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In the sleepy town of Denkanikottai, Tamil Nadu, an elderly gentleman sipping his morning tea couldn’t believe what his eyes were seeing. A bunch of fast motorcycles whizzed past him in a blur. Shocked, he turned to see if others were a witness to this sight, too. And then he saw me or rather the motorcycle that stood there — the Ultraviolette F77 Mach 2. Leaving his cup, he came to me and asked me something in the local tongue, which I am guessing was about the motorcycle. Seeing my clueless face, he asked, ‘Hindi or English?’. Seeing that this weirdly-dressed creature (me) didn’t devour the old man, a few more joined in to satiate their curiosity. I had limited time with the motorcycle but I just couldn’t take that away from their innocent eyes.


The Ultraviolette F77 Mach 2 has that aura around it, right? Even if we were in a place like Mumbai, people would have popped up like Meerkat to see this e-motorcycle. Even the ‘Shadow Cosmic Black’ paint scheme wasn’t stealthy enough for it to go unnoticed. Quickly, I was out of the conversation, and the bunch started discussing, pointing at various parts and making conclusions. Words like ‘silencer’, ‘gear’ and ‘clutch’ fell on my ears with no context. The only question I was asked was whether it was electric and that was followed by how much it cost. The humble men, astounded by the ₹ 3.99 lakh tag, glanced back at their mopeds and scooters and were back staring at the F77.

As I hopped on the seat, the men took a step back, popped out their phones to shoot a video of the bike going down the road. I reckon some of them must have been disappointed by the length of the clip. After all, with 39.45 bhp and 10.19 kgm available at my disposal, in a few seconds, I couldn’t even see the crowd in my mirror. 

This was not my first rodeo with the F77 and so my left hand and foot weren’t looking for their usual tasks. What was surprising this time was that some duties of my right limbs were taken away, too. In the top level of its 10-level regenerative braking, I didn’t have to use the brakes until there was an emergency. For speed bumps or when approaching intersections, I just had to let go of the throttle and the regen would take care of the rest. Of course, it took me some time to precisely understand the rate of regen, but after that, it was surreal. 


Unlike a traditional ICE motorcycle, this one doesn’t have a gearbox, so loading up the front before going into a corner would require you to use the front brake, right? Not anymore. I could simply roll off the throttle, let the regen do its thing while I readied myself to attack the corner. Oh, and now there’s three levels of traction control, which you could of course turn off, and even switch off the ABS at the rear wheel if you wanted to. Yes, I had the TC and rear ABS off for most part of the ride, but for the time I had the traction control on, it did its job well without letting me know that it had my back.

Yes, the 207-kg kerb weight can be felt when getting the bike off the side stand but that’s it. The chassis can handle the performance of the motor and the MRF Steel Brace tyres didn’t let down even once. Even the brakes, combined with the regen offer precise and sharp braking experience. With the hardware, including the motor, packing so much potential, I wondered if the initial acceleration could have been even wilder in Ballistic mode, or if Ultraviolette could squeeze more performance from this setup.

But there’s already so much that the F77 Mach 2 is packing. Features like the Park Assist and Hill Hold were there to spoil me, and for those who want to go all nerdy about their riding patterns and the bike’s performance, the company offers an optional Violette A.I that not gives you ride statics, but also things like crash alerts, Delta Watch, Lockdown. There’s also a new Dynamic Stability Control that comes standard with the bike. It is supposed to modulate the regen and keep the bike stable if you let go of the throttle at high speeds (in higher levels of regen) to avoid the rear wheel locking up.

At the end of the route, I stopped for a break and to take some pictures when three young lads on a 220cc motorcycle stopped and asked me for the details of the F77. Turned out they had been following me since I left the group that had surrounded me in the morning and since then, were trying to catch up and take pictures. Close to an hour of riding and a few minutes after I stopped, they did catch up, but looking at their teary eyes, I reckon the two pillions either saw the scythe-wielding hooded figure awaiting them at the side of the road or couldn’t fathom that their (probably) the fastest bike in the town was beaten by a battery-operated two-wheeler.


A few pictures later, they wanted to know about the showroom and the charging time. But the company currently has just one showroom, and that too in Bengaluru. The boys discussed something amongst themselves, probably a plan to ride it down from the city because the claimed range of 323 km on the Recon variant that I was riding had given them a ray of hope. But the standard charger will take five hours to juice the battery from 20 per cent to 80, and my estimate is eight to nine hours for a full charge. Was that going to be okay for these boys? Turned out it was. 


Clearly, the locals were under the spell of the F77’s never-seen-before performance and looks. And though the company is actively opening showrooms in different formats in other cities, it will take some time for the bike, and of course, the UV Supernova Plus charging stations to penetrate small towns and cities. But the fact that these people hope and dream of an electric motorcycle is a sign that maybe electrics are not the future, but they do have one, even in a price-sensitive country like ours.