Review: The Energica Ego Brings Big Torque in a Fast Package

Energica Ego on the road
The flexor carpi radialis muscle is one you never thought you needed for motorcycling. This workhorse of your forearm is what does the pushing and pulling. Riding the new Energica Ego motorcycle, I found I needed it.

You see, this all-electric sportbike has 159 lb-ft (215 Nm) of torque. That’s about twice what a 2022 Yamaha R1 superbike makes. When you grip the throttle and twist, all that torque wreaks havoc on that flexor carpi radialis at any speed as it throws you back in the saddle and you flex your forearms to stay on board. Trust me, it’s fun.

The Energica Ego motorcycle in black on a bridge.For a few years now we’ve seen the Energica Ego’s doppelganger at MotoE races, the Corsa, and they seem like beautiful moto exotica. I finally had a chance to throw a leg over one during a short trip around Santa Fe, New Mexico. Santa Fe is usually sunny and beautiful, and Marc Beyer and Frances Sayre from Four Corners Energica were warm. But this particular Saturday was cold for our short blast around town.

Overall, the Ego has the performance and ergonomics of a Triumph Daytona 675R. It feels about that quick, and the ergonomics aren’t too different, either. Though the Ego makes a liter-bike-like 171 horsepower, it weighs about 573 pounds (260 kg). That’s 205 pounds more than the Daytona. The weight is noticeable around tighter turns, like roundabouts, but it disappears once you’re moving. I found that with a little bit of movement in the saddle, I could dip a knee and the bike would track as you want around bigger sweepers.

Energica Ego front end in Santa Fe
But most of the Ego’s riding experience hinges on two things: the bike’s automatic nature and its sound. The sound you hear from Energica bikes isn’t the motor. That’s silent. Instead, you’re hearing the straight-cut gears meshing, just like a Formula E car, and as you go faster it gets louder and higher pitched. It’s an intoxicating sound that reminds you you’re riding something different. It has a tach in the TFT display that shows you how fast the engine is spinning, but the bike is essentially direct drive and there’s a very direct correlation between your hand and your speed.

Speaking of that motor, that torque is the reason this bike feels as quick as it is. It’s intoxicating to let off the throttle, err, potentiometer, and goose it just to feel the power tug at your flexor carpi radialis. It’s also quick because there’s no shifting of the one-speed transmission; you’re always in the right gear.

Energica Ego display
But unlike some bikes where the ride modes don’t really change much, on the Energica you can feel the difference between the Eco, Urban, Rain and Sport modes. During a short blast on the more upright Esse Esse 9, a similar bike with upright bars, in Urban mode it wanted to lift the front leaving every spotlight or slow turn. You can also turn the traction control off, but with that much power, I don’t recommend it.

The Ego has a maximum speed of 150 mph, and while we didn’t get a chance to go that fast, the fun of the Energica Ego isn’t its top-speed ability, but the instant surge of useable around-town power. You find yourself slowing down just to punch it and feel the surge of all that torque.

Compared to a Livewire, the Ego feels quicker and sharper. And, to my eyes at least, it looks a lot better.

Energica Ego chargng at OCD Cycles in Santa Fe
With electric motorcycles, the first question many ask is about range. The Energica Ego has a range of about 260 miles (420Km) in mixed-use according to Energica, or about 121 miles (200km) on the highway where you don’t use regenerative braking. The way we rode, however, the charge did drop quite a bit. You can extend the range with the four regenerative maps. When you take a hand off the throttle, it brakes and sends some power back to the battery.

Sure it can go 150 mph. Sure it looks beautiful. But is the Ego a $26,000 experience? It could be, if you have access to a DC fast charger. I only had a chance to ride the Ego for a short blast around a scenic town with some lovely people. But, if Energica asked me to take one for an extended trip, I certainly wouldn’t turn it down. But, I’ll exercise my flexor carpi radialis first.

An Energica Rebelle: no clutch lever.

detail of Energica logo on the Ego

Energica Evo on a white background

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