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Ultraviolette F77 Recon: Road Test Review

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Pratik Bhanushali

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Introduction

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Why buy it?

Looks very distinct

Has a plush suspension setup.

Offers a decent range of around 200km

Why avoid it?

Priced on the higher side

Needs better build quality

For the longest time, EVs were associated with words like affordable, family-friendly, and commuter. However, Ultraviolette seems to follow a different dialogue with its F77 electric motorcycle. While we rode its F77 Recon in Bengaluru a few months back, it was just for a day or so. Now, we’ve spent more than a week riding it in and around Mumbai, testing various parameters, and figuring out what more it does apart from going from point A to B.

Styling and Quality

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They say your first impression is your last impression and the F77 leaves a remarkable first one. Its design is sharper than a scalpel, while the bodywork is cleaner than your local pathology lab. With its LED headlight, large fairings, wings, and sleek and tall tail, the F77 has a lot of angles that make it look very appealing.

One thing that I experienced throughout the week was the F77 being an absolute head-turner. It's seldom that people come across such a futuristic design. By the time the F77 was to be returned, I had forgotten the number of people who just stopped by and wondered what bike this was.

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That said, no motorcycle is perfect, and neither is the Ultraviolette F77. It has room for improvement on the quality front. For example, the tail tidy feels a little flimsy and the fork caps don’t come off as very premium. Apart from that, even the charging port flap looks frail and doesn’t have a locking system. Thus, it can be easily opened and fiddled with, thereby causing damage to the terminals inside. However, Ultraviolette claims that it's working on ironing out all these bits for the next batch.

Ergonomics and Comfort

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The F77 gets a proper supersport stance. It’s equipped with forward-set clip-on handles, slightly rear-set footpegs, and a scooped seat. When paired together, it sets an aggressive and commanding riding position with enough leverage to handle the bike well. But if you purchase the F77, we recommend you surely buy a pair of tank grips because the shiny side fairings have no traction for your thighs to hold them.

The clip-ons are a little too low and result in pressure near the elbow, followed by a sore and red palm. But the bike is in no way cramped, courtesy of the footpeg position. There’s more than adequate room for your knees and ankles to be adjusted while on the move. That said, the seat cushioning could have been better as the current unit feels quite hard for both the pillion and the rider.

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Usually, a bike like this is expected to have a slightly hard suspension setup, and that is what we presumed too. But once on the move, the F77 was the complete opposite and left us impressed. Its front forks and the monoshock are likeably pliant and absorb bumps, speed breakers, and potholes without transferring any jerks to your lower back or bottom. But at the same time, the setup is taut enough to not wobble when the bike is ridden spiritedly.

Performance and Handling

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The F77 Recon comes with three riding modes – Glide, Combat, and Ballistic. There’s another mode named Hover, but that’s only activated once the battery charge declines to the last five per cent. Speaking of the other modes, Glide gives you a top speed of around 80kmph with a display-indicated maximum range of 266km. On the other hand, the Combat and Ballistic modes offer around 135kmph of top speed with 204km of max range and 147kmph with 175km range, respectively.

If you are riding the F77 in the city, the Glide mode should do the job. It has the appropriate pull to overtake vehicles ahead without being intimidating. But once you approach the freeway, it's time to switch to Combat mode. The F77 accelerates much quicker, and you can easily stay ahead of the majority of the traffic while maintaining the speed limit in this mode. It keeps pushing the bike at a higher speed, and we saw the speedometer indicated 135kmph.

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The Ballistic mode is more like a fun factor than an outright need. With this, the F77 goes from a standstill to 80kmph quickly enough to plaster a smile on your face. However, once you are past the 80-85kmph mark, the F77 takes a little longer to reach 147kmph as the performance flattens out. So, the aggression and pull you experience at the aforementioned speeds are more than what you feel while riding the F77 above 100kmph.

On the bright side, even after riding the bike all day in Mumbai with varied traffic conditions, the F77 didn’t heat up once or show any signs of performance degradation. This shows that thermal management has been looked after very well.

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Even the handling on this one is very likeable. It weighs around 207kg, but you don't really feel that heft once the bike is on the move. However, if you are about to take a slow U-turn or filter through bumper-to-bumper traffic, then the weight comes into the picture. You’ll have to be mindful of your surroundings so the bike doesn't tip over. Moreover, the front-heavy nature and the low-set clip-ons add to the overall effort needed to steer it around.

The front and rear braking setup on the F77 is similar to that of the KTM RC 390, and we’ve come to like it a fair bit. The adjustable lever also adds to the convenience. Speaking of the braking performance, the front lever has good bite and progression. The way it chops down the speed is very predictable, and you will be able to figure out how quickly the F77 would come to a full halt. However, the ABS could be calibrated slightly well as it intrudes a little early at times.

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The MRF Revz tyres give you enough grip, so you won’t have to worry about wheel spin or losing traction around corners if you take the F77 to the ghats. And it's also a function of how the F77 puts down the power to the wheels. Since there’s no sudden jerk, the overall riding experience is commendable and easy to get familiar with, thanks to the linear power delivery.

Features and Technology

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Apart from LED illumination and ride modes, the Ultraviolette F77 Recon gets fast charging, parking assist, document storage, screen mode and brightness adjustability, and other nifty bits. While it does come with smartphone connectivity, Ultraviolette is working on the smartphone app. So, Bluetooth-dependent features are currently inaccessible.

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Speaking of fast charging, you’ll have to buy the brand’s proprietary 3kW fast charger, which costs Rs. 26,000. While it juices the battery quicker than the regular charger, the 3kW unit weighs 8kg and is nowhere near easy to carry around. So, if you plan an intercity trip or something similar and need to carry the fast charger with your bike, then being calculative would be the best recommendation.

Cleveland CycleWerks Ace TFT / Instrument Cluster

The front-heavy nature of the F77 makes it notably difficult to move around, but the parking assist saves the day as it comes with a reverse mode. However, a couple of features I wish Ultraviolette would consider are cruise control and parking brake/hill hold. Since the riding posture is a tad aggressive and can get tiring after a while, cruise control would be handy and allow some rest to your wrist(s). Similarly, a parking brake or hill hold would allow the rider to get his/her hand off the front brake without worrying about the bike toppling.

Range

The Ultraviolette F77 Recon returned a range of 200.3km, which is decent and practical. The bike was ridden in Glide mode throughout until the battery charge slumped to 5 per cent, and it automatically switched to Hover mode. The traffic condition varied from moderate to heavy and led to open freeways at times. However, there were a few unusual instances where the charge depleted unpredictably. Once, the remaining range was around 16km and dropped to 11km in about 200m. Then in Hover mode, the bike stalled multiple times and had to be repeatedly turned on to maximise the overall range.

Conclusion

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After spending a good few days riding the F77 Recon, it's evident that Ultraviolette is off to a very good start in terms of its product. The bike looks aspirational, has the ‘it’ factor, offers a decent and usable range, and the performance and handling complement its overall package. So, it’s a very appealing bike, to say the least.

However, before purchasing the F77, you need to remember that it’s roomy, but the rider triangle is still reasonably committed. The bike also needs improvement on the quality front, and some features like navigation and smartphone connectivity are yet to be accessible. And since there is no storage space, you’ll have to either buy Ultraviolette’s accessory panniers or carry a separate bag if you plan to head out for a weekend ride or carry luggage.

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The F77 Recon is priced at Rs. 4.55 lakh (ex-showroom), which is on the higher side. It costs more than the KTM 390 Duke and even some 650cc bikes that offer more performance, better build quality, and an established brand value. But if you are interested in owning an electric motorcycle that stands out from the crowd and want to experience the future of mobility, then the Ultraviolette F77 Recon is definitely worth considering.

Photography by Kapil Angane

Gallery

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Cleveland CycleWerks Ace TFT / Instrument Cluster
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