CSC E-RT3 launched as 75 MPH electric scooter for under $7,000

CSC Motorcycles, the southern California motorcycle and scooter (and e-bike) dealer known for its modestly-priced two-wheelers, has just unveiled yet another interesting electric scooter. The CSC E-RT3 comes with highway-capable specs yet at a fraction of the competition’s cost.

The new launch follows on the heels of the recent CSC ES5 unveiling. That electric scooter is designed for city commuting and offers a top speed of up to 52 mph (83 km/h).

The CSC E-RT3, which comes just a couple weeks after it’s smaller cousin, bumps that speed up by nearly 50%. With a peak of 75 mph (120 km/h), it should be plenty fast to get riders onto any highway in the country.

The bike features a mid-mounted motor with a belt drive output. It offers 8 kW (10.7 hp) of continuous power yet has a peak power rating of 17 kW (22.8 hp). The peak power is the true power pulled during acceleration, hill climbing, and other high load scenarios.

csc e-rt3

That power is supplied by a built-in 72V and 96Ah automotive grade lithium battery with 6.9 kWh of capacity. At a modest speed of 32 mph (50 km/h), the bike is rated for a maximum range of 124 miles (200 km). At the actual speeds you’ll be riding it, though, expect reduced range in the mid to high double digits.

An included 3.3 kW fast charger can fill the battery from 30-80% in just 70 minutes, or give a full charge in less than three hours.

The 456 lb (206 kg) CSC E-RT3 rolls on a 15″ wheel in front and 14″ wheel in the rear. Front and rear hydraulic disc brakes use Bosch’s dual channel ABS and a combined braking system for safety. Other features include a TFT display instrument panel, tire pressure monitoring, large windscreen, keyless start, electronic release seat cushion over storage area, USB charger, integrated speaker for music, reverse gear, cruise control, backlit switches, aluminum alloy rear rack, and elevated pillion seat for your riding partner in life.

The MSRP of US $7,299 is reduced to just $6,999 during the current pre-order period, though there are extra dealer fees to the tune of $410 that include inspection, paperwork for registering, etc.

Riders wishing to grab one of the first bikes can put down a fully-refundable $300 deposit ahead of estimated shipping in October or November of this year.

The CSC E-RT3 is a large scooter that pushes the brand into maxiscooter territory. The bike’s closest competitor in terms of performance is likely to be the BMW CE04. While that scooter has a serious design edge, the performance is surprisingly comparable.

The BMW CE04 is priced at closer to US $13,000, yet offers the same 75 mph (120 km/h) top speed and many of the same features such as tire pressure monitoring, combined braking system, keyless start, USB charging, etc. Sure, it has a USB-C charger instead of USB-A and a fancier 10″ screen, but it also weighs a whopping 509 lb (231 kg).

It does have a 20% larger battery, though it still claims a similar range, perhaps due to having nearly twice the power (and thus drains its larger battery more quickly). So while BMW’s electric scooter will look nicer and be quicker off the line, the rest of the performance is nearly identical. Fit and finish likely won’t be comparable, but saving $6,000 might be worth the tradeoff for many riders.

Electrek’s Take

Technically speaking, CSC rates the E-RT3 with a top speed of 74 mph. But I think that’s because they’re taking the 120 km/h rating, which equates to 74.56 mph, and rounding down. Ugh, that’s just like CSC… underpromising and overdelivering.

But hey, 74 mph is still fine by me. It may not be enough to overtake on the highway, but it’s sufficient to feel like you still belong there. And in practice, most people are probably going to use this as a commuter bike for a mostly urban/suburban riding combined with shorts jaunts on the highway between suburbia and, well, urbia? It’s just that compared to something like the CSC ES5 with its 52 mph top speed, the 74 mph to speed of the E-RT3 actually allows you to take faster roads and not feel like you’re being squeezed into the right shoulder.

It can’t compete with BMW’s pizzazz or design chops, but at a nearly 50% lower price tag than the BMW CE04, it doesn’t need to. Companies like BMW can still tout a much larger dealership presence for support and servicing, but CSC counters with a massive warehouse of spare parts in LA that they can get out to you in 48 hours, meaning that the occasional servicing still comes with fairly local support. Electric motorcycles also need less servicing to begin with, but the company is there when you need them. I had a CSC City Slicker back in 2019 that eventually needed a new rear pulley due to a wearing bearing. They sent me the part and the lead mechanic walked me through the process of swapping it out over the phone. Sure, I could have taken it to a motorcycle shop, too, but doing it myself in my apartment building’s parking garage also helped me better understand the bike and how it worked. Plus, I looked like a badass in front of the girls in my building.

So while the CSC E-RT3 isn’t as flashy as competitors like BMW, they offer good products and support, meaning this is going to be a very interesting new option in the market.

For those that want to go even faster though (or want something a little more impressive looking when rolling up at the bar), I’m currently testing out an 80 mph (130 km/h) CSC RX1E electric motorcycle for a full review coming soon. Here’s a teaser image below.

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