|Steering angle (°)||Vertical tube (mm)||Rear carriage (mm)||Wheelbase (mm)||Front / rear excursion (mm)||Wheel format|
|65,5 / 64,5 °||430 mm||450 mm||1270 / 1275||160||29 "/ 27,5"|
The project was developed by Platum's research and development team, which dealt with the engineering and design of the frame and the bike, working in the Italian Motor Valley, the industrial and cultural district of Emilia-Romagna known internationally as cradle of some of the most renowned automotive brands in the world.
The frame is made of 6061 – T6 hydroformed aluminum entirely studied and designed in Italy. Thanks to the flipchip system positioned on the lower fulcrum of the shock absorber, it is possible to change (indirectly) the steering angle (difference of 1°), wheelbase, saddle angle (difference of 1°) and bottom bracket height (12mm difference).
At VR|46 Racing Apparel we have long since embarked on an evolutionary path that will see the birth of projects that have the objective of creating performance oriented products. We have been wanting to expand our offer for some time and enter the world of cycling, especially off-road, and in fact the first project with which we begin this journey is with MT Distribution, a partner with the characteristics and know-how necessary to face a project that reflects our expectations – Carlo Alberto Tebaldi, managing director of VR46
The frame has a fairly classic line with a significant down tube but which manages to accommodate a 750wh battery proving less invasive than other competitors thanks to the fact that the battery is inserted in a vertical position, and not horizontal, as usual. SRAM G2 RE 4-piston brakes (DOT oil): the successors of the GUIDE where the American giant tried to improve one of the most discussed brakes in the mtb world. In the rear stay we find SRAM's universal UDH dropout: an intelligent solution in case of problems.
Suspensions by ROCKSHOX with Lyrik Ultimate RC2 29” (160mm) fork and Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate shock absorber (205×65) which, combined with the VR|46 linkage, always results in 160mm of travel. Mullet format with 29″ front and 27,5″ rear.
Motorisation by BOSCH with the Performance Line CX combined with the LED Remote and Kiox 300 computer. This combination allows for many additional functions, such as the installation of the eBike Flow app
and the relative activation of navigation-related features, such as a real GPS. Kiox 300 records all the data relating to the tour with interesting features such as pedaling frequency and power used: both of the engine and of your legs. Activities can be automatically synchronized with the app and then uploaded online to partner platforms (e.g. Komoot).
eBike Lock, the theft protection created by Bosch, is a function that we find in this VR|46 using Kiox 300 and Led Remote. You can deactivate the pedaling motor support using your smartphone as a digital key (and the display shows the status). We talked about it more here.
FULCRUM Wheels: a pleasant surprise to find the Italian brand returning with personality to the off-road world. e-Metal 500 model but with differentiated front and rear wheels to meet different needs: 30mm channel at the front while 35mm at the rear. BOOST™ 15mm thru-axle hub, rounded spokes 2.0-1.8-2.0 mm with straight and reinforced head, aluminum nipple with self-lock. Covers? Pirelli in the Scorpion model: Enduro model at the front while a specific reinforced e-bike model at the rear.
VERSIONS AND COMPONENTS
There are two versions:
- VR46 E-MTB Limited: produced in 46 pieces (numbered) and signed by Valentino Rossi – COMPLETE ASSEMBLY (11.999 €)
- VR46 E-MTB Pro – COMPLETE ASSEMBLY (6.999 €)
The PRO assembly (under test) includes a BOSCH Performance Line CX engine with 750wh battery (Kiox 300 display). The Limited version features differences in assembly such as the use of Ohlins suspension, instead of Rockshox, the use of Ochain and other top of the range components: a true top of the range in all respects.
The 2 assemblies in question will be produced only in 2 sizes, M and L. The geometries are not extreme but still in line also for competitive enduro use: steering angle at 65,5° (possibility of bringing it to 64,5°) and very vertical saddle angle.
|AT - Horizontal tube length “Centre/Centre” (mm)||570||615|
|B - Stacks (mm)||600||630|
|C - Stem tube length (mm)||430||455|
|D- Rear stay length (mm)||450||450|
|E - Head tube length (mm)||110||125|
|F - Wheelbase (mm)||1270 / 1275||1295 / 1300|
|G - Head tube angle (°)||65,5 / 64,5||65,5 / 64,5|
|H - Stem tube inclination (°)||76 / 75||76 / 75|
|I - BB Drop (mm)||0 / 15||0 / 15|
|J - Fork length (mm)||575||575|
|K - Fork offset (mm)||44||44|
|Fork travel (mm)||160||160|
|Crank length (mm)||165||165|
|Handlebar width (mm)||800||800|
THE RESPONSE OF THE TEST
The VR|46 is not a light e-bike: its size is significant (weight of 27,3kg), but the geometric dimensions (well balanced) do not make it appear clumsy once in the saddle. I would like to point out that the weight is in line with other e-bikes equipped with a 750w battery.
The first part of the test was carried out with "Low" geometry, i.e. geared towards descent, which brings the steering angle from 65.5 to 64.5°, the saddle angle from 76° to 75° and the wheelbase slightly longer. Aggressive but not extreme geometries which lead to not having to have a guide that is too loaded on the front: the bike proves to be well rideable and fun even in a user who is not strictly gravity oriented.
La Bosch motorization is a certainty: Performance Line CX (Gen4) reliable and precise, and thanks to the use of the Kiox display with combined LED Remote (intelligent system), the bike offers many more features even for post-bike geeks: statistics, apps, GPS tracks and whatever. But seeing a VR|46 project with a Bosch engine, and not Yamaha, is heartbreaking for Vale fans.: a sort of betrayal given Valentino Rossi's connection with Yamaha on the motorcycle side.
The magnet is inserted into a plastic support that wraps the valve of the inner tube (see photo below): a system that excludes any possibility of losing it during bike rides. A note: you don't have to file too much along the length of the magnet because the magnet support takes away about 1 cm. An inner tube with a 42mm valve is excellent but even on classic 34mm valves you can inflate the tire, even if it is just the right length.
The VR|46 e-mtb is a great climber: the saddle angle is quite vertical and allows you to always have the front loaded well, even in the steepest and most critical situations. The declared saddle angle is 75° (“low” version) / 76° (“high” version) but, following contrasting sensations in the saddle, I measured this value and, in my opinion, the difference is at least 1st from the declared values (but I could be wrong). Leaving aside this purely technical fact, let's focus on the sensations on the pitch: uphill the VR|46 climbs which is a pleasure, both in the Low position but even more so in the High position. This is one of the aspects I liked most about the bike: a pleasure in riding uphill that is only found in models with less travel. Thanks to the geometric dimensions (such as the saddle angle) and the Mullet set-up.
You either like SRAM braking or you don't like it: Personally, the sponginess of the brake, and also the lower braking power compared to other competing brakes, don't make me put it in the first places. When the going gets tough, I prefer to move on to other models but, in the case of this test where there is no stopwatch or particular demands, they are enjoyable and functional, like the very ergonomic position of the lever.
Attention to the 170mm telescopic handler: an excellent solution to have greater freedom of movement downhill but requires long legs. This is because, in addition to the 170mm of travel, it is not possible to descend completely with the seat post, under penalty of internal interference with the frame and the risk of the cable coming off. This interference means that a biker, with an inseam of less than 83cm, does not fit. And, in a size M, it is a very common situation.
Downhill the shock absorbing scheme, combined with the ROCKSHOX spring shock absorber, it cushions everything and reacts very well to bottom strokes: the sensation you have in the saddle is that of an excellent steamroller. It doesn't excel on slow and winding trails (like many of its "non-light" e-bike companions) but it excels in stability: an excellently balanced bike that is fun, both in Low and High settings. The 2 positions do not lead to radical changes to the bike but tend to favor climbing a little more (thanks to the more vertical saddle angle - High) or descending (more open steering angle - Low). It's up to you to figure out what you like best, provided that in both positions the bike is fully usable both uphill and downhill: they are just geometric nuances.
The weight is important but, as mentioned, in line with e-bikes equipped with a 750wh battery and up. If you notice, few brands declare the weight of e-bikes of this type: precisely because it is difficult to go below 25kg. But weight is not a fundamental parameter in this type of bike: we know that it is not a vehicle with which to challenge friends in bunny hop or nose press on alpine paths, but used on normal single tracks it is enjoyable and well balanced. Even on drops and jumps, if taken at speed, it is not clumsy or unbalanced but it is fun. A plus point on the shock absorber block which, despite being spring-based, has an aggressive calibration: the bike is still and in the uphill transfer sections it is much appreciated.
The VR|46 e-mtb is a balanced bike: no extremism in the geometry and this allows you to find a good rhythm, and fun, from the first meters.
|+||Balanced e-bike. On technical climbs it is fun and rideable. Not negligible weight (like all e-bikes with a 750wh battery and up). Total shock absorber block: useful in uphill transfer sections.|
|-||A VR|46 project called a YAMAHA engine, not a BOSCH (exercise in style). Be careful with the 170mm telescopic handler: it requires long legs. Small bottle cage (there is no space for bottles larger than 550ml)|
|Official Website: https://www.vr46e-mtb.com|
|Weight (without pedals)||27,3kg|
|Fork||ROCKSHOX Lyrik Ultimate RC2 29” (160mm)|
|Shock absorber||ROCKSHOX Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate (205×65) – 160mm|
|Motor||BOSCH Performance Line CX|
|Battery||BOSCH PowerTube 750 Vertical|
|Display||BOSCH Kiox 300|
|wheels||FULCRUM E-METAL 500 30mm x 29″ VR46 edition|
|Service||PIRELLI Scorpion™ ENDURO S 29”x2.6 HardWall|
|Rear gearbox||SRAM GX Eagle Lunar 12v|
|commands||SRAM GX Eagle Trigger Lunar 12v|
|Brakes||SRAM G2 RE (4 pistons)|
|Buy Boxes||SRAM XG-1275 12v (10-52)|
|Headset||FSA HS NO.57E 8mm alloy 1-1/8 to 1.5|
|Discs||SRAM Centerline 200/180mm|
|Handlebar||FSA HB MTB COMET riser alloy 15x800mm Ø35mm A0|
|seatpost||CRANKBROTHERS Adjustable Seatpost Highline 7 170 mm x Ø31.6mm|
|Sella||SAN MARCO Ground Short DNY 140mm VR46 Pro edition|
A balanced e-bike
An enduro e-bike with surprising climbing skills and perfect downhill stability. The Mullet set-up gives it excellent handling on technical uphill sections. Also recommended for not too technical bikers looking for a fun (and safe) bike downhill but easy to handle uphill.