Milind Singh – an automobile design engineer and die-hard motorbike buff, takes stock of the latest electric motorcycle – Ultraviolette F77.
After creating a massive hype, and a number of renders and spy shots later, Ultraviolette officially unveiled its first electric motorcycle – the F77.
It has always been a question, whether electric vehicles can ever compete with the IC engines in terms of performance, price and range. Usually, electric vehicles lack in terms of range and high-end performance. However, it seems as though Ultraviolette has the answer to all these apprehensions. The recently unveiled Ultraviolette F77 is one of its kind motorcycle.
Does the F77 have the appeal?
It sure does. With a design comprising of full faired as well as street style elements, the best of my favourite words, it is a treat to look at. It comes with a fully faired design but unlike any other bike, its headlight is mounted at the front fork instead of mounting along with the fairing. To me, it didn’t look very appealing at first because of its huge fairings and stuff, but the more you look, the more you fall in love with it.
The front fork panels give it a rather heavy look but go along pretty well with the rest of the design. The fairings are pretty bold with muscular and aggressive lines. The fairing goes from the front fork, all the way back to the underside of the rider’s seat. It gets a split seat, which increases the appeal by some margin, and the rear seat is pretty large so it probably would be comfortable for both the rider as well as the pillion.
The rider’s triangle is pretty good i.e., it is not as committed as a track focussed bike but at the same time, it is not like a street bike. With the rider seating slightly rearwards, low set handlebars, and rear bias footpegs, the riding position is pretty comfortable. The handlebars are clip-on, with pretty low height and the steering rake angle is a very aggressive 23.5 degrees, making it very suitable for the city ride.
The motorcycle comes with a touch screen TFT colour display which looks good, has decent visibility under the sun, and provides all the information a rider needs. It also provides good LTE connectivity and a GPS navigation system, which provides features like Find my bike, preventive maintenance, among others. However, its position is rather rearset which means that while riding the bike, the rider might have to look all the way down to take a look at the info cluster. The bike does not come with a visor, and hence the wind blast feels right through to the driver.
The headlight looks neat and sporty, though, the intensity is yet to be seen once it comes on the road. The tail light also looks good and is pretty bright. The graphics on the bike look good, especially the F77 branding on the front fork panels, the overall design and finish give it a proper electric motorcycle feel, with the rear subsection giving it the appeal of a high end supersport naked.
It comes in 3 colours – Shadow, Lightning, and Laser, and to be honest each one of these colours looks amazing. Also, there are 3 riding modes for the rider – Eco, Sport and Insane. Can just imagine what insane mode would do on a motorcycle with 90 Nm of torque, which by the way is a massive chartbuster?
Being an electric bike it is super quiet, but on the road, it has to be one of the best sounding bikes I have ever seen. It feels as if something is approaching you from a mile out at sonic speed.
What does the F77 offer in terms of performance metrics?
This is the interesting bit. The bike comes with a lithium-ion battery pack, with a range of somewhere around 130 to 150 km, which is pretty decent for an electric bike. It has a 25kW motor, which produces a massive torque of 90Nm, and 22.5 hp of power, which are alluring numbers for any motorhead.
The motor is mounted on a trellis frame and transfers the power to the wheels via a chain drive, which is different from most of the electric vehicles, but again the F77 busts up all the notions we previously had about electric mobility.
The bike is mounted with very wide handlebars, and being built on a trellis frame, definitely has good handling, as it feels free to lean along with the asphalt on the track. The kerb weight of the bike is a meagre 158 kgs, which definitely helps the bike in handling.
The company claims a top speed of over 140kms, with a 0 to 60 km/h in 3.2 seconds, and a 0 to 100 km/h in 7.5 seconds. Considering it is an electric bike the figures are pretty decent, and since there is no hustle to change the gears, the initial acceleration or rather rush would surely feel more than what the numbers suggest. However, the motor has bite till the 90 to 100 km/h mark, after that it feels a bit flat.
Considering the competition it is going up against, based on the specs it rivals the hugely popular KTM Duke 250 and Apache RR310. Even with the torque exceeding any 600cc bike, and a top speed of 140+ km/h, it is more of a 200 to 250cc bully rather than a 300cc competitor.
For fun sake, let’s compare F77 with Apache RR 310. Apache is faster in 0 to 60 km/h by 0.2 seconds. In 0 to 100 km/h category, again the Apache wins by a small margin of 0.6 seconds. However, the magic happens after the 100 km/h mark, when the apache thrives, while the F77 lays flat and somehow manages 135km/h. It obviously would take a longer stretch to achieve the company claimed top speed, and yes the Insane mode.
Charging and Batteries
F77 gets a CCS type 2 charging port. Ultraviolette claims that with a fast charger, the battery can be fully charged in about 1.5 hours, and up to 80% in 50 minutes. However, with a standard charger, it takes about 5 hours to fully charge it. There is also a portable charger, which can be carried around by the rider in their backpack, and that makes sure that you are not stranded on a highway, waiting for a friend to tow you around.
The battery packaging is a groundbreaking feature. The battery is basically divided into 3 small packages, which weigh 8.5 kg each. Ultraviolette claims that the bike can be run on a single battery pack but it is recommended that the riders use all 3 of them.
All it takes is a push of a button and the battery tray reveals itself.
What we think
It is too early to arrive at a verdict as the bike hasn’t been launched yet. The rear suspensions need to be sorted out as they are on the softer side, as well as the steering because in its current state it has a huge turning radius. But as the company officials have said they are still working on the fine-tuning of the vehicle.
Apart from this, the fact that you can just pull the throttle, and before you realize the bike is at a 60 km/h mark, is more fun than it sounds. The rider can feel the pull right up to the 100 km mark, after which it’s just the windblast.
For anyone who has ridden an electric vehicle before, would know that electric vehicles are more fun to ride, and give the rider more thrill. So if you wanna compete the ride of Ultraviolette F77 with the likes of Apache or Duke, believe me, the F77 would be more fun.
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About the Author:
I work as a design engineer at a Bhubaneshwar based EV startup – Enigma Motors. For me, bikes and football are two of the best things to be passionate about. And yes, Chelsea all the way.