Perhaps the most memorable moments in life are the unplanned, illogical ones. It’s when you see through a decision that’s way down on your priority list (even if you have one, that is), that’s when, more often than not, life seems to surprise you. These aren’t words of wisdom, as I scarcely have a few to spare. They are simply the musings of a writer, month after month. That said, I don’t believe that makes them wrong, though.
You see, you don’t dream vividly of a machine that, on the face of it, fits in nowhere. It definitely doesn’t make you stand by it and wonder as to why it hasn’t been around for longer. And yet, every single line and contour of the Ultraviolette F77 screams ‘Take me home.’ And I surely would, if I could. In my books, the design elements of the motorcycle itself have been so thoroughly accomplished, along with the functional aspect that the F77 is one of the most remarkable-looking motorcycles to enter the market.
What does it for me is how the front’s been designed, and how the defined lines emerge constituting the flow of the motorcycle before converging to a nicely packed tail. There’s sharpness and cohesiveness, along with a healthy dose of aggression that I haven’t come across with an electric motorcycle till date. The body surface appears to be like the muscles that the motorcycle has acquired from going to the gym, in this case, the designers have done a fantastic job of depicting the essence of speed and power even when the motorcycle is at standstill.
Both, the headlamp and taillamp, despite their function, share a common link in the design of the cluster, which also connects everything in between. I know looks are a subjective matter, but there’s no harm in saying that the F77 is a very striking motorcycle, especially when it is coming from a young and zealous start-up based in Bengaluru.
And what makes the deal even sweeter, is when you swing a leg over the F77’s saddle, everything falls in place, comfortably. Off the bike, the notion is that it’s going to be a cumbersome bike to ride, but instead, it felt the exact opposite. I was very much sitting inside the motorcycle rather than on it. The palms land properly on the handlebar, while the feet settle naturally on the pegs. And there is ample room on that saddle to move around, too.
The instrumentation is all-digital and, thankfully, isn’t touch-sensitive unlike the usual trend. Instead, you have switchgear on the left handlebar with symbols that resemble a Playstation controller to browse through the menu and change the settings. There is no clutch lever here since it’s electric, but the front brake lever is adjustable. One eyesore, though, are the mirrors that need more refinement in terms of how they look and function.
Moving to the F77’s operation and to how it rides, let’s take things one step at a time. Most of it is great, which is something that I can assure you of right away. The Ultraviolette F77 comes with three riding modes — Glide, Combat, and Ballistic — and as each name suggests, they perform quite literally as mentioned. I spent the maximum time riding the F77 in Combat mode, and whenever the opportunity allowed, switched to Ballistic mode to savour the spontaneous accelerations. Ultraviolette claims a 0-60 kph acceleration in 3.1 seconds, and 0-100 kph in 8 seconds flat in Ballistic mode, which are nothing but healthy numbers to go by. But, what makes this electric motorcycle achieve all of that is its carefully engineered powertrain.
The F77 packs a powerful permanent magnet AC motor that gets its power from a 10.3-kWh battery pack, which, at present, is the largest to ever feature on an Indian electric two-wheeler. Spec-wise, the F77’s powertrain is engineered to deliver a maximum power output of 38.88 bhp and 9.68 kgm of peak torque, which is quite impressive. But what’s even more surprising, though, is how the F77 rides. All the power is sent to the rear wheel via a chain drive. The motorcycle leans and performs typically like how a good fun motorcycle would.
The first leg of the ride was held at Nandi Hills, where I was able to put the F77 through its paces at the variety of corners that the ghats are well-known for. From sweeping corners to sharp corners to the hairpins at the top, the delivery of power was linear with nothing to complain about at all. In fact, the dynamics of the F77 are so good that I was able to aggressively lean out in the corners while carrying a healthy rate of speed. The suspension is setup on the stiffer side, but for the class of motorcycle it belongs to and the kind of performance it packs, it feels justified. On the straight patches of tarmac, in Ballistic mode, I managed to clock a top speed of 140 kph, considering the road conditions. The F77 is quick to accelerate to about 125 kph, beyond which, it builds speed gradually.
After riding the F77 on the roads, the second leg of the ride was held at the MECO Kartopia go-kart circuit, where I again got to exploit the fantastic handling capabilities of the F77. Being a technical circuit, it involved a lot of precise acceleration and braking to get the fastest line around the circuit. While there was no engine braking available, I had to completely rely on the brakes to shed speed.
That said, I am happy to report that the anchors on the F77 do what is expected from them, while providing the confidence to brake harder with a strong bite. This complementary nature of the smooth acceleration and retardation meant that I was free to explore the sides on which my knees were. My only disappointment at the circuit was not having my leathers as it was very difficult to resist the temptation of not being able to drag the knee sliders through the corners.
That said, the time that I got to spend on the Ultraviolette F77 has left me asking for more, as this machine has truly upset the status quo that stated electric motorcycles can’t be fun. In this new evolving world of electrics, the F77, in my opinion, comes across as the strong contender, packing in the looks, features, powertrain, and dynamics to qualify as a well-rounded machine and, most importantly, also offers lots of fun, something that every well-engineered and designed bike should. If this is the future of motorcycles, I am keen to be a part of this journey.
MOTODATAUltraviolette F77 Recon
Permanent Magnet AC Motor
10.3-kWh lithium ion
29 kW (38.89 bhp)
Type: Steel Trellis with Aluminium Bulk Head
F/R: 320-mm disc/230-mm disc
F/R: 110/70 R17 / 150/60 R20
Rs 3.80 to 4.55 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)