The 2023 Energica EsseEsse9+ is a naked café racer style motorcycle that’s not only easy on the eye, but also offers the blistering acceleration and smooth as butter torque curve you expect from a premium electric motorcycle.
While you’ve probably never heard of the brand, that’s all about to change. Recently approved for Australian roads, they actually make four bikes so far, the Ego, Eva Ribelle, the Experia, and of course, the model we have on test.
Built in Modena, Italy, it was thanks to their Sydney dealership, Zen Motorcycles, that we were able to jump on board the EsseEsse9+. It’s a bike we reckon might just be the perfect introduction to the brand and its range.
With an upright, relaxed riding position and stylish, well executed looks, the EsseEsse9+ could be the coolest way to bar hop on the weekend, and the most economical way to manage the city commute during the week.
To really put it to the test, we through it into some proper traffic, before winding our way through the back roads of suburbia and into the Royal National Park on the southern outskirts of Sydney.
This would give us the perfect opportunity to test the EsseEsse9+ in a variety of situations, from the daily commute to pushing the bike in and out of some nice twisty corners, and more rider friendly roads, far away from the hustle and bustle.
A nice clear TFT display hosts a bevy of rider information too, including the key indication that the bike is on and you are ready to twist the throttle, and head off. But perhaps one of our favourite features of the bike is its soundtrack.
You see, unlike other electric bikes we have tested, the Energica EsseEsse9+ sounds like a jet. In what is quiet a strange experience, the silence of an EV did not exist, and this writer was impressed by the intoxicating tune it makes under acceleration.
The other fun factor is that when you open up the throttle and let it loose, the TFT display lights up like a Christmas tree, with an abundance of green and red on the dash. It’s a visual reinforcement of just how fast you can travel, pretty much instantly.
To put everything into perspective, the EsseEsse9+ offers 80kW of power and a claimed top speed of 201km/h. It’ll run to 100km/h in around 3.0 seconds, which is pretty damn good for a café racer. Range is an estimated 230km.
Of course, the latter depends on a heap of variables, like wind, riding gradient, the weight of the rider, if there’s a passenger, and which riding modes you select. You can throw how aggressively you choose to ride into the mix too.
You do have regenerative braking in place to help give back to the battery though, and there is an Eco option among the riding modes. The other options are Urban, Sport and Rain. Riding an electric bike does require some degree of self-restraint though.
The urge to unhinge the instantaneous torque and go for broke could literally cost you your licence, but the Energica has a subtle way of reminding you to behave. You see, the battery range is displayed constantly.
Accelerate hard and you get to watch it decrease, while getting out of the throttle or braking shows you the charge going back up as the bike’s tech works it’s magic to return energy. Riding through suburbia, this becomes a game to try and maximise battery life.
The Energica EsseEsse9+ utilises a high energy lithium polymer (Li-NMC) battery. The battery pack is an intelligent device, comprising dozens of sensors and electromechanical devices that constitute a closed subsystem.
It’s designed to ensure maximum performance and safety in all environmental conditions. Energica has designed a cooling system which ensures the battery life is optimised as well. It does all add to the weight of the bike though.
The EsseEsse9+ tips the scales at 256kg, which is quiet hefty for a bike of this style. The fact the battery unit is positioned towards the front of the bike also impacts the handling characteristics when riding a little more enthusiastically.
This was most prevalent as we pushed the bike harder through the national park. The front feels a little heavier than a standard ICE naked, and when braking hard the rear feels like it bounces a little due to a lack of weight in the back end.
That said, braking works really well and it’s still a whole heap of fun to ride as you wind on and off the accelerator. The power, paired with the jet fighter soundtrack adds to the theatre of the experience.
It’s a dream in traffic, offering excellent lane filtering capabilities thanks to its compact handlebars. The classic, bench style seat is comfortable and the foot pegs are positioned nicely, even for a taller rider.
The relaxed riding position makes it easy to get around on, and its performance in and out of traffic on a daily commute would be great. Throttle response quickly becomes your best friend too, and as an added bonus, there’s no petrol to worry about.
With a decent range, you can easy get to and from work on a single charge. While the infrastructure isn’t quite there yet for long journeys off the beaten track, it will come, and the EsseEsse9+ is a decent option for when it does.
It’s a a premium motorcycle that is perfect for the city commute and a heap of fun away from suburbia. Well built, it has an Italian sports bike pedigree. It does sit at the pointy end of the price scale though, and you’ll need to part with $45,167 plus on-roads to own one.
The 2023 Energica EsseEsse9+ comes in three colour options, including Red, Ice and Green. It’s backed by a 3-year 50,000km warranty.
Our test bike was supplied by Zen Motorcycles. To find out more about the 2023 Energica EsseEsse9+, contact your local Energica dealer.