These tips are not a substitute for laws, always verify your municipality and state laws. Electric bicycle (e-bike) laws vary from state to state and with each municipality, which can be confusing for consumers, retailers, and suppliers. Federal e-bike laws inherently include the Onyx RCR. Each state tailors those laws according to their needs, then each municipality tailors those laws to their needs. It is up to you to check with your local and state laws.
This map represents how e-bikes are interpreted in each state’s vehicle code for use on the road, bike lanes, and bike paths. The vehicle code does not generally apply to state or local land management agencies that manage electric mountain bike access on motorized and non-motorized trails typically used for hiking or biking. eMTB access is not addressed in state vehicle codes. Always consult with your local land manager for eMTB access questions.
New York State will not permit the Onyx RCR to be registered as a Moped, nor does the New York Department of Motor Vehicles recognize the Onyx RCR as a moped. The state of Massachusetts and California recognize the Onyx RCR as a moped even though it is not in their state laws or laws of the municipality of Boston. But is recognized by the Massachusetts Department of Motor Vehicles and can be registered, insured, plated as a moped.
NEW YORK CITY E-BIKE TIPS
Simply put, New York City wants us to operate our Onyx RCR e-bikes just like a car on all roads where the posted top speed does not exceed 30 mph. Use of all bike lanes is allowed but not in excess of 15 mph. New York City e-bikes laws do not permit the use of e-bikes along the West Side Bike Path which is also known as the Hudson River Park Greenway. Fines on the Hudson River Park Greenway range up to $750.
It is recommended to stay out of green bike lanes in mid-town because of the high concentration of tourists and mid-town workers from 34th Street to 56th Street between Park Avenue to 8th Avenue. When crossing New York City bridges on bike lanes, do not exceed 15 mph. Avoid riding through Times Square.
NY & NYC E-BIKE INSURANCE
The Onyx RCR as an E-Bike does not require insurance but is recommended. May Onyx RCR owners in NYC have insurance coverage. Geico and State Farm insurance companies offer insurance coverage for the Onyx RCR as an e-bike in New York State.
New York State and New York City class 3 e-bikes like the Onyx RCR are the most common in cities of one million people or more. The following are the New York State e-bike classifications that were passed on April 2020.
NY & NYC E-BIKE INSURANCE
New York State bicycle laws apply to all e-bikes. Unfortunately, our friends on electric mopeds without pedals and gas dirt bikes have not received a legal classification in New York City which makes their rides liable for confiscation except for NIU electric scooters.
Read the owner’s manual before your Onyx RCR arrives to know how to access the battery. The owner’s manual describes how to turn on and off the Onyx RCR through the battery toggle, kill switch, and key-fob. The owner’s manual also comes attached to the Onyx RCR during delivery.
It is best to keep the Onyx RCR inside your garage or home. If storing the Onyx RCR outside, get a bike cover and a chain lock, disc brake lock, a throttle lock, and remove the battery.
The Onyx RCR handles rain great and the rain will not cause problems. But I recommend washing and drying the Onyx RCR within two days of getting dirty rainwater on it. The idea is to replace dirty rainwater with clean water. You can ride the Onyx RCR in temperatures down to -5 ° Fahrenheit as the battery generates its own heat during operation discharge. In my experience 15° Fahrenheit is as much as I can tolerate even with heated gloves. Do not store the battery outside overnight in temperatures below 32° Fahrenheit or where it can reach above 120° Fahrenheit.
When the weather temperature is above 85° Fahrenheit lithium batteries will simply put, react differently during charging and discharging. While the battery is discharging during riding, it will generate more heat depending on how aggressive the riding is. You do not want to make a habit of charging a hot battery with a fast charger that’s 10 amps and above as to not degrade the battery’s life.
If the front suspension “fork dust covers” were not ordered with the Onyx RCR, I recommend after every ride to wipe down the silver portion of the front suspension with a dry paper towel.
Hold down the two buttons on the left side of the display, then turn on the Onyx RCR by pressing the kill switch by the throttle. The display clock will be flashing at this point. Use the same display buttons to change the time.
Both the front and rear disc brake will generate some noise until broken in. A disc brake solution will help reduce and eliminate the disc brake noise. Only a small amount needs to be applied on both sides of the front and rear brake disc. Most front brake pads for the Onyx RCR are of a medium grade which works great but is noisier. Using higher-quality brake pads reduces the noise.
Do not store or charge any of the Onyx RCR batteries out in direct sunlight, and neither charge the battery immediately after riding on a hot day with the 10 amp charger. When charging on hot days do so in the shade and allow the battery 30 minutes to cool before charging. It is okay to leave any of the batteries and chargers plugged in overnight as long as it is in an area above 32 degrees Fahrenheit and below 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that the mode settings switch is your go-to for the Onyx RCR’s power capability. Having the Onyx RCR in “Normal Mode” can also be challenging. The likelihood that you’ve never owned an ebike like this before is high. It takes time to gain experience with a half throttle or a full-throttle e-bike. Learn to handle the throttle in the moments that catch you off guard where you accidentally roll the throttle. Learning the feather the throttle is important regardless of the settings or modes. Take your time becoming more confident with the throttle to the point where you have absolute control over it.
Create the habit of leaning forward 10 degrees or more before twisting the throttle. The habit of leaning slightly forward will help when catching a pothole off guard, accidental acceleration, and overall better control.
Never apply more than 20 pounds of weight on the handlebars unless you like speed wobbles. Pretend the handlebar grips themselves are baby chickens, don’t grip them tightly, and don’t put much weight on them. Always slide forward on the seat and lean forward 25 degrees or more before taking off with a full-throttle twist.
If you don’t have pegs installed, let your left leg dangle semi-stiff with a slightly bent knee with your left foot about half a foot off the ground while taking off from a standstill. Do not try to place your foot on the left pedal for the first three seconds of acceleration while taking off. Becoming comfortable with the Onyx wheeling often after the power has been dialed up takes time and experience.
Manage unintentional wheelies by standing up on the pedals where your bottom is almost half a foot or more off the seat. Managing unintentional wheelies by standing up on the pedals is better than letting go of the throttle or getting on the brakes.
With time and experience, full-throttle takeoffs will be forward on the seat, your bottom half a foot off the seat, your foot dangling semi-stiff with a slight bend at the knee with your left foot about half a foot off the ground or on the left peg. This will guarantee solid control and power delivery of the Onyx RCR whether or not the front tire is on the ground or not. The Onyx RCR can be steered with the front tire off the ground by how you manage your body.
Improve your braking game by using the left lever regen (1/4 inch lever squeeze) braking 80% of the time to simulate engine braking while using the right front brake 20% of the time for more precise stopping. The rear physical brake will rarely get used unless you have Magura’s and variable regen installed.
When the battery is above 83 volts, be mindful to not depend on regen braking as much, especially on long downhills. A practically full battery above 83 volts and regen braking don’t mix. Regen braking with a full battery will cause the battery to cut power to the bike and in some cases turn off the bike. A full battery will have nowhere to store the regenerative energy sent to it.
When turning on an unfamiliar road that is not predictable when braking into turns will be braking before the turn, turning naturally, then accelerating at the end of the turn.
When turning on a familiar road that is predictable and trustworthy then braking into turns will be braking before the turn, 25% throttling while in the turn, then throttling more coming out of the end of the turn.
The Onyx RCR 41ah battery and 23ah battery will arrive in a stored state with a charge of 50% to 75%. You can begin to ride the Onyx RCR as soon as it arrives. The Onyx 23ah battery requires extra care whereas the 41ah does not. After riding the Onyx RCR for the first time, balance the 23ah battery by following the instruction on the post about the Onyx RCR 23ah battery.
TUBE, PATCH KIT, AND VALVE CORE REMOVER
FRONT TIRE REMOVAL TOOLS
Order two sets of the 16-inch tire iron set for a total of four spoons.
REAR TIRE REMOVAL TOOLS
REAR AXLE NUT THREADLOCKERREAR AXLE NUT THREADLOCKER
I recommend having a spare tire tube on hand before patching or replacing the tire tube. Everyone gets better at repairing flat tires on the Onyx RCR but the first two times are challenging, so take your time.
I’m not kidding when I say that out of all the tire rim removal videos found on Youtube, the one below labeled “fastest tire removal” is the one that I found to be the most accurate and useful. I’m not going to recommend using a tire removal rim protector, being that non will last and if done right, barely a scratch will show up on the rim. But I have linked rim paint in case it gets messy.
Once the rear or front tire is off the Onyx RCR, you will want to remove the nut located on the tire valve, followed by removing the valve core to let out all the air. You will then follow the motions shown in the “fastest tire removal” video as to what to do with the tire iron spoons. I use four-tire iron spoons for the quickest and cleanest removal that spares the rim paint.
Before removing the front tire off of the Onyx RCR, take a well-lit close-up video of how it is assembled. As there are spacers and washers you will want to assemble correctly when you are done. After studying the front tire axle assembly take note of the front brake disc alignment inside the front brake caliper.
The front axle nut is tightened at 45nm with a 19mm socket or wrench. Place a 19mm wrench or socket on one of the front axle nuts and grip a plier on the other front axle nut. With the 19mm socket or wrench, rotate the front axle nut counter-clockwise. Once the front axle nuts come off, use a hammer and punch tool to slide out the front axle. This will completely free the front tire. You can rest the Onyx RCR against a wall and rest it down on the bare front shocks.
The rear axle nuts are tightened at 80nm with a 24mm socket or wrench. The rear axle stay is tightened at 30nm with a 6mm hex tool. You will also need a plier or 8mm wrench to hold the nut inside rear axle stay. The best instructions to remove the rear tire off the Onyx RCR is the video below.
Download the “Charge Point” app (free account sign up) for iPhone and Android to see the EV charge stations available near you, most are free. Purchase a J1772 to NEMA 5-15/5-20 EV Charger Adapter, which allows you to use any 110v/220v labeled charger. Use a power strip on a single pigtail J1772 adapter or order a J1772 multi pigtail adapter to use more than one charger.
If your charger’s label says 110v/220V then you can use EV stations to charge. Do not plug in chargers that can only do 110 volts. If you have no label on yours that reads 110v/220v then contact whom you purchased it from to make sure.
Generation 1 Onyx RCR stock 5 amp chargers are 110/220v compatible. Generation 2 and 3 Onyx RCR stock 5 amp chargers are not 110/220v compatible. All Onyx RCR stock 5 amp chargers will say on the label 110v or 110v/220v.
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