It’s Fast Bike Friday! This week we are taking a look at the Kona Remote 160 DL which is an e-MTB which is firmly focused on having fun on the trails; with a healthy amount of suspension travel and progressive trail-focused geometry the Remote is built to be stable at speed giving a confidence-inspiring ride when you point it downhill. But what about getting back to the top of your favourite trail? No dramas, the Remote features Shimano’s compact, powerful EP8 motor…
Kona launched their original Remote 160 e-MTB back in 2020 and gained rave reviews from the bike media, retailers and customers alike. With its Shimano E8000 motor, tough 27.5” wheels and agile, trail-focused geometry taken from Kona’s popular Process sub-range of mountain bikes it was a clear favourite with riders looking for all the fun of a conventional trail bike combined with the extra pedal assistance of an e-MTB. Typically, the bike industry moves on very quickly and with the trend for even more progressive trail geometry and a swing towards 29” wheels on a lot more of bikes like this it’s not a surprise to see the all-new Remote being taken a step further. The 2021 Kona Remote 160 DL comes spec’d with 29” wheels and a lower bottom bracket that not only accommodates those larger wheels but also lowers your centre of gravity to help give a more stable ride; the bottom bracket now sits 25mm below the axles of the wheels. With geometry that’s very similar to Kona’s Process model the Remote 160 DL features short 435mm chainstays and a slack 64° head angle making it ideal for tight, technical singletrack descents as well as higher-speed downhill runs.
Built for fun, the Kona Remote 160 DL e-MTB takes its DNA from their Process family of trail bikes…
A tough but lightweight aluminium main frame and rear triangle includes some clever tube shaping to create a frame that is compact and easy to throw around at speed. You almost have to do a double take to notice the compact EP8 motor and Shimano battery stowed neatly into the frame’s downtube and bottom bracket. The all-new Shimano EP8 motor is considerably more compact than its closest predecessor, it’s lighter and quieter too; key improvements over Shimano’s previous version include higher power (with a maximum torque output of 85Nm) with power-delivery being noticeably smoother for a more natural ride feeling. Thanks to its Magnesium drive unit casing the EP8 motor is 300g lighter than their E8000 motor which was previously at the top of the tree in the Shimano motor range.
The all-new Shimano EP8 motor is compact but powerful…
Interestingly Kona have spec’d the Remote 160 DL with Shimano’s smaller 504Wh battery; their rationale for this is to not only keep overall weight down but to also utilise the smaller dimensions of this battery to help keep the compact look and feel of the 160 DL, the end result is a more agile feeling e-MTB – no bad thing at all. Toggling through the motor’s three modes – Eco, Trail and Boost couldn’t be easier with each mode selected via the Shimano SW-EM8000-L remote switch on the left of the handle bar; there’s a Shimano EM800 display to provide you with all the on-board information you’ll need and the EP8’s software is customisable via Shimano’s own app, allowing you to fine-tune just exactly how the motor assists your pedalling.
The Remote 160 DL features an easy-to-use Shimano switch to toggle through motor modes and a clear Shimano SC-EM800 display unit…
Click the link below to find out more about the Shimano EP8 motor…
A powerful e-MTB designed for rowdy trail riding needs some very capable front and rear suspension to keep you in control and handle those inevitable big hits. A bike that’s designed to be this fun can quickly get you into trouble, pushing you to the edges of your own skills level very quickly. With this in mind Kona have spec’d a Rockshox Zeb Select+ Charger RC2.1 Deboniar suspension fork that provides a very plush 160mm of travel; this fork has been tuned specifically for e-MTB use and is sensitive to small impacts as well as being able to take big hits in its stride. To compliment the Zeb forks there’s a RockShox Super Deluxe rear shock that also gives 160mm of plush travel; it’s sensitive enough to absorb braking bumps at speed before arcing through its travel to handle bigger impacts off rock-drops and any similar trail obstacles in your way.
The RockShox Zeb Select+ Charger RC 2.1 DebonAir fork provides 160mm of plush travel and has been tuned to handle the extra demands of an e-MTB…
The Kona Remote 160 DL comes spec’d with a mix of SRAM components to make up the drivetrain. There’s a single 34T chainring on a Shimano M8150 crank up front which is paired with a big 11-50T wide-ratio cassette to give you all the gear combinations you could need. These gears along with Shimano’s EP8 motor and its three assist modes should mean that at the bottom of each run of your favourite trail you’ll be heading straight back up again for more! It really doesn’t matter how steep or loose the climbs get, the Remote will get you over almost anything; you know when you’re pedalling up such a climb on an ‘acoustic’ on ‘manual’ mountain bike and see a rocky, stepped section that needs a sudden burst of power to overcome it? If your timing is wrong or you’re simply too fatigued to hit it with enough power then you come to a frustrating standstill and can’t get going again. There’s no such scenario with an e-MTB like the Remote; at the push of a button you’re into turbo mode and you’re up and over that obstacle. It really does redefine what you thought was previously unrideable.
To round out the groupset Kona have spec’d powerful SRAM Code R 4-piston hydraulic brakes and matched them up with large 200mm rotors front and rear. Components wise handlebars, stem and grips are all from Kona; there’s a cable-activated TranzX internal dropper post so you’ll be able to get the saddle out of the way quickly and efficiently when you hit the steeps and need to throw your weight back.
A clever mix of SRAM drivetrain components adorn the Remote 160 DL and give you all the gears you’ll need…
The 12-speed SRAM GX 12-speed rear derailleur with clutch mech is secure and provides crisp gear-shifts…
So what about those big 29” hoops? Well, on an e-MTB like this they need to be particularly tough and able to handle the extra forces incurred from both the drive of the motor itself and the terrain that the Remote 160 DL is hitting. Front and rear hubs are from Formula with the front being Boost (110x15mm) and the rear being Super Boost Plus (157x12mm) going one step further than conventional Boost rear wheel spacing (148mm) for an even stronger rear wheel – perfect for the extra demands brought on by this powerful e-MTB. Those Formula hubs are laced to tough, wide WTB HTZ i35 TCS 2.0 rims which are shod with a pair of Maxxis Assegai EXO+ TR 3C 2.5” tyres; these tyres were originally developed for downhill racing hence the very aggressive tread pattern, and feature a tough EXO casing to help protect them from punctures and tyre slashes which have the potential to strike when you’re pushing a bike like this to its limits. That tread pattern really comes into its own on the rear too, when the Shimano motor kicks in and you put the power down it really bites and provides plenty of traction, even on loose, steep climbs.
With an aggressive tread pattern the 2.5″ wide Maxxis Assegai tyres help keep you in control even at the speeds encountered on an e-MTB…
Originally developed for downhill racing the Assegai tyres are perfectly suited to the demands of riding hard on this e-MTB…
The Kona Remote 160 DL is a super-charged trail bike! We already love the way the 29” wheeled Kona Process rides (see our recent feature on the Process X) and this bike is almost one and the same, just with a really powerful e-bike motor integrated into it. By utilising the latest generation Shimano motor which is more compact than its predecessor and using a slightly smaller 504Wh battery compared with what you might find on some other e-MTBs Kona have managed to keep the weight down for a more spritely feeling e-Bike. There’s been some smart thinking when it comes to suspension and componentry choice making the Remote 160 DL ready for almost anything you can throw at it.
The Kona Remote 160 DL e-MTB is a gravity-focused trail bike with the added bonus of being able to ferry you back to the top of the trails with the minimum of effort…
- Frame: Kona 6061 Aluminum Butted
- Fork: RockShox Zeb Select+ Charger RC 2.1 DebonAir 160mm
- Rear Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Select
- Drive Unit: Shimano EP800 25kph
- Battery: Shimano 504Wh
- Display Unit: Shimano SC-EM800
- Charger: Shimano STEPS 2A
- Shifters: SRAM NX Single Click
- Rear Derailleur: Sram GX 12xSpeed
- Cassette : SRAM NX-Eagle 11-50T 12xSpeed
- Chain: SRAM GX Eagle
- Crankset: Shimano M8150 with 34T Sync Eagle chainring
- Brakes: SRAM Code R
- Wheelset: WTB HTZ i35 TCS 2.0 29”
- Front Tyre: Maxxis Assegai EXO+ TR 3C 29×2.5″
- Rear Tyre: Maxxis Assegai EXO+ TR 3C 29×2.5″
- Stem: Kona XC/BC 35
- Handlebar: Kona XC/BC 35
- Grips: Kona Key Grip
- Seat Post: TranzX Dropper Internal 31.6mm
- Seat Clamp: Kona
- Saddle: WTB Volt
The Kona Remote 160 DL is in stock now; available in store or online
Written by Johnny Dodgin
Photos by James Vincent
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