KTM Macina Action 29 Review
KTM Macina Action 29 Review
This year I planned to trade in my motor cycle for a new model and thought I would look at an electric one as a possibility. Choices for electric motorcycles were very limited & I then started thinking about looking into an electric bicycle. My research led me to Atmosphere bikes. I popped in for a chat & Alistair explained the various features on the bikes & suggested I might like a KTM bike that was due in soon.
A sunny Friday in early February found me back at Atmosphere bikes for a test ride on a KTM Macina Action 29. Initial thoughts were that it is a great looking bike & a bit of a beast on 29” wheels. Took her for a spin up Park Street (where else!) into Clifton and found it easy going.
Soon got the hang of the various modes & got used to the assistance. I liked the fact that you have to put effort in because I still wanted some exercise but with a helping hand. A 20 minute ride was enough to convince me this was what I wanted. One thing that I found odd was the brakes being the wrong way round: the right hand lever operated the rear brake. Initially I thought the bike had been built incorrectly but Atmosphere bikes advised me all European bikes are this way round now. Fortunately they swapped the brakes around for me before I collected the bike.
I collected the bike on the next day and thought I would go for a little ride along the cycle path towards Pill before heading home. However when I crossed Ashton Bridge there was a huge crowd of runners on the path so rather than having to fight my way through I thought I would have a go at cycling up Rownham Hill towards Ashton Court. The KTM coped easily and once I got to the top thought I would go into Ashton Court. Now, I have always fancied going on the MTB trail but had never done so because the thought of riding up Rownham Hill put me off.
There was still a fair climb through Ashton Court to reach the start of the trail and I found myself overtaking some serious looking mountain bikers calling me a cheat! Once on the trail I loved it, absolutely fantastic. The KTM seems to be a quality bike even before you consider the electric side of things. Brakes, gears, suspension etc all seem first class. The suspension especially is great, so much better than my old GT. There is the ability to adjust the air pressure on the forks but I haven’t got the special pump required so have left as is. Its more than good enough for me. Even though I had the advantage of electric assistance the regular riders are much quicker than me through the trail so had to pull over & let a few past. It is surprisingly hard work on your hands & arms but brilliant fun. Have already been back here & the Leigh Woods trail.
Monday morning the bike commenced its duty as daily commuter. On my journey I have to go up through Stoke Park by the Dower House & back home up Blackberry Hill, 2 big hills that get me hot & bothered. The KTM copes very well, on my old bike I would be down to 3-4mph at the top, on the KTM it is about 9-10 mph. I have now modified my route & travel through Eastville Park & this is very pleasant. I still have a couple of busy roads to contend with but a good 70% is cycle path/park. I still feel like I have worked hard but no longer have to wait 5 minutes at the top for my heart rate to come down. I also arrive at work without being hot & bothered.
Previously I was commuting by motor bike, the overall journey time is about the same and being nerdy I recorded some comparison figures:
The total time is the time taken for me to get bike out of garage, get appropriate clothing on, do the journey, park up & remove clothing. The journey by road is slightly longer but the motorbike is faster so overall time about the same. The KTM only a minute or two longer overall, figures taken from tracking app on my iPhone.
I have added mudguards & a rack to the bike as I was getting plastered, even when I fitted a rear guard I was still getting splattered. I have now cut an old mudguard & added an extension to the tip and a further piece in front of the rear wheel, now much better.
I have now had the bike just over a month & done over 250 miles and think I am in love. I find myself putting in as much effort as my old push-bike but just going faster, need to make an effort when riding to work to slow down as the whole point of the electric bike was to stop getting hot & sweaty. I sold my old bike to a colleague at work & had to ride it in one day for them. I still managed to cycle all the way non-stop but obviously much harder & slower. The old bike also felt tiny & crude in comparison to the KTM.
The Bosch system works very well, you have a choice of 5 modes: off, eco, tour, sport & turbo. I find I usually keep it in tour mode & boost it on the hills. It is seamless in operation & when you get to 15mph you are under your own power but there are no jolts or jerks as you get to this speed or change modes. I like the big display and all the info it gives you.
I find myself charging the battery every other day, it only drops one or 2 bars on the display . I think real world range is around 40 – 50 miles, the longest journey I have done is 26 miles and the indicator was just below half.
Problems? Not really, both rear wheel reflectors fell off after a week, replaced when it had first service. I think I might change the pedals, it has twin-sided pedals: one plain, the other for clip-on shoes. Don’t think I will ever use clip-ons and it is annoying having to flip pedal the right way around as the clip-on side is uncomfortable. I have had to keep tightening saddle stem as it drops going over bumps. I have tightened a couple of times, each time a little bit tighter and more than I would expect. There is nowhere to attach a water bottle so have had to cable tie the carrier to the frame.