We were contacted by Marchel Bulthuis from Energica Motor Nederland if we were interested to test the new Energica Experia at the press release day in The Netherlands. Marchel is the official importer of the Italian brand Energica in The Netherlands. Guy Salens: “I was on a little holiday road trip myself when he contacted us but there is always a backup plan called “Andrew Thijssen” from BMS-E Motorrijder, a friend and colleague blogger. Thx to Jacco van de Kuilen for photography and video. Lets have some adventure!”
Energica has gained a lot of experience and knowledge in the development of electric motorcycles since their first electric motorbike project in 2010. The Italian brand has now participated for 4 years in the MotoE race cup, the highest international level for electric racing motorcycles that is part of the MotoGP. An ongoing R&D process and development for battery management, temperature management, fast charging and the construction of the motorcycle itself. Until now, Energica has focused on models designed for pure ride sensation: the Ego, Eva Ribelle and EsseEsse 9. Energica has now used all this know-how for a new adventurous direction. This resulted in a comfortable, easy-to-ride motorcycle: the Experia is designed for the larger touring work and for maximum comfort.
The Experia is a completely newly built electric motorcycle and uses a 22.5 kWh battery (19.6 kWh functional). The battery can fast charge with 24 kW DC at fast charging stations. The Experia also has an internal charger with which you can charge with 3 kW AC with level 1 and 2 (socket and charging station). The newly designed inverter is more compact, lighter and shares the coolant with the new engine. This engine is one of the second generation EMCE engines where the abbreviation stands for Energica Mavel Co-Engineering. Mavel is an Italian company with a lot of experience in the electric car industry.
Born to be Wind
This new efficient synchronous reluctance motor with permanent magnet support is smaller, lighter and rotates opposite to the direction of travel, which improves the handling of the motorcycle. With this motor, the magnets are not part of the rotor. This so-called Permanent Magnet Assisted Synchronous Reluctance Motor (PMASynRM) does have less torque than the first design. The advantage, however, is that the motor is cheaper to produce, contains less critical metals and is 10 kg lighter.
All this beauty is placed low and centrally in a newly designed steel trellis frame and aluminum subframe. According to Energica, this economical engine and renewed battery technology should give the Experia an urban range of 420 km. For a combined use (city and beyond), Energica presents us a range of 256 kilometers. Combined outside the city, the Energica Experia has to cover 208 kilometers. The battery is certainly good for 1200 charge cycles, after which the battery will still have 80% residual capacity. This corresponds to about 200,000 km, after which you might notice that the range will decrease a bit.
You have access to a large number of driving modes, 4 levels of regeneration, traction control, ABS settings and different power modes, all of which can be set separately or in combination with each other. This information can be read with an almost endless amount of driver information on the clear 5” TFT color display.
The reverse and “crawl” modes are useful for manoeuvring your motorcycle. The Experia is equipped with high-end suspension and braking components as we know from Energica. The fully adjustable front and rear suspension is provided by ZF Sachs. The front fork is a 43 mm UPSD with 150 mm travel. At the rear you’ll find a 55 mm travel monoshock (150 mm wheel travel) with adjustable preload and travel. You have to set this front and rear suspension manually. The Experia is brought to a stop with serious Brembo brakes, the radially mounted 4-piston calipers engage twin 330 mm floating discs at the front. The rear brake features a 2 piston caliper on a single 240 mm disc. The brakes are mated to Cornering Bosch 9.3 MP ABS.
We were dealing with pre-production models on this press release day, despite that the motorbike looked nice and finished. Or you would have to worry about the lack of the clear coat and the lack of a single cover. However, we were asked not to drive off road with these pre-production models.
The Experia looks big and asks for an adventure. The seat height of 847 mm is pleasantly high for a good view of the traffic and comparable to other motorcycles in this segment. The seat is fine, the view of the clearly legible instruments is okay, as is the view in the rear-view mirrors. The ergonomics are great. It does take some time to get to grips with the possibilities of the settings. But you soon realise the logic behind it.
You activate the motor by pinching the brake lever and simultaneously pressing a button on the right handlebar (which also is used as parking assist). As we know by now, driving away is just a matter of “accelerating”. The motorcycle moves almost silently. Energica’s have a characteristic screeching sound, this Experia also has that sound, but it is clearly less present than with the previous models. The new engine is noticeably less powerful than the sportier Energica’s. Despite that, you can use 60kW/80 hp nominal and 75kW/102 peak power. But especially the always available instant electric torque of 115 Nm makes driving very pleasant and imperceptibly fast. Energica even mentions a 900 Nm measured at the rear wheel.
The power/torque comes in unobtrusively and is extremely smoothly. Very handy to quickly overtake a car, for example. The modes Eco, Urban and Wet temper the power somewhat, but transfer it even more smoothly and linearly to the asphalt. The narrow construction of the frame ensures that you have the motorcycle well between the legs. The combination with the low battery and motor make the Experia remarkably manoeuvrable. Tight turns are no problem and you take long turns tight, especially with the total weight of 260 kg in mind. The brakes are excellently controllable and designed for their task. The window can be manually adjusted in 3 positions and keeps you well out of the wind. With my 1.80 meters I kept my head out of the turbulence.
The key question with every electric motorcycle is the range. I drove a total of 135 km, of which 50 km on the highway. The 85 km on small roads included time-consuming photo sessions with a lot of acceleration, braking and turning. Furthermore, the applicable speed limits were taken into account everywhere. After 85 km, the battery indicated 70% residual capacity. To see what the highway would do with the battery, I drove the highway. The speed varied between 110 – 130 km/h. On return the battery capacity was at 46%.
When it comes to the immensely popular adventure motorcycles, Energica is a new player in the field. The Experia is unmistakably an all road motorbike, looks slick and has a lot of attention for the seating position, legroom and ergonomics. Braking and steering score above average. The improvements made to the engine and the considerably larger battery mean that the weight is approaching or even equal to that of traditional fuel adventure motorbikes.
The range specified by Energica seems to correspond very well in practice at legal speeds. The combination with CCS DC fast charging -Energica speaks of 6.7 km/minute- makes the Experia an increasingly serious electric tourist on the rapidly changing, but still predominantly “fossil” infrastructure. Charging the 3 kW Type 2 AC – 63.5 km range/hour at the charging station – could be a bit faster. For the simple reason that there are currently many AC charging stations on tourist routes, which is the domain of motorcycles, with which you can charge much faster than 3 kW.
All in all I dare to say that Energica, as a young electric sports motorcycle manufacturer, has done a daring and successful feat with the Experia. The Energica Experia will initially come as a Launch Edition, which will include a 112-litre three-piece suitcase set and heated grips.
Just like this pre-production copy, the Experia Launch Edition has red details on the rims and the handlebar weights are black. The option list of the Experia will be expanded even more in the near future. In the Netherlands, the Experia will cost from € 28,995. The Experia Launch Edition will be on the market from € 31,658.90. The Experia will be available at the Energica dealers from 2023.
Marchel Bulthuis (Energica Motor Nederland / Electric Motorcycles Nederland)
Jacco van de Kuilen (Photography & video)
Andrew Thijssen (test rider & copywriting)