22 Oct TEST – Tacita T-RACE Diabolika
Time has gone by, since you jumped down from an electric bike feeling puzzled.
The expectations of the ave- rage biker in terms of driving performance, frame response, were sometimes disappointing.
Modern electric bikes, in the upper range, are instead quite pleasing, sometimes surprisingly positive, and the only limit is range.
Tacita was born in 2012; we know her since or first meeting with the T-Race M Supermotard (tested on our magazine issue 130).
The company from Piedmont, with the “offroad DNA”, builds full size bikes for a true offroad use, in the enduro, rally, motard, cross and flat-track (namely the Diabolika), the newst one in the range. Diabolika shares with her sisters the same frame, engine and battery, all made in Tacita, here delivering 18 and
17 inch wheels, black carbon fairing with gold graphics. Choose the swift 5,3 or 10,6 kWh with the rear batteri- es suitcase-like, to double the range, getting the 150 kms mark.
A PROJECT BORN UPRIGHT
The T-Race project, on which this bike is based, shows clear offroad genes. Split single beam frame in Chrome- molybdenum, wheelbase 1440mm, high supensions.
Front fork is a Marzocchi with 45mm advanced axle, mono by Ohlins with progressive link.
The 3-phase induction engine, rated 25kW, liquid cooled, is built in-house (every Tacita has a different and dedica- ted engine), and Tacita does the lithium- Polymer cells assembly and the BMS (battery management system).
A unique in the market, by Tacita, is the 5 gears mechanical gearbox, which lets power consumption efficiency, and useful in offroad, with the hydraulic clutch and final chain drive.
Brakes are Brembo front disk (300 mm) and 220 mm on the rear wheel.
In the 2016 bike you have a digi- tal dashboard, a truely compact but complete unit, with the instant power consumption; two maps, Eco and Sport, with another switch to go with engine brake (and regeneration of power) or just “sail” mode.
Last year we had driven one of the first Diabolikas, this however is the real market bike.
Last year it was a pre-series, but the dri- ving upgrade is noticeable.All electric bikes show some better upgrades each year, both on the density of energy or the battery management. On the Diabolika the whole growing of the general project is remarkable.
The 2016 Diabolika, even if similar to the 2015, has done huge steps both in smoothness and overall drive feeling.
It is very easy to see how good job has been done on the throttle (even though it show some inertia in the open-close throttle) and on the side of handling balance, which was already good in the past, while now it is excellent, expecially on the 5,3 KwH bike.
ALWAYS SWIFT, SPORTY IF NEEDED
We drove the Diabolika, both front, and f/r batteries, on a hill loop around Torino, with some white roads.
Homologated for passenger too, Diabolika has the best comfort among all electric bikes till now.
Quite thin between the legs, it widens on the front, like a maxi-enduro with a 30litres tank.
You got the batteries down there. Overall weight is well balanced, even better on the 5,3 kWh.
On the 10,6 kWh the extra weight for the rear batteries is there just at the stan- ding point.
Once you move, the Diabolika will make you feel just fine: the large handlebar, the frame geometry let you drive like a normal medium-sized enduro engine, with the big up of the always-on-torque, so confortable: no heat, no loud noise, no vibrations and the chance, too, to for- get about the gearbox.
The only weak point is the bit too hard offroad style seating saddle, but it’s not that bad.You can ride in 3rd gear for the most, the other gears will be just fine for white roads, or at big climbs or downhill.
Suspensions are good, even though the mono looked a bit stiff on this set- up, brakes are a bit soft, but if you pull more, they are just ready for the need. And if you want to push harder, Diaboli- ka is with you: total power is not stellar, but torque is good (60 Nm), and overall response is crisp and clear.
Well, those times you felt puzzled after jumping down of an electric bike,Don’t forget the T-Race Motard has sho- wed stunning perfomance over compe- titors, not only electric ones, on many tracks it showed up, and the guys in Turin are working on a special “R” bike, which we could drive for a moment, getting that big grin on our faces.