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.
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 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.
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.
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|
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|
|Torque (claimed)||125.4 lb-ft|
|Engine Type||Permanent magnet AC, oil-cooled|
|Battery Capacity||11.7 kWH|
|Range (claimed)||124 in ECO mode|
|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|
|Curb Weight||615 lbs|
|Charge Time||Standard outlet: 3.5 hours 0-100%
Quick Charge: 30 min 0-85%
|Colors||Electric Green, Dark Blue|