NEW Energica Experia Review 2022

 

Launch price: £27,790 | Power: 101hp | Torque: 85 lb.ft | Weight: 260kg (wet) | Rating: 4/5

 

Ride review: Michael Mann

Technical review: Ben Purvis

 

Adventure bikes have dominated sales for the last 15 years and electric motorcycle sales are growing at a faster rate than any other category, but we’ve seen relatively few attempts to combine the two. Energica’s new Experia looks to be the most convincing attempt yet to create a battery-powered machine that genuinely matches ICE-powered rivals in terms of performance, weight and range.

The adventure-tourer’s role has always been to carry one or two people, plus their luggage, for considerable distances at a decent lick, and being able to tackle the less-than-ideal roads you might discover at your idyllic destination. It’s a demanding set of requirements, and electric bikes usually fall short, lacking at least one of the key elements of range, performance, and wieldy handling. On paper, the Experia ticks all those boxes, though, and while the chore of charging remains less convenient than topping off a tank and could still be a barrier to true continent-crossing treks that take you away from the comfort of a fast-charger network it’s by no means the deal-breaker that it might have been until relatively recently.

On the road, the new bike from EV specialists, Energica, stands up to the non-conformists/keyboard know-it-alls with this completely new platform including a bespoke frame, motor and battery with a focus on efficiency and aerodynamics to enhance the ride, and to take motorcycling EVs to the next level. The new model has undergone some significant R&D and has only taken 18 months from concept to production, courtesy of the in-house technical resources at Energica. And while weight has been a key bugbear with electric motorcycles so far, at least the weight of the Experia, akin to a R1250 GSA, suits the style of bike which translates to a much more familiar style of ride.

Off we trotted to the Dolomites in Northern Italy for a short test ride where the low-speed acceleration, balance and handling, rider comfort, plus electronic improvements stood out. It wasn’t a long enough tide to test range, nor was there an opportunity to take a pillion, so we’ll reserve judgement on some elements until the full UK test.

 

Pros & Cons
  • Huge battery means promised range is greater than most electric bikes
  • Fast charging means 40-minute refills where there’s a suitable network
  • 260kg weight is on a par with petrol-powered adventure bikes
  • Sweet handling and rider comfort
  • Performance is more than enough (0-60 = 3.5s)
  • You’ll struggle to find a fast charger in remote corners of the earth
  • Price point is still a major blocker
  • Small refinements required like wind deflectors, hand guards, and an alternative colour
  • No centre stand

 

Energica Experia Price

How much is the 2022 Energica Experia? £27,790

Just one colour of Experia is being offered initially, dubbed ‘Bormio Ice’ and while order books are open now, deliveries are planned from late Spetember/early October. The ‘Launch Edition’ version of the bike will come first, complete with panniers and a top box as well as heated grips and the black-and-red wheels seen in these images. Though in our test, we left the panniers and top box behind.

 

Power and torque

Energica’s previous models – the Eva Ribelle streetfighter, the Ego superbike and the EsseEsse9 roadster – have all shared similar powertrains offering between 109hp (for the EsseEsse9) and 171hp for the top Ego and Eva variants. Similarly, their torque has been astounding, with as much as 159 lb-ft on tap and 148 lb-ft from even the least powerful versions.

The Experia’s figures aren’t so stratospheric. Peak power, available for brief periods, is 101hp (75kW) and the motor’s continuous maximum is 80hp (60kW). Torque is also reduced compared to earlier models, although by any normal yardstick the Experia’s 85 lb-ft is still pretty impressive.

The Experia’s power and performance is more than enough for a touring bike – pulling out to overtake on the mountain passes, or powering out of the never-ending slow, switchback hairpins – was a joy each time courtesy of the low-speed torque. Smooth, strong power and a subtle squat to the rear is a tidy mixture and offered a performance feeling just as strong as a Multistrada V4 or Super Adventure 1290. There’s an initial hit of power, but the mid-range pull is the explosive part – it just keeps powering on but in a respectable-ish manner. The balance of the bike remains in check, and the front wheel has no interest in lifting. That performance is managed off-throttle too, we’ll come onto that…

 

2022 Energica Experia (104)

 

Engine, gearbox, and exhaust

Energica says that the Experia’s motor is completely new, describing it as a ‘PMASynRM’ design. To electronics engineers in the audience, that means it’s a combination of a synchronous reluctance motor (which would have no permanent magnets or windings) and a more conventional permanent magnet design, aiming to get the benefits of both designs.

With 101hp and 85lb-ft of torque, its performance is in the right ballpark when compared to the ICE-powered adventure bikes that the Experia competes with, and as usual with an electric bike there’s no need for a multi-speed transmission – the motor’s torque is greatest at low speed, so it can pull a highway ratio from standstill, and top speed is restricted to 112mph.

While less powerful than Energica’s earlier motors, the new unit is also lighter and positioned lower in the chassis for improved handling. It also offers the ability to operate in reverse at low speed to assist with parking manoeuvres.

Having recently ridden the other three of Energica’s offerings, each equipped with the updated 2022 motor, the Experia’s brand new, smaller and much lighter (10kg, in fact!) version was developed specifically for the new platform, and this sports-tourer won’t be the only model to embrace it, we were told on the riding launch. Outright, top-end performance is not the Experia’s protocol, and while a top speed restriction for this model is irrelevant, given that it’s set a jail-time speed, it’s the performance to get out of corners, junctions, roundabouts, or for the overtake that impresses the most. The instant whine of the new motor pulls with enough force to have your neck muscles tightening, without being snatchy. The pitch of the engine’s revs is what traditionally communicates ‘change up now’ to us, and we respond accordingly. In this new era, the whine simply gets higher and higher leaving you to judge the speed at which the scenery passes by or sneaking a peek at the display of course. And this is part of the recalibration required when riding an electric bike for the first time, making those manoeuvre judgements without the familiar noises. Energica’s new steed comes equipped with cruise control to help on the motorway but rolling off and beginning the braking process can take a little getting used to.

With no gears or clutch to complicate matters, the continual climb through this monotony of hairpins was a doddle for the Experia. Just twist and go, with 101hp and a hefty dose of torque to propel me out of each. It makes the ride less fatiguing and easier to concentrate on the reasons why we ride. Not to mention the spectacular mountainous scenery.

 

 

Handling, suspension, and weight

While Energica’s other models all share a common steel trellis frame the Experia debuts a completely new chassis that combines a trellis-style front section with cast alloy elements surrounding the swingarm pivot. That swingarm is also new, supported by a Sachs shock with 150mm of rear wheel travel, adjustable rebound and preload.

Sachs also supplies the 43mm forks, which are fully adjustable for compression, rebound and preload and again have 150mm of travel. These parts mark a shift for Energica, as all the company’s other models use Marzocchi forks and Bitubo shocks. Like Energica’s other models, the wheels are 17-inch alloys, so while the Experia’s Pirelli Scorpion Trail II rubber adds an element of dirt-road ability, it’s not the sort of wire-wheeled, knobbly-tyred off-roader represented by some more extreme adventure bike rivals.

Weight, at 260kg, is on a par with the existing Eva Ribelle, Ego+ and RS, and EsseEsse9 models and competitive with several of the large petrol-powered adventure bikes on the market. Like most recent MotoGP bikes, the Experia’s motor is counter-rotating – its spindle turns the opposite direction compared to the wheels – to help reduce the bike’s total inertia and make it more flickable in corners. The weight of both the motor and battery are mounted as low as possible in the chassis to drop the centre of gravity, too, making it feel lighter than the bare figures might indicate.

The frame is deliberately narrow enough to house the new and more powerful upright battery, while the updated motor’s location is switched to a much lower home to bring the overall centre of gravity of the bike down. The invertor is then located under the seat unit. All-in-all, the new set-up adds favourably to the balance of the bike; keeping the weight low assists noticeably with cornering stability, even lethargically slamming on the brakes and shifting the forces to the front forks didn’t upset the Experia. On release of the brakes, or even trail braking into corners, and the bike seemed very well settled. The new forks and shock are manually adjustable, but I found no reason to tinker with the standard settings. Though once a little luggage or a passenger is added, that could change. The weight is comparable with some of the heavier touring bikes so, like we’ve said, it’s applicable to this sector of the market, though in this case it’s carried so very, very well.

 

 

Energica Experia (2022) Comfort and economy

As you’d expect from a bike with the Experia’s adventure-touring style, the seat is higher than the company’s other models but at 847mm it doesn’t make for a vertigo-inducing experience. It’s roughly on a par with the adventure bike yardstick, BMW’s R1250GS, which has long proved to be quite usable even for riders who aren’t overly endowed in the leg department.

Economy for an electric bike isn’t quite the question that it might be for a petrol-powered machine, as recharging the battery is going to be much cheaper than filling a tank of unleaded, but range and convenience of recharging will be the hurdle that might concern buyers above all else. The Experia’s 22.5kWh battery is claimed to be the largest of any electric bike and offers the longest range too, just pipping the 21.5kWh of the company’s other models, but it’s also said to be lighter than the company’s earlier offerings thanks to revised chemistry.

In combined use, the company says it’s good for 153 miles between charges. That figure rises to an impressive 261 miles at urban speeds, and even if you’re travelling fast it’s intended to give 130 miles of use. Under the WMTC (World Motorcycle Test Cycle) standard procedure it achieves 138 miles.

When it does run out, a DC fast charger (24kW) will give it 80% charge in 40 minutes. It can also be charged from standard 240V ‘Level 2’ and 120V ‘Level 1’ chargers overnight or if parked for longer periods. 

While our test ride was short, the volume of hairpins meant plenty of hard braking and acceleration and in Sport mode this is the worst combination for battery range. I began the ride with 97% and an estimated range of 132-miles, then 37-miles later the 5” TFT display showed 74% range and an estimated range of 86-miles. That said, I spent three-quarters of the ride in Sport mode, though managed to test Urban which seemed even smoother in its application of power than the already smooth Sport mode, while not seeming to suffer in performance. Each riding mode comes with its own pre-set for power, traction control and regen, or ‘engine braking’.

That 847mm seat height is non-adjustable though has a far narrower stand-over than a GS, for example, designed to welcome the shorter rider. I found the triangle of foot peg-seat-handlebar almost ideal for the mountain passes, offering comfort on the few straight parts, with a supportive and roomy seat. The foot pegs are adjustable and for the longer journeys I’d prefer to mover them back a little. Knees aren’t splayed out like on an ICE bike with a big fuel tank, nor were the inside of my knees knocking against the frame bolts. Then there’s the lack of heat coming from the motor which sits snugly, and seemingly in between your feet, offering an engine-like sensation through the pegs, not like a vibration but certainly you feel the whirr of that counter-rotating motor when on-or-off throttle.

A higher seat is on the cards as an optional extra soon, according to Energica CTO, Giampiero Testoni, another six-footer. He also alluded to hand guards being an option soon and he agreed with me about the requirement for additional wind deflectors for motorway cruising.

While the screen is adjustable with one-hand while riding by grabbing the horizontal bar and lifting or pulling down, the wind deflection barely changes because the range of movement is minimal. It flows neatly over my AGV, but I noticed some minimal buffeting to my shoulders and breeze on my neck.

Overall, despite the short ride, I found the Experia an easy bike to mount and dismount but also to flat-foot and maintain balance at standstill though I noticed a guide rider measuring 5’8” on his tip-toes - some modern-day bikes come fitted with the hill-hold which would also be useful here.

 

Brakes

As on Energica’s other models, the brakes are from Brembo, with two 330mm discs and four-pot calipers at the front and a single 240mm disc and two piston caliper at the back. Bosch’s latest 9.3 MP cornering ABS system is standard.

On top of that, there’s a regenerative braking system with four modes – high, medium, low or off – that mimics the engine braking of a conventional bike to a greater or lesser degree while simultaneously using the bike’s deceleration to feed electricity back to the battery.

The pre-set regen or ‘engine’ braking set itself back to B0 (off) when I flicked from Sport to Urban mode, meaning the bike would freewheel when off the throttle, but that can be amended on the fly with a quick tap of the button mounted on the left-hand switchgear. I tried levels B1 (low) and B2 (medium) of the four available and my preference for this journey was the intervention of B2, particularly when heading downhill into yet another 180-degree bend.

The performance:weight ratio of electric bikes means its brakes must be up to scratch, and thankfully the Brembo components on the Experia are juuuuust about there. I’ve not squeezed a brake lever so hard on the road before, but I never got into any trouble, and just like the rest of the experience, it’s about revising what you know from ICE bikes.

 

 

Rider aids, charging, and accessories

Electric bikes have always had an edge when it comes to rider aids – the completely variable, computer-controlled power levels make kit like traction control relatively easy to implement – so the Experia isn’t short of such assistance.

There’s a six-level traction control system, working alongside the cornering ABS keep you out of trouble, and the bike offers no fewer than seven rider modes – four as factory presets, the other three customisable by the rider. Standard modes are Eco, Urban, Rain and Sport.

There’s also cruise control as standard, which doesn’t just operate the throttle but automatically operates the regenerative braking function to decelerate when necessary to maintain your chosen pace.

Other standard kit includes dual USB ports on the dash, itself equipped with a TFT display, and another two in the waterproof storage compartment on top of the tank. Accessories included on the Launch Edition – including heated grips and 112 litres of luggage – will be optionally available on the standard version, and the firm promises that the list of add-ons will grow in future.

The charge point has been moved from other models, who housed it/them under their seats, to behind a plastic panel on the right-hand side of the bike in front of the seat. No keys are required, just lift the flap and the Combo CSS charge ports are revealed for slow and fast charging. Incidentally, 0-80% charge will take just 40 minutes on a fast charger, not that anyone charges from 0%.

There’s said to be a keyless option available soon too.

 

Energica Experia (2022) Rivals

What to compare the Experia to? This bike is going to appeal to both early adopters wanting the latest cutting-edge slice of electric motorcycle tech but also intends to steal sales from more conventional adventure tourers.

In terms of electric adventure bikes, there are few rivals at the moment. Zero’s DSR is arguably the closest thing to that, albeit with far less of a long-distance focus (particularly since the fairing and pannier-equipped Black Forest Edition disappeared from the range). Zero is, however, expected to launch a more dedicated adventure machine – the DSR/X – in the near future. Other upcoming brands to watch out for include LiveWire, which launches its new ‘Arrow’ platform with the S2 Del Mar next year and is likely to add an adventure-style offering to the range later on using the same central components. Meanwhile, Can-Am is set to come back to two wheels in 2024 with an electric bike range including an adventure touring model.

Here’s a high-level comparison chart:

BMW R1250GS | Price: £14,200

Power/Torque: 136bhp/105 lb ft | Weight: 249kg

 

Zero DSR | Price: £16,190

Power/Torque: 70bhp/116 lb ft | Weight: 190kg

 

Zero SR/S | Price: £20,180

Power/Torque: 110bhp/140 lb ft | Weight: 235kg

 

Energica Eva Ribelle | Price: £26,690

Power/Torque: 171bhp/159 lb ft | Weight: 260kg

 

2022 Energica Experia (109)

 

Energica Experia (2022) Verdict

I’ve ridden the three-strong range of Energica bikes with the latest EMCE upgraded motor, and while they’re revolutionary, the bikes are still a little portly for the style of riding they designed for; sporty, mainly. The Experia steps in with a massive overhaul of almost every element – its new frame, subframe, swingarm and pivot, plus motor and battery upgrades take the performance and range to another level while the weight of the bike befits its purpose – you know how a GS will perform when you get on it, because you’re familiar with its weight. The Experia is the same, it’s a touring bike with the appropriate dimensions so when you tip into the first corner, that weight transfer isn’t a surprise. It has a beautiful balance to it; the chassis dynamics with frame dimensions, riding position, suspension, brakes, tyres offer a sweet, stable and classy riding experience.

The Experia will still create a dent in one’s piggy bank, but you can off-set some of that with fuel savings and lower servicing costs. Then there’s the real-world range and charging elements – while they’re vastly improving, you’re not going to cover 400-miles in one day quicker than a Tracer 9 GT, for example, there’s a level of contradiction with the word ‘touring’. Then again, it all boils down to what you want out of your bike. If you’re a member of the Iron Butt Brigade, then this isn’t for you. But stick it Urban or Eco and enjoy the sights and scenery of our beautiful UK roads without honing into and out of every corner, and you’ll easily manage 175-200-miles. The Tracer would need two tanks to cover that distance…just, so one stop to fill it up halfway, and you’d stop for a wee, sandwich and can of pop too. You’d end up stopping for just the same amount of time to fully charge the Experia… so maybe a 400-mile trip would end in a draw.

Overall, from what I’ve experienced so far on the new Energica, the ride quality is top class, its road handling, power/torque performance, plus comfort level are up there with the best sports-tourers I’ve ridden. I look forward to a thorough UK test including luggage and a pillion to explore the true range and charging capabilities.

 

Energica Experia (2022) Technical Specification

New price

£27,790

Engine layout

Electric

Engine details

PMASynRN (Permanent Magnet Assisted Synchronous Reluctance Motor)

Peak Power

75kW/ 101bhp @ 7500rpm

Torque

115Nm / 85ft lbs

Top speed

112mph

Transmission

Single speed (with low-speed reverse ability)

Battery

21.5kWh battery (max) – Nominal capacity 19.6kWh.

Max range to empty

Claimed: 261miles

Recharge

Fast Charge DCFC Level 3 Mode 4: 400 km/h o 6,7 km/min (248 miles/h or 4 miles/min)

Slow Charge Level 2 Mode 2 or 3: 63,5 km/h (39,5 miles/h)

Rider aids

6 x traction control levels, cornering ABS, adaptive cruise control, 7 x profiles, 4 x rider modes, 4 x regen modes

Frame

Steel trellis, aluminium side plates

Front suspension

Sachs 43mm USD forks

Front suspension adjustment

Compression, Rebound and Preload

Rear suspension

Sachs monoshock

Rear suspension adjustment

Rebound and Preload

Front brake

330mm discs x2, Brembo 4-piston calipers

Rear brake

240mm disc, Brembo 2-piston caliper

Front wheel / tyre

Alloy, 3.5” x 17”, 120/70-17 Pirelli Scorpion Trail II

Rear wheel / tyre

Alloy, 5.5” x 17”, 180/55-17 Pirelli Scorpion Trail II

Dimensions (l x w x h)

2132 x 867 x 1461mm

Wheelbase

1513mm

Seat height

847mm

Weight

260kg (wet)

MCIA Secured rating

Not yet rated

Warranty

2 years (vehicle) 3 years/50,000km for battery

Servicing

TBA

Website

www.energicamotor.com

 

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2022 Energica Experia (110)

 

What is MCIA Secured?

MCIA Secured gives bike buyers the chance to see just how much work a manufacturer has put into making their new investment as resistant to theft as possible.

As we all know, the more security you use, the less chance there is of your bike being stolen. In fact, based on research by Bennetts, using a disc lock makes your machine three times less likely to be stolen, while heavy duty kit can make it less likely to be stolen than a car. For reviews of the best security products, click here.

MCIA Secured gives motorcycles a rating out of five stars, based on the following being fitted to a new bike as standard:

  • A steering lock that meets the UNECE 62 standard
  • An ignition immobiliser system
  • A vehicle marking system
  • An alarm system
  • A vehicle tracking system with subscription

The higher the star rating, the better the security, so always ask your dealer what rating your bike has, and compare it to other machines on your shortlist.