KBO Tornado Hands-On Review: A Sturdy Commuter

4.0 rating

The KBO Tornado is a prime example of an electric bike that combines power, versatility, and innovative features to provide an exceptional riding experience. This comprehensive review will delve into its impressive specifications, unique characteristics, and overall performance, leaving no stone unturned.

Overview at a Glance

The KBO Tornado electric bicycle boasts many impressive features, making it a standout choice in the e-bike market. 

Motor750W Rear hub motor
Range30-45 Miles (depending on assist mode)
Battery48v 14Ah
Speeds1×6 speeds
Max Speed20 mph
Payload Capacity350 lbs
Weight73 lbs
Tires26″ x 4″
BrakesMechanical disc brakes (160mm rotor)

With its 750w hub motor and 48v 14Ah battery, this bike delivers powerful performance and can easily conquer various terrains. Including a 6-speed drivetrain ensures versatility, allowing riders to adapt to different riding conditions. 

Its long-range capability of approximately 45 miles makes it ideal for longer commutes or extended adventures.

Electric bikes built for everything and priced for everyone. Shop Rad Power Bikes, America's #1 electric bike brand. Get out. Go further. Ride Rad.

In terms of design and build quality, the KBO Tornado stands out with its rugged appearance and 26″ x 4″ fat tires. These tires provide a visually appealing aesthetic and enhance stability, traction, and comfort across various surfaces. 

With a payload capacity of 350 lbs, this electric bicycle can accommodate riders of different sizes and carry additional cargo, making it suitable for recreational and practical commuting. The bike’s removable rear rack and fenders add convenience and functionality, enabling secure storage of personal belongings and protection from splashes on wet roads. 

KBO Tornado

A high-quality, durable bike that can handle rough terrain and provide an extra boost when needed. In that case, the All-Terrain Electric Bike KBO Tornado is worth considering.

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Furthermore, the Tornado’s unique features, such as the USB charging port integrated into the battery and the lockable front suspension, add practicality and customization options to enhance the overall riding experience.

The Bike: 5/5

Overall, the KBO Tornado exceeded my expectations. As soon as I unboxed the bike, I knew it would become a permanent part of my stable of bikes. 

This bike has a host of great features that impressed me. From the high build quality to the comfortable ride, the KBO Tornado was everything I could want from an electric bike. 

As of writing, the KBO Tornado has a listed price of $1,499 but is currently on sale for $1,199. The bike is a good deal at full price and gets even better on sale. 

Battery: 5/5

The Tornado boasts a 48v 14Ah battery, which provides ample energy for your rides. With a range of approximately 45 miles, this electric bike can handle longer commutes and extended adventures without worrying about running out of battery power. 

Income School

The battery is easily removable, allowing for convenient charging on and off the bike. Recharging is typically around 4-6 hours, ensuring you can quickly return on the road.

The battery on this bike also has a unique feature: a handy USB charging port that allows you to charge any USB-powered device. This is an excellent option if you find your phone low on juice while on the bike or if you have something like a Bluetooth speaker you forgot to charge before your outing. 

Another excellent feature is the ease of removing and charging the battery. The battery on this bike is removable, but it is recessed in the frame. This gives you the convenience of a removable battery while changing the appearance of the bike to separate itself from other e-Bikes that have a massive battery pack sticking off the frame. 

Motor: 4/5

One of the defining features of the KBO Tornado is its impressive power and performance. Equipped with a 750w hub motor, this electric bicycle significantly boosts your riding experience. The motor is in the rear wheel hub, providing direct power transfer and a balanced weight distribution. 

This setup ensures smooth acceleration and reliable performance, allowing you to tackle anything in front of you effortlessly. Like most electric bikes in this price category, the KBO Tornado has a hub motor mounted on the rear wheel

KBO claims a max speed of 20mph which was easy for me to get up to at all levels of pedal assist and using throttle only. The motor applies power successively, which ensures a very smooth acceleration. Accelerating from a stop is relatively slow, which is my only detractor about the motor. 

The 750w hub motor is quiet in its operation. While riding, I could barely hear it. The wide tires made more noise as they cruised over the pavement. 

Build Quality: 5/5

I always inspect the frame of every bike that comes through my hands. When I first unboxed the KBO Tornado, one word came to mind: “Sturdy.”

Every component on the bike was installed correctly and securely. I double-checked every bolt and could not find anything to fault the build quality as it came in the box. 

Components: 4/5

This bike has a six-speed rear hub paired with a Shimano derailleur and shifter. This is an entirely reasonable setup for this bike and aligns with what you see among the competition. 

Some bikes in this price range come with an eight-speed rear hub, but adding two extra gears is not missed. I could comfortably ride various terrain and conditions, with the six-speed shifter rarely coming to mind. 

This is helped by the excellent motor application that makes pedaling in any gear effortless. The front shock is probably the weakest link on this bike. It’s a non-branded spring-loaded shock. I was happy to see that you can lock out the shock. My opinion has always been that no shock is better than a cheap shock, as they are prone to fail and do little to improve the ride. 

The mechanical disk brakes also may be a bit lacking, especially with the considerable weight of the bicycle. There is a lot of mass that the brakes need to be able to stop. I am not surprised to see mechanical brakes at this price range, but including hydraulic brakes would elevate this bike to the next level. 

Comfort: 5/5

If I had to rank one aspect of this bike as the most stand-out feature, it would be the comfort of this bike. 

Its design and features contribute to a smooth and comfortable ride. Including 26″ x 4″ fat tires provides enhanced cushioning and shock absorption, minimizing vibrations and bumps encountered along the way. This tire configuration offers increased stability and traction, ensuring a more confident and relaxed ride, even on uneven or challenging terrains.

Bumps along my rides were absorbed nicely by the plush tires, even on some more punishing parts of the trail that would typically rattle my teeth on some of my rough-riding bicycles. 

Overall: 4.5/5

The KBO Tornado electric bicycle has proven to be an exceptional choice in the world of fat-tire e-bikes, earning a well-deserved rating of 4.5 out of 5. Several factors contribute to this high rating. 

Its powerful performance, driven by a 750w hub motor and supported by a 48v 14Ah battery, ensures impressive acceleration and the ability to conquer challenging terrains. The long-range capability of approximately 45 miles also sets it apart, allowing riders to embark on extended adventures or commute with peace of mind.

Another aspect that sets the KBO Tornado apart is its versatile design. Including a 6-speed drivetrain allows riders to adapt to different riding conditions, while the 26″ x 4″ fat tires provide enhanced stability, traction, and cushioning. 

The bike’s robust build quality, with a payload capacity of 350 lbs, ensures its durability and suitability for riders of various sizes and cargo needs. The removable rear rack and fenders add convenience, enabling secure storage and protection from splashes.

In terms of comfort, the KBO Tornado excels with its thoughtful features. The lockable front suspension allows riders to customize the level of suspension firmness or softness, ensuring a smoother and more comfortable ride, regardless of the terrain. 

The 5 levels of pedal assist offer a range of electric assistance options, catering to individual preferences and allowing riders to choose the desired level of effort. These features contribute to an enjoyable and personalized riding experience.

While the KBO Tornado electric bicycle is a remarkable choice, it falls short of a perfect rating due to minor considerations. 

Some riders may find the bike’s weight of 73 lbs a bit cumbersome, particularly when maneuvering or carrying it upstairs. Additionally, although mechanical disc brakes offer reliable stopping power, riders accustomed to hydraulic disc brakes may notice a slight difference in responsiveness.

Overall, with its powerful performance, versatile design, and comfort-enhancing features, the KBO Tornado electric bicycle deserves a rating of 4.5 out of 5. It is an exceptional choice for riders seeking a high-quality, reliable, and enjoyable electric bike experience.

Detailed hands-on review

Ahead, I will break down my detailed thoughts on the bike, including what I liked about it, where I think it can be improved upon, and who I think this bike is a good fit for. 

Unboxing and Assembly

The bike was delivered in a monster of a box. Getting into the house by myself was a feat. The bike weighs 73 lbs, and the shipping box had a gross weight just north of 90 lbs. It was also a huge box and hard to maneuver.

Like with other KBO bikes I’ve opened up, the Tornado was excellently packaged and well-protected, so I had no concerns that the box’s contents were undamaged. 

Assembling the bike was super easy as well. KBO includes a booklet that walks you through what you need to do to get the bike up and running. The steps to get the bike ready to ride are little more than attaching the handlebars and the front wheel. The rear wheel, rack, and rear fender all come attached. 

The bike came with a multi-tool which I could use to put together about 90% of the assembly. I had to run to the garage to get a wrench, but that’s it. The bike’s battery was mostly charged out of the box. So after spending only about 30 minutes assembling the bike, I took it out on an inaugural ride. 

First Ride Impressions

As I mentioned, I got the bike assembled and out the door on a test ride in about half an hour. The weather here has been perfect for riding so I invited a couple of friends along and we went on our bikes for a couple of hours. 

I am pleased to say the KBO Tornado really made an impression on my friends. They all were in awe of its imposing presence and were surprised that I could keep it going at a quick 20mph for our street riding. 

Once we got to some more congested parts of the trail near downtown, the bike handled impressively at low speeds. Here is where I appreciate the way the bike handles its power delivery. As I mentioned earlier, it has a successive delivery of power, which means it rolls on smoothly. While using pedal assist and throttle, the bike never felt jerky or hard to control. 

Once I got it back from our ride, I checked everything over meticulously. The chain was lubricated out of the box, all the shifting was spot on, and nothing needed adjusting, as far as I could tell. 

Now that I’ve had some more time to sit with the bike, here are some of the things that stood out to me about the KBO Tornado:

Sturdy looks

As I said above, one word that comes to mind whenever I look at this bike is “sturdy.” From the large wheels to the hefty frame, the bike looks as if it could withstand a nuclear blast. I have the standard step-over structure, which comes in a bluish-grey, a really nice color in person.

The bike is also available as a step-thru frame in both green and black. Functionally they look the same with some minor geometry changes. 

Great gearing setup

This impressed me with the other KBO bikes I have ridden. They have a brilliant setup for gearing the bike. They’ve taken a “less is more” approach and opted for a 1×6 drivetrain.

While riding with the pedal assist on, I found that I would often set it and forget it for most of my ride. I would put it on the smallest rear cog and ride since the pedal assist made starting and stopping even on the most demanding gear a breeze. 

If you look at the competition in the price range, you will see some of them have a 1×8 gearing, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that adding additional gears on this bike would have diminishing returns.

Attention to detail

I especially liked this bike’s attention to small details that KBO made. It comes with front and rear fenders, a removable rack, and lights on the front and rear. These little extras increase the bike’s versatility, making it a stand-out package.

Excellent Ride Quality

The fat tire design, featuring 26″ x 4″ tires, provides increased traction, stability, and the ability to tackle various terrains easily. Whether you’re cruising along urban streets, gliding through sandy beaches, or exploring muddy trails, the KBO Tornado’s design ensures a comfortable and enjoyable ride. I found the bike just ate up imperfections in the road.

Range and Performance

One of the defining features of the KBO Tornado is its impressive power and performance. Equipped with a 750w hub motor, this electric bicycle significantly boosts your riding experience.

The Tornado’s power hub motor is supported by a 48v 14Ah battery, which provides ample energy for your rides. With a range of approximately 45 miles, this electric bike can handle longer commutes and extended adventures without the worry of running out of battery power. 

I could go out for a few hours on my KBO Tornado. I put down around 30 miles of mixed-use between pedal assist and throttle only while putting it through its paces and found that the battery still had plenty of charge left, even as a bigger rider. 


In conclusion, the KBO Tornado is a standout electric bicycle that combines power, versatility, and innovative features to elevate your riding experience. Its robust design, with 26″ x 4″ fat tires and a high payload capacity, ensures stability and durability across various terrains. The 750w hub motor and 48v 14Ah battery provide ample power and range, enabling longer commutes and thrilling adventures.

Including unique features, such as the USB charging port, fat tire fenders, and a rear rack, adds practicality and customization options to the bike. With its impressive specifications, the KBO Tornado is suitable for urban commuting and off-road exploration, providing many riders a versatile and enjoyable riding experience.

Sam Benkoczy

Hi, I'm Sam. I own and maintain 6 e-bikes, 15 regular bikes (road bikes, folding bikes, hybrid bikes, city bikes among others). I learned about bikes from my local bike mechanic as well as from bike maintenance courses. I love being out there in the saddle, and using my bike as a practical means of transportation. You can also find me on my YouTube channel at youtube.com/bikecommuterhero Say hi to me at sam@bikecommuterhero.com.

Recent Content