Wellington, NZ - Generating awareness through word-of-mouth, social media, and key mentions in the press, Wellington-based FTN Motion has sold out of its 100 Founder’s Edition Streetdogs, securing deposits from Early Adopters from all over New Zealand.
As a startup and without a big budget for advertising, co-founders Luke Sinclair, Kendall Bristow and Saskia Thornton had to think creatively about how to spread enough awareness to generate sales. They managed to sell out of their pioneering electric motorbike, (in less than three months), mainly through word-of-mouth, a few appearances at the Wellington Harbourside market, social media and great press.
Sinclair says: ‘We didn't have any money to spend on advertising so we hit the streets and just showed the bike off. It was great to get so much traction without spending any money. People just love the design and there's nothing out there like it!’.
The Early Adopters, who are from all over New Zealand, have been invited to become part of an exclusive group called the Founder’s Club, who will be kept in the loop on the development of the motorbike and business and will have access to priority slots for test drives.
Meanwhile, Sinclair and Bristow have started on their second round of R&D to the Streetdog prototype in their Lyall Bay workshop.
Bristow: ‘One of the main things we have been working on is refining the look of the bike, including improvements on the tank and body and going for an overall more organic feel’.
Amongst other design updates that Early Adopters will see on their bikes is improved seat comfort and riding position, a redesigned electric system, and a wider tyre from a more premium supplier.
On release dates for subsequent editions of the bike, Thornton said: ‘We will release dates later this year, after the production of our Beta units. For now, anyone who is interested can sign up to our waitlist and we’ll notify them once dates are confirmed’.
Notes to Editors
Starting out at a unique time, Luke Sinclair and Kendall Bristow completed the first prototype of their electric moped during the COVID-19 lockdown, proving that something good can come out of the devastating global pandemic. Together with their Amsterdam based co-founder Saskia Thornton, they formed FTN Motion, they’re seeking to change the way New Zealanders and the world commute by creating sleek, timeless electric vehicles rooted in the carefree Kiwi lifestyle.
Luke: ‘8 years ago, Kendall and I set off to walk the length of NZ along the Te Araroa trail. We found that life’s good when you can move at your own pace and on your own terms, without all the noise of the modern world. It was also a real wake up call for us to take a bit more care of this awesome country, and get more proactive about climate change’.
Back in the real world, Luke and Kendall received a shock to the system starting out in their engineering careers in Auckland. Kendall: ‘Like thousands of others we found ourselves wasting hours a day commuting across town in gridlock traffic, pumping out endless clouds of emissions. We started looking for alternatives’.
Meanwhile, Saskia decided to ditch the traffic of Auckland all together and moved to Amsterdam where she fully embraced a life of not owning a car and cycling wherever she went. ‘Life is so much easier and less stressful when your life isn’t revolving around the worries of driving, finding parks, and traffic’. She hopes that by bringing New Zealanders products like FTN Motion they will help motivate the much needed change to kiwi’s current commuting habits.
Different by design
FTN Motion is looking to introduce a new breed of electric mopeds. Their moped has a unique classic motorbike feel paired with purposefully minimalist technology and lay-out, for a stress-free, uncomplicated riding experience that will be loved by commuters and adventurers alike. The battery is easily removable and can charge from any wall socket, and their moped has more storage space (30L) than almost any other similar vehicle. It has a top speed of 50 km/h and can be driven with a car license.
Unique opportunity for customisation
Their bikes also offer a unique opportunity for customisation: the bike’s body is a blank canvas ready for personalisation for customers and
brands. Working together with like-minded New Zealand start-ups and brands, FTN Motion is offering a new way of thinking about what a motorbike can be by turning bikes into stunning works of art while also providing an exciting and fresh marketing opportunity for local businesses. They are currently in negotiations with some of New Zealand’s most iconic brands and renown local and international artists.
Beta Launch sold out
FTN Motion’s initial beta launch quickly sold out, purely by word-of-mouth. Their eyes are now firmly set on a limited Early Adopter launch of 100 bikes which are on sale now, and will be produced by the end of 2021. Co-founder Saskia is based in Amsterdam, and the company is looking beyond Kiwi shores and planning a quick launch into the Netherlands in 2022, where there are massive opportunities in the electric moped and commuting industry.
FTN Motion’s unique Kiwi approach to designing an uncomplicated, stress-free way of commuting will be key to differentiating them in the international market. Early traction has been very positive, with international interest coming in from all corners of the globe.
Powered by electric 3KW hub motor
100 km range
Top speed 50km/hr
62 kg weight
Moped class, ride on car license
About the Founders:
Kendall Bristow is a mechanical engineer with 7 years experience specializing in design for manufacture, machine design & industrial automation. He was the original brains behind the idea of building an electric moped, but was quickly joined by his good mate Luke, at which point they settled on developing a very classic design with lots of storage (something they saw missing in the market).
Luke Sinclair previously worked as a mechanical and design engineer for New Zealand companies, including Methven, designing and developing technology aimed at improving water efficiency in showers and tapware. In 2016 to 2017 he completed a nine month overland trip from India to the UK by motorbike.
Saskia Thornton joined the team shortly after the first prototype was born and brings with her 11 years of developing brands and products on the international stage. She is the original founder of the Mad Millie cheesemaking kits and led the development of the market-disrupting Grainfather brand, which introduced the first affordable at-home electric brewing system to the world. She currently lives in Amsterdam where she’s fully immersed herself in a world of bike and moped culture.