Today’s electric bicycles, particularly cargo, off-road, and commuter models, have dazzled us with their high power outputs and cutting-edge technology. While all that’s cool and all, there’s another branch of e-biking that’s all about preserving the natural pedal feel of the traditional bicycle. These bikes are packing a motor for the sake of making rides longer and less tiring, while at the same time providing an engaging ride.
This is especially true when we look at the electric gravel bike and lightweight e-MTB sectors. Here, the game is dominated by low-power motors that prioritize pedal feel and efficiency – motors like the Bosch Performance Line SX which was launched in 2023. Lots of new e-bikes have embraced the Bosch Performance Line SX motor with open arms, and the latest of which comes from Spanish bike specialist MMR.
MMR has just pulled the covers off its newest model, the Kaizen. Modeled after its non-electric sibling, the Kenta, the Kaizen is designed as a lightweight electric mountain bike for both cross country and all-mountain riding. As mentioned earlier, it’s rocking the new Bosch SX motor that tips the scales at just two kilograms. Unlike the more powerful CX motor, the SX pumps out a modest 55 Nm of torque, as against its bigger sibling’s output of 85 Nm. In exchange for some power, however, MMR manages to keep the weight of the Kaizen at an impressively low 16.7 kilos (36.8 pounds).
As for the battery, the Kaizen is rocking the compact Bosch PowerTube 400. Thanks to the smaller and lower-output motor, MMR can get away with an equally smaller battery. However, for folks looking to go the extra mile, a 250-watt-hour range extender can be fitted, all while still having space to mount a frame-mounted water bottle.
Unlike other modern enduro e-MTBs, the Kaizen rolls on 29-inch wheels front and rear, suggesting that it leans more towards the cross-country side of the spectrum. It gets a decent amount of suspension travel – 140 millimeters front and rear, and a slack 66-degree head angle for confident technical riding. This modern geometry is complemented by a long reach with a short stem to provide the rider with extra leverage. Nevertheless, its athletic build gives it the look of an XC racer.
When it comes to pricing and availability, the MMR Kaizen is sold in a total of five build configurations, with the most affordable carrying an MSRP of 5,999 euros ($6,541 USD). The base model is equipped with a respectable slew of components such as a Shimano XT/Deore drivetrain and Fox Performance 34 suspension. As we move up the model range, the components get much better, with the top-tier model rocking Fox Factory suspension and a fancy Sram XX SL T-Type drivetrain. This model, however, will set you back an eye-watering 7,199 euros, or about $7,849 USD.