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CleanTechnica Review: The Solar E-Clipse 2.0 Is A Ridiculously Fun Street Legal E-Motorbike

May 07, 2024
CleanTechnica Review: The Solar E-Clipse 2.0 Is A Ridiculously Fun Street Legal E-Motorbike

The Solar Scooters Solar E-Clipse 2.0 packs a lot of power into a lightweight package, making for a quick and nimble ride both on- and off-road. With a top speed of up to 60 mph capable from its 10kW (peak) motor, and a potential range of up to 70 miles per charge when driven tamely, this light e-moto is ridiculously fun to ride.

The light e-moto scene is heating up, and we’re starting to see a lot more entries in this segment of the e-mobility market, which bridges the gap between electric bicycles and electric cars. Advancements in electric motor and battery technology have made it possible to build powerful electric 2-wheelers with loads of torque, paired with a good-sized battery and a lightweight frame, at a price point that doesn’t require taking out a loan to pay for one. They do tend to cost more than your average e-bike, but then again, so does a conventional motorcycle, and with an e-moto like the Solar E-Clipse, you don’t even have to learn how to shift gears, making it a great entry-level motorcycle.


The Solar E-Clipse came in a box not that much bigger than most of the e-bikes I’ve received over the years, and while it was delivered via a semi and weighed about twice as much as an e-bike in a box, it was easy enough to move around with a handtruck to get it where I needed in order to start assembling it. And the assembly, once all the parts were separated and laid out, was a simple affair, as it mostly consisted of installing the front wheel and handlebar, and because all the required tools were included and the assembly video walks you through it, it took less than an hour. A second pair of hands could have been helpful when putting it together, but even without a motorcycle stand, the assembly was a piece of cake.

Once the E-Clipse was fully assembled and the battery connected, I took it for a brief shake-down ride to make sure everything was in order, and then hooked it to its charger and let it get a full charge. Later that day, I spent some time dialing in the front and rear suspension for off-road riding, and getting familiar with all of its functions and how it handled at low speeds, and then took off for an afternoon of trail-riding.

First Impressions

The E-Clipse has a key fob to turn the bike on and disarm the alarm, and once the bike powers up, there is a safety feature that essentially puts it into “Park” until the kickstand is up and a power level is selected. Because of that feature, it’s much less likely that a rider will accidentally twist the throttle and have the bike take off before they’re ready. With a gas motorcycle, when the engine is on, you can hear it, but because electric motorcycles don’t make a noise when they are on, and because they don’t have a transmission with a Neutral setting, it’s quite possible to inadvertently blip the throttle and have an embarrassing (and maybe dangerous) accident. That said, like with most electric 2-wheelers, when the brakes are applied, the motor cuts out, so the E-Clipse won’t throw you if you twist the throttle while one or both brake levers are pulled.

There are two power modes — Eco and Sport — and while the Eco mode has plenty of oomph and decent acceleration, it doesn’t overwhelm the rider, which means that it’s really easy to get started riding even as a beginner, as it doesn’t feel like it’s going to buck you off when accelerating. It’s still quick when ridden in Eco mode, but not too torquey, and the throttle offers a smooth response, which goes a long way toward rideability when getting used to a new bike.

Sport mode, however, is a whole ‘nother animal. This is where the E-Clipse really shines, in my opinion, as the full power of the bike’s controller, motor, and battery are unleashed in Sport mode. The throttle still has a smooth response, but it feels much more sensitive to rider input than when in Eco mode, and goosing the throttle from a full stop will spin the rear wheel and then rocket you down the road, so it can take a little getting used to. Sport mode also makes short work of steep hills, even from a dead stop, whereas getting started from a standstill on at least one steep hill in Eco mode was a little underwhelming.

The Solar E-Clipse has dual disc brakes that are plenty grabby for most purposes, but the bike also has regenerative braking, which adds to the stopping power when pulling the brake levers, and a separate regen thumb lever on the handlebar enables the E-Clipse to slow itself without wearing down the brake pads while adding electrons back to the battery at the same time. I really liked the regen feature, and although I didn’t use it much when riding off-road, I found myself using it quite a bit when riding in and around town. The regen lever is located on the right grip, next to the throttle, which felt weird at first, but which quickly became second nature when slowing down.

The front suspension fork, which has 203 mm of travel and both preload and rebound adjustability, allows the front end of the E-Clipse to be quickly adjusted to handle well both off-road and on pavement, and the rear adjustable shock does the same for the back of the bike. The E-Clipse just floated over all the bumps and roots and rocks on trails with the suspension set as soft as it would go, while tightening up both the front and rear for road riding kept the E-Clipse nimble and stable while on pavement. The only less than optimal comfort feature for me was the seat, which isn’t so much uncomfortable, per se, but which could probably benefit from more padding on longer rides.

The bike came with some passenger foot-pegs, and I was able to convince a friend to be a passenger, you know, “for testing purposes,” so it’s definitely possible to carry another person, as the E-Clipse has plenty of power and the suspension had no problem with the added weight. However, seeing as how the Solar E-Clipse is a lightweight motorcycle at just 138 pounds, which makes it a good candidate for a beginner bike, riding with a passenger means having nearly double the weight of the machine (at least) on the seat, which felt fine at lower speeds scooting around town, but I was wary of going full-out with a passenger onboard on roads with a lot of twisty bits, just out of an abundance of caution. A seasoned rider with a lot more hours on the E-Clipse may have no problem, so your mileage may vary.

The E-Clipse has a 72v 45Ah battery pack with a stated range of up to 70 miles in Eco mode going about 30 mph, with Sport mode and higher speeds lowering that range to around 40 miles or so. That seems accurate in my experience with the bike, and I found that frequent use of the regenerative braking feature when slowing down went a long way toward maximizing range. The 10A charger was able to ‘fill’ the battery in just a few hours — the product page states “3-4 hours,” but I didn’t ever fully drain the battery and then charge it to full again, so while I can’t verify that exact figure, it seems about right to me.

Final Thoughts

The Solar E-Clipse 2.0 is a heckuva lot of fun to ride off-road, and can definitely handle just about any terrain, but I drew the line at jumping it and catching big air, partly because I didn’t have protective gear for my lower body in the event of a wipeout, and partly because the user manual specifically states that it is “not designed for extreme driving! Do not jump or use for unintended purposes!” That being said, the E-Clipse felt like it could handle a bit of rough stuff, especially with a light rider (such as my 130-ish pounds), but I didn’t feel comfortable testing that assumption on anything other than mild bumps and jumps. Over time and with more familiarity with the bike, I’m sure that I’d be OK pushing the edges a bit on the E-Clipse, and that the limiting factor is most likely to be my own skills rather than the build of the bike.

One noticeable difference between a gas-powered motorcycle and the E-Clipse is the lack of a transmission, so there’s no clutch to manage and no shifting required, and that makes for a very approachable bike for new riders. Another difference, which most likely will only affect experienced riders, is that applying either brake lever makes the motor cut out, so it’s not possible to do standing burnouts or to drift around corners — or at least I haven’t figured that out yet. There might be a workaround or a way to jailbreak the controller to allow it if that’s your thing, but I didn’t attempt it.

The E-Clipse has a VIN and can be configured to be street legal with the addition of mirrors and a rear license plate holder (included), as the bike has turn signals, a headlight and tail/brake light, and a horn, so it can be registered and insured for on-road use with a motorcycle license. For personal transportation for commuting, errand-running, and the like, the E-Clipse can be a fun zero emission ride with very low ‘fuel’ costs, and in my opinion, the only serious limitation(s) might be the lack of on-board carrying capacity (the company does show a dual storage box option on the product page, but has no other info on that on the site) and maybe the range if you have a long commute. The unit I received has knobby 19″ enduro tires/wheels on it, which is great for off-road riding, but if the E-Clipse will be ridden mostly on pavement, there is also the option to have it fitted with 16″ street tires/wheels instead.

My experience with the E-Clipse 2.0 so far has been ridiculously fun, as it has loads of torque to get up and moving very quickly — even on steeper grades — and its top speed of 60-ish mph is plenty fast for a bike this size. It is capable of carrying a passenger, and it can be made road-legal and registered for street riding. The E-Clipse is also a nimble bike that handles well both on- and off-road, and it’s light enough to be able to be loaded in the back of a pickup (or even a large SUV maybe) to transport it for riding on trails or dirt tracks. Solar Scooters has the E-Clipse 2.0 priced starting at $5995, with free shipping in the US.

Ben Barton
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