A new name is set to enter the increasingly important electric bike market in 2018, with Chinese brand Evoke set to go on sale in the UK from the spring.
The company displayed a pre-production example of its learner legal Urban S at Motorcycle Live last week and says that the machine will go on sale in April, priced between £6000 and £7000.
In some ways, the Urban S is a curious mix of ideas but could well be the machine that helps make electric bikes more mainstream. Evoke claims a range of just over 120 miles in the city (albeit at a speed of 22mph), with a more realistic 75 mile range at a steady 50mph. The bike comes equipped with a level two charger, allowing it to be connected to public charging points and recharged in around three hours. Alternatively it can be charged overnight at home, via a standard three-pin plug.
Like American company Zero’s learner legal version of the S, the Evoke gets around a loophole in the law regarding the way power of it’s new bike is measured. Electric bikes are measured on constant power, rather than peak, and the Evoke delivers a maximum 25bhp, more than the 15bhp allowed on an internal combustion engined machine. This is slightly less than the Zero’s 31bhp peak, although what electric vehicles are really all about is the enormous torque they deliver. The Evoke claims a staggering 116Nm of torque. By comparison, a Honda Fireblade produces 114Nm and Suzuki’s traditional, learner legal GSX-S125 just 11.5Nm! Top speed is claimed at 81mph.
With all that torque on hand, it’s hardly surprising that Evoke has chosen a simple twist and go transmission for the Urban S – a route that most electric bike manufacturers have gone down. That helps keep the weight down, although at 185kg the Evoke is heavier than most 125s.
Style wise, Evoke has gone for a traditional roadster look, although the funky headlight, stitched leather seat, bar end mirrors, TFT dashboard and funky LED headlamp do look at odds with some of the budget components fitted elsewhere on the bike.
Evoke has also mounted the electric motor directly on the rear wheel. What effect this has on the handling remains to be seen, although Evoke claims that the ‘progressive motor automatically adapts to the individual’s riding style.’
Whether we like it or not, electric vehicles would appear to represent the future on both two and four wheels. Last week’s autumn budget saw the government commit £400m to developing the electric vehicle infrastructure and the continuation of the existing grant towards purchasing electric vehicles (currently £1500 towards a motorcycle) while racing bosses have confirmed that a new, electric, race series will support MotoGP from the 2019 season.