‘Electric bike left me feel­ing flat’

Liam takes the pres­ti­gious electric mo­tor­cy­cle on a 300-mile round trip

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

As soon as the En­er­gica be­came available I jumped at the chance to get to know it for a week. I love sci-fi and it doesn’t get much more spaceage than an electric mo­tor­cy­cle that sounds like a Star Wars speeder. After a cou­ple of morn­ings com­mut­ing, the time had come to take the Eva a lit­tle fur­ther afield.

In Eco mode En­er­gica claim a range of 124 miles. I wanted to test that, so I de­cided to visit my mother in sunny York­shire, 123 miles away. Perfect, right? Nope. De­spite hav­ing a full charge, the range dis­play on the dash never went any­where near 100 miles, it tended to hover around 60, which meant stick­ing to 52mph (the limit in Eco mode), and stop­ping ev­ery 40-50 miles to charge up for 30 min­utes.

And there’s one other small detail that re­sulted in a ter­ri­fy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Us­ing the Zap-map app on my phone I’d fig­ured out where my last stop be­fore my mother’s was, and had enough charge to get there with 15 miles to spare. But it turns out if you run the bat­tery too low the bike goes into limp-home mode, and lim­its top speed to 30mph. This hap­pened just two miles be­fore my planned stop... in the mid­dle lane of the M1... while over­tak­ing a lorry. Not ideal and ac­tu­ally quite dan­ger­ous.

Thank­fully, on my re­turn jour­ney, I was able to make it back with­out an un­planned stint at 30mph, and on my fi­nal charg­ing stop at Le­ices­ter For­est East South­bound the dis­played range jumped to 109 miles. Fan­tas­tic! I did the ob­vi­ous thing and put it straight into Sport mode and whizzed off into the night for all of five miles be­fore the range plum­meted to 55 miles. Bug­ger, Eco mode it is.

So are electric bikes the fu­ture? Yes, prob­a­bly. But they are exactly that, the fu­ture. The tech­nol­ogy isn’t quite there yet to re­place tra­di­tional mo­tor­cy­cles, and nei­ther is the in­fra­struc­ture when it comes to the charg­ing sta­tions, but it’s not far off, and the in­stant hit of torque you get from an electric mo­tor is un­par­al­leled.

‘If you run low the bike goes into limphome mode, not ideal on the M1’

Electric bikes may be the fu­ture but that fu­ture isn’t quite here

91% charged. Best leave it on a bit longer

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