I recently returned from India and it was quite an education about motorcycles as transportation rather than recreation as cities and towns swarmed with small 110 to 125cc Hondas, Heros, scooters and larger Royal Enfield Bullets and more with one to five occupants on board (three was most common) and also a day’s cargo. Quite the scene out on the roads.
But India is also a booming tech hub these days, and electric motorcycle startup Ultraviolette is eyeing the future of motorcycles with two electric models, one for racing and one for riding. Both bikes are styled like sci-fi movie props, with the civilian F77 looking rather rakish and unlike most other electric motorcycles on the market.
The other machine, the F99 (above), is a racing model for India’s growing electric motorcycle racing league. Team involved so far? Only one, it seems: Ultraviolet. Gotta start somewhere.
While the bikes look exotic (kudos to the styling team), they are priced and designed for India – so far. That means the angular F77 makes “only” 40 horsepower (and a hefty 74 pound-feet of torque), with a top speed of just over 90 mph. Not so fast, you say? That’s nearly the speed of sound in India, where most highway traffic moves at 50 mph — or less. A 10.3 kWh battery pack should give it about 190 miles of range, according to Ultraviolette. The price is around $6,800 – a princely sum in India, but comparable to today’s top-of-the-line Royal Enfield 650 twins, which make about the same power but run on gas and look like “regular” motorcycles.
Ultraviolet says only 77 of the street-legal F77s will see production, and as of publication, all F77 units have been accounted for. Not surprising, given the price. There was no word on the number of F99 racing machines that will see track time.
Ultraviolet F99 racing bike packs a bit more spice, with 65 hp and a top speed of over 120 mph/200 km/h. Not exactly MotoGP numbers and not really on par with the 150bhp MotoE bikes coming from Ducati this year, but not shabby either. The run to 60 mph takes about 4.5 seconds according to Ultraviolette.
Full fairings help the bikes cut through the wind, and they even have some beefy wings (although they appear to be fitted… backwards on the F99?) just like the top shelf sports bikes at the track and showrooms elsewhere. All in all, the bikes look like they’re from a sci-fi movie future, ready to do battle with cyborg racers on a shiny racetrack. Be sure to check the home page of the Ultraviolet website for a vision of that future.
If Ultraviolette can somehow expand production and get close to that $6,800 price point for exported machines, it looks like they could find a ready market in many international cities, where electric motorcycles from other established brands sell for thousands more, if not twice as much. For 99% percent of riding, 94 mph is plenty fast, and with the quick 0-60, the F77 checks a lot of boxes for urban riders. Plus – they look pretty techno-future perfect. For now, the bikes will hopefully see further production in India, selling over 15 million units per year domestically – second only to China. Here’s hoping Ultraviolette sees past their limits in the near future.