PowerDrift Specials: TORK INDIA: FZ Electric

PowerDrift Specials: TORK INDIA: FZ Electric


What’s the first thing that comes to your
mind when you think of electric motorcycles? Let me guess. Slow, boring and dorky right? Well, what if I told you that this perception
of ours is outdated. What if I told you that an electric motorcycle
recently whooped the ass of 82 petrol powered Superbikes by a margin of 20 seconds, to win
the Peak’s Pike International Hill climb. So now that we are up to speed with the massive
strides that electric motorcycles have made over the last few years, slow isn’t exactly
the word I would use to describe Tork India’s first ever street based prototype. As you can see, this bike has been built around
Yamaha’s highly successful FZ-16 platform. And this is actually a bolt-on design. And I’m not joking when I say so because,
if you’re willing, your FZ can go from petrol power to electric, in a matter of just 4 hours. That’s how beautifully simple and clean this
design is. And the electric motor just mounts on directly
acting as a stress member. So it’s not just very well thought out, it’s
the way it’s been put together. And this is what it sounds like. That is a bi-product of going green. You don’t just lose out on the smoke, you
lose out on the sound as well. So despite tipping the scales up to over 150
kgs, 0-100 is dispatched in.. Are you serious? Okay so, this bike right here this electric.. I’m so overwhelmed. This electric bike has just set a 0-100 timing
of 8.7 seconds. If you see all the manufacturers like Yamaha,
Suzuki, Honda, they test their vehicles on racetrack, on the MotoGP platform and then from
there, a little of that technology is taken on the roads. So this is what we wanted to do. As there are no gears, there’s no engine braking. And that leaves you completely at the mercy
of the stock brake setup of the FZ. And they instill the same amount of fear in you, as the exhilaration you feel when you open to throttle to your stop. Yamaha FZ 150 is the largest selling 150 motorcycle
in India. It is also sold in major countries like Colombia,
Malaysia, Indonesia and other parts of Europe and some other countries also. So making kits of this motorcycle would mean that we can also export these kits to other countries. Plus all the motorcycles in India have a similar
frame. So if I can make an electric kit for an FZ, I can almost make electric kits for 90% of Indian motorcycles. And if you look at the numbers, the torque
is about 16 N/m. But when you start the bike, the power delivery
is a little linear because all this torque tends to break away the inertia first and
from 40 onward, it just flies. So the placement of the batteries, above the electric motor, has lifted the center of gravity of the bike. But I still thought this was just as nimble
and flickable as the stock FZ. The weight transfer on this, when you’re on
and off the throttle is very very smooth. And the second part which is the best part is, when you’re gunning the bike at the corner exits. Because the 16 N/m of torque, you get it as
soon as you twist the throttle. You would want to ride this thing for a really
long time. Because that’s how much fun it is. But if you’re the kind of guy who likes to
keep the motor on the boil, well this bike has a very limited range as of now. Because riding like that only takes you to
about 40 odd kms. While a sedate, nice, relaxed ride, about
70 odd. And then there’s the price. The drivetrain itself will cost you about
3.8 Lakh. 65% of that cost will come from the batteries. Today we buy them at half the price we used
to buy in 2007. So by the next 2 years, we’ll have a better
battery, a cheaper battery and a longer range. There’s still a lot of changes which will
be made to improve the efficiency, to improve the range. And this is a very nascent market that we
have, here in India, where electric bikes have been frowned upon. But this bike is going to change that. Because, this clearly burns past that slow,
dreary image of the electric bike. This is quick, this is a lot of fun. So we don’t want to take that fun factor away
from any motorcycle. We want everything of a motorcycle to remain
intact.