We live in a day and age where technological advancements abound, and it seems that nearly every week sees the release of something bigger-better-faster-smaller than before – by a significant margin. It is through this lens that I view the new, 2016 Ego45 from Energica. While I am unsure if the model name “Ego” means something in Italian, or if it’s a declaration of what the bike is meant to stroke, the end result is the same – this is one heck of a bike, electric or not!

Sure, there are a handful of other manufacturers making electric bikes, but in terms of performance and luxe features the Ego45 stands head and shoulders above the rest (so far). Any ambiguities in the name ends with the number “45,” as this is to be a numbered, limited-production model with only 45 scheduled to be built per special order. This adds an element of exclusivity to an otherwise already remarkable machine, and is sure to be a draw for riders who want that “little something extra.” Let’s take a look at what else you get with the Ego45, other than membership to a rather exclusive only-45-in-the-entire-world club.

Continue reading for my review of the 2016 Energica Ego45.

  • 2016 Energica Ego45
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Top Speed:
    149 mph
  • Price:

Design

2016 Energica Ego45
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The Ego45 looks like exactly what it is – a straight-up streetbike. Unlike the offerings by other current electric motorcycle manufacturers, it’s difficult to tell at a glance exactly what the Ego has going on. This is due, in part, by the rather full front fairing and engine cowling that more or less follows contemporary sportbike design, with none of the slab-sided look offered by the LiveWire from Harley-Davidson or Empulse TT from Victory, for instance. Yeah, you may notice the lack of an exhaust system, and the cooling fins visible in the cutaway section of the cowling hint at the unconventional drivetrain, but beyond that, you could easily lose this bike in a parking lot full of “smoker” bikes. The upper lines are rather conventional, flowing from the front fairing across the faux fuel tank to the deeply-scooped saddle, and tapering down to nothing over the subframe. The result: a balanced, sporty-looking bike that’s not quite as “all up front” as some of the naked streetfighters or superbikes out there today.

Chassis

2016 Energica Ego45
- image 640762

Much like comparable “smoker” bikes, the Ego45 runs a trellis frame made from tubular steel stock for strength, torsional stability and longitudinal flexibility. A cast aluminum swingarm and forged, 17-inch aluminum rims help keep unsprung weight low, which helps the suspension react to bumps while preserving contact-patch integrity.

The suspension components are top shelf, with 43 mm inverted front forks and rear monoshock made by Öhlins. Suspension at both ends come with the full trinity of adjustments (compression damping, rebound damping and spring preload), so you can dial in your preferred ride. Too bad the factory didn’t use the Öhlins, electronically-controlled suspension system with preset maps, but it does add weight and draw power, and the designers had to stop somewhere I guess.

Front brake-disc diameter is about as big as it gets at 330 mm, and the rear disc isn’t exactly what you would call tiny at 240 mm. Brembo calipers bind the wheels under the watchful eye of the switchable Bosch ABS, so you can use all that not-inconsiderable braking power with confidence, or turn it off if you prefer to go old-school.

Drivetrain

2016 Energica Ego45
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The mill is a permanent-magnet, alternating-current electric motor complete with an oil cooler to help dump some of the waste heat. Given that the speed limiter doesn’t kick in until you hit 149.1 mph, I should imagine that it can generate quite a bit of heat, and that right quick. As with most electric bikes, full engine torque is available as soon as you roll on, so all 143.8 pound-feet of torque is yours to command from 0 to 4,700 rpm. This comes backed up by 136 ponies that come on at 4,900 rpm, and pull all the way up to 10,500 rpm. You can go ahead and disabuse yourself of the notion that this is some golf cart on two wheels – this is a real bike, and you had better know what you are about before you grab a fistful of throttle (or whatever you call the twisty grip on an electric bike).

A sophisticated Vehicle Control Unit monitors vehicle speed, throttle setting and battery state, then reconciles that data against the selected riding mode (Standard, Eco, Rain or Sport) for precise and efficient vehicle management. It also utilizes regenerative braking, and engine braking, to put some juice back whenever possible. In spite of this fastidious handling of the power, the Ego45 only manages a maximum of 118 miles at 37 mph, and 62 miles at 62 mph, which is really not all that impressive. There is a silver lining though – you can slam a nearly-full charge in the battery in a mere 30 minutes using the Mode 4 DC Fast Charge feature. This is the fastest claimed charge time of any manufacturer I have seen yet, and this goes a long way toward increasing the practical utility of the bike. One feature I really like is the reverse mode, and if you already ride, I know you feel me on that point.

Competitor

2016 Energica Ego45
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2016 Energica Ego45
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Since Zero hasn’t come out with the 2016’s yet, I picked the current model-year, SR ZF12.5 to go head-to-head with the Ego45. Both are pretty-much laid out as sportbikes, even though the Ego certainly comes with some posh features that aren’t mirrored by the Zero. (It is an exclusive bike, after all.)

Power, top speed and battery capacity/recharge time are the front-burner concerns on any electric bike, so let’s take a gander at those metrics. The Ego tops out at 149 mph, which isn’t bad for almost any kind of bike, electric or not. While the SR caps out a bit slower at 102 mph, I have to say that it’s fast enough for most riders and situations. (Seriously, how fast do you really need to go on public roads?)

Even though it is slower, the Zero enjoys longer legs with a claimed combined mileage of 102 miles at 70 mph, significantly higher than Energica’s stated range of 62 miles at 62 mph. Even though the Ego has an impossibly fast recharge time – if you have access to 60 amp, 330 VDC power for the quick charge – and a decent standard charge time of 3.5 hours for 95 percent, the Zero is no slouch either with a 1.9-hour, 95 percent charge time with max charging accessories. As with anything else, it’s a tradeoff; but I think I prefer the longer range over brute power.

He Said

“I can’t get over how much better electric vehicles are getting, and the power and speed shown by the Ego45 demonstrates that we are almost to a point where we can have our cake and eat it, too. Clean transportation is great and fine, but the brutal truth is it will never catch on until people can avail themselves of the technology without having to sacrifice their lifestyles or riding habits to do so. Not only does the Ego provide performance that would impress (read: scare) most riders, it comes with some swanky features that move it beyond the realm of basic transportation toward status-symbol country. Folks, we are almost there.”

She Said

My wife and fellow writer, Allyn Hinton, says, "The torque in these electric bikes is just phenomenal, and it’s right there. You don’t have to wind the bike up to find it. Considering the weight of the battery, the bike is surprisingly balanced with about 53 percent of the weight in the front and 47 percent in the rear. Knowing how heavy batteries can be, I was pleasantly surprised by the agile quickness and superb throttle response. Based in Modena, Italy, Energica shares the landscape with such names as Ferrari, Lamborghini and Ducati — names Americans associate with speed, precision and quality."

Specifications

Motor: Permanent Magnet AC (PMAC), Oil-Cooled
Performance:
Maximum Speed: Limited at 149 mph
Maximum Torque: 144 Pound-Feet from 0 to 4,700 rpm
Maximum Power: 136 Horsepower from 4,900 rpm to 10,500 rpm
Range: 118 miles at 37 mph/ 93 miles at 50 mph/ 62 miles at 62 mph
Riding Modes:
Four-Riding Mode: Standard, Eco, Rain, Sport
Four-Regenerative Maps: Low, Medium, High, Off
Reverse Mode: For Easier Handling at Very Low Speed
Battery:
Capacity: 1.7 kWh
Life: 1,200 Cycles at 80 percent Capacity (100 percent DOD)
Recharge: 3.5 hours (0 to 100 percent SOC) Mode 1, 2 or 3 Charge, 30 minutes (0 to 85 percent SOC); Mode 4 DC Fast Charge
Cycle Parts/Brakes:
Front Wheel: OZ Forged Aluminum 3.5 x 17 Inches
Rear Wheel: OZ Forged Aluminum 5.5 x 17 Inches
Front Tire: 120/70 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa
Rear Tire: 180/55 ZR17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa
Frame: Tubular Trellis
Swingarm: Cast Aluminum
Front Suspension: Ohlins FGRT 43 mm with Nix 30 Cartridge, Adjustable Rebound and Compression Damping, Spring Preload
Rear Mono: Ohlins, Adjustable Rebound and Compression Damping, Spring Preload
Reduction Gear Ratio (Secondary): 2.75
Chain: (16/44) 525 O-Ring Chain
ABS: Bosch Switchable
Front Brake: Brembo, Double Floating Discs, 330 mm, Four-Piston Radial Calipers, 5 mm Thick
Rear Brake: Brembo, Single Disc, 240 mm Two-Piston Caliper, 5 mm Thick
Electronics:
Vehicle Control Unit: A Vehicle Control Unit implementing a multi-map adaptive energy and power management algorithm manages the vehicle. During drive, system carefully monitors and adjusts 100 times per second the motor’s power, starting from; throttle command; chosen engine map; battery status and speed. System also handles regenerative engine braking and regenerative electrical brake, interfacing with the ABS unit. This allows for a superb efficiency in battery energy management and a great drive performance and experience. It constantly monitors batteries, even in key off position in order to ensure battery protection even in long winter storage. Vehicle Control Unit is based on a redundant architecture in order to grant the state of the art of safety and performance.
Dashboard: 4.3-Inch WQVGA 480×272 TFT Color Display with Internal memory for datalogging, Integrated GPS receiver and Bluetooth communication 16.7 ml colors - nine warning lights - 6 + 6 current consumption lights - GPS 10Hz - Bluetooth dual mode 2.1 e 4.0 - Real Time Clock - External light detector
Connectivity: The vehicle is equipped with a communication platform based on the Bluetooth and UMTS / GPRS Standards. The vehicle is able to offer “short range” and “long range” connectivity services. - In particular: Short Range Connectivity - Bluetooth 3.0 Module, range 100m; Long Range Connectivity - LTE/ UMTS/GPRS Module, SMS, TCP/IP, FTP, SOCKET, HTTP Communications
Charger: Onboard, [110-220]V [50-60]Hz, 3 kW. Conforms to Standards SAE J1772 and IEC 62196-2 with pilot signal for Charge Station’s Interface.
Fairings:
Colors: Matte Pearl White, Matte Black, Sleek Carbon
Material: Carbon Fiber and parts made by F1 3D Printed Windform® materials, with ZIRCOTEC™ 4) ceramic and metallic coatings.
Dimensions/Weight:
Seat Height: 31.9 Inches
Wheelbase: 57.7 Inches
Weight: 568.8 Pounds
Length: 84.3 Inches
Height: 44.9 Inches
Width: 32.7 Inches
What do you think?
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