VinFast Launches Vintage Motorcycle-Inspired 'DrgnFly' E-Bike

It features a 68 mile range, 28 mph top speed, and can be locked remotely through the accompanying app.

Automotive
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Best known for making electric cars, automotive manufacturer VinFast has expanded into electric bikes with the US launch of its DrgnFly – a moped-style e-bike with, according to the brand, a design inspired by “the golden age of motorcycles”. From delivery riders and commuters to moms and dads opting to ditch the car, e-bikes are everywhere in 2024 – VinFast’s DrgnFly enters a very busy market, but the Vietnam-based brand is hoping its combination of timeless design and modern sensibilities appeals to American riders.

Crafted from aluminum, a durable and sturdy yet lightweight metal, the DrgnFly features an elongated frame that comfortably seats both solo riders and those with a passenger. Its upright handlebars encourage a relaxed ride, but the brand is also claiming it has been designed in a way that caters to “both comfort and agilty”. Cruiser-style bikes were popularized by Dennis Hopper’s seminal cinema classic, Easy Rider (1969), and the VinFast DrgnFly finds itself firmly within this realm – albeit with less gas, ganja and gears (given the DrgnFly is single-speed) than those ridden on-screen by Jack Nicholson and co.

The bike is powered by a 750 watt rear hub motor capable of reaching 970 watts at its peak, promising to cut through most terrain with ease. It’s being advertised as having a top speed of 28 mph – above the road-legal 20 mph limit in the US for an e-bike of in its class – though this can be adjusted through the supporting mobile app to ensure compliance with local laws. It features a torque sensor that the company claims adapts to a rider “up to 16,000 times per second”, measuring the force in a user’s cadence to adjust the power the motor provides accordingly – this is different to some other e-bikes, including popular models from some of its competitors such as Rad Power and Super73, that use cadence sensors, wherein how quickly you pedal to rotate the crank is what informs the motor. An example of where the DrgnFly’s torque sensor would come in handy is on a hill: imagine you’re stuck pedalling up a steep hill, your cadence will naturally be lower and so the cadence sensor would be rather ineffective. A torque sensor will measure the amount of pressure, or force, you are using to pedal, and this information will be sent through to the motor via the bike’s controller, telling the motor to kick in and get you up that hill. The DrgnFly can also be ridden without being pedalled at all, as it features a thumb throttle that allows riders to use it like a moped.

In terms of its range, how far a DrgnFly can go depends on how the bike is used. VinFast claims riders can expect to get up to 68 miles on a single charge, though this is whilst the bike is used exclusively in ‘Eco’ mode and limited to 15.5 mph. The DrgnFly has five different riding modes with four levels of power assist: along with the aforementioned ‘Eco’ mode, the bike offers ‘Tour’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Boost’ modes (each providing more power with the latter offering the greatest), as well as a ‘Manual’ mode that offer no electric assistance.

Design wise it’s not difficult to notice similarities to Super73‘s S2 e-bike, but VinFast itself has noted the bike as a “competitor” in a media kit provided to Hypebeast, as well as listing the Ariel Rider X-Class and Ride1Up Revv1 in this same category. Ultimately, the DrgnFly and all of the others listed are inspired by motorcycles from the 1960s and 1970s, a trend in e-bikes that has been around for a few years now and seemingly shows no signs of slowing down.

Adding to its modern credentials the DrgnFly comes with a companion mobile app. This lets users achieve a level of customization, but also includes features such as remote locking. The bike is also 4G-ready with built-in connectivity that provides GPS, allowing users to know where their bike is at all times.

The VinFast DrgnFly comes in two color options, ‘Black Grey’ and ‘Black Grey Decal Yellow’, and is available directly from the manufacturer now.

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