Electric bikes are said to be the way of the future. Does the Super Soco TC Max change the game for the urban commuter? Snaggy finds out…
What we like:
- Cheap as chips to run
- Incredibly light and agile
- Perfect urban transport option
Room for improvement:
- Purchase price up there
- A little flimsy in the build
- A touch more front suspension stiffness please
After 30 years in this caper, the firsts are generally few and far between, but this launch report video represented my first ride on an electric motorcycle. Gee whiz.
A bit late to the game, I admit, but this only served to render me immensely interested to see what the buzz was all about, and experience a whole new, and indeed burgeoning form of powered motorcycle.
I’ll give you my impressions of the ride in the video, but first a little context. Let’s get you familiar with some understandable specifications.
Straight to the big question. How much? The TC Max will set you back $7990 for the cast wheeler and $8290 for the sexy spoked wheeled variant. It’s fair to say that’s not what you’d call cheap, but it’s important to temper that with the savings that can be made in running costs.
A rough calculation on the Snag Abacus suggests that it’ll cost you around a dollar for a full charge. That’s near enough to a cent a kilometre, and that’s more than reasonable. Allow 4-5 hours on a fast charger to reboost the batteries. Overnight charging seems to make a lot of sense, but that’s up to you.
Now to the powerplant. The Bosch wheel hub engine has a maximum power of 3000 watts and achieves a top speed of 95km/h. Freeways are probably out as a consequence, but city traffic is easily dealt with. Acceleration is remarkably quick and you’ll be first away from the lights every time, and that’s a big plus for a commuter. The impressive figure of 180Nm of torque is key here.
It’s kinda cute, the retro café styling makes the TC Max quite easy on the eye, which is a bit of a feat in itself. After all, the power unit on most electric bikes is blocky and a little unwieldy. There’s a nice lightness to the look, backed up by that incredibly low weight of 102kg.
Brakes are combined, so burnouts are out. Damn! A pair of 240mm discs do the job and braking is easy, with a little more front-end dive under brakes than I’d like.
The bike plugs in to a standard 240v socket to recharge or the batteries can be removed and carried to a charge point. Pretty convenient that.
A toothed belt supplies motivation, the bike riding on 17-inch wheels, making it feel like a real motorcycle. I’m a fan of full-sized wheels – the simple fact is that there is way more stability on dodgy city roads with bigger wheels. Melbourne commuters take note. Tram track treachery is a real thing, huh.
How much power you use is somewhat controllable, with three modes available. Mode 1 maximises range by limiting speed, Mode 2 walks a middle road of performance versus energy use and Mode 3 unleashes all the power with energy use less of a consideration.
Seat height is 770mm, offering a fair bit space. I was pleasantly surprised at the room at the tiller. Bigger folk may be a little cramped, but you are not going to be sitting on this thing for hours at time, so suck it up Shrek.
The speedo dial is a backlit display with readouts for current speed, remaining range, driving mode, temperature, and more.
So. The word that comes to mind here is fun. This thing is just incredibly user friendly and simple to operate. That’s a plus. New adopters will be looking for simplicity in use and the TC Max couldn’t be a whole lot easier to use.
It’s fast enough, light as a feather and offers enough range for the smart city operator. If that’s you, and you’d like your kids to be able to enjoy a world without baking to a crisp, you’d do well to consider this one.
Snag’s career in motoring journalism spans 29 years with stints at major bike mags Australian Road Rider, Motorcycle Trader and AMCN along with contributions to just about every other outlet worth a hill of beans. He was editor of Unique Cars magazine and hosts his legendary podcast ‘Snag Says’ when he gets off his date.