Super Soco TC Max Electric Motorcycle Review | Riding on the streets of London!

Super Soco TC Max Review 2021 Electric motorcycle

We recently had the chance to test out the Super Soco TC Max in London, here’s what we thought of the CBT & A1 compliant electric motorcycle.

SUPER SOCO is leading the way when it comes to smart, stylish electric motorcycles and scooters for the CBT and A1 categories. So when given the opportunity to review the Super Soco TC Max in London, I jumped at the chance. You could say I was buzzing!

It’s worth mentioning that I reviewed the TC Max 1st gen a little while back, and was pretty impressed by it back then - even if it was riding around on country roads (the polar opposite of where an electric commuter may typically find itself). 

Super Soco TC Max (2021) Walkaround | Electronic Motorcycle | Visordown

Trying this electric motorcycle in London was a great opportunity to see how it handles in the real world for a city commuter, or even as a smart option for a delivery driver. 

If you know London, I was riding around the centre - from Tower Bridge to Shoreditch, to St.Pauls and the City of London, up to St.Pancras, over to Buckingham Palace (the Queen wasn’t in), and over to Big Ben and the London Eye (roughly, I may have got lost a couple of times). If you don’t know London - I was basically riding around the centre, near the touristy and business areas. 

TC Max Engine

So first things first, the motor of the Super Soco. The self-branded and low-mounted electric motor has the equivalent power output performance of a mid-range 125cc motorcycle or scooter, thus placing it in the 125cc CBT & A1 licence category with peak 5kW power and 3.9kW rated power, around 12.9Nm of torque (9.5 ft-lbs) - all meaning it'll happily get you to 60mph. 

I didn’t get anywhere near the indicated top speed in London, but the 1st generation model I mentioned riding before was happily pushed to ~60mph on an A road. That being said, it’s not a bike I’d want to ride at max speed for too long, it’s much happier on city streets.

You have 3 modes to select from on the switchgear, simply 1-2-3, with 1 restricting the output power the most, and 3 giving you unrestricted access to the motor. The ‘restriction of power’ is really only noticed in a limited top-speed, with mode 1 capping out at around 35mph and giving you the furthest range on the battery, the very peak of which will indicate 60 miles, so I’d consider mode 1 the ‘city mode'.

Super Soco TC Max acceleration

The motor on this bike is intriguing, it didn’t launch me off the line any quicker than the other scooters or motorcycles in the city, still quick, but it felt like it had a lot of acceleration potential from rolling speeds and getting from 20-40mph, great for nippy overtakes. In fact, the problem was the speed limits, it would have happily got to 40mph and sat there all day, not much chance of that in central London anymore.

Being twist-and-go meant it was as easy to ride as it gets in the city, one ‘gear’ with a belt drive system that’ll be exceptionally low maintenance. No engine braking (of note), so rolling off the throttle didn’t mean a sudden deceleration or loss of speed. Nor did the engine feel any less capable as you go deeper into the battery core at lower percentages. 

Whilst we’re here, the 1st gen model I rode did suffer from a slightly catchy throttle, with the power jumping around if you held the throttle at lower speeds - this has been sorted on this current generation. 

Electric Battery

Sat under the seat is a large 45Ah lithium-ion ATL battery with an estimated 60 miles range (in mode 1). It’s easily removed if you want to charge it remotely (and can be left in and charged in the bike), and under the ‘fuel tank’ is a cubby hole for either the 3-pin charger or valuables if you’d prefer. 

The charger block is now as standard the 10 amp fast charge equivalent, so it’ll take 3-4 hours to fully charge from empty, costing only £0.45 (depending on your electric tariff). 

As a standard commuter in a city, you would have plenty of range to get to and from work on a charge, probably for the entire week before you need to worry about recharging it.

Over the day I covered around 22 miles - getting on the bike at around 10.30 am with 94% battery, then jumping off at around 5.30 pm with 41% battery remaining. I stopped a couple of times, and spent most of the day winding around the city roads at 20-30mph, but to be left with an indicated 35 miles of range on mode 1 (from 77 miles at the start of the day) is good going.

Body, Suspension & Brakes

Moving on to the body, the seat is a really accessible 770mm, and the whole thing only weighs 79kg thanks to the 22kg engine, carbon steel frame and aluminium subframe - so riding around was comfortable and quite literally as easy as it gets. It’s a comfortable ride, I came off the bike with no aches - considering it’s a fairly small-sized bike, that's a great accolade from a 6’3” rider.

As well as looking incredible, the front USD forks do a great job at keeping the ride smooth, with a great deal of compression and fluid dampening, and along with the rear mono-shock did a superb job on bumpy roads, speed-bumps and the uneven surfaces you'll find on normal city streets. 

The brakes were capable, also - utilising a combined braking system for the front and rear discs that felt surprisingly natural, and unless you’re going to ham-fist the brakes you will barely notice any catching of the wheels. 

Rider aids - dash, keyless ignition, switchgear

Given this bike is a fairly stylish machine, one minor stumbling block I found was the dash. It’s perfectly intelligible, but the MPH numbers are the less prominent numbers on the inside, with kph going around the outside. You get used to it, but when I set off on the road it was raining - a rain speckled dash with small digits was a no bueno combination, even if the dash does self-illuminate when it gets dark (tunnel or night).

Outside of that, the split analogue and LCD dash is well laid out, with the small screen giving you mode, range, odo, battery percentage and essential information. No clock, mind. Or USB plug.

Sticking with the dash, and the switchgear worked well, with the mode selector toggle working simply and effectively, plus you can click through the modes on-the-fly without stopping, which is nice. The same toggle is used for the indicators, there is no satisfying click or rest position, so you can find the indicators have been left on if you’re not careful. 

Last up for rider stuff is the keyless ignition - it works well, and whilst there is a key to open the battery and storage compartments, the bike runs entirely on the keyless ignition fob. I’m not a huge fan of these at the best of times, but this keyless ignition did the job - lock and unlock buttons on the fob, with a big ‘Power’ button on the bike itself. Hit the button and the bike plays you a little welcome tune, and switching off plays another tune - it's like an old Windows computer!

Steady on though, if you power off the bike with the button and then climb off, the alarm will go off. Oh yeah, there’s a built-in alarm and rear wheel lock that’ll activate when you lock the bike. 

Twist and… go? More touch & go.

I had an, erm, interesting moment at a red light - I must have pressed on the lock button in my pocket without realising, so when I came to find the bike powered off at a green light I instinctively press the big ‘power’ button to get going. Nope - alarm starts going off, rear-wheel lock engages, and I’m left on a literal singing & dancing bucking bronco rocking back and forth under me. 

I can’t wheel myself off the road to sort it out (the rear wheel locks as a security feature if the alarm is triggered), so the only solution was to fumble in my jacket pocket with gloved fingers, desperately trying to get to the unlock button on the fob.

I felt like a right knob at the time, but it makes for hilarious viewing. The lesson here - suss out the limitations of the keyless ignition and alarm before you get caught out.

Wheels

The optional spoked 17-inch wheels on this look incredible, and if you’re speccing one up then you need to go for them. As we’re on wheels, as standard they come with “Yuanxing” hoops which I’d heavily recommend swapping for the optional Michelin City Grip tyres that I had. 

They were brand new, and it started raining about 3 miles into my ride - but they were grippy as anything. Really impressed with them, plus when the skies started clearing up they were even better! Shame there was no combustion engine to keep me warm. 

Final Thoughts - delivery drivers loved it!

So all things considered, the TC Max was a really impressive little electric motorcycle. Delivery drivers were always checking it out (you could get a top box if you want to use it for that), and given about 10 people asked me throughout the day if it was an electric bike says it all. The style is spot on, and it’s a fantastic option for someone looking for a short-range e-motorcycle for commuting or pleasure. 

Running costs will be cheap, simply the tyres and brakes (as normal), charging costs are £0.45 for a fully juiced tank (if you charge it at work then really it would be free, but not sure how that one works). 

Riding it around is good fun, so good in fact, I almost didn’t miss a characterful combustion engine beneath me. Once the wheels have built a bit of inertia, it’s a really perky little machine to dart around the streets on. Great fun!

Super Soco TC Max Price

With the UK Government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles Funding/Grant, you can buy this from dealers for £4,249 (alloy wheels), or £4,349 (spoked wheels). Without the grant, you’d be looking at £5,311.25 (alloy wheels) or £5,436.25 (spoked wheels). From new, the TC Max will come with a 2 years vehicle warranty, and 3 year battery & motor warranty, too.

Sure, it’s a bit expensive to buy outright, but consider the low running costs, zero tax, and calculate the costs over a few years and it starts becoming a much more viable option. 

I would also strongly consider you think about the after-dealer support in your area - some cities may be electric ready, but you’ll want the peace of mind to know a garage will be able to look at your bike without being scared off that it’s electric.

It’s a fantastic option if you’re looking for a short-distance commuter, an economical option for transport and a bit of twist-and-go fun with proper motorcycle looks. Consider this one if you’re in the 125cc market, absolutely!

Find out more on the Super Soco website.

3 things I liked

  • Style - it looks the part
  • Suspension - really impressive
  • Super light, super fun ride, super soco!

3 things I didn’t like

  • Dash - maybe a class-leading TFT dash would be good? Unlikely, but…
  • Alarm - very handy, but a bit temperamental (yes I’m still red in the face)
  • Not as powerful off the line as I’d like - but it’s a 125cc equivalent

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