The Cobra’s cockpit is good, sporting riser bars, an LCD display and a comfortable ergonomic saddle. But I do have some notes on the grips and throttle that I think are worth pointing out, especially as Himiway has made a really good shot at gearing this bike towards a more off-road audience.
The faux leather grips are not up to snuff for off-road riding. They have become fairly standard issue in the affordable electric fat bike category and do have some aesthetic appeal, but they tend to spin on the bar and the faux leather material is not grippy. The Cobra would do well from a set of lock-on rubber mountain bike grips, which luckily are easily attainable and can be installed in your garage in about ten minutes.
My other gripe with the cockpit is the twist-style throttle. These things work fine for road-going e-bikes, but it’s not the best option for an off-road e-bike. The issue is that the throttle is effectively part of your right-hand grip, meaning that if you hit an unexpected bump and your wrist slips, you could give the bike a whole lot of power in a situation you may not want to. A thumb throttle that’s off the grip would suit the Cobra better, but again this is a change you can fairly easily make in your garage.
Now enough of my complaints and on to one of the bike’s strongest suits: Its handling.
I cannot overstate how much the Cobra outperformed my expectations in the handling department, especially off-road. Its full-suspension design is shockingly functional and the geometry stable at high speeds in unpredictable terrain. Though it stops short of qualifying as an eMTB, the Cobra is certainly inspired by modern eMTB geometry. The headtube is slack, the seat tube angle steep and the wheelbase long. At low speeds, this gives the bike a slightly slow steering and floppy ride characteristic that reminds me a lot of my long travel enduro bike, but open it up on double track and the bike feels right at home.
At 88 lbs and with a seriously long wheelbase and tall standover height, the Cobra is a very large bike. Compared to some other electric fat bikes in its class, the Cobra’s wheelbase is a full 4 inches to 6 inches longer than the Rad Power Bikes RadRover 6 Plus or Aventon Aventure. Its 32-inch standover height is also several inches taller than both of those bikes. It’s a large enough e-bike that I’d offer a word of caution to smaller or more inexperienced riders thinking of getting one; on more than one occasion I had a hard time keeping the bike upright at low speeds and in super tight u-turns. But if you’re taller and feel confident handling a bike like that, the Cobra absolutely will not disappoint.
It’s a destroyer of doubletrack and fire road that had no trouble flying through g-outs and over variable terrain at high speeds. Though the Himiway and other off-road e-bikes are a far departure from dirt bikes, the Cobra thrives in the same terrain; in sandy wash bottoms, rough 4×4 road and backcountry fire road. Frankly, it’s a whole ton of fun.
But while Himiway has done an impressive job building an off-road capable full suspension electric fat bike, do note that this variation of the Cobra is still technically an affordable model. The suspension on this bike is cheap, and still in line with the setups we see on more pavement-oriented electric fat bikes. The fork is unbranded and the rear shock is from EXA Form, a brand not known for building high-end suspension systems. I can attest that they work off-road, but you’re not going to see the performance (and lifespan) you’d expect from more expensive suspension systems like the one spec’d on this bike’s more expensive big brother, the Cobra Pro.