2016 Energica Eva

Editor Score: 79.75%
Engine 18.5/20
Suspension/Handling 11.0/15
Transmission/Clutch 10.0/10
Brakes 8.0/10
Instruments/Controls4.5/5
Ergonomics/Comfort 8.25/10
Appearance/Quality 8.0/10
Desirability 6.5/10
Value 5.0/10
Overall Score79.75/100

There’s no disputing the Energica Eva is fast. With a claimed torque output of 125.4 lb-ft., Energica’s Eva makes the mighty KTM Super Duke R seem anemic (95.7 lb-ft. at 8,100 rpm). A rider twisting the Eva’s throttle to its stop finds himself on the other side of a wrinkle in time in a gearchange-less rush of quiet acceleration. Repeated often it could reverse the aging process. Or not, but it’s fun to try.

Our 2014 bike of the year, the Super Duke R, substantially bests the Eva’s horsepower (154 to 95), so, maybe it’s more of a performance wash between the two. That is, until factoring in the Eva’s 617-pound curb weight, and $34,500 MSRP makes a punchline of any comparative analysis.

Maybe it’s unfair to measure an alternatively powered motorcycle with only a few years of development to an ICE bike with 100+ years of R&D. Let’s take a look at another expensive electric exotic, Canada’s Lito Sora. The Sora of a couple years ago retailed for $48,500 when reviewed. That price tag has swelled to $77k, making the Eva seem remarkably affordable. The Sora’s claimed 66.4 lb-ft of torque is unremarkable, but at 573 pounds the Sora under-weighs the Eva by 44 pounds.

2015 Energica Ego First Ride

EiC Kevin Duke has twice ridden Eva’s alternate superbike personality, the Ego (2015 Energica Ego First Ride, Second-Ride). “The Ego’s allure is sure to be strong among those with deep pockets and extra motorcycles in their garage, but the Italian superbike is out of practical reach for the proletariat,” the Chief surmised in his Second Ride Review. A sentiment equally applied to the Eva.

The Eva’s full-color display is bright, legible, and contains a lot of information on various screens. Current screen display provides ride modes on the left side, and battery regen on the right. Each are easily selectable on the fly.

The Eva’s full-color display is bright, legible, and contains a lot of information on various screens. Current screen display provides ride modes on the left side, and battery regen on the right. Each are easily selectable on the fly.

The Eva and Ego share the same gene pool, retail price, and weight. No explanation was given as to why the Eva comes with less performance – 95 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque vs the Ego’s 136 hp and 144 lb-ft. of torque – for the same MSRP. Doesn’t seem fair. Too bad for Energica not realizing the Tuono, Super Duke R and S1000RR have dispelled the notion that performance junkies desire less power in their naked bikes.

A brief outing on the Eva reveals a comfier riding position compared to the Ego, by virtue of superbike bars in lieu of clip-ons. Reaching the bars is a bit of a stretch, but not outside the realm of reasonable. En route to the canyon road I notice an unsettled front end that never conveyed the type of assurance necessary for pushing hard through a tight series of switchbacks. Weight is, of course, a factor, but Duke never mentioned any particular handling issues during his ride aboard the Ego.

A linkageless Bitubo shock has preload and rebound adjustments (no compression for $34k?). The Marzocchi fork is fully adjustable.

A linkageless Bitubo shock has preload and rebound adjustments (no compression for $34k?). The Marzocchi fork is fully adjustable.

Too-soft suspension settings contributed to the Eva’s front-end ills. A few stiffening clicks to the Marzocchi fork, and an increase in rebound damping on the Bitubo shock, followed by back-to-back rides aboard the Eva and Ego confirmed things were progressing in the right direction. But time didn’t allow for a more thorough follow-up.

2016 Zero FXS First Ride Review

Throttle response felt very natural regardless of ride mode selection. Turning off the regen allows the Eva to free-wheel into corners like a 2-stroker – and with 615 pounds of bike and 180 pounds of rider, that’s 795 pounds of rolling momentum!

Throttle response felt very natural regardless of ride mode selection. Turning off the regen allows the Eva to free-wheel into corners like a 2-stroker – and with 615 pounds of bike and 180 pounds of rider, that’s 795 pounds of rolling momentum!

Back at the quick-charge station I noticed the fork of the Ego riding lower in the triple clamps, compared to the Eva, and Energica confirmed they had customized the settings with a 4mm to 5mm difference between the two bikes. Factor in a fore/aft weight balance of 53/47 for the Eva and 54/46 for the Ego, and less weight on the front of the Eva due to rider positioning because of the handlebar placement, and a few factors are in play to explain the uncomfortable-feeling front end. Only more time with the Eva will determine the culprit and solution.

During our brief ride we did experience a complete bike shut down. Hitting a bump under power, the rear wheel bounced enough to lose contact with the pavement. The result was a complete loss of power and a warning display on the gauge. Keying the Eva off and on rebooted the system without drama, but the event went unexplained by Energica staff. Possibly a failsafe reaction to an over-sensitive sensor?

Otherwise, the Eva performed well zipping around Santa Monica traffic, using the “High” regen setting for braking purposes. The (nearly) silent rush of acceleration only disrupted by the occasional slapping of chain against swingarm. Like a few other electric models we’ve tested, the Eva and Ego are devoid of parking brakes, which – more often than you’d think – makes parking more precarious than it should. Energica says this will be rectified. The Eva is outfitted with Reverse, helping lessen the task of slow maneuvering.

2016 Energica Eva
+ Highs

  • Power
  • Silent running
  • Minimal maintenance
– Sighs

  • Weight
  • Range
  • Price
The Eva is available in Electric Green and Dark Blue (pictured). The soft saddlebags are accessory items as are other items such as Öhlins suspension, OZ aluminum forged wheels, and DC fast charge.

The Eva is available in Electric Green and Dark Blue (pictured). The soft saddlebags are accessory items as are other items such as Öhlins suspension, OZ aluminum forged wheels, and DC fast charge.

The Energica Eva certainly helps progress the performance of the fledgling electric motorcycle industry. Attractive Italian styling in an honest-to-goodness motorcycle chassis outfitted with industry standard components certainly helps Energica’s cause. However, the Eva suffers the same three detriments of all electric two-wheelers: price, range, weight. For the progressive motorcyclist able to afford the first and overlook the other two, the Eva, or the Ego, is a legitimate alternative to dino-powered ICE bikes, from an established and financially-sound manufacturer.

2016 Energica Eva
MSRP $34,500
Horsepower (claimed) 95
Torque (claimed) 125.4 lb-ft
Engine Type Permanent magnet AC, oil-cooled
Battery Capacity 11.7 kWH
Range (claimed) 124 in ECO mode
Final Drive Chain
Frame Tubular steel trellis
Front Suspension 43mm Marzocchi fully adjustable
Rear Suspension Bitubo shock adjustable preload and rebound
Front Brakes 4-piston Brembo
Rear Brakes 2-piston Brembo
Front Tire 120/70 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II
Rear Tire 180/55 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II
Seat Height 31.3 in
Wheelbase 57.7 in
Rake/Trail 24.0°/3.9 in
Curb Weight 615 lbs
Charge Time Standard outlet: 3.5 hours 0-100%
Quick Charge: 30 min 0-85%
Colors Electric Green, Dark Blue

 

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  • John B.

    When I look at an electric motorcycle I see components (e.g., seats, clip-ons, brakes, wheels, suspension, lights, tires, etc.) that have been around for a long time.

    What makes e-bikes so expensive and heavy?

    • john phyyt

      Perhaps it comes down to sourcing components in batches of 10. We live in an ultra high volume environment.
      Heavy ; well when the energy density question is solved ( it isn’t yet , don’t let anyone tell you otherwise).
      Cutting edge: is conventional submarines and when you hear of a breakthrough which nukes the nukes. you will know the time has come to wave bye bye to ICE stocks.. Close …. but how close is anyones guess.

      • john phyyt

        I know this isn’t the forum: But because others have often mentioned weapons. If you can get a very dense ,light, power source. Rail guns and lazers may come to the people.

        • Gabriel Owens

          Wtf?

      • John B.

        I’m not convinced motorcycles have a future beyond the track once autonomous vehicles become the norm….. I’m totally down for a nuclear powered motorcycle, but I don’t see how that could become a reality.

        • fzrider

          Autonomous motorcycles will be part of the mix. We will all be able to carve mountain roads like incredibly skilled riders. We may not know how they work (who cares) but when we tell it to go fast…

    • Kevin Duke

      Batteries and batteries…

  • TheMarvelous1310

    For that price, I’d rather have something much more… Primitive. https://i.ytimg.com/vi/A9CLf4ftox8/maxresdefault.jpg

    • SRMark

      And the sound of a Motus! Damn.

  • JMDonald

    Until the weight range and cost problems are solved I don’t see there ever being much of a market. Unless the government allows us electrics only.

    • Jason

      I see a market for commuter bikes intended to be used in metro areas. The USA doesn’t have much of a market for that type of motorcycle but other parts of the world do.

      • JMDonald

        I would like to see some real world market data. Why would anyone pay a premium for an electric bike even if they don’t care about weight or range? Unless of course they think they are saving the planet.

        • Jason

          Convenience: No need find a gas station and greatly reduced maintenance. As to the price premium, that is quickly dropping.

          I drove an EV for the first time this week. My company got some for employees to use and they allow us to take them home on nights and weekends. It was a very positive experience and has made me consider an EV went it comes time to replace my current commuter car.

          As to market data, I don’t have any. I do know that 20 million ebikes were sold in China last year. (electrified bicycles not motorcycles) I would expect some of those owners might want to jump up a notch on the transportation scale and might consider a small electric motorcycle. (The equivalent of the 50-110cc bikes that dominate sales in most of the world)

          • JMDonald

            Without subsidy I doubt very many ebikes would be sold at all. That money comes from taxation. Why are we subsidizing these companies? I looked at the Zero website to try and identify cost of ownership or advantage. The graphic they use highlights a break even point at a certain mileage without listing that number. Any real costs associated with these machines are obfuscated. How much does it cost to charge one in dollars? That data would be a good indicator of superiority over a gasoline version but it is no where to be found. I agree that as a daily commuter over short distances this is an option. Let each individual who buys an electric justify it any way they want. Subsidy rears its ugly head when a product or service cannot compete in the marketplace. Unless battery technology improves exponentially this product will die. Unfortunately it will take all of the subsidy money with it when it goes. Same with the electric car. If someone wants one good for them. It’s a dead horse. We should quit beating it. 20 million ebikes in China means nothing. Ride Safe.

          • john burns

            Subsidy bad, okay, but I’d rather see mine go to Zero than Exxon Mobil. Putting bright minds to work and laying groundwork for the future. Also thanks to the current tax structure in the US, there are a shedload of people, many of them on the West Coast, for whom money is not a limiting factor and who just want to be Green. I won’t get into the debate about whether electrics really are or not.

          • JMDonald

            I’d prefer no one get a subsidy. The oil companies do not receive subsidies. Reducing their income via legitimate business deductions is not a subsidy. If someone wants to buy an electric motorcycle for any reason I am fine with. If that’s what they want great good for them. Putting bight minds to work to lay the groundwork for the future is not the job of government. Remember Solyndra? If a technology is worth developing the private sector will gladly make the investment. Free Enterprise is a wonderful thing. Crony capitalism is not. Subsidies are crony capitalism. The Government is incompetent and has no business trying to pick winners and losers. Being green is in the eye of the beholder. Ask Leonardo Dicaprio he rationalizes it better than anyone. Being green or not is a non issue to me. Let them believe whatever they want. As long as they pay for their delusions themselves I couldn’t care less. I’m not sure what you mean about the tax structure but if we insist on an income tax everyone should pay. No more than 10%. Anything more is wasted on bad decisions and pie in the sky progressive black holes.

          • John B.

            I agree with many points you made, and oppose government subsidies for electric motorcycles. Though not technically subsidies, the oil industry receives some amazing government tax incentives. Specifically, the depletion allowance renders 20% of oil and gas production tax free. In addition, tax law allows those who invest in what becomes a dry hole to deduct their entire loss from their taxable income. These two tax incentives, among others, are a major selling point when marketing oil and gas investments, and dwarf E-vehicle subsidies. Otherwise, I agree our government is an out-of-control and feckless disaster.

          • Jason

            You and I are talking about completely different markets and products. You are talking about very expensive motorcycles sold in developed countries that sell for prices that the majority of the world’s population will never earn in their lifetime. That is a tiny fraction of the world’s motorcycle market.

            I’m talking about the massive global market that dominates motorcycle sales where a 125cc bike is big and 50cc bikes rule. Places where motorcycles are basic transportation not weekend toys. That is the market where electrics will grow. They will compete against motorcycles that top out at about 50 mph and require constant maintenance to stay on the road.

            As to Zero. The cost to recharge is listed in their spec sheet for each bike. It works out to about 1.5 cents per mile (Using the steady 55 mph range)

          • JMDonald

            I specifically referenced Emotorcycles vs Ebikes. What Emotorcycle are you planning to buy? Or do you already own one?

          • Jason

            You are still missing my point. The future of electric motorcycles will not be determined by what people in the USA buy. You are fixated on the market in the USA which is a tiny fraction of the global motorcycle market. For the majority of motorcyclists (in the world) cost of ownership is the most important factor in their purchase decision.

          • JMDonald

            The article is about a 35 thousand dollar exotic electric motorcycle but I get your point. Got your point. The future of electric motorcycles will be determined by what people buy outside the USA. You are fixated on the market outside the USA which is a huge part of the global motorcycle market. For a majority of of motorcyclists ( in the World ) the cost of ownership is the most important factor in their purchase decision.

    • john burns

      thanks Obama!

      • JMDonald

        Are we thanking him for his unconstitutional executive orders or just anything we don’t like in general?

  • John B.

    This WSJ article summarizes Tesla’s outsized government subsidies and tax credits, and its negative net environmental impact. Crony capitalism at its worst.

    http://tinyurl.com/gqny23s