Ultraviolette F77 Electric Motorcycle First Ride Review: Worth the wait!

We finally ride the Ultraviolette F77 - the fastest made-in-India electric motorcycle. Does it live up to the expectations as a KTM 390 Duke rival and
...
The Ultraviolette F77 lives up to its claim of being India's fastest electric motorcycle bringing a good mix of practicality and thrills
The Ultraviolette F77 lives up to its claim of being India's fastest electric motorcycle bringing a good mix of practicality and thrills

As diverse as India’s electric two-wheeler market is, there have been fewer risk-takers than we would’ve liked. That’s one of the reasons why Bengaluru-based start-up Ultraviolette Automotive stands out. Not only did it set itself up to compete with established motorcycle makers but did so with the intent of setting new records.

This is why the wait for Ultraviolette’s maiden offering has been so long. Three years, in fact, since the Ultraviolette F77 made its first appearance. A lot has changed since then in a constant process of evolution and the F77 is ready to find homes across the world. So, has the wait been worth it? Let’s ride the Ultraviolette F77 - India’s fastest electric motorcycle - to find out.

Also check these Bikes

Find more Bikes
Ultraviolette F77 (HT Auto photo)
BatteryCapacity Icon10.3 kWh Range Icon307 km/charge
₹ 3.80 - 5.50 Lakhs
Compare
View Offers
Ultraviolette F77 Mach 2 (HT Auto photo)
MaxSpeed Icon155 kmph
₹ 2.99 - 3.99 Lakhs
Compare
View Offers
Kabira Mobility Km 5000 Ev (HT Auto photo)
UPCOMING
BatteryCapacity Icon11.6 kwh Range Icon344 km
₹ 3.15 Lakhs
View Details
Nij Automotive Flion (HT Auto photo)
MaxSpeed Icon45 kmph
₹ 57,788 - 76,763
Compare
View Offers
Bajaj Pulsar Ns400z (HT Auto photo)
Engine Icon373 cc Mileage Icon35 kmpl
₹ 1.85 Lakhs
Compare
Royal Enfield Hunter 350 (HT Auto photo)
Engine Icon349.34 cc Mileage Icon36.2 kmpl
₹ 1.50 - 1.75 Lakhs
Compare
View Offers

Watch: Ultraviolette F77 electric motorcycle review

Ultraviolette F77 - New Frame & Swingarm

The production-spec Ultraviolette F77 is a vastly different offering than first showcased. The frame and swingarm have been redesigned to make the model lighter and more agile, while the detachable battery pack has been swapped for a fixed unit. At 10.3 kWh, this is the biggest battery on any two-wheeler in India. It is arguably the heaviest too at a hefty 60 kg. The end result is improvements in power, performance, and range but also a higher kerb weight.

Ultraviolette F77 - Sharp Design

Visually, not a lot has changed. The jet fighter-inspired styling is largely the same but the fairing is now a closed unit considering there are no battery packs to detach anymore. Ultraviolette has integrated winglets into the fairing that channel air towards the battery and motor for better cooling. The winglets also double up as engine guards, which cleverly hide behind the bodywork.

The overall styling is sharp and quite proportionate. The wheelbase measures 1,340 mm, which is the same as the KTM 390 Duke and ensures the package is compact yet has a striking road presence. Ultraviolette got the design language on point in the first attempt itself and even after three years since being first unveiled, it continues to be a head-turner. There are three variants on offer - Laser, Shadow and Airstrike - which bring three different colour options.

Ultraviolette F77 Review
The Ultraviolette F77 looks sharp and has good build quality with just a bit of polishing required around the edges
Ultraviolette F77 Review
The Ultraviolette F77 looks sharp and has good build quality with just a bit of polishing required around the edges

Ultraviolette F77 - Build Quality

The build quality is where Ultraviolette’s attention to detail truly shines. The finished product feels like nothing built by a first-time player. The quality levels are spot-on and everything feels on point. It’s a lot of plastic though, especially the bodywork but the paint finish is good, visually and to touch. That said, we found some panel gaps in places and the charging cover feels flimsy for what is otherwise a well-put-together motorcycle.

Ultraviolette F77 - Ergonomics

There’s more room to move around the F77 as far as the ergonomics are concerned. The clip-on handlebars are wider and the rear-set footpegs are accommodating even for larger riders. The seat is fairly high at 800 mm but there’s ample room to slide front and back. It is decently cushioned as well to keep you comfy on long rides. The overall riding posture is aggressive but not out-and-out sporty and brings touring ability on the motorcycle.

Ultraviolette F77 Review
The F77 is fast, handles really well but could do with more performance even in its sportiest setting
Ultraviolette F77 Review
The F77 is fast, handles really well but could do with more performance even in its sportiest setting

Ultraviolette F77 - Performance

Ultraviolette organised two riding experiences with the F77 for the media. One was going uphill on open roads while the other was on a go-kart race track, designed to give a sense of the bike’s handling, performance and real-world ride-ability. A lot of attention has gone in right from the throttle calibration, power output, and performance; everything feels on par.

There are three riding modes - Glide, Combat and Ballistic. The Glide mode is dull on power but also intended to be the more economical and maximise range. There’s the combat mode which is a good mix between performance and economy and those looking to commute more often will be happy with the power output here. Then, there’s the Ballistic mode.

I have two thoughts about the Ballistic mode. The first one is that it performs as advertised. Acceleration is quick and it gives you access to all of the 38 bhp and 90 Nm of peak torque that look so promising on paper. There’s a nice thrust when you twist the throttle that pushes you in the seat a bit. The ballistic mode feels fantastic and it does exactly what the company says it would do.

Having said that, it does not blow me away and that’s my biggest problem with the F77 at large. When the KTM 390 Duke came out nearly a decade ago, it blew us away with its performance and acceleration. It was the segment disruptor that no one thought they needed until they did.

Ultraviolette F77 Review
The Ballistic mode is quick with strong acceleration but feels tameable, quicker than one would hope
Ultraviolette F77 Review
The Ballistic mode is quick with strong acceleration but feels tameable, quicker than one would hope

Call it over expectation or simply setting benchmarks but I was kind of hoping for something similar with the F77. More so, considering the F77 is a rival to the 390 Duke. It was supposed to blow me away in terms of performance and acceleration. But it feels more tameable in the Ballistic mode as well and that shouldn’t be the case.

Early adopters would want more novelty from the F77. A sense of euphoria, if you may, when you accelerate from a standstill. A bit more punch in the initial acceleration would’ve made a world of a difference and that comes from my conviction that the bike can deliver. Ultraniolette says it’s reserving that performance to balance power and range. But for anyone wanting to experience electric performance, no holds barred, there should be an option to do so. An OTA update could solve this, perhaps?

This is not to say that the F77 isn’t an entertaining bike to ride. 0-40 kmph comes up in 3.1 seconds while the 0-100 kmph mark takes about 8 seconds flat. The F77 feels quick and will stay at higher speeds easily for extended periods with a stronger whine from the motor to keep you company.

However, the 207 kg kerb weight on the Recon variant is one of the reasons why the performance feels a tad bit underwhelming. It’s a whole 55 kg heavier than the 390 Duke and that’s the trade-off you have to make for the bigger battery. Since the launch, Ultraviolette has updated the software that now allows you to use the Ballistic mode with a 70 per cent state of charge, which earlier was just at a 30 per cent state of charge.

Ultraviolette F77 Review
The F77 feels at home on a track with the electric motorcycle well-designed to take on corners seamlessly
Ultraviolette F77 Review
The F77 feels at home on a track with the electric motorcycle well-designed to take on corners seamlessly

Ultraviolette F77 - Handling & Braking

The F77 has been developed on a race track and it shows. It feels seamless when you are pushing it into a corner. It does a lot of the work for you. The weight distribution stands at 50:50 and is fantastic. Thanks to a lower centre of gravity, you feel well-connected to the motorcycle. The front feels heavy though and can take some effort at low speeds but the wide handlebar makes manoeuvring feel easy. You can feel the weight of the motorcycle at standstill but get moving and there’s little to claim fault.

The 160 mm ground clearance is high enough but the cornering clearance could be a little better. You end up scraping the footpegs to an extent. Braking performance is sharp with a 320 mm disc at the front and a 230 mm disc at the rear. The F77 is also the first electric motorcycle in India to get dual-channel ABS from Bosch. The overall setup does a fine job and stops the machine in no time. The MRF tyres suit the motorcycle’s character well but they are a downgrade from the Metzeler tyres shown on the prototype years ago.

Ultraviolette F77 - Ride Quality

The F77 also strikes a good balance between handling and ride quality. The 41 mm USD front forks and a monoshock at the rear get preload adjustability. Despite the sporty positioning, the motorcycle offers a well-balanced setup that handles bad patches with ease. High-speed stability is great and the motorcycle feels fairly comfortable handling road undulations as much as the smooth tarmac. It’s not plush by any standard but far better than what we’re used to on KTMs.

Ultraviolette F77 Review
The 5-inch TFT screen is easy to navigate through using the switchgear and is feature-rich
Ultraviolette F77 Review
The 5-inch TFT screen is easy to navigate through using the switchgear and is feature-rich

Ultraviolette F77 - Features

Ultraviolette has opted for a digital display with a Linux-based user interface. There’s navigation, a Digi locker, smartphone connectivity via Bluetooth and more. An eSim is embedded into the system and is a part of the purchase. It’s easy to navigate using the switchgear, which also allows you to turn off dual-channel ABS or adjust regenerative braking with three modes on offer.

Ultraviolette F77 - Range & Charging

Ultraviolette claims 307 km (IDC) on a single charge on the Recon variant. But we’ll have to test it out in the real world to see what it’s really capable of. The F77 comes with 3.3 kW charger as standard that can provide about 35 km of range in an hour while a full charge will take about 5 hours. There’s an optional fast charger that can fully charge the bike in about one and a half hours.

Ultraviolette F77 - Prices

Prices for the Ultraviolette F77 original start at 3.80 lakh, while the F77 Recon that we’ve been riding is priced at 4.55 lakh (ex-showroom). So yes, this is a very expensive proposition, substantially more than comparable 400 cc motorcycles.

Ultraviolette F77 Review
The Ultraviolette F77 is versatile and despite some of its shortcomings, it comes across as a formidable product
Ultraviolette F77 Review
The Ultraviolette F77 is versatile and despite some of its shortcomings, it comes across as a formidable product

Ultraviolette F77 - Verdict

The baseline that we were looking for as a product, the Ultraviolette F77 meets nearly 90 per cent of it. There can be improvements right from peak performance to features and considering most of them are software-related, it makes them easy to bring on the motorcycle even months after launch. And that makes it one capable product to look out for.

Deliveries for the F77 begin in February and Bengaluru will be the first city to get a dealership. The company plans to expand to other cities later in the year, while exports are also on the cards to markets like Europe, the US, Japan and South East Asia. It's been a long wait indeed for the F77 but it's well worth it.

First Published Date: 30 Jan 2023, 10:04 AM IST
NEXT ARTICLE BEGINS

Please provide your details to get Personalized Offers on

Choose city
+91 | Choose city
Choose city

Want to get the best price for your existing car?

Powered by: Spinny Logo
By clicking "View Offers" you Agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy
Dear Name

Please verify your mobile number.

+91 | Choose city
Couldn't verify the OTP.
It's either expired or it's incorrect.