Important: This is the review is written when the Lycaon GR was still selling at $599, and was still using LingYi ESC. Lycaon GR is now $399 (OMG), and is using Hobbywing ESC, which means the control now is perfectly smooth and silky.
For something new that piques the interest of electric skateboarders everywhere, we were recently approached to review the Lycaon GR, a newcomer brand in the market.
While we have rejected a few review requests for budget boards as they literally look like cookie-cutter molds of each other, the Lycaon GR caught our attention as it offers a really good battery life without asking a lot in price ($549).
Will it measure up and prove itself worthy? Here’s what we uncovered.
Straight off the bat, the Lycaon GR came in a cleanly packaged double box that served well to protect the board while in transit. The phrase “Helmet when skating [,] Lycaon when getting board” is written on the packaging and at first glance I didn’t understand it — eventually, I understood its pun as board = bored.
Update: As mentioned, Lycaon GR is no longer using Winboard Panther like LingYi ESC. It now using Hobbywing ESC means perfectly smooth acceleration and braking.
In terms of control, the Lycaon GR uses ESC and remote settings that are similar to the ones on the Winboard Panther. I already liked the control on Winboard Panther and it seems that with time, it has been further improved to what we now have on the Lycaon GR.
The one on the Lycaon GR came with 4 speed modes and 4 brake modes; the usual stuff. When I reached out to the Lycaon team, they said they were aiming for a thrilling and punchy ride. “Wild like Lycaon.” Honestly, that description wasn’t accurate at all – and that’s not necessarily a bad result,
hear me out:
On the fastest acceleration mode — H+ mode — the Lycaon GR accelerates abruptly if you pushed on the throttle, resulting in a small jolt and giving you a sensation of being ‘fast’. But it wasn’t. It’s been tested time and time again in drag races that an abrupt jolt during acceleration doesn’t make the board go any faster than it really is but just adds to the sense of thrill.
The H mode on the Lycaon GR is just as smooth as Hobbywing’s and comfortable to ride on. However, it’s fairly noticeable that the board is hurting for torque when you try to accelerate uphill. It happens to the H+ mode too, only that it’s less noticeable.
On the other hand, the L mode and M mode are both pretty tame and gentle. I would go as far as saying that this type of ESC and remote pairing has the easiest control for newbies to try on, as the L mode accelerates so gently that I feel it’s literally kid-safe/kid-proof.
With that being said, most riders might find themselves using exclusively the H mode for relaxed riding and the H+ mode for a little bit more thrill.
Braking comes in 4 modes as well. The lowest brake mode is pretty sufficient for most whereas the highest brake mode is very tight. All in all, they’re all relatively smooth but on the tighter side. In terms of comparison, it’s tighter than your traditional Hobbywing brakes, making it very LingYi ESC-like here.
On the skateboard part of things, the Lycaon GR does a pretty okay job. The 8 ply Canadian maple deck is very similar to the one on the Backfire Galaxy series. It has a subtle concave and rocker to it which I like. It also has a fair amount of flex.
The not so great part about the Lycaon GR is definitely the trucks. The use of generic trucks plus subpar barrel and cones bushing is not a really good combination in my book. The truck is either too loose to be stable or if you tighten it up too much, it becomes difficult to turn.
I eventually relented and put my Orangatang purple nipples on it and it felt much, much better. As expected, this is a value for money product and besides the bushing, the other smaller parts such as the bearing, riser, and wheels are not top-quality, to say the least.
The not-soft 90mm wheels, rigid riser, and hub motor make the Lycaon GR a little under average in vibration handling, so we’ll award it a B- or C+ here really.
It appears to be that numbers is what the Lycaon GR tries to be good at.
Hands down, the biggest highlight of the Lycaon GR would be the range. It has a pack of 10S3P (270wh) batteries. It’s marketed to have a range of 23miles (37km), which is obviously an overstatement unless you are planning to ride on M mode throughout.
For little ol’ 145lbs (66kg) me, it gave me a ride of 19.5miles (31.5km) in H and H+ mode before completely draining the battery, which is impressive. The voltage sag also sets in pretty late.
On top speed, I’m able to hit around 25mph (40kmh) which is pretty standard for e-skates nowadays. Not so sure if 26mph can be achieved though but it never fails to try.
It turns out that the Lycaon GR is everything we expected it to be: a decent board with a very big battery pack. However, there are a few things that you have to be completely sure and okay with before deciding to purchase the Lycaon GR.
1) You have to be okay with the fact that Lycaon is a pretty new company with no previous track record, and the performance of their post-sale service is pretty unknown. From my few interactions with them, they seem like good people though so there’s that.
2) Although they offer free shipping to most countries, Lycaon doesn’t cover custom duty so it’s up to you to take the risk of paying extra for customs.
(They now have warehouse in US, so no shipping or custom issue for US buyers.)
If you are interested in buying a Lycaon board, be sure to check out our affiliated discount code here. It will help you get a small monetary discount and helps us out too. And you will be tagged as an Electric Skateboard HQ customer and probably be treated better. =)