Zooming in on NYC on Energica’s Italian electric motorcycles

Earlier this year, I was invited to the Nasdaq by electric vehicle investment firm Ideanomics to take a closer look at the company’s latest acquisition: Energica’s high-powered racing electric motorcycles. The morning started with watching dressed executives (like at Brooks Brothers, not Dainese) throw a leg over bikes in Times Square. But the next day it was my turn. And while the heart of Manhattan isn’t necessarily the first place you’d think of for a high-powered motorcycle test drive, I still managed to find myself running out of throttle as we pinned it on the freeways around of the island.

What highways? I have no idea. I don’t know much about New York, and it’s true that most of my knowledge of the city comes from Seinfeld. I was surprised to learn that they had TVs in the cabs – those weren’t in any episodes I’ve seen.

But perhaps the lack of familiarity with my surroundings was for the best, as it meant I could focus more on the bikes than trying to recognize familiar sights.

I’m a firm believer in the ATGATT (all gear, all the time) doctrine, although I occasionally slip, so I slipped into my Dainese armor mesh riding jacket and donned my AGV K6 helmet with the rest of my kit for my very first ride on an Energica – a ride I’ve been waiting years to experience.

Like a kid in a candy store, I was excited about the glorious options available to me. Energica didn’t disappoint, bringing one of every model (at the time, so not counting the Experia unveiled two weeks ago). The Energica Ego is the brand’s sportiest racing model, and it’s a bit more knee-underarm that I like to ride, so I’ve ditched that model for now. I only had an hour or two and wanted to spend as much time as possible on the bikes I actually saw myself buying. Since I don’t plan on dragging my knees to the nearest trail, I hopped the Ego in all its glory.

Next in line was an impressive looking Energica Ribelle in a beautiful stripe and star wrap specially designed for the event. The Ribelle is a step up in terms of sporty riding, with a slightly more relaxed stance, but the model still brings Energica’s highest power offering with the same technical specifications as the Ego.

Finally, a beautiful green Energica EsseEsse9 was waiting for me as if it bore my name. Although slightly less powerful than the first two, the raised bars and lower footpegs provide the most relaxed ride in the Energica lineup and make this naked bike a great option for those who want to do some commuting as well as canyoning. fun on weekends. .

And when I say a little less powerful, I’m not talking about a huge difference here. The Energica Ego and Ribelle offer a maximum of 107 kW of power, or 143 horsepower. The EsseEsse9 packs a slightly more modest 80 kW or 107 horsepower.

The EsseEsse9 is also slightly slower, only peaking at 200 km/h (124 mph), while the more powerful bikes can technically reach 240 km/h (150 mph) when unlocked, although they are often locked at a similar speed of 200 km/h. limit h (124 mph).

Let’s just say that I had no intention of testing this limit. For my type of riding (which is mostly leisure and commuting), 124 mph is going to be fine, please and thank you.

For those who want the comfort of the EsseEsse9 and the power of the Ribelle, Energica US CEO Stefano Benatti explained to me that some customers have even ordered the latter fitted with the bars and pegs of the former, ultimately creating a relaxed atmosphere but more powerful bike.

My riding experience that day may not have been long, but a few hours were enough to feel the differences between the bikes. The higher power of the Ribelle was certainly fun, although I rarely got to fully enjoy it outside of traffic lights and the freeway on the ramps (although both are a blast when almost silently taking off).

Energica is not only known for its high power, but also for its industry-leading battery capacity. The company’s 21 kWh batteries allow for more range than any other company.

That means up to 420 km (261 miles) in the city, or closer to 200 km (121 miles) on the highway. A mixed driving scenario, like what I was doing, should yield about 153 miles (246 km) of range, depending on your type of driving.

energetic

I was only on the bikes for a few hours, alternating between the Ribelle and the EsseEsse9, but it seemed like I could barely make a dent in the battery capacity. The percentage meter took a while to drag into the 90s and then into the 80s, giving me confidence that I wasn’t even going to have to think about recharging today.

It was actually a slight disappointment as I was looking forward to testing the bikes DC fast charge. While all of Energica’s electric motorcycles can of course charge at household level 1 outlets or faster level 2 public charging stations, they also use DC fast charging, sometimes informally referred to as level 3, which can essentially “fill the tank” in almost 40 minutes.

It’s still longer than a gas stop, but it would allow you to ride for several hours and then take a short break to stretch your legs while quickly charging your battery until it’s nearly empty. full.

And that’s exactly how Steven Day recently broke the Cannonball Run electric motorcycle record on his own Energica bike, racing from Los Angeles to New York in 111 hours.

I expected the fat bikes to be a little bulkier, but they were actually quite comfortable and manageable under me. I’m not tall (5’7″ or 170cm), yet I didn’t need to muscle the Energicas. They slide and sink easily under you, as you would expect from a sporty Italian motorcycle.

In fact, I was late for my flight on my way back to return the bikes in the heart of Manhattan and finally had to test the handling of the EsseEsse9. With traffic jams and a healthy ignorance of New York’s parting lane laws (where I’m from, that’s half the reason to ride a motorcycle in a city), I was slipping through traffic and weaving this bike of 260 kg (573 lb) like that was a Huffy with an attitude.

While it wasn’t the longest test drive I’ve ever been on, it definitely made me want to spend more time on Energica’s awesome electric motorcycles – the company is expanding its dealerships at a rapid pace, s expecting to double its doors in the United States. This year. And for a bit of anecdotal evidence of Energica’s growing presence, I also recently had my first sighting of Energica in my hometown of Tel Aviv, so I guess my new local dealer is up and running as well. Looks like I’ll have to check that out soon.

In the meantime, I look forward to having a good time in the saddle on Energica’s latest model, the recently unveiled Experia Green Tourer, which should deliver even more of that comfortable touring ride I’m looking for. Stay tuned for that, which I hope to share with you soon.

Got questions about bikes that I haven’t covered? (Hey, that was only a few hours of driving!) Ask in the comments section below, and I’ll try to share what I know. Or let me know your thoughts on Energica’s Italian electric motorcycles!

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