When I first laid eyes on the Energica EVA, I admit, I was a little underwhelmed.
The EVA that sat before me on a tiny city street in Singapore, was a sexy hyper naked super bike, which happens to look similar, to any number of hyper naked super bikes in current existence. In contrast, the Eva of my dreams is a goddess standing alone and matchless in an ancient garden.
So, it took some mental acrobatics to see beyond what’s there to what isn’t; from the presence of a fat rear tyre, signalling more than a hundred horses, to the absence of a fat exhaust to go along with it. In fact, the EVA doesn’t have an exhaust at all, or headers for that matter, or a clutch, or gear lever, or…
You know where this is going, so let’s get the boring bits out of the way.
The Energica EVA EsseEsse9+ is a sexy Italian electric hyper naked super bike. She goes from naught to nirvana (thank you Cherie) at the twist of a throttle while putting down 200Nm of very linear torque to an electronically limited 200km/h.
Where other hyper nakeds tend to look like weapons of mass disruption, or discussion, the EVA’s neo-retro curves and diagonal lines, ice-cool colour combination, and roomy seat wrapped in warm tones, convey a subtle invitation to ride, and perhaps even bring a friend along, if you dare.
But first, who is Energica and how dare they refuse to imbue their mean machine with an even meaner soundtrack?
The company belongs to the CRP Group, based in the Emilia-Rogmano valley in North-Central Italy; spritely and silver-haired and known for their work in prototyping and additive manufacturing for both motorsports and manufacturing, since the 70s.
Energica (energetic in English) was borne out of the eCRP project that started in 2009, which in electric vehicle (EV) terms is about an eon. Considering Ducati was birthed in the early 1900s, in the same region, as an electronic components manufacturer, the path of this young upstart is not as deviant as one might think.
EVA, as you might have guessed, refers to Eve “the living one”, and like the first man, I too found it impossible to refuse a nibble on this succulent fruit.
As an aside, Emilia-Rogmano is also home to Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and everyone’s favourite desmodromic pioneer, so if you’ve got high-performing blood vessels, this might be your perfect next holiday destination.
Back to the ride. As I straddled the bike and pressed the red starter, the lack of the usual signs of life was disorienting. Brain jam.
“Is this thing even on?”, I blinked to myself.
Then, placing my palm on the “tank”, I detected an almost imperceptible vibration.
The TFT screen encouraged me to GO, I trusted it with a twist of the wrist and the bike moved forward confidently and noiselessly. My head spun.
“It’s an electric bicycle… but NOT!”, my limited experience informed me.
No heat or angry roar. No need for a quick shifter because not shifting was even quicker. A little twist and lots of go. All to the sound of silence.
Instead, what telegraphed speed was the burst of wind in my face, the mind-bending way lampposts started to meld into each other, underscored by the barely-there whine of the EVA’s electric motor working beneath me.
For the interested, the EVA EsseEsse9+’s sustained horsepower runs just north of the century, which is plenty for most public roads. This power is delivered from a liquid-cooled Hybrid Synchronous Motor with Adaptive Control Inverter, helped by a middle-management layer of rider modes and ABS, ensuring a measured, yet scarily instant delivery of forward thrust.
Energica is also the main constructer for the FIM MotoE World Cup so a lot of the latest tech in battery management, motor design and power delivery flows into their consumer models; and it shows in the way the EVA handled throttle input so cleanly on my ride.
The EVA also shed speed progressively, soaked up the road, and devoured corners like fast food, thanks to a well-balanced tubular steel trellis frame, adjustable Marzocchi forks, Bitubo mono shock and Brembos with double floating discs in front and a single disc in the rear, even without the benefit of sag settings and other suspension tweaks.
Overall, the EVA’s aggressive and street-friendly package performed as well on my short test ride as the marketing material claims.
Those are my first impressions of the Energica EVA EsseEsse9+. Look at part two for an in-depth look at what it would be like to live with this sexy Italian electro-goddess.
Tim sometimes does inappropriate things (like riding dirt bikes in underground carparks). This is Tim, don’t be like him.