Published on July 29th, 2014 | by Susanna Schick
Energica Ego Review | A Proper Electric Superbike
Imagine you had the choice between an Italian supermodel and that nice girl next door. Both of them like you, but the girl next door loves shopping at Walmart and it shows. The Italian? Well, you probably think she’s too rich for your blood. But all that goes out the window once you actually ride her, feeling the way her top shelf suspension components hug the curves of your favorite road, and the delicious bite from her 240mm Brembos as you brake hard from her top speed of (governed) 150mph, you know you want her. At any price.
I only had her between my legs for about 17 miles, even though I begged CRP to let me ride the Energica Ego further, and faster. Even at a staggering 568 lbs, she’s easy enough to ride. Even confidence-inspiring, as Asphalt & Rubber also said. Sure, it’s not a bike you’d flick around through tight traffic, but it performed beautifully in the tight twisties known as “The Snake“. Because I’ve primarily been riding Yamaha R1’s the past decade, I felt right at home on the bike. The footpegs were a bit too high for me (I’m 5’11), but it was a nice contrast after scraping pegs on the Zero SR the day before at Laguna Seca.
The Ego is a big bike, and I like big bikes. At 100kw, it’s got twice the motor of the SR, and 143 ft/lbs of torque vs 106 on the Zero. We were forced to sign a contract promising not to wheelie the Ego, or ride recklessly, and I did my best to hold back. We had to stay behind our ride leader the entire time. As you can see in the video, it was a fairly mellow ride:
The Ego is a very smooth ride that definitely corners like it’s on rails. It hold its line perfectly through the twisties, although I would really love to be fast enough to put this bike through its paces in the TT Zero. I rode in sport mode the entire time, with the regen set to “standard” for the first few miles. But the regen was so subtle I switched it to max, and it felt more like a Ducati, with that nice engine braking. It’s easy to switch modes on the fly, and the Ego features 4 settings for riding and 4 for regen.
The Energica Ego also sounds different than any other electric motorcycle. CRP explains the Ego has straight cut final drive gears similar to the drive train of an F1 car. Which would explain the high-pitched whine of the motor. It was novel, and sounds really badass, but I missed the peaceful silence of my Zero FX. Riding in Los Angeles is a bit stressful, so having one less source of noise vying for your attention, even if it’s your own bike, is nice.
The good news is, the Ego isn’t Desmosedici expensive. Just Panigale expensive. Well, the purchase price at least. Maintenance costs are basically $0 compared to a Ducati. CRP is hoping to get this bike to market at $34,000, while the Zero SR as I rode it, with the power tank, has an MSRP of $19,490. The maintenance costs on both of these bikes are practically nonexistent, so total ownership cost is more manageable than it would be for an Italian gas superbike.
That Price Includes Top-Shelf Components
You may recall we toured their factory in 2010, to see where the magic happens. CRP’s main business is 3D printing ultra-light parts for racing vehicles and spacecraft from their patented carbon “ink”, Windform.
This ultralight material enables them to pack more battery power into the Ego- 11.7kWh to be exact. CRP claims 31 miles of range under racing conditions and as much 93 miles of city riding. The TT Zero is 37.73 miles long, so they’re not far from making a bike that can compete there. The bike also features a reverse gear, to make it easier to park. This is nice, since the regen can really make it hard to back up even the 280 lb Zero FX.
Marchesini wheels hold Pirelli Diablo Rosso’s, my personal favorite tire brand. Brembos stop those wheels with a pair of 320mm rotors and 4 piston caliper brakes up front and a 220mm rotor and 2 piston caliper on the rear. In production, there will also be a Bosch ABS system.
This massive beast is exceptionally well handled by fully adjustable Marzocchi 43mm forks and a fully adjustable Ohlins shock. None of which were adjusted specifically for me, and I felt fine on the bike. My videographer said I looked much more comfortable on the Ego than I do on my R1. I felt more comfortable, even though it’s 140 lbs heavier. It’s just so much smoother and easier to manage the power. I thoroughly enjoyed riding this bike, and would certainly consider it as a canyon and trackday bike.