America is about to get another electric motorcycle, and this one is for the kinds of riders who love small city motorcycles. Making its debut at EICMA 2022 in Milan, the 2023 Velocifero Jump is sized like a Honda Grom, but stripped down to the bare metal with even less weight. And if it’s anything like its spec sheet suggests, you’ll be able to pop wheelies while you run errands.
This year, we’ve been on a constant search for electric motorcycles that don’t break the bank. Expensive machines like the LiveWire are certainly awesome, but not everyone can afford something like that. It has been awesome watching what companies are coming up with towards the inexpensive-end of the market, and now America is soon to get another pick that looks like a stunner.
What Is A Velocifero?
If you’ve never heard of Velocifero before, you’re not alone. Velocifero is the work of Alessandro Tartarini, son of Leopoldo Tartarini, and grandchild of Egisto Tartarini. The Italian Tartarini men are known for their love of two wheels. Egisto was a Moto Guzzi racer before opening up a dealership. Leopoldo raced on Ducatis and Benellis before founding Italjet. That’s to say that motorcycling is definitely in this family’s blood. Italjet is in itself noteworthy because it makes probably the coolest-looking scooter on the planet, the Dragster:
Following in his family’s footsteps, Alessandro has a long career in motorcycles. His notable works include the aforementioned Dragster as well as the Italjet Formula. And in 2001, he opened his own design studio. Alessandro’s portfolio is full of designs from a compact car to a go kart and even a mobility scooter. In that portfolio is the 1993 Velocifero, a retro-style scooter for the modern day.
This is the scooter that launched the Velocifero brand. Headquartered in China, Velocifero has grown to sell a line of kick scooters, ebikes, electric dirt bikes for kids, and now, electric motorcycles. Some of the vehicles, like the huge Velocifero Mad scooter, are more Alessandro designs. The Jump, first reported by Motorrad Online, is the latest Alessandro design to come from the Velocifero brand, and it seems pretty neat.
A Fun-Size City Bike
The Jump’s prominent feature is its open frame. This is made out of steel and like other electric motorcycles, becomes a striking design element thanks to the lack of a gas tank or other panels. Located inside of this frame is a 780 Wh battery. That’s backed up with an electric hub motor rated at 4.8 HP continuous power with a 6.7 HP peak. Torque comes out to 23.6 lb-ft. Complete, the motorcycle weighs in at 198 pounds. Despite the little battery (it’s smaller than the 882 Wh battery in my EcoFlow Delta Mini power station) and motor, the Jump can hit a top speed of about 50 mph and has a range of up to 53 miles. Velocifero says that the battery charges in four hours from a household outlet. And supporting all of this is an inverted telescopic fork up front and a monoshock in back.
Earlier, I compared the Jump to the Honda Grom. This little motorcycle makes about five fewer horsepower than a Grom, but it has about 16 more lb-ft of torque. It’s just a touch longer than a Grom at 72 inches to the Grom’s 69 inches. And it’s 198 pounds to the Grom’s current minimum of 227 pounds. It’s also about the same width of a Grom, too.
Here’s a 2023 Grom, for comparison:
To me, it sounds like this thing should be even more of a wheelie machine than a Grom is. And Groms already spend like half of their miles with a front tire in the air. While these specs mean that you won’t be getting anywhere near a highway, if you’re a city dweller, this could be a fun commuter.
And that said, if you’re looking for high-technology, you aren’t going to find it here. While you get a 5-inch screen serving as your instrument cluster, don’t expect ABS and it doesn’t appear to have any regenerative braking, either. There is nothing here that’s earth-shattering or breaking the mold. And that’s fine! This is a simple machine that looks like a bit of fun. Velocifero has more details about the motorcycle coming, and I hope one of those details is a removable battery.
Pricing details haven’t been announced yet, but the motorcycle is set to be showcased during EICMA 2022. These are built in China, and Velocifero says that they will be sold in China, Europe, the United States, and other, unnamed locales. If I have to wager a guess, I bet this thing will cost about $3,500. If the price stays low and it comes with a removable battery, I could see this being a cool little machine for local trips.
At its 50 mph top speed, with only a 780 Wh battery, I bet its range is only 10 miles. That would be close to 50 Wh/mile, whereas at similar speeds, most electric motorcycles will need 80-100 Wh/mile, so even that may be being generous. People have built 2,000+ lb EV conversions that are so aerodynamically slippery, that they can hold 60 mph on only 100 Wh/mile, for comparison.
Motorcycles tend to have poor aerodynamics, with an overall CdA comparable to a small car. Because the power to overcome drag is a cubic function of the velocity, its low weight won’t save it.
That claimed 50 mile range is very likely at speeds around 20 mph, which would place it in line with a much lighter e-bicycle in terms of efficiency, about 15 Wh/mile. So the assumption would be this motorcycle has significantly cleaner aerodynamics than a bicycle, and looking at it, it is plausible that it does, but can’t reliably be assumed.
The electric “bicycle” I built, shown in my profile, uses 7 Wh/mile plus 150W of pedaling effort to hold 30 mph on flat ground, 9 Wh/mile plus pedaling to hold 35 mph, and 12 Wh/mile to hold 40 mph. Get rid of the pedaling, and using throttle only, I can hold 30 mph with 400W power draw from the battery, or about 13 Wh/mile. I have a CdA of 0.20 m^2, which is about 1/4 that or a normal ebike or motorcycle, and it weighs 91 lbs ready to ride. I get a 150-200 mile range on a meagre 1.5 kWh battery pack, and at 30-35 mph, but that does include light pedaling effort adding thrust into that equation, and my pedaling accounts for 1/3 to 1/2 of the vehicle’s motive force at those speeds. Aerodynamics makes a HUGE difference folks, way more than mass.
You’re dreaming if you think this will cost only $3500.
It was a guess after looking at what other sorta slow electric motorcycles from China cost. For example, the CSC City Slicker (a Grom-size bike with Ducati looks) is $2,795 before tax, dealer fees, and shipping.
But, you’re probably right, and it’ll cost more. I hope not!
What I think everyone wants is basically a 24″ full suspension BMX bike.
Now to figure out how to squeeze one of these in the back of a Cessna with the rear bench removed.
Yea, I haven’t compared like-to-like against the Metacycle, but that’s going for $6k. Even though it has a higher top speed, I don’t think they’re so dissimilar that this would be almost half that
Yeah it would be a cool toy but you’re not going to the grocery store for anything other than to pick up a prescription that’ll fit in your pocket.
Have you forgotten about backpacks? I ride my motorcycle to the grocery store (and other stores) frequently, and my backpack is usually adequate to carry what I need.
Yep, I also ride a sportbike (ZX-6R) for my grocery runs 9 months out of a year (Chicago winters are not ride-friendly)
If I can’t get everything in one run and have to go back, that just adds to my riding time, which is a big plus! 🙂
Chicago winters last only 3 months?
A sub kWh battery? That can’t be right? My $1.5k bicycle has over twice the battery capacity. ????
I was right. It’s 2.8 kWh. Still microscopic for a motorcycle. You’ll be getting maybe 30 miles of range out of that.
hub motors are efficient and city speeds are range friendly. CSC city slicker is 1.9kWh, 46mph top speed and does 37miles at 37mph, 62miles at 20mph
50miles with 2.8kWh seems realistic if you’re not riding top speed. CSC city slicker seems to be getting 30+miles including some steep hills done full throttle
It looks like potentially a useful commuter even, if you are looking for something minimalist, inexpensive, and fun for nice days. My own commute is about 22 miles each way, and while a lot of that is highway there is a back roads route that is nearly as quick. If I wanted it to, one of these could get me to work and back just fine. Mind you, where it all falls down in my case is that I also have about a hundred pounds of tools and equipment to schlep around, but for plenty of suburban commuters this would actually work just fine.
As a rabid fan of Ladytron, I approve.
If you want to carry cargo, a step through scooter with a milk crate or a duffle bag in the step through area seems to be the hot setup if the delivery people in Brooklyn know what they are doing.
Maybe there is something wrong with me. But I just can’t feel any excitement or urge to own any of these electric motorcycles.
Looking at them objectively it’s the silence, the short range, long charging times and steep prices.
But subjectively, a motorcycle should have some effect on my emotions, and I really don’t have high standards. Even a clapped out Tomos moped can generate some strong desires to own one.
Because it’s “alive” in a sense. It makes noises, reacts to its environment (think choke when too cold, warm-up process), you can smell and hear if its running well or has some sort of an issue, it’s thankful to good maintenance in a way by running better if well-maintained, etc.
To me, this is all part of the motorcycle ownership experience, not just riding.
I’ll take the Grom, I guess.
I already have a Super Cub C125 that could use some company.
There’s nothing wrong with you that fooling around on an electric motorcycle wouldn’t help.
No waves of heat wafting up from a running engine, no noise, no shifting, always feels like it’s in the right gear, no cranking an engine that doesn’t want to start, it’s all easy-mode.
And believe me, cagers will notice you just as much.
Can confirm on all these counts. Riding a LiveWire One for two weeks made me realize just how hot engines really get and how much the lack of shifting speeds things up. And I rode past a dude on a bench with a bus idling in the next lane–he still picked his head up from his phone to watch me ride past.
electric makes sense for commuters , scooters, people new. to motorcycling. as a former biker I’ve use some electric ride-sharing scooters and they can be a quite fun way to move in the city although of course they don’t provide the thrills of large displacement bikes. gogoro scooters were especially zippy, like a torquey 100-125cc but you hit a wall at 30mph because of the restriction
Take the charging time with a grain of salt as 230V 50Hz is a typical at 10 or 16 Amps for a wall plug in Italy.
What I want is a SurRon Lightbee/Segway Storm X260 to be street-legal. 123 lbs, 74 miles range. All the bike I need. Sure it’s top speed limited and its motor is a little light on power, but those are relatively easy fixes. My brother built one up with a new speed controller, better battery, and a few better components (Fox 40, Fox rear shock, seat riser, better wheels, etc), and holy hell, that thing RIPPED. I think he said he was putting out 13kw continuous, or 17 hp. Nearly 3x the power for less than half the weight. He said he could easily do freeway speeds on dirt roads and rip wheelies all day long to 50 mph. It was the perfect bike with 2 expectations – Its not an eBike so you can’t use it on most bike trails, and its not road legal so you can’t cruise around on the street (or use it in National Parks). He was casually running the entire ~12 mile slickrock bike/moto trail in well under 30 minutes without stops. https://youtu.be/XF8RgTKV-wc
BUT Neither SurRon nor Segway have street-legal versions, even their legit electric motorcycle the StormBee won’t be street-legal. Its true that he spent AT LEAST twice with this thing costs, but its the bike I want. A sub 150 lb bike that does everything but highways.
I want more details. I’ve been lusting after SurRons for some time now. Would your brother want to write up a review? I’d love to feature his build. I need folks like him.
sur Ron said they’re working on the next model which will be street legal
seems like in the us the storm bee comes with lights and a number plate…
“On The Way To The Grocery Store”… where you won’t really be able to buy anything, because this motorcycle has no on-board storage. In the US, where motorcycles are cool and scooters are dorky, companies keep introducing motorcycle-inspired electric 2-wheelers. I want something I can literally ride to the grocery store and actually bring home food with.
Most of the motorcycles I’ve owned didn’t have storage, either. I used to ride with a big backpack, which I used for grocery runs many times! Of course, it was usually to pick up dinner for that night or maybe a few nights. Though, one time I brought home an entire king-size bed sheet and comforter set on the back of a Honda Rebel. That was a bit silly.
Nowadays, I just take my Triumph, which has three hard cases. But I still have the backpack for the rare times I take something else. Maybe I’m alone in taking motorcycles without storage to stores?
I ride my Honda Monkey to the grocery store occasionally. My backpack can fit the equivalent of 4-5 bags of groceries, which is usually adequate. You have to be a bit creative to carry items on a small motorcycle, but it can be done.
I have a couple problems with the backpack idea…
1) a backpack puts weight exactly where you *don’t* want it on a bike – up high and towards the rear.
2) how do you go into a store and buy stuff when there’s a sign at the door saying “no backpacks allowed”?
My current 2-wheeler is an ’08 Genuine Buddy 150. It has underseat storage where I can lock my helmet while I’m in the store, and carry stuff home (with the weight just where you want it) when I put my helmet back on for the ride home. I also have a top box on the rear rack, and a flat floor and a bag hook if I need more space. This bike has none of that. But hey, it looks cool!
A Genuine Buddy 150! I love the way you roll! 🙂 Scooters get a bad rap in this country and it’s not deserved. They’re a ball of fun, for sure.
Anyway, in regard to your concerns:
1) I haven’t noticed much of a difference with a backpack of food. I am a bigger person, so maybe that has something to do with it.
2) Ah, so I have encountered a few stores with that kind of rule. Usually, the stores around me don’t care. For the stores that don’t want backpacks, I leave it outside tied up to the bike alongside the helmet. Then the bags of food get tossed in when I come outside.
Admittedly, I still haven’t figured out the best way to secure gear when going into a store. I don’t want to carry a helmet with me when I shop, but not even my Triumph has big enough cases to fit a whole helmet. I lock the helmet to the bike and hope for the best.
On my longer trips on all of my bikes I’ve never had a lot of storage. I usually bring a cable bike lock. I can lock up my jacket and helmet with is wrapped around the rear peg support or even wheel. It wouldn’t be hard to fit a backpack handle in there too.
2. I’ve never had a problem with “no backpack” stores. I typically carry my helmet into the store, so it is obvious why I need the backpack. It has never been a problem.
You’re going shopping, not canyon carving. Who cares about 20lbs on your back.
And a top box would affect handling even more than a backpack…
I own a couple of bikes with top boxes. A 2014 Ducati Multistrada Touring and a 2017 Honda Africa Twin. The Multistrada has the factory panniers top to box while the AT has an aftermarket 42L heavy duty aluminum top box built for off roading. Both weigh about 10lbs including mounting hardware and the weight is at seat height.
Unless either one of them are severely overloaded, I forget they’re attached when riding. The only time I’ll notice they’re on is if there is a heavy crosswind on the highway. Other than that, I ride the Ducati hard on the street and the AT harder than most in the dirt and 20#’s in a backpack would get old really fast for me for the riding I do. To each their own. ????
I intentionally take my bike with no storage to Harbor Freight so I won’t buy too much.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone, I took both my Triumph Street Triple R and Moto Guzzi V7 III Racer to the store with only a backpack to carry stuff.
And holy cow, a bed sheet and comforter set on a Rebel? That’s seriously impressive.
If thing we’re that cheap I would buy two. But it won’t be. This would actually work for me sometimes.
1989 Honda Pacific Coast for the WIN BAYBEEEEEE!!!
3-4 bags of groceries AND a 30lb box of cat litter!! All in a weather tight trunk!