As India’s first all-electric motorcycle, the Revolt RV 400 has already generated quite a lot of buzz with its conventional looks and pay-as-you-go pricing. However, in order to convert the buzz into buyers, it also needs to present itself as a proper alternative to conventional motorcycles in terms of functionality. With its removable battery and swapping options, it tries to address the anxiety that surrounds electric vehicles. But what’s it like to ride? Is it built well? Should you be considering it as an option against a conventional motorcycle? Here’s what we came back with after a brief experience:
Appearance & Build Quality
Had it not been for the exposed fascia, the Revolt RV 400 could have been a fully-faired motorcycle. But it’s not, even with its fully-covered mechanical bits, which reside under the tank area. What is a fuel tank on a conventional motorcycle, here, it’s a cover which can be unlocked to open. Underneath rests an 18 kg Li-ion battery, which is removable and takes about 4-5 hours to fully recharge itself through the side panel-mounted socket, using a 15-ampere source.
Tipping the scales at 108 kilos, the RV 400 appears to be built well and we liked the overall fit-n-finish of things. The makers have considered Indian conditions and as a result, the RV 400 offers 215mm of ground clearance. Interesting bits which caught our eye were the 37mm USD forks, an aluminium-finished swingarm, a faux jet fighter-like air intake behind the front wheel and the all-LED illumination bits upfront. The RV 400’s party trick is that it offers four sound modes, which mimic the exhaust note of a large-capacity motorcycle and plays it through a speaker. Thankfully there’s a button to switch the sound off and we think it is best used when manoeuvring through crowded spaces.
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The Revolt RV 400 is powered by a 3 kW motor which is spun by a 72V, 3.24KWh Li-ion battery. Our time with the motorcycle was strictly reserved to a go-kart track outside Delhi, where we could not test the RV 400’s real-world usability. However, all the torque is available right from the very outset and this bike accelerates pretty quickly and in a linear manner.
There are three riding modes, which extend the range by limiting the top speed of the bike. The Eco Mode promises a range of 150 kms by limiting the top speed to 45 km/h, normal mode will make it last till 100 kms and won’t let the bike cross 65 km/h, while Sport mode will make the motorcycle hit 80 km/h and limit to range to 85 – 90 kilometres. As is the case with manufacturer claimed FE numbers for a conventional bike, we’d think a 10-15% buffer can be added for these manufacturer claimed figures. During our time with the bike, we managed to make it hit 67 km/h on the speedometer on the short and narrow track. The motorcycle was still ready to accelerate beyond that point.
Also Read: My Revolt Plan: Top-5 Highlights
Ride & Handling
The Revolt RV 400 is stiffly sprung for an electric bike. While it makes it handle better, it isn’t all cushy like a comfort-oriented commuter motorcycle. The motorcycle feels narrow between your feet and with a seat height of 814 mm, it will be comfortable for riders with a height upwards of 5.4″. It feels like riding a conventional motorcycle until you realise that there is no foot-operated brake or a gear lever and what used to be a clutch lever is now the rear brake.
But once you get past those things, the RV 400 feels nimble unless you ask too much from it. Stopping power comes from 240 mm discs at the front and back, governed by a Combi-braking system. Braking power feels adequate for the kind of speeds this bike is capable of and regenerative braking also adds a little more juice to the batteries, every time you grab the levers. The stepped seat is comfortable and well-padded and with a pillion, the RV 400 can carry a maximum payload of 150 kilos. The footpegs are adjustable and if you find the riding position too sporty, the pegs can be swivelled to move forward, offering a more relaxed riding position. Grip is not an issue with the MRF-sourced 90/18-17 front and 120/80-17 rear tyres.
The RV 400 is a connected motorcycle, which comes with a remote key and a power button which starts the motorcycle. The remote key also allows locking and unlocking of the motorcycle, besides a find my bike button. A connected App also allows the rider to geo fence the bike, offers a swipe to start feature, riding history, battery status, provides the location of swapping stations and allows switching between the faux exhaust notes. The fully-digital display provides all ride-related information and has indicators for usual functions.
- The bike can be charged through the side-mounted socket with a 15amp power source
- The battery can be removed to be charged indoors if the bike cannot be charged near the source
- Swapping stations across the city will allow a swap with a fully-charged battery on the spot
- Assistance service in case of emergencies where a van gets you a replacement battery in about 90 minutes
Available in Delhi and Pune as of now, the Revolt RV 400 is strictly a city slicker which offers an eco-friendly alternative to commuter motorcycles. Available with two monthly payment plans where one needs to pay either Rs. 3,499 or Rs. 3,999 per month, for 37 months with no upfront payment, it offers an interesting purchase plan too. These plans offer quite a lot on their own to sweeten the deal. However, since it is strictly a city-only machine, it will also have to compete against the army of electric scooters out there, which for their design, offer more practicality than a motorcycle. Having said that, the Revolt RV 400 offers a lot of novelty as India’s first electric motorcycle and will appeal to environment-conscious and savvy buyers.