Practical, fun to drive but still a work in progress
Shortcuts and lack of resilience will get you less far. I mean, look around you. Electric vehicles are all the rage, and several cases of them being engulfed in fire are making headlines. With the background set, I arrived in Bangalore to feel and ride another newcomer – the Oben Rorr electric motorcycle.
The general perception is that electric motorcycles are a bit different to ride and are more difficult to manufacture than the swarm of electric scooters on the market. With the exception of cells, Oben’s founders say the focus has been on localization. From engine to chassis, Rorr is built in-house. You have to wait a few months before deliveries start, and the ones we tested are still the pre-production units.
The build quality still features inconsistent panel gaps, loose wires hanging around the cockpit, and retractable bolt heads. These should improve as mass production approaches. Available in three exciting color choices, Oben Rorr contains a circular LED headlight housing and a non-interchangeable battery bound by a steel trellis frame. Prima Facie, the Rorr electric motorcycle will appeal to youngsters and lure them into showrooms, if Oben is able to iron out the ripples in the design. There’s colorful digital instrumentation that looks largely basic and displays information accurately, but again needs reworking for better visibility. Oben is developing a connected app for Rorr users, which will provide live vehicle tracking, infra charging and motorcycle health.
I swung my leg, the Oben Rorr electric motorcycle felt nimble and nimble. A 10kW motor is powered by a 4.4kWh Li-ion battery (LFP) and produces 4kW of continuous power and 60Nm of peak torque. There are three driving modes to choose from, range and performance change accordingly. Eco is where you get a (claimed) maximum range of 150 kilometres, and the top speed is limited to 45 km/h. Autonomy drops to 120 kilometers and the top speed increases to 65 km/h in City mode. Havoc mode – the most exciting of the three – can zoom the Oben Rorr to 100 km/h, but the range still drops to 90 kilometres. The level of regeneration changes in different modes, it is most intrusive in Eco. While the claimed range is something we can’t validate at this point, the top speed in the respective modes was on point.
The 4.4 kWh LFP chemistry-based battery, which the company claims is more stable and better packaged than those on the market, comes with a 15-amp on-board charger that can be looped around and stored inside the bike. A mile in a minute is what the company claims, and a full battery charge takes about two hours. Again, the numbers can be validated once we get our hands on the Rorr for a longer duration.
When it comes to riding, the rider’s triangle feels natural to anyone up to 6 feet tall. You sit upright with the handlebars set well outward with centered footpegs. In my books, the footpegs can be pushed back a few millimeters to make the bike just as suitable for taller riders.
Twist the throttle and the power delivery is instantaneous. I found the City mode to be adequate for me, which offers a good mix of decent range, quick acceleration for passing, and a pleasant amount of engine regeneration. The dual-disc brakes are good, and they stop Rorr with a confident bite. Again, all heating issues and efficiency can only be attested once Rorr is fully market ready. The telescopic front forks and adjustable rear monoshock are sprung fairly firmly, allowing Oben Rorr to attack corners with more precision. However, this is done at the expense of a certain comfort. Even slight to moderate road undulations seem to shake the rider’s wrist and elbow joints.
Fingers crossed, I hope Oben Rorr can make an impact with his Rs 1.25 lakh (ex-showroom) tag. The Bangalore-based EV start-up is sitting on an order book of 15,000 units and aims to start deliveries before the festive season. While my first impression suggests the ride, handling and performance are nice about the Oben Rorr, it’s the visual tuning the company should nail down before the bikes hit showrooms. .
(The above article was written by Anirban Mitra, Producer, Jagran HiTech)