The First ‘Factory’ Electric Fatbike I’ve Ever Ridden That Didn’t Totally Suck : KHS 3000 4 Seasons 60Amp BBSHD Ludicrous Controller

One of my great pleasures in life in picking titles for my articles that are particularly obnoxious and watching the posts show up on my Google news feed. There is something incredibly subversive about writing really down to earth and ‘in your face articles’ that call it like it is. I’ve ridden about 3 dozen ‘factory’ built ebikes in the last 2 1/2 years and in all honesty they have all pretty much been total crap. I’m not going to go into why I think ebike companies are churning out these crappy, low power, hub motor ebikes but I’ll tell you right here you don’t want to plunk down your hard-earned cash just to be terribly disappointed by them in the deep snow or on the trails. When I was visiting Lunacycle’s warehouse this winter I got to try a bunch of different ebikes and the one that stood out was the KHS 3000. I bought one of the 2016 KHS 3000’s from Eric and had him ship it back to me in NY so I could build it up with a BBSHD and a Ludicrous controller and a 30T mighty mini ring. You can buy a similar configuration direct from Lunacycle with a 20Ah large triangle pack and a 50 amp Ludicrous controller for $2849 right here. Once you get the bike it takes 5 minutes with any windows PC to bump the programming up to a full 60 amps to maximize your power (will totally void your non-existent warranty). I’ve never really endorsed a ‘factory built’ ebike before, but I’d bet my favorite hamster that you will NOT be disappointed with this bike for singletrack riding and plowing through deep powder.

The Luna 4 Seasons KHS 3000 is ready to shred right out of the box - Think ultralight motocross with PAS

The Luna 4 Seasons KHS 3000 is ready to shred right out of the box – Think ultralight motocross with pedal assist

There was a couple things about the KHS 3000 that were quirky. The massive 180mm front rotor on my bike got bent pretty bad in shipping. That being said I was really impressed at how well Luna packed up the bike, it had much more padding than any bike I’ve ever bought from Bikes Direct. The last bike I bought from Bikes Direct (Full suspension Sniper) had tons of scratches all over the frame (they sent me a free replacement which was cool) and it was missing the lower bearings on the headset. I have to say that when you spend $1500 on a bike you expect there to be bearings in the headset, but I digress. To say the least, after buying about 14 bikes from Bikes Direct, the honeymoon is pretty much over. The thing I’m learning the hard way is that Taiwan (KHS factory) make much better bikes than mainland China does (Bike Direct). It was impressive to see how much time and effort Lunacycle put into repacking their bikes so they could get shipped without damage. That being said one of the biggest challenges that bike shops face is trying to get bikes shipped across the country without getting damaged.

10 speed chain with a X9 derailleur means fewer chain problems

10-speed chain, nickel-plated steel cassette with a X9 derailleur means fewer chain problems

The KHS 3000 was hands down the nicest fat bike I’ve ever ridden. The 2014/2015 model of the KHS 3000 has crappier rims and tires (Vee Rubber Mission 4’s which are total junk), and BB7 cable brakes. I would not recommend the older model, as it’s not worth saving a few hundred dollars to buy a bike that you’re going to have to replace the tires on anyway. The 2016/17 model KHS 3000 has much better Snow Shoe XL 4.8 tires, really nice 100mm triangle holed rims and decent hydraulic brakes which make it well worth spending a couple hundred extra dollars up front for a much better bike.  If you’re glutton for punishment Luna still has a couple of 2014 KHS 3000’s in the Extra large size for $200 less than the newer model year available here and you’ll have to call and harass them to get a Ludicrous enabled bike ($250 extra) as it’s not listed as an option for that bike. That being said I don’t recommend using a frame pack with the Ludicrous controller as they are really only designed to run at 30 Amps continuous not the 60 the Ludicrous can deliver. A smart shopper ignores peak power BMS ratings and gets the right sized pack for the motor (like a larger 50 Amp cont soft pack).

The rear adjustments are smart, but like hooker they can work their way loose

The rear hub adjustments are smart, but like cheap hooker they can work their way loose

The hydraulic brakes tend to squeal like a toddler in a kiddie pool whenever they get wet, but they don’t freeze up on my the way my BB7 cable brakes on my other bikes tend to in the extreme cold. They also did not seem to stop working when they were wet and extremely cold which has been a reoccurring problem with me with the BB7’s. The KHS 3000 has a really nice feature in the rear where there was aluminum blocks that worked like horizontal dropouts and allowed you to move the rear wheel back and forth about 1.5cm. This would allow you to mount a IGH in the rear without a tensioner, if there was such a thing as an IGH that would work with a through hole axle that is 197mm wide. If one exists, I’ve not heard of it. These adapters allow you to center the bike tire pretty accurately within the frame which is important because the one downside I’ve found of the KHS 3000 is a lot of frame flex. My second ride out the rear lockout came undone and the bolts also loosened so keep an eye on that your first ride or three.

The mid-range hydraulic brakes work well but scream like a banshee when wet

The mid-range hydraulic brakes work well but the rotors scream like a banshee when wet

I liked that the hydraulic brakes had a throw adjustment, although when you push the adjustment out farther it also makes it a little harder to grab the brakes. I have big hands, so it was not much of an issue. At 6′ 10″ the 19″ frame was way too small for me and I should have held out of a 21″ inch frame instead. Leaning way over to grab the flat bar handlebars is tough on my back after about 90 minutes of riding so I bought some Sunlite Alloy 5″ riser handlebars on ebay for $26 that I plan on swapping in next week.

img_20170111_100510427

If you want to enjoy the full power of the Ludicrous BBSHD you’ll need to use the 30T Luna Might Mini ring

I spent a lot of time trying to get the ridiculously large Snow Shoe 2XL tires on the rear of this bike. The bike comes stock with the skinnier Snow Shoe XL tires, but the 2XL tires are much wider and taller and are my current favorite tire to ride. Although I could get the tires mounted and adjusted without frame rub, there was basically no real clearance with the 2XL. Once I got on the bike and started riding it, it became clear that it wasn’t going to work. This frame has more flex than any other fixed suspension fatbike frame I’ve ridden and you really need to have at least about 7mm of clearance all the way around any aftermarket tire to keep it from rubbing on the frame. The Snow Shoe 2XL fit on the front fork without a problem, but given the choice, I’d much rather have the 2XL on the rear and the XL on the front which leans the bike more aggressively forward and keeps it from wheelieing so much.

img_20170111_100429649_hdr

The thing that really sold me on this build were the triangle cutout rims which just look awesome

The Ludicrous 60 amp controller with a 52v battery that has a 50 amp continuous BMS is a wheelie machine. It’s stupid powerful in the lower gears and it becomes extremely difficult to keep the front wheel on the ground when you hit the throttle. I can’t tell you how much fun it is tapping the throttle on jumps and getting the whole bike airborne or hitting the throttle right before a large log or log pile and having the front wheel rear up and the bike fling itself over the obstacle. In my opinion, it would be crazy to not reprogram your Ludicrous controller for 60 amps, and you would be absolutely insane to order this ebike without the extra $250 Ludicrous controller.

img_20170110_115256814

The front tire comes with a massive 180mm front rotor and a pretty spacious front fork

Pros

  • The tires are decent and probably don’t have to be upgraded
  • Ships with a 50 Amp Ludicrous controller (extra $250)
  • Bike performs very well on singletrack and deep powder
  • Very wide and light rims that seem to be able to take a beating
  • Great hydraulic brake performance
  • X9 derailleur
  • Adjustable rear dropouts
  • Bike is very light
  • Nickel plated steel cassette
  • 180mm front rotor for extra stopping power
img_20170111_100636289

My bike shipped with cool Mosso suspension pedals

Cons

  • The handlebars are too low
  • You can’t use a frame pack effectively with the Ludicrous controller, so with a large triangle softpack
  • Aluminum fork (I prefer steel, aluminum bends too easy)
  • Brakes squeal when wet
  • Rear dropouts can loosen up (you should blue Loctite them)
  • Bike arrived with bent front rotor
  • Need reprogam it to bump the Ludicrous controller to 60 Amps, takes 10 minutes, programming cable included

Right now Lunacycle will only sell their Ludicrous controllers with a prebuilt ebike which is one of the main reasons to get this bike. Not only is it insanely fun, you’ll be enjoying twice the power of all the other suckers out there on the normal Bafang BBSHD. The BBSHD was born to run at over 50 amps and it goes from being a ‘ho-hum’ drive to a ‘holy f*cking sh!t’ motor with nothing more than a controller swap. Once you try the Ludicrous, you’ll not want to go back to anything else less powerful. Ever.

Ride On.

img_20170110_114839670

Without a battery, this bike came to 50lbs with a Thudbuster and a single Snow Shoe 2XL instead of the factory XL tire on the front

 

36 thoughts on “The First ‘Factory’ Electric Fatbike I’ve Ever Ridden That Didn’t Totally Suck : KHS 3000 4 Seasons 60Amp BBSHD Ludicrous Controller

  1. Another great article Karl, and totally agreed.

    I got the much-lower-spec’d-than-yours 4 Seasons 500 and (for now) built it with a stock BBSHD. It’s a riot as a powered e-fat bike. Despite my 500 being cheaper, the frame and fork, and geometry, are the same across the line – so I get what you are talking about. Mine has “only” the 4″ tires, and I’m in the process of trying out different tires on the bike – I got a set of Kenda Juggernaut Pros for it, and I also want to try the Schwalbe Jumbo Jim and the Maxxis Mammoth DC on it as well. I don’t know if you have found this site, but it’s really interesting – this guy has tested the rolling resistance of a bunch of different tires including fatbike tires.
    http://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/fat-bike-reviews

    If I only had one gripe about the bike – and this is alleviated for anybody who purchases the complete bike from Luna – is the degree of disassembly that it comes from the factory. Maybe I’m just lazy about this – but every other bike I’ve purchased comes pretty-much fully assembled – you just attach the handlebars and front tire, make some adjustments, and you’re ready to go.

    The KHS, on the other hand, comes with the front end completely disassembled – you have to mount the front brake, insert the fork, attach the bars and all controls, and make adjustments. It’s not really a huge deal, and for some may be a fun part of the process, but really – they couldn’t spend the few extra bucks it would cost to put that stuff together at the factory?

    Regardless, as usual you are right, it’s an excellent platform for an e-bike. Just be sure to get the 19″ or 21″ size to fit larger triangle battery packs that you so well explained are needed to exploit the capabilities of the Ludicrous controller.

    Now, I am just waiting for custom-fitted carbon fiber battery cases from Luna to be made for this popular frame – that’ll be the final touch in making a kick-ass looking ebike.

    Like

  2. I think you have invented a new sport Karl. One problem with using snow for suspension, is turning. To keep the full float effect of riding on top of the snow requires a certain minimum speed, but turning requires a certain amount of braking, whether dragging your foot, or rear brakes. So, slowing down to turn leaves one at the mercy of whatever bump, branch, lump, or log is lying underneath. That’s why I need at least front suspension on my snow/sand e-bike. But, a “Downhill style” full suspension fat bike is my dream. It would have a Chrome Moly frame for strength, rear suspension behind the seat tube, rather than in the triangle, Rear swing arm mounted above the chain line, so it won’t interfere with the BBSHD case, and the chain isn’t clattering on it with every bump. Triple Clamp Style Downhill forks, and 10″ of suspension front and rear. I’m not the only one wishing for a full-suspension fatty though, see this “https://electricbike.com/forum/forum/main-forum/introductions/25470-brand-spanking-newbie-in-san-diego-wants-a-luna-cycle-for-tougher-chicks”.

    Like

    • I never use a susp fork, just really fat tires with really low pressure. The back tire is either spinning out or locked up most of the time, it rarely is just rotating normally. I find the best way to control the skidding is to put the inside foot down occasionally.

      Like

  3. That bike should have shipped with pedals. In fact it should have come with Mosso Pedals. Only because its Karl i think we jipped him and sent him a bike just like KHS sends to us 🙂 We did have to take a bike off our floor and repackage it because KHS is out of stock on the size he wanted.

    Like

    • Eric is correct, they did ship the bike with pretty nice $40 Mosso pedals so it’s wrong of me to bitch. I don’t know if the Factory Luna bike ships with pedals, I assume it does so I’m taking that CON out.

      Like

    • Eric. The large frame 19″, is non existent on the website now. It was before. So thus, no triangle pack which Karl recommends on the you tube review. Is this a permanent change or abstention till the 17″ sell out. The 17″ won’t hold the bigger battery.

      Like

  4. I have the KHS 1000 with Ludi controlller and a 52/24ah battery. I think I’m an it afraid to up it to 60amps as I’m a heavy guy(6foot 3 @300). I’d be concerned about busting chains.

    Like

    • Hey Tim
      I’m thinking about buying the same setup (ludicrous /khs 1000/ 52v 24ah triangle). I’m a bit lighter than you & I was wondering how do you like this setup? How far/fast does it take you with the 24ah battery? 🙂

      Like

  5. This 4 seasons e-bike is the setup I would recommend to anyone that shows an interest in getting into a no nonsense decent bike. For me I would opt for at time of purchase the Bluto forks especially if the Bluto would come with a build up wheel on the Bluto axle. I think the Bluto’s on this bike would make for a fun do all trail bike with or without the snow. With the hydro brakes and all the bonus goodies on this bike I think this is the best value out there for a store bought solution for fun and future potential.

    Like

  6. Karl, Thanks for the article and great info. You are providing a great service to the market (let alone Eric’s business). In SoCal the trails tend to require a quality suspension fork, especially at my age. In your opinion, is this Luna bike (KHS 3000 + Bluto + triangle battery) worth the extra $400 over the Ludicrous Luna build? When I chatted with Luna online they would not give specs on the ‘no-name’ fork on the Ludicrous. Did you test drive the Ludicrous while you were out here? Thoughts? Thanks again!

    Like

  7. I watched your video review of the KHS 3000 4 seasons, and noticed a problem. You always ride with a battery pack in your backpack, and keeping your front wheel down is a problem. A down tube mounted battery would change the center of gravity a lot, versus the same weight in a backpack, and it gets even worse once the front wheel comes up. Now your backpack could even be hanging above and behind the rear wheel, forcing the front wheel up even more. Ideally, the down tube would be replaced with a load-bearing battery pack, the triangle filled with a BBSHD, suspension, and BMS. Lower center of gravity, and higher reliability.

    Like

  8. Pingback: Electric Bikes Are The Transportation Of Choice For The Coming Apocalypse | ElectricBike-Blog.com

  9. Pingback: No One Gives A Rat’s Ass About Your ‘Street Legal’ Ebike : Build Something Awesome | ElectricBike-Blog.com

    • It depends on how fast you go.

      At 25mph on power level 1 of 5 I get 17 miles in about 10 Ah with pedaling. If you go faster it will be less, slower it will be more.

      The bike easily goes 30mph, about 20 up most hills. Really steep hills offroad it goes about 15mph. It has tons of power.

      Like

      • Thank you Karl for the info 🙂
        just joined this blog & read your recent posts, pretty awesome stuff! 😀 (loved the race bike doping piece! )

        I’m thinking about buying a fatty from Luna, just wasn’t sure how fast could it actually go/ how hard it is to ride these
        I have a bad knee & in some crappy days when I can feel my knee I have to ride 50% of the time using full throttle or 5 PAS.. :O

        Let’s say you would ride it in full throttle (with a 52v 10ah battery), how far do you think it would take you? LOL

        Like

  10. Cool article Karl!
    Do you have a similar experience with the khs 1000/ludicrous motor that luna offers?

    Ant reason why should I go with a triangle battery (instead of a 52v shark pack..)?

    Like

  11. Hi, Karl! Is there a 20Ah 52V triangle pack battery that will fit the 17 inch frame KHS 3000? I got the Shark frame pack but it doesn’t give enough juice to the Ludicrous controller on ascents in full throttle. My backpack is heavy enough for work stuff and I don’t like the idea of adding battery weight in my backpack​. Thanks!

    Like

    • Hi, Karl! My spatial reasoning must be off with a tape measure in hand but all 17Ah to 20Ah Luna triangle packs do not seem to fit the 17 inch KHS 3000 frame. Even the Jumbo Shark pack would not fit the supposed sexy curves of this bike. I’ll be looking forward for a 20Ah triangle battery pack that will fit this 17 inch frame bike.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s