Ever since it was revealed last month, the Revolt RV400 has been one of the most eagerly anticipated motorcycles in the country. That’s because it isn’t any ordinary motorcycle, its India’s first AI-enabled all-electric motorcycle. Recently, we got a chance to have a go on the RV400 at a go-kart track and here’s our first ride review of it.
The track was fairly short but had a series of engaging corners and straights. For starters, it’s important to remember that the all-electric motorcycle has three riding modes. These three modes (Eco, City and Sports) determine the degree of acceleration, similar to a gearbox.
Eco mode is more suited for a calm and traffic oriented form of riding, while City and Sports aren’t very different from each other, in the mid-range at least. The Sports mode, however, did have that ever-so-slight amount of extra kick.
Interestingly, the RV400 comes fitted with an external speaker near where the engine would’ve been located had this been a conventional internal combustion motorcycle. The function of this speaker is to simulate a sound we’re used to hearing on a petrol-powered two-wheeler.
Overall, the power delivery is good but there is a slight jerk at the beginning of the rev band since the power suddenly comes in all at once. This can be felt more in the most in Sports mode but is much more relaxed in the Eco mode.
At first, it is a little confusing because the RV400 looks like a normal motorcycle but it doesn’t have an exhaust pipe, brake pedal, clutch or gear shifter. It feels like a motorcycle, but the controls are similar to a scooter. This took a bit of getting used to but after a few laps, I found myself trying to outdo myself, pushing its electric heart a little harder every time.
Since the battery sits where the fuel tank and engine would’ve been, the RV400 feels well balanced, given that it has a ground clearance of 220m. The seat height is at a comfortable 814mm, making it accessible to riders of varying heights. The RV400 tips the scale at 108 kg (approximately) which makes it nippy around the corners.
We’re happy to report that after quite a number of laps around the track, the battery had drained only very slightly, even though we’d been mostly riding in Sports mode.
Ride & Handling:
First impressions are good, the RV400 feels easy to handle around the corners and has ample grip going into a corner, fast. The only worrying thing at first was the braking set up. Since both the brakes are controlled from the levers are front, I found myself looking for the foot brake under intense braking, which can be just a little nerve-racking.
The RV400 gets upside-down forks at the front and an adjustable mono-shock at the back. At slower speeds, the RV400 feels fairly composed and there isn’t really any cause for concern.
Braking is handled by two 240mm disc brakes at the front and back with a Combined Braking System (CBS) which works well. The RV400 is driven by a belt and not a chain, as is the case with most mass-market motorcycles in the world.
Even with just a glance, the RV400 looks rebellious. It gets all-LED treatment for the front and tail lamps; even the turn indicators are LED! We then move onto the digital instrument cluster. It displays the range, speed, time and much more.
However, it wasn’t really working since the speed it was displaying was hard to read. We felt that the Revolt RV400 looks funky, cool and modern. But it still maintains the look of a conventional motorcycle, which is definitely a positive aspect. All in all, it’s bound to catch your attention.
Range, Charging & Features:
We now have to address the elephant in the room, which in this case is the lithium-ion battery. That’s not quite a metaphor since the battery pack in the RV400 is quite heavy (15kgs, approximately).
Folks at Revolt Intellicorp plan to setup swap stations in major cities. This will allow riders to swap out their depleting or depleted battery for a fresh one. Alternatively, customers will also be able to charge the batteries at home or office with the help of a charger which requires a 15-ampere socket. A full charge is expected to take 4.5 hours.
Another interesting feature on the RV400 is that of a Start/Stop button. That’s right, the RV400 doesn’t need for you to insert the key in order to start. However, there will be key for other purposes. Revolt Intellicorp has stated an ARAI certified range of 156 kilometres.
The Revolt RV400 looks to be a step in the right direction. Given the state of our environment and the price of petrol; a simple to use and purposeful all-electric motorcycle could be the need of the hour. In our opinion, the RV400 is a good looking, light, nimble and fairly powerful motorcycle.