 First Ride Review: The OG Urban Cruiser
Super 73’s origin story is a thing of startup dreams. A runaway crowdfunding campaign, a mega-viral YouTube video, and celebrity endorsements plot the electric mobility brand’s meteoric rise to the top. But no manufacturer can sustain on hype and stunty marketing alone. Enter the S1 in 2017, Super73‘s first flagship offering.
Co-opting motorcycle aesthetics, the S1 featured a top tube-mounted battery pack, a bucket-style headlight, and front and rear mudguards. Super73 then turned to a 500 W rear hub motor to power the lot, delivering just enough thrills to live up to the model’s moto influences.
Over the years, the performance-biased R range usurped the S series as Super73’s king of the hill. Nevertheless, the platform remained a princely option thanks to the heavily-revised S2 model. Leaning even further into motorcycle styling, the S1 successor adopted a shapelier power pack and a vintage-inspired bench seat. The result lies somewhere between a Coleman mini bike and a café racer, but the S2’s merits go beneath the surface as well.
The Original Benchmark
Super73’s mid-tier e-bike champions the same hub-mounted, 750W (nominal)/1,200W (peak) DC brushless motor that powers its entry-level counterpart, the Z Miami. Riders effortlessly control the motor’s power profile via the bar-mounted mini-LCD display. Expanding upon that adjustability, Bluetooth connectivity caters to both iOS and Android users, with Super73’s mobile app providing turn-by-turn navigation and optimized pedal assist settings (Eco, Tour, Sport, and Super).
|Quick Stats||Super73 S2|
|Motor:||Brushless DC Hub|
|750W (sustained), 1200W (peak)|
|Battery:||48V, 20Ah (960Wh)|
As a Class 2 electric bicycle, the S2 restricts top speeds to 20 mph in both Class-1 and Class-2 modes. Switching to Class-3 escalates max speeds to 28 mph, while Off-Road mode boasts full-fat fun with a 31-mph limit. Only Class-2 and Off-Road add extra variety by activating the S2’s left-hand thumb throttle for pedal-less propulsion. Despite the S2’s increased performance, its larger 960Wh (48V, 20Ah) battery pack keeps the e-bike on the road and away from the outlet.
Relying solely on the thumb throttle, users can expect to net 19 miles. Off-Road modestly pushes the total to 21 miles, but Class-3’s 33-mile range finds the Goldilocks zone between speed and span. If you prefer mild over wild, Class-1 and Class-2 regularly exceed 50 miles on a single charge. When users zap the power pack’s juice, recharging intervals live up to Super73’s 6- to 7-hour estimates, making the S2 a feasible option for weekday commuting and weekend exploring.
For all practical purposes, riders will find Class-3 settings more than enough poke and pep for both business and play. On the other hand, Off-Road’s 31-mph top speed delivers an entirely different experience. Sure, the high-performance mode eases steep incline climbs, making molehills out of mountains. In every other situation, though, that gleeful amusement gives way to nervous laughter in no time.
Producing eye-watering velocities that surpass even residential speed limits, the aptly-named Off-Road mode has no place on public streets. The S2’s Tektro brakes may hold up to Class-3 riding, but the clampers lack the bite force to scrub off 31 mph with any immediacy. At that pace, the rear caliper screeches in protest while the front lever trills like a cicada. Dodging a jaywalking pedestrian? Don’t count on it. Avoiding the opening door of a parked car? No chance.
Gallery: Super73 S2
Additionally, the S2’s chassis struggles to negotiate turns at such a hasty clip. The model’s aircraft-grade aluminum alloy frame may sound advanced, but the unit’s geometry and the chunky BDGR tires only undermine its agile aspirations. In Off-Road mode, I often ran wide at corner exit, an issue never encountered when riding in Class-1, -2, and -3. For that reason, I reserved the Off-Road setting for wide open spaces, where I could react to potential hazards appropriately. Even at reasonable speeds, however, the S2’s up-spec equipment didn’t always hold up.
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Super73 outfits the S2 with an air-assisted, adjustable front end. The fork yields more than 5.5 inches of travel, but the unit quickly blows through that stroke. Even worse, the front end frequently fails to fully rebound, continuously shrinking the available travel throughout the ride. That sticky recoil led to repeated bottoming, especially when encountering speed bumps and potholes.
Only rolling to a complete stop allowed the fork legs to extend back to the original height. However, such a staccato pace doesn’t foster a fluid riding experience. Unfortunately, the adjusters did little to remedy the collapsing front end. The problem persisted even after inflating the air fork to the recommended PSI. Maxing out the preload clicker at the top of the right fork leg presented the only solution, effectively turning the suspension into a rigid unit.
Without the benefit of available stroke, the front end communicated every pavement inconsistency directly through my arms. Though, I honestly preferred the bumpy ride to the unpredictable fork action. The LED headlight, on the other hand, didn’t fare so well with all that jostling. Over the course of a 20-mile ride, one headlight fastener backed out of its threaded hole. As a result, the headlamp dangled from one bolt for the final five miles of the trip.
The S2 functions as the most direct link to the Super73’s humble beginnings. While the platform benefits from evolutionary upgrades, the beginner-friendly Z line and range-topping R series leave the mid-tier model in no man’s land. The S2’s $3,295 sticker price isn’t just level with the top-of-the-line R model’s base MSRP, but it’s also a far cry from the Z1’s $1,495 price tag.
Of course, you won’t find the S2’s headlight, taillight, and mudguards on the standard model R, but only the most practical bunch will rue those omissions. On the opposite end of the equation, the S2 doesn’t represent a significant performance leap over the Z series either. In turn, the nostalgic e-bike appeals to the heart, not the head. Billed as the “Original Urban Cruiser”, the S2 promotes easy-going riding and celebrates Super73’s roots, even if it doesn’t build upon the firm’s recent advancements.
How to Buy:
Electric bike shoppers interested in purchasing the S2 can do so at Super73’s website or locate the nearest dealer. For the uninitiated, PEDAL Electric’s AWD III, Juiced Bikes’ HyperScrambler 2, and Onyx Motorbikes’ CTY2 compete directly with the S2.
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