Lito Green Motion SORA Review

In the realm of electric motorcycles, where many share similar engine and battery technologies, Lito Green Motion’s Sora is a relatively new entry.

This machine out of Montreal is not the fastest electric motorcycle, nor has it the longest range. But the Lito Sora soars in many aspects – it offers a unique ride, and draws crowds wherever it stops.

Climb aboard, unlock the faux fuel tank’s top-hatch charging port, drop the credit-card style key onto the control unit surface, and the Sora comes alive.

Press the start button, and like all other electric bikes, the silence is anti-climactic. The controls light and the computer systems boot-up from a hard drive. Now you are ready to go.

Engage the single-speed drive in your choice of Performance, Normal or Safe Range, and twist the throttle. Acceleration is smooth, and throttle control is linear. Now simply reprogram your brain to substitute the whine of bearings and the belt-drive for the sound of an internal-combustion engine – the experience will not be too foreign to your ears.

The SORA offers many unique qualities, such as reverse in case one needs assistance moving the 573-pound e-motorcycle out of a tilted parking spot. Also, the Sora’s Safe Range mode integrates with its dedicated (and limited function) GPS to help insure you get to your destination by limiting speed.

Acceleration is brisk, but this is no performance bike. Its 57 horsepower and 66 ft/lbs of torque will give you a sweet, cruiser-like ride without much arm-stretching, all while offering a range of about 60-120 miles, depending on how hard you want to push it and how many hills you encounter.

Recharge time at 110 volts – a normal electrical offering at home – is nine hours. For the 2015 model, a liquid-cooled charger will be available, which can also be used at charging stations featuring the J1772 connector (found at public stations). This will bring charge time down to a claimed 3.5 hours, and, in development, is a feature in which the bike will email you when charging is complete.

The Sora rides on a substantial chassis featuring 43mm inverted cartridge forks and an Elka rear mono-shock (both fully adjustable). This configuration provides a smooth and steady ride that handles the curves quite well.

Combined with the 180/55 ZR17 rear tire that is found on many sport bikes, the Sora’s rear tire allows the bike to corner to the limit of peg/kickstand clearance.

Lito’s engineers have included regenerative braking to scavenge energy for the batteries, and it provides that engine-braking feel. We feel that this regenerative braking could be set a little higher.

Twin-rotor Nissin brakes up front with a single rotor out back provide braking commensurate with the performance and size of the machine. For a sporty-cruiser type ride, we found this acceptable and enjoyable.

The Sora design revolves around the massive center section needed to encompass the large high-density lithium polymer battery pack and motor. That design also includes the impressive look of the carbon fiber fairing and massive cast aluminum in the frame and swingarm. This Sora also features an electric seat as the sole element of the rear sub-frame and it is cantilevered off the chassis.

Uniquely, it has about three inches of vertical adjustment range. My 6-foot frame is comfortable in most of the range, and I found it nice to change heights to avoid fatigue and change the nature of the seating position. Essentially, ergonomics are spacious, comfortable and upright.

Our ride was smooth and easy, but after flogging the bike for about 10 miles we experienced some computer-controlled diminished power. Full power was restored after a few minutes of slow riding. Jeremy Shapson, Lito’s Sales Director, claims this problem of excess battery heat will be eliminated with the installation of the liquid-cooled charging unit.

Shapson also informed us that LED turn signals will be standard for 2015. Options to be offered will include an LED headlight, carbon fiber wheels, a clip-on passenger seat, and more.

The MSPR for the Lito Green Motion Sora is $49,000. www.litogreenmotion.com

See the full review of the Lito Green Motion Sora in the November/December 2014 issue of Ultimate MotorCycling.

Photography by Don Williams

Riding Style:
Helmet: AGV Corsa Velocity
Jacket: Dainese Air Frazer Tex+Pelle
Gloves: Dainese Full Metal RS
Pants: Dainese Drake Air Tex
Boots: Dainese TR-Course Out Air