No matter, on which part of the discussion you support, Electric Motorcycles are here to stay. That silent electric motor whine which the petrol heads dread might just be coming to a parking lot close to you sooner than later.
Versatile or not, long range or not, the electric motorcycle revolution and technology is gaining fast momentum.
It seems, now ‘them electrics’ are beginning to get glamour conscious too, if the Lito Green Motion SORA E is any indication, they are doing it in style. Designed to look retro cool, the Sora E ticks all the right columns when it comes to a modern classic, big rounded tanks, cool old school oval headlamps, some racing strips thrown in, a beefy looking front end, you ask, it delivers.
In the realm of electric motorcycles, where many share similar engine and battery technologies, Lito Green Motion’s SORA is a relatively new entry. This machine out of Montreal is not the fastest electric motorcycle, nor has it the longest range. But the SORA soars in many aspects – it offers a unique ride, and draws crowds wherever it stops.
Climb aboard, unlock the faux fuel tank’s top-hatch charging port, drop the credit-card style key onto the control unit surface, and the SORA comes alive. Press the start button, and like all other electric bikes, the silence is anti-climactic. The controls light and the computer systems boot-up from a hard drive and you are ready to go. Engage the single-speed drive in your choice of Performance, Normal or Safe Range, and twist the throttle. Acceleration is smooth, and throttle control is linear.
The SORA offers many unique qualities, such as reverse in case one needs assistance moving the 573-pound e-motorcycle out of a tilted parking spot. Also, the SORA’s Safe Range mode integrates with its dedicated (and limited function) GPS to help insure you get to your destination by limiting speed. Acceleration is brisk, but this is no performance bike. Its 57 horsepower and 66 ft/lbs of torque will give you a sweet, cruiser-like ride without much arm-stretching, all while offering a range of about 60-120 miles, depending on how hard you want to push it.
Recharge time at 110 volts – a normal electrical offering at home – is nine hours. For the 2015 model, a liquid-cooled charger will be available, which can also be used at charging stations featuring the J1772 connector (found at public stations). This will bring charge time down to a claimed 3.5 hours, and, in development, is a feature in which the bike will email you when charging is complete.
The SORA rides on a substantial chassis featuring 43mm inverted cartridge forks (fully adjustable) and an Elka rear mono-shock (adjustable preload). This configuration provides a smooth and steady ride that handles the curves quite well. Combined with the 180/55 ZR17 rear tire that is found on many sport bikes, the SORA’s rear tire allows the bike to corner to the limit of peg/kickstand clearance.
Lito’s engineers have included regenerative braking to scavenge energy for the batteries, and it provides that engine-braking feel. We feel that this regenerative braking could be set a little higher. Twin-rotor Nissin brakes up front with a single rotor out back provide braking commensurate with the performance and size of the machine. For a sporty-cruiser type ride, we found this acceptable and enjoyable.
The SORA design revolves around the massive center section needed to encompass the large high-density lithium polymer battery pack and motor. That design also includes the impressive look of the carbon fiber fairing and massive cast aluminum in the frame and swingarm. This SORA also features an electric seat as the sole element of the rear sub-frame and it is cantilevered off the chassis. Uniquely, it has about three inches of vertical adjustment range.
Let us know, what you think about SORA E, and what future does Motorcycle like these may hold in India.
Stay Tuned for more ‘Them Electrics’ updates with us.