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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
59 thoughts on “The First ‘Factory’ Electric Fatbike I’ve Ever Ridden That Didn’t Totally Suck : KHS 3000 4 Seasons 60Amp BBSHD Ludicrous Controller”
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.
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.
BTW, on mine the fork is chro-moly, are you sure yours is aluminum? Strange that they’d put the stronger fork on the cheaper bike.
Yup it’s aluminum, magnets no sticky. I just bent the aluminum fork back on my Phat Phuk yesterday about 6 inches when I hit a tree. Whoops. Article coming.
Do you know when the custom-fitted carbon fiber battery case would be available for the 17″ frame of the KHS 3000? How many amps would it support? Would it be removable for charging purposes? Thx
Awesome article, Karl! I look forward to reading anything you write.
You are 6’10”?? How in the world do you ever get comfortable on a bike??
Love your articles and writing style.
My ass usually hangs way off the back of the seat and I squeeze the seat in between my thighs.
I also bought a 4 season Ludicrous Luna model. I use it while bow hunting elk here in Idaho. The problem is pinch or snake bite flats. I have to climb steep trails with lots of rocks and if I go too fast I get a flat. Is there any tire/tube combo that would work better? I would even put on solid tires if there was such a thing.
You can go with really thick tube (I like the 4 inch Kenda ones) or go with Ghetto tubeless. I wrote an article on Ghetto Tubeless and if you want to run pressures that are less than 15psi it’s the only way to go.
I read your article and went tubeless for a while a couple years back but had to air up the tires constantly or loose the seal and goop. Maybe I’ll try that again. low pressures much more comfortable to ride and hopefully will take the knocks from rocks. I am definitely on the radical side of using an electric bike. Some hills are extreme with rocks, but I’m too old to climb them by walking now. Pushing 70.
Put in more orange seal. Every year I add 4 OZ or so to each tire. It dries up.
I’ll try that again and try to check pressure at 12 lbs. psi Thank you Karl
I’ve been riding my homemade electrified fatbike for the last 3 years with 4.8″ tires on carbon tubeless rims without any problems, summer or winter. I use Orange seal and I add some about twice a year. I run my tires very soft and ride at the worst possible places, rocky/steep “trails”, even where there are no trails. I have to add air maybe once every two rides. No problem. Pushing 64 now…
Thank you, I have the metal rims that came with the four season 3000. Obviously carbon rims are lighter but weight is not a problem with the ludicrous motor. Do they seal better?
Sent from my iPhone Jimmy Vincent
Never tried carbon, can’t say.
Oh yes they seal well. There is a molded ridge on the flat part of the rim, just before the sidewall. So when you inflate them, they “POP” over that ridge, much like a car tire. That keeps them in place, even with very low air pressure. Expensive, but totally worth it, like a fine woman…
I run the 100mm ones.
There are other brands too.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Karl, Somehow you forgot to include a “beauty” shot of the entire bike in your article. Please add one!!!!
Yeah, those pictures didn’t come out well so I didn’t post one. I’ll take one the next sunny day and add it.
Do you happen to know what size frame the LUNA 4 SEASON 3000 LONE WOLF FAT TIRE BIKE XL is running? I can’t believe I can’t find it on the specs 😦
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.
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? 🙂
Hey i also should say that every one who buys a complet bike gets a programming cable…. gonna keep banging on that con list 🙂 not trying to be salty 🙂
just busting your balls at this point but handlebars are too low should also state (i am 6 foot 10 giant)……
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.
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!
Not a fan of the Luna Ludicrous full suspension fatbike, rode it, didn’t like it.
Karls video review we just posted here …. i did not realize it was never posted: https://youtu.be/cgJwtHp7xUs
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.
LOL, Karl you crack me up!
The word is: Ludicrous
Thanks for the article ! I’m buying one of these soon.
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I was wondering how fast would it go on full throttle & how long would the 20ah battery last?
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.
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
At full power you’re probably looking at 1Ah per .75 miles.
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..)?
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!
There is, but it is out of stock right now. I would get a GA triangle from Luna, it should fit in that triangle. Measure it before you order.
I have a KHS 3000 with Ludicrous controller and the shark pack is severely under powered for my bike in my humble opinion. To my knowledge there is not a triangle pack (outside of custom $$$$$ pack) that will fit AND deliver 50 or 60 amps continuous that the Ludicrous controller CAN no doubt handle.
If there is please provide a link. I have the medium frame size.
If I am mistaken
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.
Probably right. I have the 19″ frame which has a lot of room.
Arrggh! Sucks for me and my Ludicrous. I should’ve ordered the 19″. Here’s to hoping future battery tech (smaller, lighter, stronger) would come sooner.
Yah I was shafted in the same way that you were. Why Luna even allows for someone to purchase the ludicrous controller with a 13.5ah being the largest for the KHS 3000 17″ frame is terrible. I am not at all happy with my current bike setup and I have the same as you, with zero options that would actually let me utilize the ludicrous controller that I paid for. The customer service was horrible as well….
I have the 24AH 52V for this exact bike, fits perfect.
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Hey I am thinking about buying the dulux 500 or the 3000 which one would be better motor b everything
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So is what your saying about reprogramming my Ludicrous to 60 amps is that I don’t need to order Lunas new 60Amp controller and to just reprogram my existing one. If not can you tell me what the new one does that just programming my existing one does not accomplish?
Also I have the 2016 KHS3000 and as far as Im concerned it is one of the absolute best fat bike out there… So good on single track!!!
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