The Onyx was not my first e-bike. I started riding around NYC on a Super73 RX. Then, on my first group ride, I saw a couple of guys riding the Onyx RCR. The difference in acceleration between my Super73 and their bikes was… noticeable. I kept riding my Super73 for a couple of months, but eventually I sold it and bought an Onyx RCR.
I ordered my bike back in November 2020 and it took about 117 days to be hand built and delivered across the country to New York City. ONYX says that it will now take about 2 months to build an RCR. Shipping will add a few weeks to it depending on your location.
I met up with the delivery crew at a meetup point close by and they rolled my bike off the truck fully assembled and ready to go. I was naturally very excited to give it a try, but the first thing I noticed was how heavy it is. ONYX states that the RCR weighs 145lbs with the stock battery.
My first ride on the RCR was in Eco mode, which tops out at 20 mph. At this speed it was hard to keep up with traffic, so I switched it to “normal” mode, which goes up to 35-40 mph, and that felt a lot better.
There’s also a Sport mode that goes up to 60 mph, but that’s hard to do in New York even in a car.
I got the optional 2,953 Wh battery, which should provide around 150 miles of range at 20 mph. I ride faster than that. But in the city, range is basically never a problem. I don’t even bring my charger with me.
Sadly, for a bike that costs more than $4,000, there are some pretty annoying build quality issues. The wood panel near the seat of the bike is great, but the aluminum panels below it are flimsy and not designed very well. The mounting screws were already broken by the time I wanted to open up my bike.
There are more issues with the Onyx RCR as well: Compared to the Sur Ron, the suspension is really stiff and uncomfortable. Because of the hub motor in the back, the rear brake is wimpier than the hydraulic disk brake in the front, and that does make me worry about stopping power.
Despite these issues, I would still get an Onyx RCR. Just don’t go into it thinking you’re going to get something that matches or exceeds a real motorcycle. I would consider a Sur Ron if I were buying again, but it doesn’t have quite the same style. Luckily there are a number of mods that make the Onyx RCR better, but even those don’t come cheap.