V-Moto Super Soco Review

V-Moto Super Soco – December 2017

v-moto-super-socoThe V-Moto Super Soco is unique – unlike every other moped-class electric two-wheeler on the market, it looks like a proper little motorcycle.

The Artisan, Egen eG5 and various E Riders are all unashamedly scooters, while speed pedelecs (Kalkhoff, Stromer, Bultaco Brinco) owe more to cycling genes.
Only the Super Soco makes any attempt at motorcycle styling. And one has to admit, it’s quite well done, looking all of a piece with neat up to the minute plastic bodywork, LED headlight and running lights, upside down front forks, monoshock rear and disc brakes at both ends.

If it all conspires to suggest a sort of miniature Zero SR, then the Super Soco’s designers will probably be pleased – I’m sure that’s what they were aiming at.
So it looks good, but what’s it like on the road? We gave Avon Motorcycles’ demo bike a spin around the roads of Bristol to find out.

On The Road
The Soco has keyless ignition, so instead of a traditional key (so analogue, don’t y’know) you keep the fob on your person, which activates the ignition when you climb on board. Press a ‘Power’ button, the dash lights up with a PC-like ‘bong’ and you’re all systems go.

The dash isn’t exactly packed with information, but you do get a battery meter (showing percentage battery charge left, not just a random number of segments), speed and amps (power consumption). The latter is useful if you’re caught out with a low battery and need to eke out the juice to get home, but as this is a moped you’ll be flat-out most of the time.
There are actually three power modes (topping about 15, 22 and 30mph respectively) but in practice only the fastest one is of any use on British roads – unlike the Dutch, we don’t allow 25km/h mopeds on our cycle lanes.

v-motoFlat Out


Stick to full power mode, and the Soco has a reasonably smart take off, creeping up to an indicated 31-32mph on the flat, without so much as a whine from the rear wheel mounted motor. Within 30 limits it’s just about fast enough to be safe on the flat, but as with any moped, venture onto a 40-limit road and it feels like a minnow in a river full of sharks. That’s not really the Soco’s fault, and we’re told a quicker 45mph version is coming next year. But I did expect it to have a little more hill climbing oomph. Admittedly Bristol is a city of gradients, but one long, steep stretch had us down to a 12mph crawl, when the battery had about 30% left.

Range

Which brings us to range. V-moto claims 30-40 miles, and after an indicated 24 miles the test bike showed 18% juice left in the battery, suggesting 29.5 miles. Which isn’t bad, considering that some range claims are highly suspect and that the Soco spent much of those 24 miles at top speed or climbing Bristol’s mountains.
The battery meter was a gem, clicking down each percentage point nice and steadily.

As for the battery itself, that weighs 12kg and is a lift out job, so no need for long extension leads at recharge time, which V-moto says will take 7-8 hours from flat. It lives in the false fuel tank, and there’s space for a second battery if you want one, which is an option at £799. If not, there’s plenty of space for shopping.
The Soco is light (only 82kg) and very slim, so it’s easy to filter and I found myself following cyclists threading between rows of traffic, something you can’t always do on a bulkier moped or 125.

The brakes are fine, the suspension supple and the seat…rock hard – I’d had enough after 10 miles (at A to B we suffer for our road tests) but then who is likely to ride an electric moped more than 10 miles in one go?
v-moto-batteryThe Super Soco seems well put together. It’s a shame the footrests (which are adjustable) aren’t foldable, so they’d probably snap off on an unplanned connection with the tarmac, but otherwise it all seems well thought out and of reasonable quality.

Warranty

The warranty is three years on the battery (two years on everything else) which means it qualifies for an OLEV grant, after which the price is £2429. We think that’s good value – it costs the same or less than most 30mph electric scooters out there, and looks like a motorbike.

Thanks to Avon Motorcycles (0117 972 8769) for the loan of the Super Soco.
Peter Henshaw