Beat The Traffic Jams And Go Where You Want With 'YikeBike'

Last update: 11/04/2014

By Sakini Mohd Said

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- Working as a health consultant, Mohd Fadzil Muda, 35, has to go from place to place to meet his clients.

It is a demanding job and it is certainly taxing especially in maneuvering through the traffic clogged roads in the city and what more in keeping up with the appointments in time.

"There were times I get stuck in terrible traffic jams and fear that I will not make it in time for the appointment," said this man who hails from Terengganu.

"In the world of marketing, meeting timeliness is an important element in ensuring business goes on smoothly," he said to Bernama when met at his office in Bandar Tun Razak, Cheras recently.

ELECTRIC BICYCLE WAS HIS CHOICE

As he wanted to find a way to avoid the traffic jams, Mohd Fadzil thought of other alternatives in continuing with his work and that is how he chose the the electric powered bicycle, the 'YikeBike'.

According to Mohd Fadzil, he wanted to try the bicycle after he saw a neighbour riding on it.

The bicycle's design is different from the bicycles that people are familiar with and it fulfills the aspirations of the younger generation today.

"I googled the Internet to look for a 'smart bike' and when I saw a neighbour on a YikeBike, the bicycle immediately caught my attention. And coincidently there was a 'road show' in conjunction with the green day in the city and where the bicycle was launched.

"I really found it practical and immediately decided to buy it," he said.

YikeBike, a small and cute innovative product of New Zealand, with its design based on the classic 'Penny Farthing' bicycle which has a big wheel in front and a small wheel behind.

FAST AND SAVES MONEY AND TIME

"This innovation is among the best solution in quickly maneuvering through the traffic. And as the user of LRT, I need not waste time looking for space to park my car," he said. The bike uses 450 watt lithium ion batteries to get moving.

YikeBike only weighs between 11 and 14 kilogrammes. It can be folded and enclosed in a special bag that comes along with the bicycle and this makes it easy to carry the bicycle around.

In fact, in 2011, the bicycle earned the Guinness Book of World Records recognition as the lightest and smallest electric bike in the world, and the one that can be folded.

With speeds up to 23 kilometers per hour, it is the most convenient mode to get to nearby destinations or to commuter or monorail stations or even taxi stands.

Mohd Fadzil who has been using the bike for the last two years said with the rising cost of fuel, it is a viable alternative for short hauls as it helped to save RM8,000 a year.

"I need not buy fuel, nor pay toll. There is no need for licence or road tax. It is environmental friendly as it does not run on fossil fuel.

"It only takes 15 to 20 seconds to fold the bicycle. The batteries can be charged at power outlets at home or anywhere.

"The batteries too can be charged using power banks like the one used to charge handphones," explained Mohd Fadzil adding that it takes 50 minutes to fully charge the batteries that can take one up to 12 kilometer before recharging.

SAFE AND COMFORTABLE

How about its safety aspects and is it easy to maintain the balance while riding as the handles and the seat are connected and move together.

According to Mohd Fadzil the bicycle was designed carefully with the emphasize on its robust physical structure that is safe for the rider.

"In fact the position of the handle allows a more relaxed ride. There is nothing in front of the driver," said a YikeBike user Nurfarahain Muzzamir.

The bike has other safety features like LED lights, side indicators, brake lights, horn and hazard lights, and riders are encouraged to use helmets.

YikeBike has been approved by the Road Transport Department to be used on the roads

IS IT AFFORDABLE?

Despite its practicality, many will turn away when they learn of its price, from RM8,999 to RM15,999 based on the three models Fusion, Synergy and Fully Carbon. However, is it a value buy in the long term.

Apart from helping to save time and daily expenditure, it also provides satisfaction for the riders.

And looking at how the bicycle could benefit Malaysians, Mohd Fadzil and his brother Suffian Muda, 40, decided to become YikeBike distributors around Klang Valley and east coast.

A Facebook account, wowyikebike, has been established for those keen to learn more on this bike.

"It is easy to maintain the bike. Only that, after using it has to be stored in the provided bag," said Mohd Suffian.

THE BICYCLE TREND

"YikeBike is the best option for those who want to get to office or college. With just a push of the button, this electric bicycle will get you to the destination that you want," said Mohd Fadzil.

It also helps to reduce carbon emissions and contributes to clean environment.

-- BERNAMA