Los Angeles was already a little rough around the edges; it didn’t need a years-long pandemic. But despite ourselves, the lockdown looked good on us. We were more polite and patient, even when the streets weren’t so pretty. Delivery drivers stripped their latex gloves into gutters, and paper face masks blew like tumbleweeds down almost empty streets.
The Quarantine Dream Machine
And in that weird lockdown world, my riding options dwindled to just one machine—the Oset 24.0 Racing. One simple little motorcycle to keep my mind and reflexes sharp, and my legs from atrophying into pale, pliable pipe cleaners. It takes something special to keep your blood moving like that.
The Oset has what it takes. Part bicycle, part trials machine, it weighs a little over 100 pounds. And it’s pretty. Its spindly red trellis frame is made of steel, like an old Ducati—dense, yet lanky, with its front end lifted high by an adjustable gold anodized downhill fork. Plastic covers hide a 20 Ah, 48-volt lithium battery, sitting low in the frame and spinning a powerful electric motor the size of a soup can. Riding hard, it has two hours of endurance, enough to outlast me. It charges in hours using standard household current. The Oset is elegant in both design and intent.
That intent isn’t trials competition, where purpose-built 300cc four-strokes dominate. It’s something more playful and accessible. It’s teaching the art of creating problems for yourself out of stacked cinder blocks, or noticing tree roots growing up through the concrete in your neighborhood so you come back to them and practice your balance. The freedom of tossing the bike into the back of a small SUV or a station wagon and driving to a nearby rock pile or river bottom. The intent of the Oset is making riding so accessible you don’t have an excuse not to.
Three knobs nestled under a rubber cover control the Oset’s speed, power, and response, making it easy to hobble the 24.0 Racing. You can rein it down to walking speed, neuter its wheelie-friendly torque, and make the clutchless Oset a dream for coaching new riders on off-road riding basics like balance and line selection. Or crank up the dials and teach yourself throttle control. Or how to bend wheelies into little floaters, keeping your body working over the machine and making it more accurate and effective. It’s as potent a training tool as it is a toy.
An Oset in the garage asks a big question of its rider: “How much do you love riding?” Would you practice clanking the bash plate over logs in the backyard after putting the kids to bed? Would you get up early for a workout and tug on your boots to practice double blips in the alley instead of lacing-up your running shoes? The Oset opens the door to riding whenever, wherever. Even in the middle of the city. It’s a perfect bike for a weird world.
Oset 24.0 Racing