Monaco Life was in Milan for the recent unveiling of the Soriano Giaguaro V1R electric motorbike, “one of the most advanced, stylish, environmentally friendly Italian machines on the planet.”
There are many things that Italy is famous for: the food, the wine, the fashion and the very fast cars. Something Italy is not decidedly famous for is superbikes, but that hasn’t stopped Marco Antonio Soriano from relocating the family’s motorcycle company, founded in Madrid in 1939, to Bel Paese and entrusting the Soriano legacy to a team of local experts.
On 10th November that team joined Marco, Founder of Soriano Motori Corp, for the fervent unveiling of the Giaguaro V1R electric motorbike in Milan – a profound revamp of the 1944 Tigre created by his grandfather, the impressively named Ricardo Soriano Hermensdorff von Scholtz, Marquis of Ivanrey. That 96cc beauty was also on display in Milan, a stark reminder of how far technology has come in 80 years.
“It is an emotional moment today because it is my family legacy,” Soriano tells Monaco Life. “Not everyone has this history, this nostalgia and emotion. I think the human factor is driven by emotion, and this is where my creativity comes from.”
What began as a design on a napkin has become a game-changing vehicle that oozes Italian sophistication and style; a powerful sports bike designed to satisfy a generation of younger riders who want to position themselves in a sustainable future.
“The owners of Soriano EV motorcycles are promised to be piloting one of the most advanced, stylish, and environmentally friendly Italian machines on the planet,” says Soriano.
The motorbike features two electric motors which consist of liquid-cooled brushless units developed in collaboration with Moog. It weighs in at 100 kilograms, can charge from empty in 15 minutes, has a range of 320 kilometres, a max of 180kms/h and measures 80hp (60kw) thanks to a powerful 15-20kw battery comprised of high-capacity Lithium Polymer. With an acceleration of zero to 100kms (60mph) in 3.5 seconds, the Soriano Giaguaro (Jaguar) V1 measures up to many hypercars today.
Production takes place at two state-of-the-art facilities in Oggiono and Lecco, towns surrounding Lake Como, Italy.
The V1R and V1S are leading the charge, but the diverse range will also include a sports model – and all three are set to showcase at the Milan Motorcycle Show (EICMA) from 25th to 28th November.
“The most important features that we had to keep in mind were the range, the performance, the weight, and we had to develop the right components in order to deliver the whole package,” says Designer Lykos Ornerakis.
It means that the major elements – the chassis, engine and management software – are completely “Made by Soriano”. So too are the unique gearbox and clutch systems, intended to really coax people away from petrol power.
“The problem with EVs, especially in the two-wheel sector, is the noise, or lack of it,” says Marco Soriano. “So, we created a technical sound system that allows you to hear the bike in three different sounds: the ‘vroom’ of the past, the EV ‘whistle’ of today, and the ‘enterprise’ sound of the future.”
“The second problem was a lack of gear shifting,” adds the motorbike enthusiast. “EVs are automated, so we added that component and, in doing so, we invented a brand new type of engine that connects to a gear box of five gears plus one that goes backwards, allowing you to go in reverse.”
While contributing to that motorbike thrill, sound also increases safety, something very few electric two wheelers can boast today.
With delayed progress on electric motorcycles from the other big manufacturers, including Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki, the time is ripe for Soriano to begin rolling out its SV two-wheel series.
But the market is gearing up, with Kawasaki expected to unveil its first electric motorcycle that same week at EICMA, and Ducati, Italy’s most famous motorcycle brand, announcing that it will supply e-motorcycles for MotoE races from 2023, even though it hasn’t made an e-bike yet.
Still, there’s luxury in buying from boutique manufacturers like Soriano Motori, which allows people to customise their electric motorbikes for a total fee of between 25,000€ and 35,000€.
So far, 80% of the first 100 motorbikes sold are headed to the United States where Marco Soriano is resident with his wife and three children. He’s now turning his attention to Europe, including Monaco.
There’s a saying among motorcyclists that driving a car is like watching a movie, whereas riding a motorbike is like being in one. Well, there are few landscapes as epic as the winding coastal roads between Italy and France, not to mention Monaco’s commitment to trimming CO2 emissions and reducing traffic congestion.
“I am already looking to collaborate with various groups in Monaco to open up one of our very first retail stores there in the Principality,” reveals Soriano. “It is great for the brand and for sustainability. My appreciation is that Monaco embraces sustainability at a different level and we have a very strong ESG framework that I would like to share with the people of Monaco.”
That ESG commitment also includes the recycling of their electric batteries, which allows clients to recondition the component for a lifespan of 10 years.
Overall, Soriano’s complex modular system, with patented technologies, can be transferred to any other type of electric vehicle, so we plan on seeing more global electric vehicle development from this innovative company in the years ahead.
Marco Soriano: “Electric motorcycles and high tech wearables – this is lifestyle”
Top photo of Marco Antonio Soriano, photo credit Simona Bruno