Artisan EV0 (2019) | Review

 

Until recently, electric two-wheelers came in virtually two choices: the well-respected Zero motorcycles, or scooters (most of which were mopeds) and nothing in between. Now there's a new breed of 125cc equivalent bikes. All right, there are just two of them so far, but I reckon these battery bikes could be just the thing for commuters who don't fancy a scooter. The Artisan EV0 is the first to hit the streets.

 

Artisan EV0 (2019) | Review

 

2019 Artisan EV0 Price

The EV0 is over £700 cheaper than its only rival, the Super Soco TC Max, but that's easily explained. The TC Max is faster (62mph), has a bigger battery and the maker claims an 80-mile range (which I haven't had a chance to test yet). It's also more of a motorcycle than a mini-bike, with 17-inch wheels. But at £3295 the EV0 is still well priced – just a pity that Artisan have chosen not to apply for the OLEV government grant, which would knock off another 20%.

 

Rivals

Artisan EV0

Super Soco TC Max

Power

3Kw

3Kw

Top speed

50mph

62mph

Price

£3295

£3995

 

Artisan EV0 (2019) | Review

 

Power and torque

Electric motors have a secret weapon – the EV0 motor's 3Kw translates into a miserable 4bhp, but like all electrics it has a generous slab of torque from zero rpm. The bike weighs only 120kg, so you get zippy acceleration from rest, certainly enough to get safely through busy roundabouts and away from red lights. The quick action twist grip needs gentle use at town speeds and there are three power levels claiming 30, 40 and 50mph respectively, though in practice the first two can't quite manage their claimed speed. Still, the EV0 is very easy to zip around town on, light and slim enough to filter, plus fast enough for 40mph limits, topping out at an indicated fifty. A faster 60mph version goes on sale later in 2019.

 

Artisan EV0 (2019) | Review

 

2019 Artisan EV0 Range and charging

Artisan claims a 56-mile range, which sounds OK...until you find that this is at a steady 28mph. In practice, I found that the test bike's battery had just 8% juice left after 29 miles and a mix of urban riding and flat-out at 40-50mph – keep clear of main roads and a 30-mile range should be safe. Charging is the slow sort (Artisan claims 6 hours from flat) from a standard three-pin socket, and the 2.2kwh battery isn't removable, so you'll need an extension cable if you can't park next to a power source.

 

Artisan EV0 (2019) | Review

 

Handling, suspension, chassis and weight

The EV0, let's be clear, is not a full-size motorcycle. It's a tiny thing with 12-inch wheels and more than a passing resemblance to a Honda MSX/Grom mini-bike. Small wheels will never deliver as much stability as big ones, but it does handle quite well – the Timsun tyres hang on and the bike's short wheelbase and wide bars make it light and quick to steer. And being small with a low 765mm seat makes the bike completely non-intimidating, which is a good point for novice riders taking to this on a CBT. Finally, it weighs the same as a typical 125, so the EV0 is easy to manhandle.

 

Artisan EV0 (2019) | Review

 

2019 Artisan EV0 Brakes

The front and rear discs (linked as on all new A1 bikes) don't have high tech regen, which puts power back into the battery rather than wasting it through through the discs, but they're fine for the Evo's performance.

 

Comfort

You wouldn't expect a bike this small to be comfy, but the EV0 isn't too bad. Six-footers might feel cramped, but it was OK for me (5'6”). Forget about pillions though – the short seat and lack of pillion pegs make them a no-no.

 

Artisan EV0 (2019) | Review

 

Rider aids/Equipment

The EV0 has a standard digital dash...and it's almost unreadable, not bright enough and prone to reflecting the sun back at you. You get a big speedo and a 10-segment battery level meter with a tiny percentage read out (don't try and read this on the move!) The meter measures voltage, so it fluctuates while you ride, dropping if you ride hard up hill and recovering a bit on the way down the other side. It really needs a couple of minutes at rest to get a true reading. As for other aids, there's a little luggage room in the false tank, and a small rack.

 

Styling

The EV0 bears a marked resemblance to the Honda MSX/Grom mini bike, but the makers have clearly tried to suggest it's more of a mini Ducati Monster – note the exposed trellis frame, gaudy covers and fake grilles.

 

Artisan EV0 (2019) | Review

 

2019 Artisan EV0 Verdict

The EV0 3 isn't a sophisticated little bike, and the range restricts it to short commutes only. Still, it's a perky little machine which performs well in town and is fun to ride.  The Super Soco TC Max looks like a good alternative if you can justify the extra cash.

 

Three things I loved about the Artisan EV0…

  • Small size
  • Good to ride around town
  • Near-125 performance

 

Three things that I didn’t…

  • Limited range
  • 60mph top speed would be more useful
  • Non-removable battery

 

Colours

Black/Red, Black/Green

 

2019 Artisan EV0 Specification

Motor and transmission

 

Type

Electric

Max power

3Kw (3000w)

Range

90km at 45kmh

Battery type

72V 30ah Lithium

Recharge cycles

c.800

Charge time

6hr from empty to full

Transmission

Automatic

Chassis

 

Frame

Tubular steel

Front tyre

130/70-12

Rear tyre

130/70-12

Front suspension

Telescopic fork, non-adj

Rear suspension

Monoshock, pre-load adj

Brakes

Single discs front and rear

Instrument display

Speedo, battery meter, mileometer

Dimensions and weights

 

Length

1880mm

Width

750mm

Height

1180mm

Seat Height

765mm

Weight

120kg

Emissions

n/a

Standard equipment

Luggage bin, rear rack

 

Website: https://artisanscooters.com/

 

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