If this e-bike was a song, it’d mashup Breaking the Law with Turbo Lover and a couple Cult riffs.
Spent some early morning time with the Specialized Turbo at Sea Otter, including a quick ride. The bike is illegal in the US and Breaking the Law was playing in my head when I pedaled away from the Specialized tent and the “turbo” kicked in. The Turbo rides more like the Stokemonkey system on the Bettie than other motor-assist bikes I’ve ridden because of the smooth powerband. The motor drives the rear wheel and doesn’t abruptly pull or push like Bionix systems. So the sensation is that the bike is working with you, instead of pulling you forward from the front or pushing from the rear.
The Turbo works on pedal action: faster you pedal, the faster the motor spins and the bike is fast, like snap-your-head-back fast.
It also handles like a high-end race bike. Look at the stays, BB, and welds in the photos and see why. The system is programmed for fast road, high cadence speeds and expect to open the throttle up on every ride. Also quickly use up the 1 hour range.
Test Ride Video
Pedal and the turbo kicks in like a power chord in a 3 chord song.
Ed note: updated the description of how the motor works…