A green machine from Quebec

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LITO Sora
We like the Sora's aggressive streetfighter styling.
LITO Sora
We like the Sora's aggressive streetfighter styling.

We’re not sure why nobody’s heard about these guys before, but a Quebec company is developing an impressive new electric motorcycle. CMG calls them up for the inside scoop.

Montreal-based LITO Green Motion is building the Sora, an electric bike with a claimed 300-kilometre battery range, a 200 km/h top speed, CVT transmission, regenerative braking, carbon fibre fairing and aluminum chassis.

Constantly Variable Transmission helps with acceleration and to maintain a high top speed

Hang on, CVT transmission on an electric bike? Well according to the Company’s owner and CEO Jean-Pierre Legris the CVT allows for better acceleration, and a higher top speed from a smaller, lighter (and cheaper) motor.

200 km/h? Maybe adjust the seat to it's lowest position first.

Of  course, if you want to be able to tap into that 300 kilometer range, you’re going to have to ride the bike in commute mode, the batteries getting help thanks to regenerative braking via the rear wheel.

Legris reckons that battery life would be a mere 30 minutes at 200 km/h – if the rider could hold on that long!

The amount of braking energy sent back to the motor/batteries is dependant on the braking force applied to the rear pedal; a hard push tells the computer to allow more power to spin the motor in reverse, meaning the rear brake gets less use to boot.

Seat height can be adjusted on the fly.

The main downside to the Sora is the retail price of $42,399. Although Quebec is currently offering a $7000 rebate for such machine, that’s still a chunk more than a Zero or Brammo. But Legris isn’t aiming to compete directly with them, wanting instead to build a no-compromise, high performance and high end electric bike.

LITO Sora
Here's the Sora at home in an urban environment.

If that price leaves you with sticker shock, consider all the features you get for your cash, beside impressive range and top speed.

Battery power is managed by a trademarked SafeRange system; you enter the distance you want to travel, and the bike manages your available battery charge to make sure you don’t waste your power through high-speed antics on your way to your destination.

If you get tired of your riding position, the Sora’s electric seat adjusts, just like a car seat, to maximize your comfort, but don’t get any ideas about Gold Wing -style two-up touring – maximum cargo weight is 200 kg, including rider, accessories, and bags.

LITO Sora
The design team included Martin Aubé who helped Bombardier design the Spyder.

Want more electronic bells and whistles? The bike also features keyless start. The machine senses your keycard when you’re close to the bike; all you have to do is press the start button.

There’s onboard GPS, and email notification when you’re bike’s fully charged. If you want to tweak your bike’s acceleration curve, top speed, or change the regenerative braking settings, there’s a USB port on the bike so you can interface with your computer.

On a more typical bike front, brakes are radially mounted four piston Nissins up front with Kayaba USD forks. Quebec based Elke Suspension provide the rear shocks and the aluminum frame was built in partnership with Alcor. Wheels are 17″ six spoke forged billet aluminum. Total weight is 240 Kg.

LITO Sora
Eight hour charge but with a decent range to boot.

The company claims a 150,000-kilometre battery life for their lithium-polymer unit, if you keep your average speed around 70 km/h. Charge time is eight hours if you’re using a 110-volt 15-5 nema connector, but an external quick charger can bring that number down to two hours.

Arse.

They’re currently taking pre-orders via their website with an expected delivery date of October 2011.

There is no dealer network and none planned just yet either, though they are considering opening a corporate store in the near future. The bike has already met all requirements for sale in Canada, US and Europe and comes with a one-year, unlimited mileage warranty.

So one last question for Legris; why build a high end electric bike?

Is the world ready for the Sora?

Apparently he originally wanted to build an electric car (Legris’ background is automotive engineering, working with the likes of Honda and Peugeot) but the OEMs have pretty well got that side covered. This is not the case with motorcycles however – especially for someone who wanted to build the most uncompromising electric motorcycle to date.

If you want to find out more about the Sora, check out their website, or head to the Montreal Grand Prix on the weekend of the 10/11/12 June as LITO will be showing off the bikes there.

Specifications:

Chassis

Frame 

Lightweight aluminum 6061-T6

Wheelbase 

1498 mm (59.0 in.)

Front suspension 

43 mm inverted cartridge fork.
Fully adjustable

Front wheel 

travel125 mm

Rear suspension 

Elka suspension fully adjustable preload. Aluminum swingarm

Rear wheel 

travel127 mm

Tires 

Front: 120/70 ZR17
Rear: 180/55 ZR17

Wheels 

6-spoke lightweight forged billet aluminum
Front: 3.50 x 17″
Rear: 5.50 x 17″

Front brake 

Dual semi-floating 310 mm petal discs, radial-mount opposed 4-piston calipers 2-pad

Rear brake 

Single 250 mm petal disc,
opposed 2-piston caliper

Rake 

25.0°

Weight 

240 kg (529.2 lbs.)

Seat Height 

Adjustable electric seat from 750 to 850mm (29.5 to 33.5 in.)

Powertrain

Motor 

Liquid-cooled 3-phase AC induction

Transmissions 

Belt final drive and CVT transmission

Torque 

Crank: 80 Nm (59 ft-lb, 0-6000rpm)
Wheel: 960 Nm (708 ft-lb)

SORA top speed 

200 km/h (120 mph)

Energy storage 

12 kWh lithium-polymer battery modules with integrated Battery Management System, on-board charge, J1772 compatible

Power Control 

LITO advanced software,integrated computer, regenerative braking, 3 control modes (performance, eco, safe range)

Recharge Time 

Approximately 8 hours

Instrumentation 

Digital unit with displays for:
speedometer, battery charge level and
warning lights
5.7in. LCD with touch screen:
GPS and LITO’s application
USB port

Range 

Up to 300 km (185 miles

1 COMMENT

  1. One would think that if their target audience was an urban commuter, then having luggage options might be nice. The rain gear and lunch need to go somewhere.

    It’s a nice looking cafe racer, bound to turn heads at the Timmie’s, but how far into Muskoka could you get? 🙂

  2. Nice electric motor (sic) cycle for the super rich – the rest of us mortals will buy an e bike, to save on gas. Gotta love the upper crust and their great toys!

  3. Nice looking concept, and hopefully it will work as they say. Has anyone actually seen the bike yet? I see a lot of pretty computer renders of it, but I can find nothing about the real bike, (beyond a wooden mockup). I hope it’s not another vapourware project.

  4. Actually does look pretty cool….

    Alas, it seems like motorcycle companies put a great deal of energy into unubtainium….

    Remember the V-Max 2.0 survey….. How much do you think the new V-Max should cost…. yuk yuk!

    Tony

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