Overlanding E-Bike? Aniioki’s A8 Pro Max Offers A Unique And Useful E-Option

Photo By: William Roberson

E-bikes used to be the hot new tech on the (literal) street, and now that they have had some time to mature, it seems as if they are falling into familiar categories: Commuter rigs, mountain bikes, foldies, cargo carriers, sleek roadies, and fat-tire behemoths. But what about a good e-bike for overlanding? Sure, an electric mountain bike is the easy answer, but I recently came across a unique (and fun) solution in the Aniioki A8 Pro Max. Big, burly, off-road capable but easy to ride, the real magic of the A8 Pro Max is a must-have optional feature Aniioki offers that makes it a great part of an overlanding setup.

Photo by William Roberson

In fact, I’d wager this option becomes more common from e-bike makers as time passes, as it benefits pretty much anyone, not just overlanding enthusiasts. That mystery feature? The Aniioki A8 Pro Max is powered by a huge removable battery that can then be plugged into an optional multi-talented portable voltage inverter that can power a wide variety of essential or fun gear – and we don’t mean just charging up phones or flashlights.

The $399 Aniioki voltage inverter powers up my drone batteries in the field. Photo by William Roberson

The Aniioki A8 Pro Max is a beast of an e-bike, weighing in at 101 pounds. It rolls around on 20-inch wheels sporting 4-inch wide rubber donuts with knobbies for traction. A 1,000-watt motor in the rear hub can pop up to 1,400 Watts of output for short bursts, sending the A8 to 30 mph on throttle alone. Yes, you can pedal it, and there is even a Shimano 7-speed derailleur out back, but it is largely perfunctory. Most riders will twist the right handlebar grip and go, just like on a motorcycle (or scooter). There are five assist power levels, and Level 5 will send you to 30 mph in the flat. The motor also makes 90nm/69 pound-feet of torque so that it can climb a decent grade as well.

There are seven speeds out back and a moto-style twist throttle. Photo by William Roberson

The A8 Pro Max includes full suspension, with a motorcycle-style front fork and twin rear shocks with preload adjustment in case riders want to load it up with cargo or even a passenger. The load limit is a stout 350 pounds. Hydraulic disc brakes gripping 180mm rotors front and rear scrub off speed. A bright LED headlight with a rock guard and an LED tail light mark your spot in traffic – or light the way ahead in the wilderness after dark. A large color LCD screen (below) relays speed, battery level, and other vitals, and there’s a USB port for powering phones or other gear. A standard rear rack will hold regular bicycle panniers; a larger and stronger rack is an option. Large fenders cover each wheel to help keep riders somewhat clean. The A8’s electrical systems are activated and locked wirelessly via a key fob while the battery is released with a physical key. Two of each are included.

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Photo by William Roberson

One-third of the bike’s weight is that monster battery, and it sits in the huge frame spar that connects both ends of the 72-inch long A8. The easily removable battery (it has a handle) can be had in 48 or 52-volt variants, with U.S. bikes getting 48-volt versions while EU buyers have the 52-volt option. Both batteries are massive 60 amp-hour capacities, and Aniioki says riders can roll over 100 miles on a charge using the throttle – and no pedaling.

That’s a typical e-bike battery at the bottom and the massive Aniioki battery above it. Photo by William Roberson

This is not an e-bike anyone will be riding in the Tour de France; it’s much closer to a motorcycle and rides as such. We were surprised to find the Aniioki A8 possesses decent road manners despite the long wheelbase and tallish chopper-style handlebars. It has neutral handling, turns easily, and the full suspension smooths out the ride quite nicely. The bright headlight throws a lot of light down the road – or trail. Off-road, the suspension has to work a bit harder, and it’s a bit underdamped, but it still does a decent job of soaking up the worst bits. It is outmatched in places dedicated mountain bikes or dirt bikes go, so it’s best to stick to at least two-track and forest roads on the A8, but feel free to explore more challenging passages… carefully.

More motorbike than bicycle, the A8 Pro can hit 30mph on throttle. Be sure to wear a helmet when riding. Photo by William Roberson

The huge battery takes up to eight hours to charge, depending on how depleted it is. Once fully juiced, it is a 33-pound box of power that can be used to spin the A8’s wheels – or using the $399 Aniioki Inverter, it can supply 120-volt electricity to devices needing up to 1,000 Watts of power. The versatile inverter includes a connection cable to the battery and, once plugged in, offers two 120-volt AC outlets, two USB-2 type ports, and two USB-C connections. There is also a 12-volt output that uses banana-type plugs for connecting CB, ham, or GMRS radios typically installed in a vehicle. There’s also a focused beam LED flashlight on one side and a soft-light LED panel on the back that can light up a large space. They can be used at the same time. An LCD info panel shows battery level in bars and percent, along with energy usage metrics, including time to empty. The inverter can also connect to solar panel arrays for charging up the battery or supplying power for lower-draw devices like phones, GPS or headlamps.

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The LED headlight has a halo and a rock guard. Photo by William Roberson

After riding the bike, we pulled the battery out of the frame and put the inverter to work on two camping trips. It powered up small electronics, charged drone batteries, and also ran a C-PAP machine and an electric blanket. After a full night of using both devices, the charge had only decreased by a bit more than 15%, which was much less than anticipated. After a whole weekend of use, it still showed a 23% charge remaining. As noted, this is a very large Li-ion battery, on par or larger than some found in Goal Zero Yeti models and other portable power banks.

Having the inverter connected to the battery with a cord was actually convenient as the smaller, lighter rice cooker-sized inverter can sit on a camping tabletop more easily than many heavy power banks. It would be nice if Aniioki were to add a third small flat-panel LED light on the front of the inverter to illuminate a tabletop or work area with the power plugs facing forward. A 12-volt lighter-style powerlet would also be nice, and it seems like it was a consideration at some point but didn’t make the cut.

The seat mount on my bike was odd and non standard. Current production bikes use a standard seat and post. Photo: William Roberson

Knobby 4-inch wide tires have a lot of grip. Fenders are standard. Photo: William Roberson

The inverter has multiple connection options and will accept solar panel inputs. Photo: William Roberson

The big battery disappears into the frame and removes easily for other duties. Photo: William Roberson

3mm thick hydraiulic disc brakes front and rear have good stopping power wet or dry. Photo: William Roberson

The Aniioki A8 Pro Max e-bike is not state-of-the-art, but it proved plenty tough and was great fun to ride on the road and off. We even rode it wide open on multiple long trips to a country store to load up on supplies, and it didn’t flinch in the least. Our review A8 had a somewhat wonky, non-standard seat design that has since been rethought and is now a standard bicycle seat post on current production models. Despite some aggressive riding during our review period, we had no problems with our A8 Pro Max.

What the A8 lacks in style it makes up for in comfort and utility – and price. Aniioki offers the A8 Pro Max in basic form for $1,899 and with the charger and a large rear carrier basket for $2,387, but check their site for possible sales and package deal discounts. And several people did admire its more industrial aesthetic.

A rear rack is standard, and larger ones are options. Photo by William Roberson

Whether you want to blast around the campsite or commute across a city, the long-range Aniioki A8 Pro Max will get you there. And if the power goes out at home or you need some electrical outlets while deep in the wilderness, the huge battery and handy inverter bring both power and light to any situation. It’s a lesson in versatility more e-bike makers should learn – and offer.

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