We're not dead set against painfully expensive electric motorcycles. There's a price to be paid for supporting builders who strive to push the game forward. But the hideously expensive second-gen Lito Sora takes this Canadian electric motorcycle in a very disappointing direction.
Launched at last weekend's Motorcycle Gathering at The Quail in Monterey, the Generation 2 Lito Sora refines the design we first saw in 2011, and which has been in production since 2014. At the start of this decade, this sexy e-moto from Montreal was a ground-breaker, but as the noughteens come to a close, it's starting to look dangerously like a piece of overpriced bum jewelry.
Let's look at what it delivers. The Gen 2 Sora rolls with an 18 kilowatt-hour battery, giving a theoretical range around 300 km (180 miles) and significantly less if you ride it on the highway. Charging takes 5 hours on a wall plug, and it's J1772 compatible for DC fast charging.
It runs a liquid-cooled electric motor capable of 80 kilowatts (108 hp) and a continuous 90 Nm (66 lb-ft) of torque. Thanks to a continuously variable transmission and belt drive to the rear wheel, it can put that power down pretty hard, accelerating from 0-60 mph (0-98 km/h) in 3 seconds on the way to a respectable 120 mph (196 km/h) top speed. The CVT also enables reverse, which can help you back up a reasonably bulky 550-pound (250 kg) motorcycle.
To try to keep that weight down, the frame is made from aerospace-grade aluminum 6061-T6, and everything on the body that could feasibly be made from carbon has indeed been. Suspension at both end is by Ohlins, both wheels are full carbon Rotobox jobbies, brakes are spiffy Beringer units, controls are by Rizoma, and the adaptive headlight looks a lot like the J.W. Speaker unit we tested a couple years back. Motogadget provides a little analog speedo, and there's also a 5.7-inch touch screen with W-Fi connection handling things like navigation, energy monitoring and OTA updates.
The Sora still looks nice. But it costs US$82,250, with the added ignominy that you need to pay even more for freight. And honestly, we just can't get behind this one. We're sort of okay with bikes like the Arc Vector, which costs even more but goes full sci-fi with things like its integrated HUD helmet and haptic feedback jacket. We can deal with a 60-grand Sarolea Manx7, because it introduces neat ideas like a movable motor and footpegs that peek through the swingarm, even if it looks like a Ferrero Rocher.
Lito's latest machine has two things we haven't seen on an e-moto before: the CVT transmission, which is an interesting wrinkle, and an electrically adjustable seat, which the vast majority of riders will electrically adjust exactly once and then forget about it. Yeah, the headlight self-balances, but if it's the JW Speaker unit, that's literally an 800 buck part, retail. I'm sorry, from a technology point of view this is not good enough when you're charging more than four times what something like the equally capable and probably more sorted Zero SR/F will run you.
It seems Lito might have decided it's a luxury brand instead of a performance or technology driven concern, and if that's the case then maybe they'll find enough vapid wealth-flaunters to sell out a limited run of 20 bikes.
I hope my disappointment here is palpable enough. The first-gen Sora cost about 42 grand, looked cool and was one of the first production performance electrics. The Lightning LS-218 cost around about the same, broke records and redefined performance expectations. Lightning's newest bike, the Strike, brings electric to the masses with a super impressive pricetag between 13 and 20 grand. Lito has swung wildly in the other direction, doubling its price and targeting the Sora at people with too much money and a carbon fetish. What a sad way to see this company evolve.
Source: Lito Motorcycles
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