If you did a double-take when you saw the new RadRunner Plus Electric Utility Bike, you’re not alone.
As Rad Power Bikes’ first limited-release model, it was the perfect occasion for our design team to stretch their creative muscles — both in terms of the bike’s distinctive look and its unparalleled performance capabilities.
It was also an opportunity to build on the appeal of the RadRunner 1, which was released in 2019 and had quickly garnered buzz as a task-oriented electric utility bike.
Needless to say, a bike this rad doesn’t just spring up overnight. Some of the brightest minds in the industry spent countless hours developing this feature-rich addition to our line-up.
Here's what they had to say.
Industrial Designer Trevor Knapp was the lead point-person on the project — and by the way he describes the final product, he may end up being one of its first customers.
“It’s kind of a dream bike,” he told us. “I want one so my wife and I can cruise around Seattle.”
To distinguish the bike from the RadRunner 1, Trevor and his team zeroed in on what would be most appealing to a rider prepared to take the RadRunner Plus off the beaten path.
That ended up inspiring the front suspension fork and the 7-speed drive train, two additions that make it easier to conquer both hills and uneven terrain.
But that was just the beginning. While the RadRunner 1 was a bike designed to be customized to meet the needs of any given rider, Trevor and his team loaded the new bike with accessories, including an upgraded LCD display, front and rear fenders, a pre-installed passenger package, and a premium LED halo headlight.
"I’m proud of how it came out as a complete package," Trevor said. "The passenger kit and the new, oversize headlight really help boost the entire experience."
As for that headlight, which is now 300 lumens brighter than the standard one on previous models, eagle-eyed riders may notice a subtle nod to Rad Power Bikes' emblem.
"The headlight's designed to look like the power symbol from the back wheel our logo," Trevor noted. "We thought we were being pretty stealthy!"
A hidden symbol in the headlight is just one stylistic flourish.
Take a closer look and you may notice that the RadRunner Plus simultaneously looks both old-school and strikingly modern. That's no accident.
According to Trevor, the designers turned to vintage motorcycles for inspiration.
"We loved how those iconic bikes accented their details and we were able to pull a little bit from that," he explained. "It was an exciting angle to take. It's classically inspired, but not directly drawn from any one place. In the end, it captured their influence, but it's also uniquely rad."
Uniquely rad may be putting it lightly. The RadRunner Plus uses a color scheme never before seen in any of our other models.
That all started with the decision to make the bike silver.
"We've used solid colors before, but we wanted paint that gave it some additional depth," Trevor said. "The metallic silver is neutral and appeals to a large audience, but it’s also a little more interesting. The metallic flake really pops in the sunlight."
The decision influenced the rich espresso color for the passenger package.
“We were looking at our color selections for seats, which were previously black or medium brown, and realized they didn’t quite connect with the new color of the bike," Trevor recalled. "We wanted something that would really make it special."
"Seeing silver metallic and espresso touchpoints on newer high-end motorcycles and sports cars helped us re-affirm our direction."
Beyond the eye-catching visual elements, the designers were tasked with revamping the geometry of the frame to accommodate the new front suspension fork and 7-speed drivetrain.
They also overhauled the frontend of the bike, giving it a wider wheelbase and slackened head tube for more confident steering and a consistently stable ride — especially at higher speeds.
"When you take a quick turn, you'll notice a nice, almost slow feeling," Associate Product Manager Doyle Savola told us. "You’re not going to feel like you're of all the sudden in the turn. Instead, it'll come off as more natural."
"We wanted a bike that felt like a nice cruiser and by changing up the frame, we really nailed that," he added.
Preorder yours today for delivery in July.
Want to learn more? Check out these five reasons to ride an ebike and our guide to picking the right ebike for you. Ready to ride Rad? Start shopping now.