Weighing 258kg the Ego is still as heavy as a touring bike, but it carries its weight well. The ride quality is plush and controlled, the Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tyres ooze grip and it takes little effort to turn and flick through flip-flops. You notice the weight more at low speed and when you’re paddling it around. But Energica has thought of that and given it a reverse gear. Just twist and go…backwards.
Cornering feels strange on an electric bike at first – like coasting through a bend on a big pushbike. And without an exhaust roaring in your ears, like some sort of continuous warning signal, you don’t ride an electric bike with as much respect as you should…until your first slide reminds you it’s just as easy to lose the front or spin the rear as any normal bike.
But it doesn’t take long to get used to the way the Energica goes and handles. In no time you forget you’re on a battery bike and instead carve through turns and blast along straights like a nuclear-powered maniac. It might not have gears or a clutch, but you can use the extra brain space to choose your lines, safe in the knowledge there will always be the perfect amount of torque on tap when you twist the throttle.
You can also dial in four levels of engine braking, which also helps recharge the battery when you’re off the throttle.
The Ego45 won’t wheelie, or shimmy under hard acceleration like a lightweight sportsbike. You miss out on some of the fun you get when a sportsbike is dancing in your hands at high speed, but the Energica is still quick enough to make you smile.
An oil-cooled three-phase AC permanent magnet motor has twice the torque of a superbike from zero revs to 4700rpm and makes around the same power as a GSX-R750…but all the way from 4900rpm to10,500rpm. You can adjust the level of engine braking/battery regeneration within the riding modes. The power delivery is smooth, instant and long-revving. It’s a gem of a motor.
A huge air-cooled 11.7 kWh lithium battery pack accounts for most of the Energica’s 258kg bulk. It takes around 3.5 hours to charge normally at home, or, if you use a fast-charging station, you can recharge it to 85% in 30-minutes. Range is around 90-120-miles, depending on how hard you ride. If the Ego didn’t have to lug such a big battery pack around, it would be every bit as quick as a conventional sportsbike.
Although there’s no clutch or gearbox the electric motor has an internal gearbox for its final drive ratio. The gears are deliberately straight-cut, so they scream like a jet and at high revs.
Such a heavy bike like this is tricky to paddle backwards, so there’s a helpful reverse gear. Just select reverse mode on the dash with the starter button, twist the throttle and back you go. Top speed in reverse is 1.74mph, so it doesn’t go as fast backwards as it does forwards.
Energica is part of the bigger CRP Group, who make precision parts for F1, so it should come as no surprise the Ego is well-built and should stand the test of time, but the battery pack will degrade slightly each time it’s recharged. Energica are working on a ‘Second Life’ battery project that will let owners to rent a battery for a small monthly fee and the battery will be replaced when it wears out.
It’s an expensive machine to buy and until there are more fast charging stations installed in the UK you’re going to have to plan your route carefully with such a small battery range. But charging the battery is extremely cheap, especially during cheap domestic night rates.
The Ego comes with quality adjustable suspension, Brembo brakes, reverse gear, Bosh ABS, multi-function digital dash, Bluetooth connectivity and quality cycle parts. A limited 45-unit run of the special edition Ego45 has a fast charging system, OZ wheels, Ohlins suspension, carbon fibre bodywork and Brembo brakes.