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The Lito Sora - the biggest, baddest electric motorcycle in Montreal

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April 20, 2011

The Lito Sora - big, bad, and battery powered.

The Lito Sora - big, bad, and battery powered.

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Montreal's Lito has thrown its hat into the ring with a new electric motorcycle that makes some pretty outrageous claims. A full 12 kilowatt-hours' worth of onboard lithium polymer batteries gives the Sora a massive 300 km range – that's 185 miles between charges. Or you can choose to wrap the throttle on and scream up to a top speed of 200 km/h (125 mph). With chopper/fighter bad boy looks and some interesting and innovative features like in-dash touch screen GPS and electronically adjustable ergonomics, the Sora looks like an absolute animal of a machine. You can't help but think that if it had an accessible pricetag, it would look very tempting to the average biker.

Zero Motorcycles has chosen light weight and low cost as its dual strategy to get the electric motorcycle market started in the US – we assume both those considerations have gone out the window at Lito.

The Lito Sora - big, bad, and battery powered

But then, dropping feather-light weight as a priority opens the door to some things that simply couldn't fit on the Zero S. The Sora uses regenerative braking, for example, which is inefficient on lightweight machines but a handy tool on heavier bikes like this 240 kg (530 lb) beast. It also packs a CV transmission, in a segment where most bikes avoid transmissions altogether – which keeps the engine output efficient at a broader range of speeds and enables the Sora's 125 mph top speed.

A higher weight ceiling also opens the door for more battery cells – in this case, nearly three times the power capacity of the Zero S at 12 kWh. That means there's more power to spend, whether you choose to spend it conservatively on longer range, or more gregariously on massive acceleration and high speeds.

The downsides to such a huge battery pack are equally compelling; the Sora takes a whopping 8 hours to charge from empty (although it does have the nifty feature of sending you an email when it's ready to go). Also, battery packs are still stupendously expensive. So 12 kilowatt hours' worth of lithium polymer will cost around as much as a new Japanese superbike, or maybe more.

The Lito Sora - big, bad, and battery powered.

One interesting innovation on the Sora is the way the tank-mounted GPS system is integrated with the battery management system. Punch in your destination, and the Sora will calculate how much power it needs to get you there – and it will adjust your available power along the journey to make sure you get there with charge to spare. It's a very smart feature designed to eliminate the range anxiety you tend to feel on an electric knowing that your battery is dwindling and it'll take anywhere up to several hours to get it charged back up.

Another new touch is the idea of on-the-go adjustable ergonomics – the Sora's stubby seat unit can move as much as 10 cm (4-inches) up and down to completely change the feel and handling of the bike. Drop it down for a relaxed, cruisy highway position, crank it up for extra agility and a more aggressive sporting stance. It'll be fascinating to see what sort of difference that system makes to the feel of the bike.

The Lito Sora - big, bad, and battery powered

The Sora is more than just a concept – Lito has built at least one of these things, and in the flesh it looks, well, about 80% as tough as something Confederate might make. Which is TOUGH! The bizarre downward slope of the aluminum frame quickly becomes familiar to the eye, the front end is clean and muscular, and the bobbed back end looks absolutely superb. The flared battery cells are an acceptable substitute for a big lump of engine down below, the belt drive and swingarm look techno-amazing and the overall effect is one hell of a sexy bike.

The Lito Sora - big, bad, and battery powered

There's no price listed for this beauty, but it's going to be expensive. The batteries alone will propel it pretty high up the list of motorcycle prices – and then there's the lightweight aircraft-grade chassis, the carbon fiber fairings, the CVT, the GPS, the proprietary software, the Elka suspension … we shudder to think what the final pricetag will be.

But by Odin we'd love to ride it.

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz loves motorcycles - at the age of two, he told his mother "don't want brother, want mogabike." It was the biker connection that first brought Loz to Gizmag, but since then he's covered everything from alternative energy and weapons to medicine, marital aids - and of course, motorcycles. Loz also produces a number of video pieces for Gizmag, including his beloved bike reviews. He frequently disappears for weeks at a time to go touring with his vocal band Suade.   All articles by Loz Blain
17 Comments

I'm not an electric fan and this thing is BUTT ugly! That being said I like the specs even I could be temped with the right looks? :-)

mrhuckfin
21st April, 2011 @ 04:24 am PDT

It looks good. Right up to the back of the seat. Then it looks like something off a Motocross Track. It needs a bigger rear tire and some fender & side cover work.

Gerald Calvin Bohmer Jr
21st April, 2011 @ 07:19 am PDT

Personally I love the styling. They went with a sort of naked styling. My only issue with the seat is where do I hang my saddle bag? I also have to say compared to any of the e-cycles I've seen this things looks win hands down. They rest look sort of like the designers forgot to finish them.

I think the aftermarket mods for this woud take off though so you could get a fancy rear tire and styled panels if that's your cuppa.

VirtualGathis
21st April, 2011 @ 08:00 am PDT

Taste is SO subjective.

Nothing will please everyone.

A bike like this can obviously be reconfigured to fit a variety of tastes but again,

nothing will please everyone.

So,no word on price yet?

Griffin
21st April, 2011 @ 09:26 am PDT

love it .

got the range to be a tempting alternative , got the power to be fun - what else do I need ? just a few accessories .

Károly Hőss
21st April, 2011 @ 01:51 pm PDT

They're getting closer. The range is getting better and the top speed is getting closer to being acceptable. They still need to get the price and the charging time down. I like to go out for a 400 to 500 mile Saturday ride and it would be nice to be able to do it on an e-cycle.

vpx969
21st April, 2011 @ 06:35 pm PDT

...and no friggin noise. Bring it on !!

Ken Munyard
21st April, 2011 @ 07:48 pm PDT

I'm all for electric, but wonder about these range figures. If you did 300 k's at even a modest 60kph it would take 5hrs. 12KWHrs rationed over that time means you'd be using 2.4KW or about 3 horse power. If a bike can run on that power, why do many have more power than my Honda Civic car?

omeomy
22nd April, 2011 @ 01:47 am PDT

No friggin noise eh Ken?

This is what will certainly kill many of the Neo-electric bikers...........car driving nerds drive around with their eyes closed half the time and care little for bikers as it is. Not being able to hear them will certainly hammer a few nails into many Coffins, not to mention Blind or Deaf pedestrians trying to cross the road oblivious to the new sleek silent machines coming their way!!!

I will stick to the Vance Hines thanks

bf_308
22nd April, 2011 @ 05:38 am PDT

The Only top speed i care about is one that is around 65mph. i think 120 is a bit overkill but im more of a practical person. im loving the range listed that'll take me to college, work, the club and back. just thinking about this bike is making my mouth water. i had my eye on the GPR-S but if this comes out in time i'll go ahead with the Sora... hurry it up people.

Peter David Phoomahal Jr
22nd April, 2011 @ 07:34 am PDT

Greetings. This new prototype looks very promising! How about a collaboration between the propietor company and say, the people at Brammo in the United States.

They already have a production line and might be able to work out an agreement,

of sorts. The development of the viable electric motorcycle is progressing at a phenomenal rate. I can hardly wait to see these on the road! GOD Bless!

nayehieona
25th April, 2011 @ 01:20 pm PDT

300 section rear 180 section front, the sidecovers need to be something else completely and I like the CVT for progressive power delivery, the GPS centre could be a much better littel coms hub, plugs and spots for devices.

I dont see why anyone would think it that expensive you could build this quite cheap yourself even. Grab donor CVT, frame it add a front and back end off ?? a motor controller and motor, expense is where??

But yes, give the boys and girls here a few months training in industrial design please.

Gavin Greaves
30th April, 2011 @ 10:46 pm PDT

300 section rear 180 section front, the sidecovers need to be something else completely and I like the CVT for progressive power delivery, the GPS centre could be a much better littel coms hub, plugs and spots for devices.

I dont see why anyone would think it that expensive you could build this quite cheap yourself even. Grab donor CVT, frame it add a front and back end off ?? a motor controller and motor, expense is where??

But yes, give the boys and girls here a few months training in industrial design please.

Gavin Greaves
1st May, 2011 @ 06:32 am PDT

The "no noise is dangerous" thing is really only valid in the case of pedestrians, the vast majority of cagers either have the stereo blaring or travel in isolated comfort with windows up and the AC on.

As a longtime motorcycle rider I can say many accidents are from the biker going way too fast for the car to see him and make the appropriate decision on what to do concerning right of way or left turns. How many of us on motorcycles feel that 60 in a 35 zone is perfectly within our machines' capabilities? That may be the case, but you really reduce that decision window for the driver. Whether they can hear your engine or not as you rocket toward them is not going to change fate.

For the pedestrians well they can just pay the price for not heeding mommy's advice, "ALWAYS look both ways before stepping off the curb, or you'll be roadkill ya little brat!".

Mom always had a way with words.

John Lucier
27th July, 2011 @ 09:43 pm PDT

Gives new meaning to " I never heard you coming" after someone crosses your path. No Thanks!!

Richard C. Edmonds
12th August, 2011 @ 08:29 pm PDT

Nice Design! Can we buy this already at a normal price or shall we dream again 4 many years?

José Maertens
3rd May, 2012 @ 10:24 pm PDT

I see I posted a comment 1 year ago.

What would it cost? Still doesn't know.

José Maertens
30th March, 2013 @ 07:56 am PDT
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