At least, that’s what the Italian motorcycle maker 2electron claims. The gripe with electric motorcycles is their lack of internal combustion symphony. 2electron intends to address that.
By address, I mean emulate. And this leads to the name of 2electron’s first electric motorcycle: the Emula. 2electron is a spinoff of Zener, a Turin, Italy-based automotive technology company.
The technology at play aboard the Emula is called McFly. Greasy burger recalls aside, the McFly system is made of a virtual gearbox, faux gearshifter and clutch levers, adjustments to the power delivery, and strategically placed speakers on the chassis.
This nexus of devices and tech allows you to select between various powerplants for your ride. Feel like laying some smoke down today? Choose a 1989 two-stroke single. Miss the sweet superbike symphony of the century gone by? Select a 1999 600cc inline-four’s sound, and revel in the glorious soundtrack. Currently, a 2004 800cc inline-four is also on the menu.
Most interestingly, by the time 2electron begins production of the Emula, a few more virtual powertrains will be added as options. But McFly is not just about making pleasing noises. It also adjusts the electric motor’s output to emulate the characteristics of different IC engines. But the gimmickry doesn’t stop here.
2electron also added clutch and gearbox operations to the powertrain. With the clutch lever and gearshift lever, the Emula knows which gear you are in, delivering output accordingly. McFly also helps you pop the clutch. The levers also feature tactile feedback replicating the feel of shifting gears. A slipper clutch emulator prevents the rear wheel from locking up under aggressive downshifts.
The 2electron Emula offers two basic riding modes: Emula-Boring mode and McFly mode. The Boring mode turns the Emula into a real-world electro motorcycle with a top speed of 250kph. The McFly mode is where things get interesting. It has four sub-modes to fine-tune your riding experience into a video game.
- Real Emulation: This mode turns the Emula into an ICE motorcycle. It’s so well-developed that it will stall if you don’t maintain the proper clutch-throttle balance. The motor will also lug at you if you use too few revs at too high a gear.
- Easy Emulation: Goof for novice riders, this mode does not let the Emula stall, and is more forgiving of poor gearshifts.
- Arcade Emulation: You don’t need the clutch lever in this mode. Go through the gears as if the bike has a two-way quickshifter.
- Beginner Emulation: McFly handles the gearing for you, as well as the clutch. You are free to take in the sights around you. As for sounds, you know you can choose yours, right?
Another trick up the 2electron bike’s sleeve is that it can relay all those onboard sounds directly to your helmet intercom. You can also add a virtual high-flow air filter, custom exhaust, and a plethora of other options.
No need to worry that these mods might affect battery range. McFly technology reduces the driving range of the Emula by a maximum of one percent, says 2electron.
Although the Emula is yet to hit the road, even as a prototype, its slew of onboard tech gives us the glimpse of what the future of motorcycling holds. Can’t say I’m not excited.