The evolving electric motorcycle industry continues to expand and impress, including the latest addition to the Energica lineup, the company's Eva model.
The Italian company first impressed me with a test ride on the Energica Ego, and now I've had a chance to sling a leg over the Eva and see how they compare.
My test ride of the Ego involved a 30-minute ride around Bear Mountain north of New York City, but for the Eva test ride, I got a marathon 6-hour test ride from San Francisco to Alice’s Restaurant in Woodside and back—including a couple of stops for charging.
A test ride in the hills of upstate New York is a pleasure, but a test ride in the mountains of Northern California is sheer joy. And the bike's fast charging ended up being one of the most fascinating parts.
The motor for the Eva is the same powerful 100-kilowatt (134-horsepower) unit as in the Ego, but it is slightly de-tuned to max out at 70 kw, offering solid acceleration.
Peak output for the motor is actually 150 kw, but Energica only uses part of that power, so the motor should last well and won’t overheat even when pushing the bike to its limits.
Energica Eva electric motorcycle test ride, San Francisco Bay AreaEnlarge Photo
Setting out along highways, I found the Eva could accelerate through traffic with ease.
The naked street bike configuration gives it a more upright riding posture than the Ego, and I was immediately comfortable in the saddle.
The sound of the motor is noticeable and adds excitement to this bike, particularly when accelerating.
When I reached the twisty mountains near Alice’s Restaurant, I took the opportunity to test the handling and suspension thoroughly.
Conclusion: The bike handles beautifully, especially for its weight. At 568 pounds, it has plenty of inertia, but the motor is strong enough to let the rider handle it well.
One feature I found amusing was the lights on the dash that illuminate at the top when you accelerate hard.
Energica Eva electric motorcycle dashboard, shown during test ride, San Francisco Bay AreaEnlarge Photo
The rear shock is made by Bitubo and the front forks come standard with Marzocchi, but both can be upgraded to Ohlin units for even better performance.
The Eva has a small seat for a passenger, as well as passenger pegs.
With a Bosch ABS switchable system and Brembo brakes, it can stop quickly. The Eva also has a reverse setting, making it easier to move such a solid bike uphill when needed.
The rider can toggle the performance to varying degrees of aggressiveness, and alter the regenerative braking characteristics of the bike while riding. As I found, you can really pump up the regeneration on the Eva.
I enjoy strong regen, but this is the only electric vehicle I've ever ridden or driven in which the regenerative braking simply felt too strong.
But as you might expect, riding this $35,000 bike remains a pleasure—and one with technology offered on almost no other electric bike.