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Touring the Eifel on an electric motorcycle

01 Sep 2020

More and more people are taking their electric vehicle on holiday. Robert Bouman and Wout Papma spent four days touring the Eifel region in Germany on their electric motorcycles and we’ve asked them to report on their trip. In this article, Wout recounts their 800-kilometre-long touring and charging adventure in this popular motorbiking region.

Robert Bouman and I recently spent four wonderful days touring the Eifel on electric motorcycles, covering around 800 kilometres in all. I’d like to share our adventures on this fantastic road trip, which wouldn’t have been possible without Allego’s charging stations.

EV Holiday Eiffel

Day 1

Our trip started at Robert’s house in Boornbergum, in the Province of Friesland. He had rented a 2020 Energica Eva Ribelle and I had my own 2015 Energica Eva. Riding across the Netherlands on these motorbikes was quite an experience. We passed through Friesland’s farmland and the beautiful landscape of the Veluwe region. The high torque makes accelerating a lot of fun. The bikes are so stable and handle so well that taking bends is a piece of cake, even at a weight of 270 kilos. And fast charging is easy in the Netherlands thanks to the huge number of charging points.

We arrived at the Allego charging station in ‘t Harde halfway through the first day. It was our first charging session. As there was only one CCS connector there, we were happy to have the Renault ZOE’s AC connector, which did an excellent job of supplying AC current to the on-board charger. Very handy! We had time to warm up with a nice cup of coffee and a piece of cake. After a scenic tour of the Veluwe region, we arrived at my home. We plugged in the motorbikes and booked a hotel for our weekend in Germany.

EV holiday Eiffel

Day 2

Because our motorcycles consume very little energy on secondary roads and a lot on motorways, this was the day that we had to make the most recharging stops. Our plan was to buzz straight down to the Eifel on motorways. In Eindhoven, the Allego charging station had four CCS chargers. We each had our own charger this time, and that felt like a luxury.} The charging procedure is really simple: lift the buddy seat, stick the charger in the socket, swipe your payment card or charging key fob, and the rest takes care of itself. We were soon back on our bikes. We spent another boring hour on the motorway and felt secretly relieved when it was time to stop at an Allego fast-charger station in Maastricht, where we had four powerful CCS chargers at our disposal. We once again had time to sit in the sun and have a cup of coffee, served by a charming waitress at Van der Valk Hotel.

We had another long stretch of motorway and a stop at a charging station in Aachen before we could finally ‘chase’ each other around the Eifel’s hairpin bends. Eifel National Park has long been a magnet for motorcyclists, and the roar of countless bikes bothers many local residents. Although we don’t behave any differently from most other bikers, we noticed that the locals were very pleased about the gentle hum of our Evas. Fun fact: the Energica’s engines make their own special sound. Electric motorcycles are generally quiet, but the Energica gearbox (on the right side of the motorcycle) emits a sporty, pleasant whirring sound that adds a little kick to the ride.

The hotel owner gave us a warm welcome when we arrived after a long 7-hour ride. Turns out he owned six motorcycles and was planning to buy an electric motorbike of his own. After we waxed lyrical about electric motorbiking, he took us to see the charging point that he had installed. He thought it could handle 32A. Unfortunately, an instant after plugging in our two motorbikes (15A each), the charging station shut down. We saw the funny side of it later and he got a junction box out of the cupboard. With only 15A at our disposal, we were forced to charge up the motorcycles at only 6A each, which would take 7 hours. It wasn’t an issue since we weren’t planning to ride for the next 12 hours anyway. It was time for a generous portion of Wiener Schnitzel and a tanker of German beer!

EV Holiday Eiffel

Day 3

After a sound night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast, we set off on the meandering roads of the Eifel. I would describe the ride delivered by these streetfighters as ‘playful’. This is mainly due to the blistering acceleration, with 200 Nm of screaming torque output, and the full braking power of both the double Brembos and the customisable regenerative braking system. We had a blast with this on day 3. We were mildly surprised that we only had to charge up the bikes once, and that after about 7 hours of riding. We did that in Monschau and as we were quite tired by then, we used the time to rest up from our exertions and see the sights. We had a bowl of soup in the idyllic market square and strolled up and down the streets of this lovely little town. A great place to visit if you’re in the neighbourhood! 

Day 4

The next day we set off for home. Since there weren’t many fast-charger points on our route in Germany, we stopped in Eschweiler and used a couple of quirky IONITY charging stations. Unfortunately, the motorcycle and the charger didn’t always communicate very well and we had to reconnect the charger several times to get it to work. After that, everything went without a hitch. We parted paths in Maasbracht. Robert went on to Barneveld to turn in his motorbike, and I travelled home via Eindhoven.

To summarise: as more and more EVs hit the road, the number of fast-charging stations is growing apace. That gave us a lot of flexibility in plotting our route. That flexibility and the raw power of the motorcycles themselves meant we had a fantastic four-day motorbiking trip through the Eifel!