‘Slip­stream­ing con­serves power’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Road Test -

“The Eva looks fan­tas­tic, but it is heavy. Re­verse gear helps me get its 282kg out of the park­ing space, but it is a strug­gle at low speed. And nerver­ack­ing. As there is no en­gine sound I’m re­ally ten­ta­tive on the throt­tle, es­pe­cially as it has so much torque. It’s a new ex­pe­ri­ence and for the first few miles I can’t get used to the si­lence of the mo­tor and be­ing able to hear noises that are usu­ally masked.

“I’ve se­lected ‘Eco’ mode and trun­dle all the way to Oakham, more than 45 miles into the route. I’m us­ing the high­est re­gen­er­a­tion mode of the four, and try­ing hard not to brake at all, rolling the throt­tle into round­abouts. But in ‘Eco’ the Eva tops out at 56mph, mean­ing I’m slip­stream­ing lor­ries in­stead of over­tak­ing them. It’s good for power con­ser­va­tion, but I ex­pect to see Jon whistling by at 70mph!

“Rid­ing through the bends at Bene­field in ‘Eco’ means max­i­mum cor­ner speed. In the bends, the Eva feels like a heavy sports-tourer, sta­ble and se­cure thanks to its weight, but it rolls into the apex rather than flicks. At one point I push the front a bit too much, which shows how con­fi­dence in­spir­ing it is, but it is far more agile than I ex­pected of a 282kg ma­chine.

“When I come through Oakham I see I’ve got 79% of bat­tery left, so I switch to ‘Ur­ban’ mode for a bit more gusto on the A606 to Mel­ton. I’m mak­ing re­ally good progress and start rid­ing the Eva like a nor­mal bike. At Mel­ton I’ve got 17% of my juice left – enough to get me to the pub – so I don’t back off, which nearly proves to be an er­ror…

“When the bat­tery hits 8% the Eva’s dash starts flash­ing red and the bike’s power is neutered as it goes into limp mode. For the last five miles I’m look­ing in my mir­rors more than ahead and lim­ited to a tor­toise-like 26mph. I’m con­vinced I’ve blown it, and that Jon’s right be­hind me. But I shouldn’t have wor­ried. It’s a win for the Eva.”

Jon: The race back home...

“As both bikes are nowhere near 100% (the Zero on 50%, the Eva 63%) af­ter nearly three hours of charg­ing, we take the short­est route home: 42 miles. On the Zero I leave with the range show­ing less than the dis­tance I need to cover, but rid­ing at 40-50mph with min­i­mal throt­tle open­ings sees me grad­u­ally claw this back. The Eva is also on the limit, but James de­cides to fol­low me and I guess his tac­tic is to blast past us­ing full power for the fi­nal stretch. But some­thing odd hap­pens…

“On the 15 miles of A1 I slip­stream a lorry, a move that sees the Zero’s econ­omy im­prove mas­sively de­spite the high speed. Rather than be on the limit, I’m now well into the pos­i­tive per­cent­ages. But James isn’t slip­stream­ing any­thing, and the Eva is suf­fer­ing. Pulling off the A1 for the last seven miles of back roads I have 17% of bat­tery left. Swap­ping to ‘Sport’ I give it ev­ery­thing and James dis­ap­pears in my mir­rors. The Eva has switched to limp mode again, and he owes me a splen­did meal. He ar­rives 1m 22s be­hind me – so over­all I’ve won the chal­lenge by 18 sec­onds.”

‘I use the high­est re­gen­er­a­tion mode and try not to brake at all’

Nei­ther bike is fully charged af­ter three hours ‘Mag­nan­i­mous’ isn’t in his vo­cab­u­lary

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