The Lito Sora
Continuing our interest in non-crotch-rocket cruiser style bikes led us to our friends in Montreal - Lito (Green Motion) Sora, who spoke with us just in time to show off their new website: The Sora Electric Superbike.
Besides being just plain gorgeous, the bike has a few interesting innovations. The seat height is adjustable through about 100mm via an electric motor. They're also using a CVT transmission - a "constant velocity" array of pulleys that change their drive radius to change the final drive gear ratio. They're commonly used in snowmobiles and lawn tractors, and have been used in larger vehicles up to even Formula One racing, (until banned while in the development stage). There are a couple of engineering hurdles with a CVT on a motorcycle, the first being efficiency - they typically are around 80-90% efficient, which falls below a manual, geared transmission and is well below a simple chain final drive without any transmission at all. They have trouble with torque, especially the kind of torque that a big electric motor delivers, and, finally, they're a bit heavy.
Since Lito reports more than a few sales, and sales worldwide, and have stuck with the CVT for nearly a year now, we're going to guess it's been working pretty well.
Here are the specs from the site:
|Chassis: Lightweight aluminum 6061-T6||Wheelbase1498 mm (59.0 in.)|
|Front suspension, 43 mm inverted cartridge fork. Fully adjustable.||Front wheel travel: 125 mm|
|Rear suspension, Elka suspension fully adjustable. Aluminum swingarm.||Rear wheel travel: 127 mm|
|Tires- Front: 120/70 ZR17||Wheels: 6-spoke lightweight machined aluminum|
|Rear: 180/55 ZR17||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: 260 kg (573.2 lbs.)|
|Seat Height: Adjustable electric seat from 750 to 850mm (29.5 to 33.5 in.)|
|Motor: Liquid-cooled 3-phase AC induction||Transmissions: Belt final drive and CVT transmission|
|TorqueCrank: 90 Nm (66.37 ft-lb, 0-6000rpm)||SORA top speed: 190 km/h (118 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, normal, safe range)|
|Recharge Time: Approximately 9 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: City 200 km, highway: more than 100 km|
At a top speed of 118mph, it's not going to fare very well against the Mission, Lightning or Energica, but it's holding it's own with most of the competition touting a range of around 100 miles. It is, without a doubt, a comfortable ride however. And, beefy. If you go for that kind of thing. Lito has appointed the bike with some tasty details:
Touchscreen instrumentation with GPS integration
Seat elevation mechanism
And of course, the price? The bikes are build pretty much to order, with a 3 month lead time, and can be configured in a number of different ways, but the "base" price is around $50K (USD), where a custom exclusive build can run upwards of $100K (USD). At those prices, they're clearly not aiming for your average biker, but they do report they have customers in 5 countries. Here, let's watch a video while you look for your checkbook, shall we?