Irvine-based Super73 Inc., one of the country’s better-known electric bike brands, is launching its first motorcycle, the C1X, next year.
The company, whose bike designs and social media marketing savvy have made it a favorite among younger generations of e-bike riders, last year hired a four-person engineering team that’s currently building out the motorcycle, which users will be able to plug into a public EV charger.
Previous models of the C1X— a prototype was announced by the company last year, creating a fair amount of buzz— needed a charging adapter, but the company’s new engineering team is doing away with that extra step.
“It was always a pipe dream to turn Super73 into a vehicle company, something that is far more substantial than a flash in the pan e-bike company,” co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer Michael Cannavo told the Business Journal.
“We saw a lot of those [companies] grow and then fall again.”
Cannavo noted Super73’s CEO LeGrand Crewse “had the foresight to say, ‘we have to be so much more than that.’ So, he went hunting for an engineering team that could bring us into that era.”
Anduril’s Old HQ
Super73 got its start in 2016 in an approximately 8,000-square-foot space in Tustin and relocated to a 15,000-square-foot Irvine facility in 2019. After a banner year in 2020 that saw its revenue double, the firm needed a space to match, and found a new home at the former headquarters of Anduril Industries—which has since moved to Costa Mesa—taking over nearly 70,000 square feet.
Super73 this year expanded its headquarters from the north side of the 2722 Michelson building to the southern half of the same building, adding about 20,000 square feet to its footprint to accommodate its growing engineering team.
The new space features a warehouse, which officials hope to fill with machinery and R&D tools next year.
Super73’s last disclosed funding round was in 2021, when it landed a $20 million investment from Volition Capital.
Officials say the company, which doesn’t disclose revenue, has poured much of its funding into its engineering team, slashing its marketing costs by two-thirds without downsizing the department.
Two members of Super73’s engineering team, Aratz Harold Pinter Sanchez and Sameh Khan, are former engineers of Rivian Automotive Inc. (Nasdaq: RIVN).
Irvine-based Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe has hinted the $17 billion-valued EV maker is looking to expand into the e-bike market, though details save been scant; see the Feb. 20 print edition of the Business Journal for more on that company’s efforts.
Super73’s current bikes are an eco-friendly mashup of a dirt bike and motorcycle with entry-level bikes costing around $1,400.
Along with unique offerings tying into movies, TV shows and other pop culture areas, the company has made a name for itself by making custom e-bikes for celebrities including Kourtney Kardashian Barker, Travis Barker, Madonna and Will Smith.
Much like how several of Rivian’s customers are first-time EV owners, Super73 aims to attract customers who have never used a motorcycle before with its C1X.
A customer survey distributed by the company found that 60% of people wanted the company to make a motorcycle, despite also finding that 67% of its buyers have never ridden a motorcycle before.
“Our customers are the ones who pushed us into developing the C1X,” Khan told the Business Journal.
The company currently has thousands of $73 deposits reserving the C1X.
Cannavo said Super73 will offer a version of the C1X that costs below $10,000, although, when it launches, it will feature different levels of pricing.
The model boasts a top speed of over 75 mph and a range of 100 miles per charge on city and highway riding. The company’s engineering team is currently testing fast-charging capabilities for the C1X.
By comparison, its e-bikes can go 28 mph or more, with a battery range of 20
to 60 miles depending on the ride conditions. n