Electric bikes are really coming along nicely and the market is responding in kind, evidenced by sales of Energica’s Ego outstripping production to the point that it reached “sold out” status just over halfway through the model year.

While the Ego and limited-production Ego45 are pure sex on two wheels, Energica designed the Eva as a more pragmatic, naked streetfighter meant to capitalize on the growing interest in minimalist/bare muscle bikes. This is an important move since it advances the cause and fosters the legitimacy of electric bikes in general by showing a selection of styles that smoker-bike riders will readily recognize.

Continue reading for my review of the Energica Eva.

  • 2016 Energica Eva
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Permanent Magnetic AC (PMAC), Oil Cooled|
  • Top Speed:
    124 mph
  • Price:
    34500

Design

2016 Energica Eva
- image 684771

The Eva definitely isn’t quite as swag-tastic as the Ego line, with much less in the way of body panels so the bike’s true nature as an electric ride is more readily apparent. Having said that, it isn’t quite as obvious as with a Zero or Victory Emplulse for instance, but the Eva won’t be blending in with the other bikes in the parking lot any time soon, that much is for sure.

The cut-down panels leave the motor and some of the other internals visible along with the frame for that naked-bike look that is so popular now. Tail and nose are nearly level with only the slightest bit of nose-down attitude in the stance, and the components framed by the “engine cowling” look very much like the radiator and oil cooler on a smoker bike, especially from a distance. In fact, the side-by-side headlight arrangement and flyscreen design are strikingly similar to the Kawasaki FZ-10, so I guess it’s fair to say that Energica didn’t get too far outside the norm with its electric streetfighter.

The upper lines mimic the fuel tank bump we are all used to seeing on gas bikes with an angled drop to the saddle scoop for comfort when you lean forward over the tank area. A tapered waist makes for a short trip from ground to hip and leaves plenty of room for body English in the sweeps, so you get the full riding experience — just without the smoke, noise and vibration.

Chassis

2016 Energica Eva
- image 684769

Exposed Trellis frames are part of the required equipment when building a streetfighter, and Energica doesn’t disappoint with a tubular-steel Trellis painted white in contrast to its surrounds, because one should never be too subtle for one’s audience, right? A cast aluminum swingarm finishes out the bones with an inverted triangle shape that puts at least some of the weight below the axle.

Inverted, 43 mm front forks come fully adjustable with variable spring preload as well as rebound and compression damping, so you can dial in the front end better than many bike on the market today. A Bitubo, coil-over monoshock comes visibly offset in the frame and also provides for adjustments to spring preload and rebound damping.

Energica was serious indeed about the brakes, and went straight to the top shelf with Brembo products all the way around. The 330 mm, dual front discs are as big as I’ve seen on anything so far, and they come with four-pot, opposed-piston, radially mounted calipers to bind them. Naturally, the rear brakes aren’t quite as serious with a 240 mm disc and twin-pot caliper, but that is sufficient considering that the rear brakes only make up 30% of the overall braking effort. A switchable Bosch ABS stands overwatch to prevent wipe outs from overbraking, or not, whichever you prefer. Cast-aluminum rims mount the 17-inch Pirelli Diablo Rosso II hoops, and the 120/70 front- and 180/55 rear tires put plenty of high-performance rubber on the road.

So far, everything is more or less on par with, or even a little better than, the rest of the market as far as looks and features, but we are about to shift from apples to oranges now that we are down to the beating heart.

Drivetrain

2016 Energica Eva
- image 684772

Instead of an internal combustion engine and transmission, the Eva runs an oil-cooled, permanent-magnet AC (PMAC) electric motor with a direct drive that precludes the need for a variable-ratio gearbox. This motor cranks out a whopping 125 pound-feet of torque backed up by 95 horsepower, and it’s all there as soon as you roll on with no need to spool up first. This is enough to propel the Eva down the road at up to 124 mph, and much more than you can legally use on public streets.

The power pack consists of 11.7 kilowatt hours worth of storage. To put that into perspective, it’s enough to ride the Eva up to 120 miles in its power-saving ECO mode at 124 mph. While not explicitly stated, I imagine that the slower speeds associated with actual road conditions can extend that range quite a bit, but since there are so many variables involved, Energica reflected its range at top speed as the baseline. The batteries have a lifespan of 1200 cycles, and can charge from 0-to-100% at home or at public charging stations in 3.5 hours, and it can reduce that to 30 minutes with a Mode 4 DC Fast Charge, all with the on-board charger.

Much like many of the top streetbikes out there, the Eva comes with a four-position, switchable riding-mode function that tweaks power deliver for conditions and preferences. It also comes with a four-position, regenerative-braking function that converts backtorque back into electrical energy and stores it in the battery. The electrical nature of the drive system also enables a really cool feature for parking lot navigation: the Park Assistant function that moves the bike in forward or reverse at a max of 1.74 mph. I won’t try to guess how many times I wish I had that on a bike, but if I had a dollar for every time, I could buy a 12-pack and take the rest of the day off.

Pricing

2016 Energica Eva
- image 684779

Electric bikes are still rather expensive to produce, so it’s really no shock at all that the Eva breaks 30K at $34,500. To be fair, you get a nice looking ride that sports a lot of features most electrics leave on the shelf, but at that price you really have to want the Eva, it’s not something you will naturally gravitate toward if you are shopping on a budget.

Competitors

2016 Victory Empulse TT
- image 644846
2016 Energica Eva
- image 684768

There are still only a handful of fairly comparable electric models out there, but since Victory had such a good run in the 2016 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb by coming up in first place among the electrics with its Empulse TT, I decided it would be my huckleberry for this head-to-head.

Viewed in profile and silhouette, both bikes can easily pass for a conventional, gas-powered ride. Typical front ends with faux gas tank bumps and deep-scoop saddles define the shape of the upper lines that are responsible for this illusion. Viewed in full light the truth is revealed, and though both are obviously electric rides, the slab-sided look of the Empulse’s midsection gives it away faster than anything on the Eva.

Both of these rides show some serious competitive spirit in the suspension category. Fully adjustable front and rear, the shocks and forks allow for complete tune-ability of the ride quality right in line with the top-of-the-line sportbikes, and better than most mid-grade and budget bikes. Brembo brake products are also consistent across the board, as is the regenerative braking feature that converts some of the excess kinetic energy back into electrical energy. In short, neither gains an advantage here.

Battery storage is close, with Victory falling just a skosh short with a 10.4 kWh capacity versus 11.7 kWh in the Eva. Flat-out performance falls off a bit too with 54 ponies and 61 pounds of grunt for a top speed of something just over 100 mph against the Eva’s 95 ponies, 125 pounds and 124 mph top speed. That’s all fine and good, but again I ask; how much do you really need in your everyday riding? One interesting difference here is with the transmission, namely that the Empulse actually has a gearbox complete with clutch and shifter. With all that torque, it doesn’t actually need the gearbox, but it does keep motor revs down and gives your left hand and foot something to do.

Victory picks up its biggest win at the till. While the $19,999 pricetag isn’t exactly what you would call a bargain-hunters dream, it’s a sight better than the 34.5K sticker on the Eva. Remember what I said about having to really want an Eva to buy an Eva? Well, this is part of what I meant.

He Said

“As usual, I’m tickled with anything that demonstrates how viable electric vehicles have become here lately, and the Eva certainly does that. It seems to be a more honest ride than the Ego in that it doesn’t try as hard to look like a gas-powered bike, but it still manages to retain enough of the familiar to not be visually off-putting. All in all, I call this another win by Energica, even if the sticker could use a little work still.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “I do think prices will come down as popularity grows and part of the bottleneck right now is the availability of public charging stations. California is, I believe, one of the states moving toward that end, so if the U.S. is going to embrace the electric motorcycle market, it’ll get a foothold on the west coast.”

Specifications

MOTOR TYPE: Permanent Magnetic AC (PMAC), Oil Cooled
PERFORMANCE:
MAX SPEED: Max Speed Limited at 200 km/h (124 mph), Range up to 200 km (ECO mode) (124mph)
TORQUE: 170 Nm
POWER: 70 kW (ca 95 hp)
RANGE: Up to 200 km (ECO mode)
RIDING MODES: 4-Riding Modes: URBAN, ECO, RAIN, SPORT(1) - 4-Regenerative Maps: LOW, MEDIUM, HIGH AND OFF
PARK ASSISTANT: BACK AND FORTH (1.74 mph MAX SPEED)
BATTERY:
CAPACITY: 11.7 kWh
LIFE: 1200 CYCLES @ 80% CAPACITY (100% DOD)
RECHARGE: 3.5h (0-100% SOC) MODE 1, 2 OR 3 CHARGE, 30 min (0-85% SOC); MODE 4 DC FAST CHARGE (1)(2)
CYCLE PARTS:
FRONT WHEEL: Cast Aluminum 3,5” x 17”
REAR WHEEL: Cast Aluminum 5,5” X 17”
FRONT TYRE: 120/70 ZR17 PIRELLI DIABLO ROSSO II
REAR TYRE: 180/55 ZR17 PIRELLI DIABLO ROSSO II
FRAME: STEEL TUBULAR TRELLIS
SWINGARM: CAST ALUMINUM
FRONT SUSPENSION: Ø43MM, ADJUSTABLE REBOUND AND COMPRESSION DAMPING, SPRING PRELOAD
REAR MONO: BITUBO, REAR MONO SHOCK ADJUSTABLE REBOUND, SPRING PRELOAD
CHAIN: (16/44) 525 O-RING CHAIN
ABS: BOSCH SWITCHABLE
FRONT BRAKE: BREMBO, DOUBLE FLOATING DISCS, Ø330 mm, 4 PISTONS RADIAL CALIPERS
REAR BRAKE: BREMBO, SINGLE DISC, Ø240mm, 2 PISTON CALIPER
ELECTRONICS:
BATTERY 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 Interface. LRP (LONG PERIOD REST) Function. Allows the maintenance and automatic balancing of the batteries during long period of nonuse
CONNECTIVITY: Short Range Connectivity: Bluetooth 3.0 Module, range 100m; Long Range Connectivity: LTE/ UMTS/GPRS Module, SMS, TCP/IP, FTP, SOCKET, HTTP Communications (1)(2)
DASHBOARD: 4.3” WQVGA 480×272 TFT Color Display with internal memory for datalogging,
integrated GPS receiver and Bluetooth communication 16.7 ml colors; 9 warning lights; 6 + 6 current consumption lights; GPS 10HZ; Bluetooth dual mode 2.1 e 4.0; Real Time Clock; Ambient Light Sensor
VEHICLE CONTROL UNIT: A Vehicle Control Unit implementing a multi-map adaptive energy and power management algorithm manages the vehicle. It constantly monitors batteries, even in key off position
DIMENSIONS:
SEAT HEIGHT: 795 mm
WHEELBASE: 1465 mm
LENGTH: 2140 mm
HEIGHT: 1220 mm
WIDTH: 870 mm

Source: Energica Eva Brochure

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