Riding the All-New Energica Experia Electric Touring Motorcycle – CleanTechnica Review
Recently I had the chance to ride the brand new Energica Experia, a green touring bike designed for the long-distance rider looking for a comfortable riding position, long range, capacity for load and without compromising on performance. Energica offers all of that with this bike, and more. The bike comes fully kitted out, including a number of carry cases to hit the road with everything you need for epic adventures.
The frame, battery and motor have been completely redesigned for this new bike, the fourth model from Energica, after the Esse Esse 9, the Ribelle and the sports racing bike, the Ego. According to Giampiero Testoni, CTO for Energica (my podcast with him coming soon), it’s completely redesigned – not just a redesign or tweak to the existing infrastructure of their current models. The bike sports fewer rare earths, 10 kg less weight and yet 1 kW more storage.
“We focused on building a complete new bike,” Testoni said. “We started with feedback [from customers of the existing models], and the points they thought they could improve… but those were just the starting points of the redesign… 99.5% of the bike is new. It took 1.5 years from inception to deployment, according to Testoni.
The mass is more centered and the saddle is lower so the bike is more comfortable for slightly shorter riders than Energica’s other models…very important when moving slowly or coming to a stop. It has the longest range of any electric motorcycle (261 miles city, 130 highway, 161 mixed-use), as noted by Jo Borras in his earlier post about the launch of Experia (and Jo knows the technical side than me, so I’ll let you read his review as well, if you’re interested in more of that side and more of Energica’s Experia page).
My Tour and Review of the Energica Experia
One of the things I love about Energica is that they know how to light a journalist’s fire. Their approach is simple – we could tell you all about it, but instead let us take you for a ride so you can experience it for yourself. So I joined about 20 other journalists in the mountains of the Dolomites in northern Italy to loop around some of the most stunning terrain the world has ever created, with plenty of hairpin bends . This is a motorcycle enthusiast’s dream trip.
My ride was nothing short of breathtaking. Because an electric motorcycle allows you to spend more time concentrating on riding and less time operating the bike, I found myself cruising the landscape whenever traffic permitted and breathing in the moment of being. sitting on a high-performance machine apparently designed for this exact ride. The weather gods, well, they smiled on us too — there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the temperature was perfect.
I have to admit that I’m not really a tech guy – I’m much more of a business guy here at Clean Technica, and I leave the nuts and bolts to people like Jo, Johnna, Zach and the rest. So I view rides like this as an enthusiast and a potential “mainstream” customer would. The first and most prevalent thing that was obvious about the Experia was its maneuverability. You can lean over and feel no discomfort – see the photo below of my camera mount. The center of gravity is lower than previous models, and it handles a hairpin without flinching.
Acceleration is similar to other Energica models, that is, insane. So getting out of a hairpin U-turn and hitting the gas to catch up with the gang was a thrill every time. At one point I reached 125 kilometers per hour on the Experia (okay, below the 136 I reached in the morning on the Eva Ribelle), and consistently it was up to at 80 between turns with the slightest twist of the throttle.
The next thing any electric motorcycle rider will tell you is that regenerative braking just plain rocks, especially in terrain like this. Not only do you not have to think about shifting, but I barely touched the brakes on a roughly 2 hour ride. I’m a rookie rider compared to many of the journalists in the bunch, many of whom have been riding for over 20 years and some, like Revzilla’s Andy Greaser, who’ve been building and rebuilding bikes for a decade or more. But many of these folks are still new to electrics, and that was one of the main comments we discussed over dinners and after-ride drinks. I set regeneration to B2 (second highest level), and it really seemed to do the trick.
I could easily see taking a long ride on this bike, riding up to Yosemite for a long weekend, or hiking through the Andes and visiting villages for coffee and recharging. It has a great comfortable riding position, and my hands, which often go numb on sportier bikes if I lean on them too much, were happy and full of good circulation for the duration of this ride.
I will say that the Experia doesn’t seem to handle as well as the Ribelle or even the Esse Esse 9 but they are more capable bikes so it’s not really a criticism but more of an observation that it is simply less sporty and built for longer rides. Other journalists with more experience and technical know-how observed that the ABS could not be turned off as an option, which they felt needed to be in place for longer trips, and I noted that the rear brake felt a lot softer than I wanted it to. be. At our press event someone asked about updates, which are still not possible over a wifi connection, meaning riders should expect to take their bikes to the dealer for updates. updated several times during the first years of ownership. The only other criticism I heard in conversations with other reviewers was the price, which at ~$25,000 fully loaded (all cargo boxes, etc.) and $23,750 base, could be a bit out of reach for some runners.
Overall, though, I think the performance is amazing, the range is best in class, and the ability to charge at level 1, 2 or 3 gives a lot of flexibility (Energica is still the only company to offer all three standard load levels on its bikes).
Florian Neuhauser, from Roadrunner Motorcycle Touring and Travel Magazine, originally from Austria, has spent a lot of time riding the Dolomites, and after more than 20 years of riding, said: “I have been able to enjoy the Dolomites frequently. I’ve spent a lot of time on a gas motorbike here. The big difference is the fun factor, really. On a gas bike you are constantly working the bike, there is so much traffic here one switchback after another…whereas on the Experia you can really concentrate on the road. The motorcycle drives by itself, just twist the throttle and go.
“Was it the most fun ride you’ve ever done in the Dolomites?” I asked. “I would say yes,” he said.
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