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Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Grégory FAYARD

Greg is Bike Out's guide for our first electric motorcycle trip in the Massif Central: Alternative Ride in the Black Woods. Without his help, it would have been difficult for us to put together an itinerary of this quality.

Greg is a local boy who loves his region and knows it by heart. A qualified motorcycle sports instructor, he's the ideal person to have by your side if you want to discover off-road riding and make progress in this field.

So it's with him and his endearing electric motorcycle that we set off on the trails and paths of the Livradois-Forez region, discovering its landscapes, its sights and meeting its people.

We met up with him to ask him a few questions on a variety of subjects: the trip, of course, but also, and among other things, his vision of electric motorcycles.

Hello Greg, first tell us about your region. Why do you think it's worth visiting? 🏞

What's nice about the Livradois is that it's a region that boasts true authenticity. There aren't many tourists. Nature is omnipresent, and it's very varied in terms of landscapes, but also in terms of the types of trails.

From our trip's starting point, there are 3 very different areas:

  • To the north, the Black Woods (Bois Noirs), a typical mountain range with large coniferous forests.

  • To the south-east, the Forez, with its large, open, almost steppic plains.

  • Finally, to the west, as you enter the Auvergne region, which marks the end of the Livradois, hilly landscapes scattered with mixed leafy and fir trees.

  • Then there's our heritage, with all the historical landmarks we come across all the time. Stone buildings, granite roads, the remains of the ancient Roman road, low stone walls, Romanesque churches and so on.

Why travel by motorcycle? 🏍

It allows you to get to the heart of the territory and get off the conventional routes. As there are sites that aren't accessible by anything less than a half-day's walk, the electric motorcycle makes sense.

Why go electric, anyway? ⚡️

Because it's very accessible. Not only for off-road novices, but also for people with a bit more experience. Because there are no gears or clutches, it's easier to tame.

It would take a good half-day to become autonomous with a combustion motorcycle, whereas with an electric motorcycle, it's much quicker.

What's the advantage of electric motorcycles for this type of trip?

I don't know if there's anything more to it, but what's certain is that there's nothing lacking.

First, because there's no gear shifting, you concentrate more on the path, the trajectory and improving your technique. And when it's less technical, you appreciate the scenery differently.

Also, the power range is very wide.

Power settings can be selected from the handlebars. This means that you'll be able to ride the bike with unbelievable ease at all times. People who try it for the first time are amazed. They have the feeling that sometimes the bike can stop on the steepest parts, when in fact it doesn't stop at all. The electric motorcycle has a great temperament in the end.

Finally, the silence... it's really surprising. You can talk to the group more easily when you stop. Even when you're riding, if you see something or need to pass on some quick info, well, you can, because everyone can hear you. And with other road users too, the way they look at you is completely different.

Why did you choose the Escape model from Electric-Motion?

There are several reasons:

  • First, it's a high-performance bike that's also very easy to use.

  • Then, it's of good quality compared with other identical bikes on the market.

  • And finally, it's a French bike... at last! Cocorico! 🇫🇷

Doesn't the fact that you can't shift gears and there's no noise make it a bit bland?

The day I tried the bike out, it took me 15 minutes of riding, before I was won over.

When I went to the factory, I was rather hesitant. As for the mate who came with me, he wasn't convinced at all... 😂

We started riding and actually had a great time. We were like kids rediscovering a new way of riding, new sensations. And that's what matters!

Since then, I haven't met a single person who's tried it and said it sucked. 💪

Therefore, what would you say to someone who has never ridden electric and might be a little reluctant?

First of all, have you ever tried one? It's pretty simple, 99% of riders surveyed said no. So it's a bit complicated to talk about something without having tested it.

Above all, I'm not here to make a case for electric bikes, or to say that we should get rid of combustion engines. This bike is a complement to what already exists. If anything, we should be delighted that there are other ways of riding on two wheels. We can vary the pleasures.

Next, let's stop comparing combustion and electric bikes. The naysayers are almost always comparing and, in fact, that's not the right way to look at it. The debate is sterile. An example: on peak power, the Electric Motion escape is 12KW. If we consider a 12KW internal combustion motorcycle, this would be completely ridiculous. But the torque of an electric motorcycle at this power level is astonishing. So comparing the two makes no sense.

And what about recharging during the trip? 😈⚡️

Recharging is easy and relatively quick. It doesn't take a day to get 40% battery.

Let me give you an example: I went hiking one morning. I did a good two hours without restricting myself. I put the battery on charge around 12.30 and by 2.30 the battery was fully charged, and I could ride the equivalent of the morning. So you get plenty of mileage, especially when you're riding for three days on the trails.

Is it really accessible to everyone?

Yes, as long as you have at least a 125cc motorcycle license, and you want to ride off-road, of course.

What happens if you have a group that's a bit more demanding, particularly from a technical point of view?

The groups are small, so it's easy to adapt. Whether you're a novice or an experienced rider, you'll find what you're looking for, because the routes are not set in stone. They are constantly evolving according to many criteria. That's the advantage of knowing the area inside out.

Thanks Greg, see you soon then.... 👋

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