Erk, this is longer than I thought.
So far, so good. Range on a roughly 36 mile round-trip commute, riding
on A roads and dual-carriageways at my usual commuting speed is fine;
I get home with something like 45% charge remaining. Riding it harder
than I'd usually ride the Guzzi gets the remaining charge down to
Last Thursday and Friday, I tried to wring two commutes out of one
charge. This wasn't the best of times to do this: I've found that the
bike charges to 100% but if left for a couple of days unused (still
plugged in), the charge level drops to 98%. I hadn't used it for a day
or two, so started from 98%.
I commuted on the first day at maybe a couple of mph under the speed
limits. The second day I was creeping home at 125 learner-bike speeds,
grateful for the Newmarket races 40 limit and slower traffic. The A11
coming home was a dull trundle, with cars whizzing past. I definitely
suffered range anxiety: it's not as though I could get a 'Er Ladyship
to nip out with a can of electricity. I got home with 5% charge left.
Overall, it has a range of roughly 75 miles of open roads if ridden
like a 125cc commuter. I'm still not certain whether the longer,
slower, back roads route uses more or less charge than the faster but
shorter route that includes straight A roads and dual-carriageway.
Power-wise, it pulls like a train from low revs when the battery is
fully charged, but loses its sparkle by about 50%. At low charge,
well, it does accelerate, but that's all that can be said.
A typical recharge from a single commute at normal speeds takes around
three and a half to four hours, including time spent balancing the
cells. The bike rather optimistically estimates around two and a half
hours. One thing I've found is that the battery charge level at the
end of the working day is higher than when I arrived at work by about
3-5% of maximum charge: the battery seems to recover a bit.
I initially tried the stock suspension settings and found the rear
woefully underdamped. Oddly though, I can feel pretty much the entire
road surface. Not sure whether this is to do with the relatively
budget suspension itself or the lack of engine vibration to mask it
[update: I've juse watched episode 1 of Long Way Up: Ewan Mcgregor
made the same observation, riding a different bike, so that settles
it]. it rides undulating roads well, but sharp irregularities
(potholes, tarmac changes etc) can be very jarring. Added to this, the
rear number plate bracket vibrates on these bumps, which adds a sort
of thrum to the kick, a little like the haptic feedback you get from
The preceding owner had wound the rear rebound up to maximum, and I
ended up doing the same. It could do with a little more, to be honest.
I have also roughly set up the rear static sag for my weight /
preference. Strictly, the spring probably needs changing, but if I did
splash out then it'd be for a whole shock.
The front is OK, with compression adjustment on one leg and rebound on
the other, same as the Guzzi (but this time with USD forks). The front
has a lot of stiction: I've dicked with it and I think it has improved
a bit, but there's more than I'd expect. I also fitted a cable tie to
one fork leg as the old racer's tell-tale, and from the indicated "low
water mark", reduced the preload to lower the front a bit and dicked a
little with the damping. Not sure that has made a huge difference,
TBH. It might lighten the steering a tad, but maybe I've simply got
used to it. It does feel slightly less stable on bumpy bends but not
I've fitted a Tutoro chain lube system, which is purely mechanical.
There's no way I'm tapping into the electrical system while the bike's
under warranty and of course there's no vacuum to tap into. The oiler
came as a very comprehensive kit with super-clear instructions and
just works. Very impressed.
What else? The speedo is about 10% optimistic at 20mph at least
(according to those village speed signs), and the trip meter reads
about 1 mile further to work than the Guzzi does, so I suspect it's on
the limit wrt acceptable accuracy. I also suspect that the
elecronically limited top speed gets its readings from the same
source, so 116 is probably more realistic.
Any other quirks? I have inadvertently flicked the kill switch off
while reaching for the rather poorly-placed cruise button a couple of
If the battery is fully charged, there no regeneratve "engine braking"
for the first half mile or so, which nearly caught me out once. On the
subject of engine braking, the regeneration braking force remains
constant regardless of speed, whereas for an IC bike one would tend to
be in a higher gear at higher speeds, so less braking. Just turning
off cruise control at speed, for example, has the bike slow very
abruptly, so care has to be taken with the throttle. I reckon a more
speed-related proportional control would be better.
Trivial stuff: the dash switches between bright and low-light modes
rather abruptly, which is mildly distracting. There is a satnav, which
had me thinking "oh, goody!" but it has to link to a phone and only
helps locate nearby recharging stations. Apparently. I haven't seen it
work in practice.
There's a shootout between the Energica EVA and the Zero SRF here:
. I've ridden both and the
Zero is (I hate to say it) probably the better bike. But heart won
over head, and anyway, the Eva was secondhand and a couple of grand
cheaper than a new Zero. Incidentally, I am wondering whether the
featured Eva isn't the one that's now sitting in my garage! In the
review, the bike was ridden from the same dealer I bought mine from.
There is also a review of the Energica MotoE racer om the web, with
which I think my bike is related via the Energica Ego. The frame,
motor and gearbox look very similar, though my suspension is rather
more budget. Everything else, including battery, look different. It's
about as close to a Moto<somthing> racer as I'll ever get, probably.
Am I still enjoying it? yes, very much. It's plenty fast enough for
open roads, has the range for the bulk of the miles I do, it's
different, (slightly) greener than other vehicles, and looks pretty