A single charge of the battery lasts for around 60 miles of steady town riding, or 30 at full throttle. The remaining range is displayed both as a percentage and in bar chart form on the LCD dash, which is handy. The bike works okay around town, although a slight surge from the motor when holding the throttle steady suggests a lack of development. On open roads its meagre power and very modest top speed means you can find yourself being hassled by lorries. Better to stick to quieter, bendier backroads than trunk routes.
The TC Max is the fastest, sportiest and most powerful bike in Super Soco’s range, though that’s not saying much. It’s powered by a 6.7bhp electric motor, half the power of a learner 125, driving the back wheel through a toothed belt. The motor only needs to propel 100kg, which is less than the weight of a Honda MSX125.
Even so, there are three power modes: ‘1’ limits top speed to 30mph, ‘2’ restricts it to 40ph and ‘3’ releases the full package. That full package relates to a claimed top speed of 58mph, although our datalogger recorded a less-than-impressive 49mph.
In short: who knows? Super Soco is such a new brand that both reliability and battery durability remain unproven – more time and miles are needed. The overall sense of component quality (tyres, suspension, pegs and grips) is best described as in-keeping with its budget price, although nothing went wrong during our fairly brief test ride. The TC Max comes with a two-year warranty, extended to three years for the battery. A service is needed every 2000 miles.
With BMW’s C-evolution costing £10k, Harley-Davidson’s new Livewire a hefty £28,750 and Zero’s SR\F almost £20k, the £4045 Super Soco TC Max represents incredible value for an electric motorcycle. Ok, so it lacks the power of the aforementioned, but still offers a very affordable way to get around town or to work and back. That value for money makes this electric machine a very viable alternative to its petrol-powered rivals; Yamaha’s YZF-R125 costs £4574, for example. A full charge costs around 50p, meaning the TC Max’s ‘fuel’ bill is minimal – just a penny per mile. And the belt final drive means no lube or cleaning is required.
Insurance group: 9 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.
There are neat touches like keyless ignition, linked brakes (no ABS), and an alarm which locks the rear wheel when activated. The TC Max also comes with spoked wheels for an extra £100. You can charge the bike by plugging the external charger into the side of the bike, or you can remove the 3.24kWh lithium-ion battery and take it into your house or office to charge it up. But it weighs a whopping 21.6kg, so a few sessions at the gym might be needed before tackling this task.