Certain components of the F77 might make you wonder whether Ultraviolette has sought help from KTM. But the real story is a bit more complex than that!
Bengaluru-based startup Ultraviolette Automotive has launched India’s first performance electric motorcycle, the F77. The startup aims to price the bike around Rs 3 lakh to Rs 3.25 lakh. On closer inspection of certain elements of the motorcycle, it might make you feel like the F77 has quite a few things in common with the country’s favourite Austrian hooligans: the KTM 390 Duke and RC 390.
If you’re wondering whether Ultraviolette has partnered up with KTM in some way (or if it had simply used KTM’s parts for that matter), let us assure you things are a little more complicated than just a mix-and-match affair.
For one, Ultraviolette has completely developed the chassis from the ground up. It uses the electric motor mounts at the centre as the core pillar. The trellis frame, sub-frame as well as the cast aluminium swingarm are all connected to the motor. So no, the frame isn’t derived from the KTMs. If Ultraviolette had to use one simply by removing a portion of the trellis braces to accommodate the battery pack, its structural integrity would’ve been severely compromised. Moreover, the sliding battery compartment involved quite some complex engineering to maintain the fine balance of versatility and rigidity.
Instead, Ultraviolette has matched certain aspects of the chassis like the rake, trail and the wheelbase to the RC 390. The brand considers the RC 390 as the benchmark for dynamics in its segment. So Ultraviolette feels replicating the RC 390’s formula should make the F77 equally involving to ride without compromising the dynamics. To further enhance the handling, Ultraviolette has used Metzeler R7 RR radial rubber, which is even grippier than the RC 390’s stock Metzeler Sportec M5 tyres. The startup also offers Pirelli Super Corsa tyres as part of the performance package. These tyres rank the highest among Pirelli’s performance-oriented tyres.
What’s more, Ultraviolette also says that its alloy wheels are lighter than the ones on the KTM 390 twins at present. This should result in reduced unsprung mass and thereby ensure greater agility.
At the launch event, Ultraviolette showcased the bike with a separate function inverted fork made by Endurance. Interestingly, the 390 Duke also uses the same fork but it is rebranded to WP. It doesn’t necessarily mean Ultraviolette has used the exact same fork because, for all we know, the damping rates might have been tweaked to match the F77’s kerb weight of 158kg. The startup says it might find a new supplier for the fork in the final production model, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet.
A more direct aspect of part-sharing comes in the form of the bike’s braking system, though. The F77 employs the same 320mm disc with radial caliper up front and a 230mm rear disc from Bybre as the KTM 390 twins.
In a nutshell, Ultraviolette has finalised the configuration of the frame and has outsourced the production to a local parts supplier. With this arrangement, the brand itself will not have to spend much effort in production. It’s just a matter of assembling the motorcycle rather than ‘manufacturing’ it from scratch. This has enabled Ultraviolette to set the target price reasonably competitive without sacrificing on sophisticated parts.