The Tacita T-Cruise is the electric cruise bike America may or may not want
When most people think of cruisers, they think of long, low, loud motorcycles, probably a Harley-Davidson with its distinctive V-twin rumble. But at this year’s American International Motorcycle Expo, Italian automaker Tacita unveiled the T-cruise, an unusual version of the American cruiser powered not by gasoline, but by electricity.
Some say loud pipes save lives, but there are no pipes at all on the T-Cruise. The frame is long and although it does not have the seemingly required V-twin engine, the electric motor covers vaguely evoke a V-shape. The actual engine generates 30 kilowatts (40 horsepower) at 8,000 rpm and 70 Newton-meters (52 pound-feet) of torque.
It might not sound powerful, but a five-speed transmission should help T-Cruise get the most out of it. Shifting is unusual for an electric motorcycle. The Energica Ego that your writer once drove doesn’t have a clutch or gearshift at all – just a continuous gear that covered all gears remarkably well, like in most electric cars. But the Ego also develops 136 horsepower, almost 100 more than the T-Cruise.
Motorcycles are also designed for very different purposes: the Ego is designed to go fast, while the T-Cruise is designed to glide comfortably. Like the Ego, the T-Cruise offers several power modes favoring economy or performance, as well as a reverse gear that most gasoline motorcycles do not have.
Tacita seems to have taken comfort very seriously. The hand-sewn leather saddle is quite comfortable and the footrests can be placed in three different positions for the best fit of the rider. The suspension is fairly classic, with 41mm hydraulic telescopic front forks and twin rear shocks with preload and 65mm of travel. The brakes are from Brembo, linked front and rear, with regenerative braking available to help recharge the battery when you slow down.
Of course, as with any electric vehicle, the elephant in the room is range. Three battery options are available, all with very different prices. The entry-level T-Cruise has a 7.5 kilowatt-hour battery for 50 miles for $ 10,999. The 15 kilowatt-hour version, with a range of 93 miles, will sell for $ 14,999. The larger battery option is 27.5 kilowatt hours, offering a range of 168 miles, for $ 27,999.
But 168 miles is farther than some gas cruisers, with tiny gas tanks to improve their appearance, you will get. Charging options for all battery sizes support standard 110 and 220 volt outlets, as well as a proprietary fast charger.