While skyrocketing petrol prices are breaking the back of people, the talk of the town these days is pocket-friendly electric vehicles. Among electric vehicles, scooters and cars are more popular. Now, bikes too are entering this lineup. However, ahead of leading motorcycle manufacturers, startups have made the first move by launching electric bikes. A frontrunner among them is the Coimbatore-based SVM (Srivaru) Motors. Its electric bike Prana could be a game changer.
The Prana is a step ahead in performance and design. It has two variants - the Grand with a 126 km range and the Elite with a 225 km range. The Grand was available for test ride.
It is easy to mistake the Prana for Kawasaki's litre-class naked motorcycle Z1000. The Prana has the same design theme and looks similar to other street bikes. The only difference is in the 'engine'. The front has a low stance, and looks like an aggressive bull ready to charge.
A low headlamp unit, sculpted 'fuel tank' and a compact rider seat area give it an aggressive stance. There are sporty protrusions and edges across the body. The headlamp unit consists of pilot lamp and twin project LED lamp. The mass appeal comes from the muscular tank and tank scoop. There is a Prana badging on the tank. The motorcycle gets split seats.
The Prana is powered by a 75v air-cooled lithium-ion battery that has a capacity of 4.32 kW. A full charge takes four hours and 15 minutes and can take you 126 km. A full charge will consume just five units of electricity.
The battery pack takes the place of engines in conventional bikes, while the charging port is on the right side-panel. There is a belly pan below the battery pack. The 5.36 hp BLDC hub-mounted motor has a torque of 38 Nm and this is the highlight of the Prana. In fact, it has more torque than Bajaj Dominar. The motor is placed directly in the rear wheel.
The top speed of the Prana is 123 kmph. It takes just 4 seconds to reach 60 km from standstill.
The Prana will wake up if you turn the ignition key, switch on the engine kill button and press the start button. Open the throttle a bit, and, despite having a little bit of free play, the bike gets moving smoothly. In fact, the free play is good since it prevents the 'jump'. There are four ride modes - practice, drive, sports and reverse. The drive mode selector is near the left-hand grip. In the practice mode, the maximum speed is 45 kmph. The response is slow in this mode. In the drive mode, the maximum speed one can attain is 123 kmph but the throttle response is similar to the practice mode. If you want good acceleration, switch to the sports mode; you get sudden pick-up in this mode. The maximum speed in the reverse mode is 5 kmph. This mode is helpful during parking etc.
The bike gets a sporty riding position and the wide handlebar provides great comfort. The bike is stable at high speeds too. It gets wider tyres in the rear and disc brakes at both the ends. It also has the regenerative system, which helps charge the battery while braking.
With the Prana you get an electric bike has the looks and performance of a sports motorcycle. Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode will soon have Prana showrooms.