Bangalore is a city known for many things. When the context is automobiles, it earned itself quite a reputation for leading the charge with EVs. Giving birth to yet another EV endeavour called Oben. Oben is a German word and means “above”. I suppose that’s where they aim to be and have an eagle for a logo to go with and claims that soar above the ones its competitors have made. However, is it yet another EV manufacturer that fails to deliver, or can they put their money where their mouth is? Well, that’s precisely what we came to Bangalore to find out.
The Rorr is Oben’s first product and would fall in the same category as a 150 cc commuter. The Rorr certainly has the charm with its neo-retro styling and butch yet nimble stance. I liked the lime yellow paint job; however, I wasn’t a massive fan of the print quality. It’s undoubtedly something Oben needs to work upon because its spoils the handsome appearance of this motorcycle.
The Rorr attracted a decent amount of attention thanks to its in-your-face paint scheme and overall stance. Traffic stops usually turned into small talk about the Rorr with people inquiring about stereotypical things you’d expect. The Rorr boasts a 200 mm ground clearance and a 230 mm water wading depth. Hopefully, those numbers mean it is ready to take on Mumbai’s streets and its seasonal floods; fingers crossed!
The Rorr uses a rather dull-looking TFT screen with its own share of bugs. That said, Oben reassured us that this wasn’t the final product and that the final unit would have a better, brighter, smoother functioning TFT. Apart from that, the overall quality of buttons and switchgear is good and feels well put together.
Ergonomically speaking, the Oben Rorr is quite a comfortable commuter. Despite its firm seat, it feels comfortable over long stints. Its upright seating position makes it an easy-going commuter.
The one thing it could use is a windscreen at higher speeds to reduce wind buffeting. Still, if you’re going to use this motorcycle primarily for your commute, then I doubt you’d ever feel its need. The mirrors aren’t as big as you’d like and show you little more than your own arms, which can be a bummer to use.
We decided to put the Oben Rorr through a more real-world test and rode it around the streets of Bangalore instead of around the corners of Nandi Hills. The result was impressive, with the Rorr being quite nimble and easy to handle despite its front-biased weight distribution. That being said, it still weighed a light 130 kgs which aided in its overall agility.
The one thing that impressed me was the ferocity with which the Rorr would leave the stop light and most conversations. Being an EV, you’d expect nothing less from it. It produces 10 kW’s of peak power out of its 4.4 kWh battery. The Rorr has three riding modes, and it always starts in Eco mode. This mode locked the overall power delivery and speed to just 51 km/hr. Go up a notch into City mode, and you’re given more power on tap and locked at 71 km/hr. However, suppose you are in the mood to get the most. In that case, you can switch to a Havoc mode that allows you to tap into the full potential of this battery and be locked at 106 km/hr, a speed it took little time to get to.
Braking on the Rorr is solid but can sometimes leave you wanting for more. The front brakes don’t tend to bite hard enough, and the rear seems to bite too hard. I suppose that’s something Oben will have to tweak and improve over time, especially the intensity of the front brakes. Unfortunately, there was no ABS on offer, but instead, you got a combined braking system that worked adequately. Handling on the Oben Rorr was a lot of fun, and the ride never got jarring despite its rather stiff suspension setup. The Oben was quick on its feet and easily zipped in and around traffic. I can already imagine this leaving a grin on most commuters’ faces.
Oben claims a range of 200 kms and 1 km for every minute it’s charged. Now, these are bold claims, and from our real-world test, we got a range of somewhere between 120-150 kms which is close enough to the IDC claims they showcase. Oben has a 15 Amp cable built into the Rorr so that you’re just a parking spot and three-point socket away from charging your motorcycle.
Oben is also very proud of being the only manufacturer currently using an LFP battery in India. An LFP battery can withstand up to 30% higher temperatures, making it a better alternative for our Indian climate. Oben has also sealed the battery in an aluminium diecast casing to protect it from our climate and its hazards. These batteries are also IP67 certified and comparatively less harmful to the environment, or at least that’s what I’ve been told.
The Oben Rorr is quite an accomplished motorcycle; for the most part, Oben has really put their money where their mouth is. The drivetrain packs oodles of fun while promising to be as efficient and useable as any of its competitors.
Oben could undoubtedly give the Rorr a little more spit and polish. However, the truth is that aside from a few paint defects, the Rorr makes a solid case for itself against most ICE rivals. I would strongly recommend looking at this motorcycle if you’re in the market for an efficient daily commuter.