Clean Transport

Published on August 1st, 2014 | by Susanna Schick


Energica Ego Review — An Electric Superbike That Lives Up To Its Name

August 1st, 2014 by  

Originally posted on GAS2

Energica at the Snake

Imagine you had the choice between an Italian supermodel and that nice girl next door. Both of them like you, but the girl next door loves shopping at Walmart and it shows. The Italian? Well, you probably think she’s too rich for your blood. But all that goes out the window once you actually ride her, feeling the way her top shelf suspension components hug the curves of your favorite road, and the delicious bite from her 240mm Brembos as you brake hard from her top speed of (governed) 150mph, you know you want her. At any price.

I only had her between my legs for about 17 miles, even though I begged CRP to let me ride the Energica Ego further, and faster. Even at a staggering 568 lbs, she’s easy enough to ride. Even confidence-inspiring, as Asphalt & Rubber also said. Sure, it’s not a bike you’d flick around through tight traffic, but it performed beautifully in the tight twisties known as “The Snake“. Because I’ve primarily been riding Yamaha R1’s the past decade, I felt right at home on the bike. The footpegs were a bit too high for me (I’m 5’11), but it was a nice contrast after scraping pegs on the Zero SR the day before at Laguna Seca.

The Ego is a big bike, and I like big bikes. At 100kw, it’s got twice the motor of the SR, and 143 ft/lbs of torque vs 106 on the Zero. We were forced to sign a contract promising not to wheelie the Ego, or ride recklessly, and I did my best to hold back. We had to stay behind our ride leader the entire time. As you can see in the video, it was a fairly mellow ride:

The Ego is a very smooth ride that definitely corners like it’s on rails. It hold its line perfectly through the twisties, although I would really love to be fast enough to put this bike through its paces in the TT Zero. I rode in sport mode the entire time, with the regen set to “standard” for the first few miles. But the regen was so subtle I switched it to max, and it felt more like a Ducati, with that nice engine braking. It’s easy to switch modes on the fly, and the Ego features 4 settings for riding and 4 for regen.

The Energica Ego also sounds different than any other electric motorcycle. CRP explains the Ego has straight cut final drive gears similar to the drive train of an F1 car. Which would explain the high-pitched whine of the motor. It was novel, and sounds really badass, but I missed the peaceful silence of my Zero FX. Riding in Los Angeles is a bit stressful, so having one less source of noise vying for your attention, even if it’s your own bike, is nice.

The good news is, the Ego isn’t Desmosedici expensive. Just Panigale expensive. Well, the purchase price at least. Maintenance costs are basically $0 compared to a Ducati. CRP is hoping to get this bike to market at $34,000, while the Zero SR as I rode it, with the power tank, has an MSRP of $19,490. The maintenance costs on both of these bikes are practically nonexistent, so total ownership cost is more manageable than it would be for an Italian gas superbike.

That Price Includes Top-Shelf Components

You may recall we toured their factory in 2010, to see where the magic happens. CRP’s main business is 3D printing ultra-light parts for racing vehicles and spacecraft from their patented carbon “ink”, Windform.

This ultralight material enables them to pack more battery power into the Ego- 11.7kWh to be exact. CRP claims 31 miles of range under racing conditions and as much 93 miles of city riding. The TT Zero is 37.73 miles long, so they’re not far from making a bike that can compete there. The bike also features a reverse gear, to make it easier to park. This is nice, since the regen can really make it hard to back up even the 280 lb Zero FX.

Energica Ego at Rock Store

Marchesini wheels hold Pirelli Diablo Rosso’s, my personal favorite tire brand. Brembos stop those wheels with a pair of 320mm rotors and 4 piston caliper brakes up front and a 220mm rotor and 2 piston caliper on the rear. In production, there will also be a Bosch ABS system.

This massive beast is exceptionally well handled by fully adjustable Marzocchi 43mm forks and a fully adjustable Ohlins shock. None of which were adjusted specifically for me, and I felt fine on the bike. My videographer said I looked much more comfortable on the Ego than I do on my R1. I felt more comfortable, even though it’s 140 lbs heavier. It’s just so much smoother and easier to manage the power. I thoroughly enjoyed riding this bike, and would certainly consider it as a canyon and trackday bike.

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About the Author

Susanna is passionate about anything fast and electric. As long as it's only got two wheels. She covers electric motorcycle racing events, test rides electric motorcycles, and interviews industry leaders. Occasionally she deigns to cover automobile events in Los Angeles for us as well. However, she dreams of a day when Los Angeles' streets resemble the two-wheeled paradise she discovered living in Barcelona and will not rest until she's converted the masses to two-wheeled bliss.

  • JDR

    I hope that someone will tell the rider in the red/pink top that he (she) is using a very dangerous technique to steer her bike. I’ve watched that technique be fatal; from the position of the cameraman.

    She is shifting her weight from side to side in order to pull the bike into a turn. She should be maintaining her weight centered on the bike at all time, and using a steering motion of the front wheel to vector the bike into a turn. You can see her throwing her weight from side to side and sometimes barely making the turn. She’s almost never on the low inside of the turn, and quite often rides the high outside, sometimes having to slow way down in order to make the turn when you can see the bike in front of her (with the white helmet) be done with the turn and long gone as she is barely making some of those turns.

    When you steer the front wheel to make a turn, it requires just the slightest pressure. Turning the wheel to the left, either by pushing on the right handle or pulling on the left handle or a combination of both, will lay the bike over to the right and turn the bike to the right. Because your weight is centered on the bike it is very easy to make adjustments or even an entire shift to the other direction of turn. Shifting your weight from side to side produces a slow and unwieldy response.

    Especially if you have a rider on the back of your bike. Their extra top-heavy weight reduces the effectiveness of your weight shift, and should they shift their weight, it can really throw you off balance, causing the bike to swerve to one side or the other, or reducing the degree of turn you’re attempting. With the front wheel steering technique, off-center weight can be completely neutralized through the superior ability to steer the bike in either direction.

    • I’m sorry your life is so pathetic you feel the need to spread dangerous misinformation all over the internet. Perhaps you’ve never actually ridden a motorcycle. Or at least not one designed for actual cornering. You could learn a lot from the man who’s taught me and thousands more how to corner properly. Here’s a highlight video where you can see his students hanging off exactly how he taught me.

      The only thing I do wrong in 30 years of motorcycling, 8 of which I raced, is not hang off enough. My upper body should be further to the inside. This technique, called “hanging off” has been used by professional racers and sport riders alike for decades. We do this because it enables us to counterbalance the bike with our bodies. Counter steering, the technique taught to beginners, is woefully inadequate for sport riding. THAT is what will get you killed, silly. Now go learn how to ride a sportbike before you spread stupid lies about how to ride. But don’t just listen to me and one of the most successful teachers, watch one of the world’s best racers corner:

      • TheRedcroatian .

        Poor Susanna, ego tripping!

        JDR has a point, counter steer is the most natural way of riding a bike, and super efficient. Try to do a chicane with your technique at high speed and you will learn the benefits of the counter steering!

        The technique you are referring to is when you ride the bike on the absolute limit and counter steering is not enough and you have to add the body hang so to add more inertia in that particular direction.

        Now go back to that teacher of yours and tell him to read “Twist of the Wrist” by Keith Code immediately to get some insight, and you especially!

        Hang in there 😉

  • johnsonmatthew861

    very good

  • GCO

    Looks awesome but… what’s with that noise?
    Hopefully it’s just the video making it sound worse than it really does…

    • rockt647

      as Norman implied I am inspired that a mom able to get paid $5514 in one month on the computer ..

      How ??? .. click FINANCIAL REPORT in ………….is.GD/RnTo2R

    • michelleehaskins

      my roomate’s half-sister makes $63 /hr on the internet . She has been without work for ten months but last month her pay was $17500 just working on the internet for a few hours. check this >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> W­W­W.J­u­m­p­­62.C­o­­­m

    • GCO- that’s the wind noise & the Triumph Thruxton motor of my cameraman’s bike. Energica should have a proper video on their site with the bike’s motor alone.

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