Initial Energica SS9+ review after first 1.000 km

Just a quick write up to share my experience. I get tons of info from these kind of write ups so I do my best to give back also. You can find more of my “adventures” on my YT channel.

“Adventures” is probably not the right word cause as a father of 4 kids working a full time job I don’t ride as often or as for as I wished for. Not to mention covid-19 restrictions. As of this weekend we’re finally allowed to be outside beyond 6:00-22:00 again. And 22nd of May I’ll join an EV planned route here in Belgium for 1.000 km. At least that is the route planned, I’ll probably not make it that long.

This is not my first electric motorcycle. I switched to electric 2 years ago on a Zero SR/F and have collected only 14.000 km on that one, mostly due to covid-19 since I had to work from home. If I refer a lot to Zero that is why.

Current State

I have this bike since March and over the weekend finally went over the first 1.000 km. Since half of that was on a single day I still don’t have that much experience riding it but I guess I can always update later on.

It’ll soon go in for it’s first checkup now but really I haven’t seen anything fail so far. Note that on my Zero by now the front brake switch had failed and got replaced under warranty. Later on Zero issued an official recall for that.

Ergonomics

I picked the SS9 because I couldn’t get used to the narrow seat on all the other models. If not I would’ve probably bought the Ribelle instead. The SS9 has a retro bench style seat that made all the difference for me. Its seat is comfy and there is lots of room to move forward or backwards on it during longer rides.

The original handlebars are very wide (like on adventures bikes) which really helps with the input you need to give this bike while riding into turns. The original black ones have a big bend in them giving you a very relaxed upright sitting position. I swapped those for the Ribelle handlebars for having just a little more tucked down sitting position. Partly triggered by seeing some reviewers tuck in on the original bars having their elbows sticking out in what seems to be a very awkward position :D.

Foot pegs are also clearly more relaxed than those on the Ribelle and other models. That said you could likely easily swap the pegs from these different models like you can with the handlebars. It’s only the seat with the hinge mechanism that is not as interchangeable.

Compared to the Zero SRF everything is way more relaxed. I’m not comparing to the SRS at this point cause that one also has less aggressive ergonomics. Although not as big as a difference as SS9 vs Ribelle. For I example I have the SRS foot pegs on my SRF and that only drops them for around 2cm.

I’ve done a ride with a passenger this weekend for around 100 km with and then 100 km back without and you barely notice someone is behind you handling wise. She (my 18y old kid) was fine with the comfort she said. We never bumped into each other. All I did for settings is change the preload on the spring and set it as soft as possible and then changed regen to LOW instead of MEDIUM which I use most of the time. Ride mode was RAIN to get more range.

Range

In numbers the Energica plus models have 50% more battery capacity than the Zero 14.4 kWh models (without power tank). The Zero however is more efficient on all speeds so you don’t get a 50% increase in range.

I haven’t made an exact measurement but my feeling is the range increase is more around 30%. Still anything added is for sure welcome. In practice I mostly notice it when going on the highway riding at 100 – 120 kmh. Cause below that the Zero also has a very good range.

And where I would often get home on a longer 200 km ride with the zero in limp mode I can do that with the Energica having like 20% battery or so left.

I also notice it when charging from a 220V outlet at home :D.

Charging

Which brings me to charging. And where I don’t really often notice that much difference in range with that bigger battery it’s the opposite with charge speeds. Every time I go charge on a DC fast charger I realise that is the way to go and it makes such a huge difference.

My Zero has the charge tank installed for 12 kW giving it a 1 h empty to full charge time. Not bad but the Energica is twice that speed. Sure if you need to decide between the two you also need to taken the infrastructure that is available to you into account. Cause those speeds are on a totally different system (AC vs DC).

Anyway that 485 km ride I referred to in the beginning was with a friend on his ICE bike and we stopped more for stretching and talking than what was needed for charging. So yes touring on these bikes is possible.

Weight

I can’t write about this bike without talking about the weight. It’s there but honestly it hasn’t really bothered me much. Sure if you compare it directly to the SRF (also not light but lighter) it needs more input when riding on twisty roads.

On the highway on higher speeds and straight lines the added weight comes as a bonus cause it’s more stable.

On slow riding between traffic I haven’t noticed it so far. It did catch up on me on slow riding when I had to turn in also a few times.

For parking I do use the slow forward and backward movement. It’s mostly welcome on not perfectly flat services cause the smallest incline can make it hard to get moving.

If they sold a smaller capacity model with the new battery combination I would have considered it for the lower weight. But they don’t.

Chain Drive

A bit too soon to talk much about that feature. Also I haven’t used the bike in rain yet. I might even do my best to avoid that anyway.

In the future I might look into replacing it with one of those new Regina maintenance free chains. I also noticed those come in gold so that would match really well (cause yes you should pick chains based on color).

Luggage

Only had a quick attempt over the weekend with a big 20 L bag strapped to the tank cause I had a passenger on the back. Because the seat has to move up when charging that is probably the way to go. These bags have clips to detach easily so you could probably also use them on the back.

I’m not sure yet if I will go for an Energica tank bag or not. They look way better but they are probably also a bit smaller. We’ll see. I’ve heard they are delayed by that evergreen boat that got stuck in the Suez Canal… Oh wait no, I’m in Europe :D.

Build Quality

Like I said no issues to report so far. It just works every time I use it. The overall quality seems very well. If anything I think they could easily cut on price and weight by not overbuilding some of the parts. But hey if that is the only complaint then they are actually doing a great job.👍.

Electronics

The dashboard and the functionality on the dash is perfect. Only mishap there is the cruise control that is nearly impossible to reach while riding. The switches on the other side are not high quality, in fact the same ones Zero uses. But for now they keep working.

I like how you get that extra switch up front to activate and change the riding profile. Also that you can change ride mode and regen separately. On Zero those 2 are always linked to each other. And for custom regen you need to make a custom ride mode.

Also regen works better in general in how it gets you to a full stop. On zero you’ll always have to use the brakes for that. The only benefit I see on Zero on regen function is how it allows to control brake and neutral regen separately.

I think the Energica also uses it’s brake light during regen which is great for safety reasons. But difficult to confirm while riding. So just based on observations of a co rider. Zero doesn’t or at least not for the neutral regen. For the brake regen it does since that is triggered with the brake light switch.

The App is another story, luckily you don’t really need it to use the bike. In fact at this point I haven’t even connected the app to the bike nor have I gone into the settings menu on the bike itself. There was simply no need for it so far (thanks to that profile button).

When I bought the bike that My Energica app was temporarily unavailable from the iOS App Store so at first I couldn’t use it anyway. My dealer was kind enough to inform me once it was back and I installed it right away and had a quick look.

There is one feature in that app that I would really like to work. It should be able to report charge stations when you ride close to them on the dashboard using GPS and cellular of your phone. I’ll have to make a separate post about that feature though cause a quick test reveals that fetching those chargers is currently broken.

4 gedachtes over “Initial Energica SS9+ review after first 1.000 km

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