2017 electric bike of the year: Energica Ego
Times are a changing and for the first time we’ve had to create a new Bike of the Year category for electric machines. It’s a class that’s set to grow in the future, but for 2017 the Energica Ego has rocked our world on the road and at this year’s TT Zero where it became the first production electric bike to lap the famous 37¾-mile track.
Power is sportsbike-thrilling. It does 0-60 in less than three seconds and despite weighing 280kg, it handles a lot better than you’d think. If electric bikes are the future then they’ve got off to an impressive start. On appearance alone the Energica Ego looks the finished article. Line it up side-by-side with a conventional bike and you’d never guess it was powered by electricity.
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The Italian built machine comes with quality adjustable 43mm Marzocchi suspension, Brembo brakes, a reverse gear, ABS and a multi-function digital dash with Bluetooth connectivity.A limited 45-unit run of a special edition Ego45 also has a fast-charging system, OZ wheels, Öhlins suspension and carbon fibre bodywork.
Energica claims the electric motor has twice the torque of a superbike from zero revs to 4700rpm and around the same bhp as a GSX-R750. Power arrives and there’s just one continuous wave of thrust. Rider modes can be changed on the move and you can also adjust the level of engine braking and battery regeneration within the riding modes. Battery range is between 80-120miles. The Ego is heavy, but feels surprisingly light on the move. This is a very serious machine.
We raced it… and broke a record
We made a slice of history when we joined forces with Energica’s UK importer, Moto Corsa in the summer to become the first team to race an electric production bike in the TT Zero race. Until this year only prototypes had competed, but riding a standard Ego, with only the mirrors and sidestand removed, our aim was to first qualify and then, fingers crossed, complete the one-lap race itself.
Not only did we make the grid, we finished seventh and set a new production electric bike lap record in the process. Amazingly only three bikes completed a lap on the first nigh tof practice: ours, and two, million dollar factory Mugens ridden by Bruce Anstey and Guy Martin. We set a benchmark speed of 74.79mph and over the course of the week that pace climbed to 79.63mph and 80.72mph – fast enough to have placed the Ego second in the first-ever TT Zero race in 2009.
It was a special moment as I crossed the line to finish the race in seventh place. I had 17% battery left, clocked 100.47mph though the speed trap and over the TT’s bumpiest sections the Energica was unfazed and soaked up the punishment.