Drawing on Formula One car construction technology, it’s apparently the world’s only production motorcycle to feature a composite monocoque structure and the components have been selected to ensure optimum simplicity and lightness. Unlike other electric motorcycles, the Saietta R has been designed as an electric machine from the ground up, rather than being built from adapted parts originally made for petrol-engine bikes. The monocoque chassis is the key to the entire structure, with the battery and electric motor integral parts of it. The front and rear suspension and wheels attach directly to the structural battery and that, essentially, is the machine.
“The riding experience will be totally different from what you’re used to, mainly because the response of the electric motor is absolutely instant and, of course, there is none of the noise you get with a petrol engine,” explains Marazzi. One man who is certainly sold on the Saietta R is Mark Northwood, global head of trading for an investment-management firm, who bought the first customer model off the production line. “I was one of the first people to put my name down for a Tesla Roadster electric car, so when I heard that an electric motorcycle was also available it seemed appealing as a machine to use for my regular 25-mile commute during the summer. Electric-vehicle technology is something I’m very keen to support, and I find the power delivery absolutely addictive. The performance is always instantly available, and you get that wonderful turbine-like surge that makes a petrol or diesel engine seem archaic.”
Although it is not exactly cheap, at £19,770 for the 60 “Premier” models being delivered in 2014 and £16,770 for the 2015 standard version, this is offset by the £6,000 or so someone covering 100 miles per week would otherwise spend on petrol for a conventional motorbike over the course of 10 years. Combine that with an 80,000-mile battery life and the option of “encrypting” the electric motor to change the performance settings, and the Saietta R looks set for success.