DJI bike Avinox Drive System Amflow PL

With Avinox Drive System, DJI takes flight…on two wheels

DJI, the undisputed leader in the civilian drone market, has surprised the tech world yet again. This time, however, their innovation takes a surprising turn – onto the open road. DJI unveiled the Avinox Drive System at Eurobike 2024, which is the world’s largest cycling trade show. With Avinox comes what’s positioned as a a powerful and intelligent e-bike drive system designed specifically for mountain biking. And with the launch, DJI is promising to redefine the electric mountain bike (eMTB) experience.

DJI bike Avinox Drive System Amflow PL
(Image courtesy of DJI)

But it’s redefining not just biking, but also perhaps the trajectory of DJI itself, which has been in the spotlight recently — and not necessarily for a good reason. A reason uptick in anti-Chinese drone legislation could make it difficult (and perhaps impossible) for DJI drones to fly in the U.S., if passed. That includes the Countering CCP Drones Act, which would add DJI to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Covered List and in turn blocking future DJI drone technologies from operating on U.S. communications infrastructure.

And though not an outright ban, the American Security Drone Act of 2023 would prohibit federal agencies from purchasing drones made by certain Chinese drone companies. There’s also the Drones for First Responders (DFR) Act, which would add a 30% tariff on drones made in China, making DJI drones a lot more expensive.

But with new verticals — say e-bike system — DJI could still remain an American household name, albeit for something that’s not drones.

Read more: What happens if Congress bans DJI drones?

What to know about the new DJI Avinox Drive System

DJI bike Avinox Drive System Amflow PL
(Image courtesy of DJI)

The Avinox boasts impressive specs. The lightweight motor delivers a whopping 105 Nm of torque, propelling riders up even the steepest climbs. Multi-sensor fusion and a “Smart-Assist Algorithm” automatically adjust motor output based on terrain. It almost mimics the smooth, intuitive flight control that DJI drones are known for.

Here are some standout key specs:

  • Max continuous torque: 105 Nm
  • Drive unit weight: 2.52 kg
  • Peak power: 850 W

Let’s take a deeper dive into those:

Avionix weight: Yet, it only weighs 2.52kg. Much like how light hardware is critical for increasing flight times, biking also demands lightweight gear to make bikes easy to ride. And in the case of e-bikes and drones, it can prolong their operating times.

Avionix riding: Riders can pick from four riding assist modes, which are:

  • Auto: consider this the standard mode
  • Eco: better for longer rides
  • Trail: better for mixed trails
  • Turbo: best for steep uphills

They can also activate Boost mode for an extra power surge. With Boost mode, you get up to 30 seconds of 120 N·m drive torque and an immediate maximum output of 1000 W. Consider it something to use on a super-steep hill or otherwise complex terrain.

Avinoix battery life: Riders have two battery options, which are 600Wh and 800Wh. Here’s how they compare

Range117 km157 km
Weight2.87 kg3.74 kg

It powers up from 0% to 75% charge in just 1.5 hours given its use of GaN 3x fast charging technology.

App integration: The system uses a 2-inch OLED full-color control built-in touchscreen display. At 800 nits of max brightness, you should be able to see it, even when riding on a sunny day.

With it, riders can then connect their smartphones to activate features such as data recording and sharing. The app can also change the riding mode, assist parameter adjustments, and offer real-time bike status checking.

DJI bike Avinox Drive System Amflow PL
(Image courtesy of DJI)

How to ride a DJI bike equipped with Avinox for yourself

Alongside the launch of Avinox, the company also announced an actual bike you can buy that uses the Avinox Drive system. It’s called Amflow PL, and it’s the world’s first all-around electric mountain bike equipped with the DJI Avinox e-bike drive system.

The 19.2kg e-bike offers 850 W of peak power and 250 W of nominal power. The frame on its own weighs just 2.27 kg.

Though, it’s not on sale yet — and we don’t have pricing information yet either. DJI says you’ll have to subscribe to the Amflow site for email alerts when sales start. Though, rumor has it, the DJI bike will cost between about $7,500 and $13,000. It’s expected to be available for purchase by the end of 2024.

Why a DJI bike?

DJI bike Avinox Drive System Amflow PL
(Image courtesy of DJI)

While some might see this as a departure from drones, there’s a clear connection between DJI’s core competencies and Avinox. Their experience with motors, batteries, and intelligent control systems translates seamlessly to the world of roving vehicles.

In fact, DJI had already been building some intelligent driving solutions for automobiles in China over the past few years. Some already work in several car models. And, the recently launch of DJI Power, which are portable power stations, suggest a pivot into other energy-based tech.

And hey, drones and mountain biking seem to go together anyway given high interest in follow-me drones like the DJI Mavic 3 Pro.

This specific, strategic move taps into the booming e-bike market while leveraging DJI’s existing technological strengths in building products that generate maximum power in a small size. The global e-bike market is booming, fueled by rising concerns about environmental impact, a growing appreciation for outdoor recreation and a desire to reduce reliance on cars. By entering this space, DJI positions itself to capture a slice of this rapidly expanding market.

Throw in the fact that drones are facing increasing regulations, diversification might be a wise move to ensure continued growth. Politicians from countries like the U.S. are seeking to limit DJI drones due to security concerns. Plus, a near saturation of the consumer drone market anyway could potentially limit DJI’s future prospects in their core business. The Avinox allows DJI to leverage their strengths in new domains.

Whether this signals a full-fledged shift away from drones remains to be seen. DJI is likely to maintain its position in the drone market, considering their dominant market share. However, the Avinox is a clear indicator that DJI is exploring new horizons, both on land and in the air.

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