An upright riding position, with a hint of aggression through rear-set pegs and canted forward bars scream super naked and put you in an attacking position without being uncomfortable
With no engine noise to cover the crash and bang of suspension play or the slap of a chain most electric bikes sound awful over bumps. Happily, the Energica’s chassis is tight and clatter-free, but its bulk causes a lots of weight transfer through the forks when you roll-off the throttle. There’s some vagueness and instability tipping into corners, but on the straights those kilos actually help the ride quality, stamping out bumps in its path.
With its optional equipment Öhlins suspension (Marzocchi forks and Bitubo shock are standard) the Eva Ribelle is rock-stable, steers with precision and digs in through its Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tyres.
Brembos are strong but need a big squeeze and a dab of rear if you want to get 270kg of metal, plastic and battery stopped in a hurry, but adjustable engine braking control (four settings) gives a helping hand and regenerates power.
The Eva Ribelle’s electric motor is the same as the Italian firm’s MotoE racer, detuned slightly from 160bhp to a still healthy 144bhp and 159ftlb of torque.
A new 21.5kWh (the old Eva was 11.7kWh) Lithium-polymer battery is the most powerful ever fitted to an electric production bike and weighs 5% less.
Energica says the Eva Ribelle is good for 249 town miles, 112 miles on the motorway and 143 miles general mucking about. Fast charging to 80% full takes around 42 minutes and a slower Level 2 charger will give you 41.5 miles for every hour its plugged in.
We didn’t get to test the new battery’s impressive credentials during our short test at its world launch, but we did get to feel the force. Churning out 144bhp and a tarmac-ruffling 159ftlb of torque (just four shy of the new Triumph Rocket 3) acceleration is as savage as a top drawer super naked.
In in fact it pulls even harder because with all that weight squishing down on its tyres the Energica just digs in and goes, barely lifting its front wheel. And with no gear changes to interrupt its ferocious thrust it’s almost a relief to neck muscles when it hits its 125mph limit.
It gets better. A petrol-powered engine would sell its soul for the Energica’s flawless throttle manners, linear torque curve and you quickly get used to its easy, super-scooter-like twist and go-ness. But its lack of clutch takes away the tactile pleasure of pushing and pulling on levers and robs you of the chance to playfully flick-up a front wheel.
Four riding modes and traction control adds to the Energica’s riding armoury, but there’s another thing missing: the sound, feel and soul of pistons dancing beneath you. The electric motor has its own distinctive jet fighter-like whine, but the unadulterated joy of revving a Tuono V4 motor or crossplane crank MT-10 is conspicuous by its absence. On the flip side it has a reverse gear and even the Aprilia doesn’t have one of those.
With top notch chassis components, a three year (bike) and 31,000 mile battery warranty the Energica shouldn’t be a drain to own, if you can afford the eye-watering price tag and when your factory parent company is the CRP Group, a precision engineering company producing unobtanium pieces for F1 and aircraft, it’s no surprise the Eva Ribelle is finished so well.
A colour dash, riding modes, traction control, cruise control and ABS are all standard and factory extras include carbon fibre panels, keyless ignition and heated grips.
Compared to an equivalent petrol powered super naked the Energica isn’t cheap, but some of that cost will be recouped by avoiding petrol stations and cheap overnight charges at home.
Standard equipment includes fully adjustable Marzocchi forks, Bitubo rear shock, colour dash, riding modes, traction control, ABS and battery regen. Optional extras include Öhlins suspension, carbon fibre panels, keyless ignition, heated grips, cruise control and OZ forged aluminium wheels.