Cool motorbikes normally come with a thumping soundtrack. The Energica Eva is an exception to this rule. Instead, this stylish Italian machine is powered by an 80kW electric motor that pumps out zero emissions and barely a whisper.
Despite a lack of pistons, valves and gears, Eva will power to 60mph in around three seconds and max out at 124mph. The company claims it has a range of up to 100 miles in the city and 90mph on the motorway – although a lot will depend on riding style, naturally.
The best superbikes may be able to beat it from a standing start but nothing can touch the 109hp Eva for eco credentials. Energica launched the original Ego electric bike in 2014 and has been refining battery technology ever since. This latest machine is the result of all that research and development.
Energica’s parent company CRP already has a reputation for ground-breaking engineering. The Modena-based firm has worked closely with F1 teams for 50 years. In 2005 it lined up two bikes in the 250cc MotoGP – six years later they won the European Championship for electric motorcycle racing.
Beneath the Eva’s conventional-looking fuel tank is an oil-cooled battery that offers direct drive to the back wheel. Torque is an impressive 180 Nm – cleverly managed by a unit that monitors throttle position and lean angle.
Riders can choose from four riding modes, Urban, Eco, Rain and Sport. And because it tips the scales at 280kg, it even has a reverse gear. The system takes all the manoeuvring out of parking nose first, downhill on a slope.
Perhaps more important to any buyer willing to spend £27,999 on an electric sport bike, the Eva looks sensational too.
Visor down, ignition on, twist the throttle and… not a sound. It’s the weirdest sensation starting a silent motorbike. In London, ambient traffic noise means other road users won’t even realise that you’re there. But out in the country, the Energica is a showstopper. It’s not completely silent and has the hum of a distant fighter jet. Most bikers will spend the first 30 minutes on the Energica reaching for a clutch lever that isn’t there.
The bike’s battery takes just 30 minutes to reach 85%, using a rapid charger – or 3.5 hours to full on a standard, three-pin plug
It is as simple to ride as a twist-and-go scooter. Except with so much power on tap, take care not to twist the right hand throttle grip by accident. Otherwise the result could be expensive. Perhaps that’s why Energica has fitted a low-speed mode for safe manoeuvring, restricting speed to under 2mph.
The riding position is comfortable and more upright than the Ego sister bike. If you’re vertically challenged, seat height is a fairly modest 795mm. The panniers are tiny but the charging cable will fit in one side with ease.
Like every electric vehicle from Tesla downwards, the Energica’s biggest drawback is range. Whatever the slick, multifunction instrument screen tells you, a degree of trust is required to make an extended ride. But Eva owners will soon benefit from plans announced in the Queen’s speech to install more charging points across the country. The bike’s battery takes just 30 minutes to reach 85%, using a rapid charger – or 3.5 hours to full on a standard, three-pin plug.
If you don’t want to hang around and wait, the MyEnergica phone app uses Bluetooth to flash up the state of battery charge.
What adds to the surprising lack of drama on board the Eva is minimal vibration through the tubular steel frame. That’s down to a lack of moving engine parts. The result is more of a glide rather than a ride, although the bike performs best when in Sport mode.
Some will miss the clunk of selecting the right gear and vibrations through the seat – others will embrace electric motorbikes as the transport of the very near future.
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Price: £27,999 OTR; energicamotor.com