2023 Oben Rorr Electric Motorcycle Review
By Janak Sorap
6 mins read
Published on November 7, 2023
- Targeted at the 150cc motorcycle segment
- Priced at Rs 1.49 lakh (ex-showroom), introductory
- Get new features and updated components
Last year, Oben Electric, a Bangalore-based EV startup, introduced the Rorr, a sporty electric commuter motorcycle. We had ridden the Rorr then while it was in the pre-production stage. Based on the feedback and the information that the company had gathered then, they have worked on it and now introduced the 2023 version of the motorcycle, which now is in production-ready form.
According to Oben, they have worked a lot on the fit and finish, the overall look of the motorcycle, added a couple of new features and improved the tech. That being said, we’ve spent some time with this motorcycle to find out how much of a difference it has made to make this motorcycle better.
Subtle tweaks to the design and updated livery with graphics gives the Rorr a fresh look
Design and Features
Oben hasn’t changed much with the design of the Rorr. However, the 2023 edition gets subtle design updates which include a dome-shaped lens for the headlamp instead of a flat one, a new casing for the same instrument console with an auto brightness function, and new mirror stocks. The colour scheme on the motorcycle now gets a dual-tone livery with these snazzy graphics which give a sportier appeal to it. Moving towards the rear, the height of the subframe has been slightly dropped to make the pillion seat more accessible. However, the saddle height for the rider has gone up by 10 mm and now stands at 810 mm. And since it is the production variant, it comes with a tyre hugger, saree guard and a new mudguard for the belt drive.
Switching from a on-board charger to a compact portable one has helped in creating storage space which added convenience
Along with these new updates, Oben has also smartly included some new features to make the experience better. The previous on-board charger that was located at the conventional fuel tank housing has now been replaced with a portable one that can be stored under the seat. The existing space now offers a storage space for storing items with access to the charging port and two USB ports. Apart from that, if you don’t need the portable charger for shorter trips, you can keep the charger at home and use that space for more storage.
The Rorr's proportions are good, while the seating triangle is mostly upright with a sporty edge to it
It is quite easy to get on the Oben Rorr, because the subframe is now slightly lower, and you get a sportish commuter stance. The footpegs are mid-rear set, the one-piece handlebar is easy to reach. So, you sit mostly upright with a slight lean towards the front, which makes the ride experience more engaging. However, with a ground clearance of 200 mm, it is difficult to have a firm footing while you are seated because of the rather wide centre portion of the saddle. While taller riders won’t face an issue, it will be difficult for people of lesser height.
With the updated the specs, while the top speeds in different modes hasn't dropped, the range has taken a dip
Battery, Performance and Charging
With the implementation of the new AIS-156 electric vehicle norms, performance figures on the Oben Rorr have experienced a drop. The permanent magnet motor now has a maximum power output of 8 kW, while the peak torque offered now stands at 52 Nm (old figures: 10kW and 62 Nm). In addition to that, the casing for the 4.4 kW battery pack is thicker for more accidental safety, which along with the new other components has resulted in an increase in kerb weight to 147 kilograms, an addition of 17 kilograms.
The 4.4 kW battery pack gets a ticker 4 mm casing for better protection in an event of crash
All of this has taken a subtle hit on the Rorr’s performance. Yes, the Havoc mode still is quick and can attain 100 kmph, but the rush is kind of missing. The top speed for the other modes continues to be at 50 kmph for Eco and 70 kmph for City.
Apart from that, the IDC range now stands at 187 kilometres, down from 200 kilometres, meanwhile, the true range has dropped from 150 kilometres to 120 kilometres for Eco mode, and subsequently for the other modes to 90 km for City and 70 km for Havoc.
For the charging part, Oben is offering two charging options for the Rorr. A portable 750W charger that fits in the underseat storage place which takes five hours to attain a full charge, and a 2.2kW wall-mounted home fast charger that can juice up the battery from zero to 80 per cent in two hours.
Ride and Handling
The Rorr continues to be a sorted machine when it comes to ride quality and handling. Held by a trellis frame which is suspended by a telescopic fork and monoshock, the Rorr feels stable and planted at high speeds. Yes, the suspension setup is on the firmer side, and while that helps in cornering, it does transmit a decent bit of the shocks up your backside when riding over bumps and potholes. Given the purpose of the bike, softer spring rates and damping would be ideal.
The Rorr packs the qualities of a conventional motorcycle on most parts when it comes to riding dynamics
While the ride experience is mostly good, there is a prominent buzz felt at the footpegs transmitted from the motor, which is intrusive and requires frequent shifting of the foot.
Secondly, the brake calibration at the rear has been increased which has made it more sensitive than required. Only equipped with single-channel ABS at the front, the rear easily locks up on hard braking, which can be troublesome on low traction surfaces. Ideally, for the kind of performance and speed the Rorr is capable of, a dual-channel system is required.
Pricing and Verdict
After the revision of the FAME-II subsidy structure, the price of the Oben Rorr has gone up by Rs 25,000 and is now priced at Rs 1.49 lakh (ex-showroom), which again is introductory. While the portable charger is included, the new sticker price feels to be on the higher side making it difficult for buyers to justify the switch from a conventional motorcycle to an electric one.
To sum it up, after spending some time with the production-ready Oben Rorr, we can say that there are a good number of improvements in the motorcycle compared to when we had ridden it last. The paint quality is good and even the fit and finish of the components are better now. But then, there are aspects like the saddle width, the buzz at the footpegs and the rear brake calibration which need attention for the Rorr to come across as a better machine to ride, and closer to delivering a similar experience to a conventional engine-powered motorcycle.
For the asking price, the Oben Rorr is now at par with most of the 150cc motorcycles in the market and also the other EV scooter options. The quality levels and the refinement offered by the engine-powered motorcycles are strikingly good and similar is the case with the EV scooters in this price bracket. thus making it difficult to justify the simple, no-frills nature of this electric motorcycle. We feel a more competitive sticker price would help in making prospective buyers more willing to make that jump over to the Oben Rorr.
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