Thu, 27 Sep 2018

Super Soco; accessible, electrical brilliance…

No license, no problem…

Our Clothing and Accessories Manager, Darren, loves motorcycles, but doesn’t have a license himself. However, because he passed his driving test before 2001, he’s able to ride the Super Soco electric bike without even needing to complete a CBT.

So, we let him loose with our demo bike to see if we can tempt him over to a life on two wheels finally, and to prove to him why bikes can make so much more sense when commuting…

So, Darren, what's your riding background?

I don’t have one, I had a 50cc Honda when I was 16 and then went onto my girlfriend’s Suzuki 600, after that though… nothing - I got married and had children.

What did you do with the Super Soco when you had it?

I only rode it home and back to see what it was like. I had a good spin. And, because I passed my driving test before 2001, I didn’t even need to do a CBT to legally ride it!

And, what impressed you most?

I didn’t need to wait for the power to come in, as soon as you open the throttle, you’re gone! It was really nice not to sit in traffic too, I just went straight to the front of the que and took off as soon as the lights turned.

How did you find it in general?

It’s ideal for going through town, especially with the three switches that alter the speed, it’s a piece of cake.

Did you find the silent running a bit weird?

I did to start with, yeah. It’s really strange, like there’s like nothing there.

You get used to it though; it’s just a bit of wind noise, that’s all you have. No engine noise, nothing. All you need is just a comms unit to play some music.

Did you save any time on your commute to work by using the bike?

Oh yes, coming in it halved the time it takes! This morning for example, it took me 40 minutes to get here in the car - it took 20 on the bike. There was no sitting in traffic; I just flew straight past everybody!

And how far do you live from work?

12 miles, so a 24 mile round trip.

And the battery was alright for you in that time?

One way it used 27%, and that was pinned the whole time! So yeah, 27% to do 12 miles.

Did you charge the battery at home then?

Yeah, just to make sure it didn’t run out. It’s a piece of cake to do, you just lift the area where the fuel tank would be on a normal bike and just let it charge.

I took it off charge before I went to bed, but to charge it 40% took about 3 hours.

So, would you consider buying one then?

Yeah, definitely!

And what would you use it for if you did?

Commuting to work, going into town, free parking, you don’t sit in any traffic and save time. For the price, I think it’s a no-brainer.

Do you think you’d save a lot of money each year?

It’ll save money, definitely. It’s so much cheaper to run than a petrol bike, and I’ve heard that servicing it is real simple too because there are hardly any moving parts that need constant maintenance like a normal bike.

It’s so easy to charge, you could bring the battery into work and charge it off your boss' money, I think Stuart [Bridge’s owner] would start charging us to use the electric though, haha.

Would you consider getting a bike following your ride on the Soco?

Well, this is the tricky bit. My wife, Paula has always said no bike, or else we’ll get divorced – quote! So I thought; if I plant the seed a little bit by taking home the Super Soco, and keep taking it home, then maybe I’ll get to a 125, and then maybe a Triumph Scrambler or something, so, the ball’s rolling.

You probably can’t put that though because she’ll read it!

I’m definitely including that, it was the best quote you’ve given!

With the time it takes to get to Dawlish from here, and with so many more thousands of homes being built in Exminster, the traffic problems are only going to get worse. So, if I want to save time, I’ll need a bike.

Were you able to figure out the controls alright?

It was really easy, essentially it’s a little twist and go, isn’t it?! It felt strange having brakes on both sides of the handlebars though, but you get used to that pretty quickly.

Did you notice the difference between the power modes?

Not really, once you put it on setting two it still pulled away great, it just limited it to 30mph. But no, I didn’t notice anything other than the top speed.

I wanna take it out again! But Ross has got it now.

Why don’t you take it again then!?

I’m going to, he’s complaining about how he needs it because of his broken shoulder, but that’s a poor excuse from him. I just want to take it again, especially while the sun’s out!