For more information about Energica products visit www.energicasuperbike.com
When looking at the electric motorcycling landscape, Energica may seem a relative upstart for American enthusiasts, many of which are more accustomed to e-bike manufacturers like Zero, Brammo, Lightning or Mission – all of whom originated in the United States. The Energica story is different. Based in Modena, Italy, only a stone’s throw away from some of the most legendary Italian marques, its proximity to America might seem far removed, but the company’s knowledge of fast and powerful vehicles is not. As E-i-C Duke reminds us, from his Energica Ego First Ride:
“The new Energica brand is an offshoot of CRP (Cevolini Rapid Prototyping) Group, a relatively obscure company unless you’re in the business of Formula One where several top teams are regular customers of CRP. CRP specializes in working with exotic materials, with a high-tech CNC-machining enterprise and a facility that performs bleeding-edge 3-D printing using a laser-sintering process and its proprietary Windform materials. CRP’s 40 years in motorsport is now being augmented by CRP USA, which is based in Mooresville, North Carolina, in the heart of NASCAR country, to serve its customers.”
It’s this rich history at the highest levels of motorsport that influences Energica and its two models: the Ego and Eva, the latter recently unveiled at EICMA 2014. Starting with the Ego, this fully faired electric sportbike packs a healthy 134 hp, and an even more stunning 144 lb-ft of torque from its oil-cooled, permanent magnet AC motor. That power is harnessed by a Vehicle Control Unit (VCU) that, among its bevy of other duties, monitors throttle position 100 times per second in order to deliver precise power application.
Despite its nearly 600-lb curb weight, Energica says the Ego will hit 62 mph (100 kph) in under three seconds, and reach a speed-governed maximum velocity of 150 mph. That’s fast no matter what propulsion method you prefer. The lithium-polymer battery, and its 11.7 kWh nominal capacity, accounts for much of that weight. It’s wedged inside a steel trellis frame, with a fully adjustable Marzocchi 43mm inverted fork mated to a Bitubo shock tunable for only preload and rebound adjustments.
Its mechanical bits are no doubt impressive, but step up to the Ego 45 and receive a higher level of performance. You’ll know you’re looking at an Ego 45, as the first 45 Egos to be manufactured will carry a numbered badge on the faux gas tank delineating them as such. Beyond the plaque, however, Ego 45 models up their game with Ohlins suspension at both ends, OZ forged aluminum wheels and a 20-kw fast charger. Further, the 45 receives electronic upgrades over the base model, including GPS integration, Bluetooth connectivity and a smartphone app. Lastly, carbon fiber bodywork replaces the plastic pieces on the standard Ego, cutting weight and looking trick at the same time. U.S. pricing for the 2015 Ego has been set at $34,000, while the special Ego 45 models will be precisely twice as expensive when they make their debut, ringing-in at $68,000.
Basically a naked version of the Ego, Energica’s newest model, the Eva, was recently unveiled to the world’s motorcycling press at EICMA 2014. Taking a page from gas bike manufacturers, who strip plastics off their sportbikes and call them streetfighters, the Eva achieves the same thing in the electric world. Based on the same platform as the Ego, the Eva does without the bulk of the front fairings, keeps a similarly-styled dual projector beam front headlight arrangement, and adds tapered handlebars for more street comfort. Otherwise, the guts of the Eva – motor, controller, batteries, etc. – are identical.
MO’s E-i-C, Kevin Duke, has had a chance to throw a leg over both the Ego prototype in Italy and a more production-ready unit here in Southern California. Both times, Duke reported enormous and instantaneous levels of thrust and acceleration. Harnessing that power was also made easy due to the refined e-throttle mapping, allowing smooth and precise power to be delivered, no matter the power mode. There’s no getting around the fact the Ego is especially heavy for a sportbike, at nearly 600 lbs, but Duke was pleasantly surprised at how well the Ego carried its weight. With far fewer reciprocating parts between his legs, a tight 23.5-degree rake, and 100mm trail, the Ego turns perhaps better than it should.
All things considered, Energica has built a solid platform in the electric bike arena with the Ego, and we have no reason to expect anything less in the Eva. There are still hurdles to overcome, but considering Energica just opened its first U.S. division in Delaware – Energica Motor Company Inc. – and its first U.S. dealership in Newport Beach, California – Newport Italia – the signs are strong that Energica is poised for long-term growth.