What is an e-bike? Better yet, what does an e-bike need to be? Creativity means seeing the world with fresh eyes. The Southern California-based Super73 has done exactly that. In our review of the Super73-S2 we will look at what makes this e-bike different from most that we review, and what sort of rider this e-bike is designed to please.
The relatively new category of moped e-bikes have rethought what an e-bike’s strengths can be. The appeal is as straightforward as chocolate: An e-bike with a big bench seat for more comfort, a design that prioritizes the throttle as the way to engage the motor, a ginormous battery so that the rider who throttles everywhere doesn’t suffer range anxiety.
The Super73-S2 features a moped-style frame (more on that in a bit) with a low center of gravity for confident handling and the ability for the rider to place their feet flat on the ground when stopped, which is a common complaint of riders—they want to sit in the saddle when stopped, not have to reach down with their toes to steady themselves, or step off the saddle. It rolls on the widest tires we’ve seen on an e-bike, another feature that helps make for a more moped/motorcycle-type experience.
We won’t say that the pedals are just for show, but generally, people are most likely to use the pedals to rescue themselves from a drained battery. And trust us, everyone (and we mean everyone) misjudges that at some point. And for parents who purchase one of these instead of a car for a teen, the fact that they can still get around by pedaling if they drain the battery means they won’t have to go pick them up, along with this 73-lb. e-bike.
When the Super73-S2 ships, it does so as a Class 2 e-bike with a maximum speed of 20 mph, powered by a 750W motor. It’s powered by a ginormous 960Wh battery and stopped with quality hydraulic disc brakes. Let’s take a deeper look at those details.
E-Bike Category: 1/2/3 or off-road
Who the Super73-S2 Electric Bike Is for: This is transportation for the person who wants to join the e-mobility revolution, but doesn’t want to pedal.
Super73-S2 Electric Bike Review Ratings:
***All ratings are relative to e-bikes of a similar style and price point***
Super73-S2 E-Bike Specs
- Battery: 48V, 960Wh lithium-ion
- Expected Range: 40-75 mi.
- Charger: 3A
- Motor: 750W (Class 1/2/3) or 1200W (in off-road mode) brushless, geared hub motor
- UL Certification: N/A
- Pedal Assist:
- Throttle: Included
- Display: B/W LCD
- Headlight: Included
- Taillight: Included
- Frame: 6061 Aircraft aluminum
- Fork: Suspension fork
- Fenders: Included
- Kickstand: N/A
- Handlebars: Alloy, riser
- Grips: Rubber
- Drivetrain: Single speed
- Brakes: Tektro hydraulic disc brakes
- Pedals: Alloy, with reflectors
- Saddle: Bench seat
- Tires: Super73 BDGR, 20 x 4.5 in. front and 20 x 5 in. rear
In-Depth Super73-S2 Review
Super73-S2 Review: Comfort, Handling, and Ride Qualities
The rise of moped e-bikes, that is, e-bikes styled like motorcycles/mopeds, was a surprise to some of us. Here’s why: We figured that if someone wanted two wheels and an electric motor, they’d buy an electric motorcycle, like those made by Zero. What we hadn’t considered was that a company would create an e-bike that takes its design cues from mopeds and save the rider $10,000.
These e-bikes recall mopeds because of the “box” frame in which twin tubes run parallel for both the top tube and down tube. That allows Super73 to mount a bench seat that some riders find more comfortable than a traditional e-bike saddle. They position the gas tank-shaped battery up high like it would be on a motorcycle or moped. The choice to go with 20-in. wheels also keeps the handling nimble the way those gas-powered machines are.
The box frame design means that the saddle sits low enough that a rider can place their feet flat on the ground while seated, a feature many people enjoy, but it does come with one drawback: It’s not possible to raise the saddle, so the only way to achieve comfortable leg extension for pedaling is to sit back on the bench seat, which, due in part to the frame’s width, doesn’t make for especially comfortable pedaling. With most e-bikes we wouldn’t hesitate to criticize such a design, but to do that with the Super73-S2 would be to miss the point of this e-bike.
The Super73-S2 isn’t designed with pedaling in mind. The first clue about this is that most of the photos on their site show riders with full-face motorcycle helmets on. The second clue is that in a number of the photos it is clear that the riders are using the throttle, not the pedals. The third clue is that the Super73-S2 features a single gear and pedaling that gear at 20 mph wouldn’t be easy.
The upshot is that this is aimed at the person who loves the freedom and wind-in-your-hair fun of an e-bike, but doesn’t struggle to admit that they don’t really want to pedal. For the rider who wants e-mobility without the work of pedaling, what Super73 is doing makes lots of sense.
The Super73-S2 is considered a hardtail. That is, it has front suspension, but no rear suspension. The front suspension features an air-spring design, rather than a steel coil spring, which yields more adjustability and a smoother ride. No word on how much travel it offers, unfortunately.
Further reinforcing the moped look and handling of the Super73-S2 are their 20 x 5 in. BDGR tires. Such a wide tire with a deep tread bears more in common with what we see on motorcycles than with anything we see in the e-bike world. These wheels are heavy, but at speed that gives the Super73-S2 a stable feel, while still allowing quick handling at low speeds.
Super73-S2 Review: Motor, Battery, and Drivetrain Performance
Super73’s moped-inspired-design approach plays out in an uncommon approach to the motor’s performance. The Super73-S2 is driven by a brushless, geared hub motor. It’s going to take a second to explain how powerful the motor is, though.
The Super73-S2 can be operated in four different modes. It ships as a Class 2 e-bike because they anticipate most people will be using the throttle. It can be switched to Class 1 so that the throttle is rendered inoperable, but the only reason someone might do this is if they are riding in a place where only Class 1 e-bikes are permitted. It can be switched to operate as a Class 3 e-bike with a top speed of 28 mph. This deactivates the throttle and with just one gear, it’s unlikely anyone can pedal fast enough to reach 28 mph. In Class 1/2/3, the hub motor produces 750W nominally. Super73 also offers what they call off-road or unlimited mode. Switched to off-road mode the motor goes from 750W up to 1200W. That’s a 62 percent jump in wattage.
We’d be lying if we said that a nominal rating of 1200W doesn’t concern us. Super73 operates in a gray area of the transportation world. It’s not a motorcycle, so there’s no need for registration or a license. While we’re not sure what the top speed of the Super73-S2 is, we can say it’s not hard to hit 35 mph on this e-bike. Things happen quickly at 35 mph; that’s half the reaction time that someone enjoys at 17.5 mph.
Powering that big hub motor is a 48V, 960Wh battery. That makes terrific sense: If the average rider is unlikely to pedal much, if at all, then a large-capacity battery is a necessity.
The question everyone asks is: How much range will that give it and the difference between restricting the Super73-S2 to a maximum of 20 mph will yield a very different outcome than when it is being ridden in off-road mode. That’s why Super73 estimates riders can expect to cover 40-75 mi. For riders planning to cruise in off-road mode, the 40-mi. estimate is likely to be the more accurate figure.
Super73-S2 Review: Braking, Safety & Warranty
With such speedy performance on tap hydraulic disc brakes are a must-have. Super73 spec’d Tektro hydraulic disc brakes paired with 180mm rotors. It’s a terrific setup for a Class 2 e-bike with a maximum assist speed of 20 mph. In off-road mode, though, we would prefer to see the next size up in rotors—203mm. This would increase the brakes’ stopping power and cut the stopping distance for someone going faster than 20 mph. The big BDGR tires lend plenty of traction for more powerful braking.
The Super73-S2 is a well-made e-bike. There’s nothing about it that we might pronounce unsafe. We do harbor concerns about parents buying these for kids as an alternative to driving a car. It’s an understandable call, really. The Super73-S2 has a negligible carbon footprint, increases a kid’s freedom and cuts down on the Momdad Taxi Service. What’s not to like?
That said, allowing someone who isn’t either an experienced driver or a cyclist experienced with high-speed descents to ride the Super73-S2 in off-road mode seems cause for some caution.
Also, be forewarned that the front fender is only a partial fender and while there is another fender attached to the twin down tubes, with such wide tires, expect to feel some wet spray from the tires.
Super73’s warranty covers the electronics for two years and everything else for a single year. It’s better than many warranties we see.
Super73-S2 Review: Recommendation/Final Verdict
Here at Best Electric Bikes we like pedaling e-bikes of all sorts. We do enjoy getting a workout, though not on every single ride. But part of writing an effective review means understanding and appreciating the needs of riders who may not have the same enthusiasm for getting sweaty that we do. And because we go to family gatherings with relatives who would rather watch sports than do sports, well, we get it. And the Super73-S2 is the sort of e-bike we can point to for the person who doesn’t want to pedal unless it’s absolutely necessary.
So let’s say someone wanted an e-bike that would allow them to: skip pedaling, save money on gas, enjoy the ride, feel secure when they stop and do their kiester a favor by sitting on a big seat. That sounds both reasonable and fun. Were we designing an e-bike to fit those needs, it might not occur to us to design something as stylish and practical as the Super73-S2. The folks at Super73 have managed to blend both form and function in a very cool package.
While the Super73-S2 ships as a Class 2 e-bike with a maximum speed of 20 mph, it seems likely that most people who purchase this e-bike will put it in off-road/unlimited mode and ride it using the throttle. To unlock the Super73-S2 the rider goes to the mode selection in the smartphone app and move the slider to the right until it says “unlimited.”
Some parents may want to purchase one of these for their kids but harbor reservations about them going 30 mph or more. The only way to prevent a kid from setting their Super73 in off-road mode is to make sure they don’t have a smartphone with the app paired to their e-bike. We would love to see an extra layer of security added so that once paired with one smartphone the e-bike can’t be paired with another smartphone and the owner can disable the motor. This would increase parental control as well as preventing anyone else from using the Super73-S2 were they to steal it.
When we look at the price of the Super73-S2 and compare that to many other e-bikes that offer most of the same performance features except for the ability to throttle at speeds above 20 mph, it’s apparent that there are more affordable options. Put another way, the most compelling reason to purchase the Super73-S2 is because it allows riders to throttle their way to speeds above 20 mph. Otherwise, buyers can find options that save them $1000 or more.
Thanks to its aluminum construction and no-frills design, the Super73 weighs less than we might expect; 73 lbs. isn’t exactly light, but for an e-bike with this much power, it’s an impressive achievement.
Super73 offers a wide array of accessories to add to their e-bikes, including racks, bags, passenger footpegs and safety gear, as well as replacement parts. Unfortunately, the only accessories included with the Super73-S2 are the fenders and lights.
With its particular blend of style, handling, ease of use and power, there’s a reason why Super73 is as popular a brand as they are, and the Super73-S2 is a prime example of why people have flocked to the brand. Not only is it effective transportation, it’s fun.
Thank you for reading through our review of the Super73-S2. Still have further questions? Wondering how it compares to a similar e-bike we’ve reviewed? Let us know in the comments below!