Hydrofoil bike Manta5 SL3: Review

We have already mentioned the electric bike SL3 from the New Zealand company Manta5 in one of our previous articles, today we will talk a bit more about it - we will find out what an e-water bike is, what are the advantages of the new model compared to the original XE-1 version, and we will analyse the main technical characteristics - speed, difficulty of learning and so on.

Hydrofoil bike

First of all - let’s grasp - what is Manta5 about? Simply put, it’s an electric bike + hydrofoil. Manta5 made headlines for the first time back in 2017. The 2nd generation model - Manta5 SL3 was announced in October 2022. It featured a new throttle-only mode and a much faster learning curve.

The original version of the e-bike included a set of pedals that turned a propeller that moved the vehicle forward. The rider's pedalling power was enhanced by the electric motor, allowing the Manta5 to move quickly enough to rise and glide across the water on its front and rear hydrofoils.

SL3 model


The second-generation model, SL3, operates in the same way, but also has a pedal-free throttle mode. This feature is aimed to position SL3 as a quiet, environmentally friendly alternative to more traditional jet skis/personal watercraft.

Due to its throttle-only mode, the SL3 can silently power up and rise to the surface with just one finger on the trigger. What's more, - like all foiling products, when riders stop moving, the e-bike will lower itself until the chassis is on the surface of the water; when stationary, they can remain on the saddle semi-submerged.
Manta5 describes it like that: “When it’s time to launch, kick in the throttle or pedal to take off. Very similar to aircraft, the hydrofoil ‘wings’ begin to lift you up higher out of the water the faster you go”.

The company also promises that learning to ride the new model will be much easier than the previous XE-1. It is believed that the rider will be able to fly above the water after 40-45 minutes of training (instead of 4 hours, as before).

Three available options


The second generation of the hydrofoil comes in three variants available at different price points - SL3, SL3+ and SL3 Pro. Top speed for all three models is 20 km/h (12 mph) (pedal or throttle), and the rated cruising speed is 11 km/h (7 mph). The hydrofoil bikes weigh 38.8kg/85lb (SL3), 40.3kg/88lb (SL3+) and 37.4kg/81lb (SL3 Pro). The SL3 Pro comes with a performance-oriented carbon fibre rear foil that can be swapped out for a more beginner-friendly aluminium foil when the rider masters their skills.

The base SL3 model has an engine powered by a 52V/600Wh lithium-ion battery. On a single four-hour charge this battery should provide three hours of runtime on pedal assist mode with the lowest amount of assist selected - there 10 to choose from. The SL3+ and SL3 Pro models are equipped with a 1000Wh battery that is said to last for approximately 4.5 hours.

The price for the base SL3 model is around 9900 euro (November 2023).
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