Livia Cevolini, who has been the CEO of Energica since July 2013, is the woman behind the innovative and sexy Italian Superbike. Starting at $34,000, this hybrid electric motorcycle isn’t your average ride, but that’s because Cevolini isn’t your average CEO.
Although Cevolini grew up in her family technology business, CRP Group, her interests went beyond the machinery. “My first dream was to become a drawer or a painter, so when I decided to chose engineering instead, I thought: well, what I can do with the future is combine technology, fashion and fantasy.” Cevolini’s dream has been realized.
The Ego Superbike, which comes to the U.S. in early 2015, sports a uniquely wide shape and wild eye-like front lights that solidify its fierce look. Customers can even request 3-D printing on certain parts, such as the cover of the blinkers, to enhance its appearance. But what really makes the Ego Superbike so “super” is its adaptability to any type of ride or rider. While it joins the fleet of ecofriendly transportation, the Superbike stands alone in its ability to reach speeds nearing 150 m/h. As a result, the Superbike can be used for competitive motorcycle racing, speedy rides in the country or sustainable transportation through crowded areas like New York City or Milan. Most high-powered motorcycles aren’t intended for cities, but the Energica team worked with the Superbike’s torque and chortle in order to make it easy and, most importantly to Cevolini, safe to drive in the city.
When Cevolini was in a motorcycle crash, she dedicated herself to the safety of her bikes. “[My coworkers] say I’m their mom. I’m very worried about the bike—always. It’s kind of like a kid for you. When I started to work on this motorcycle, I said my number one priority is its safety.” According to Cevolini, the main safety feature of the Superbike is its redundancy, meaning there is double of everything. The vicrocontro, or the brain of the bike, ensures that if one feature fails, the second is ready to kick into gear. They also worked on the motor to make sure it was simple and small but still extremely powerful, so the rider feels safe amidst busy traffic or when riding at high speeds. And we can’t forget comfort.
“I love motorcycles, and I stay on the back; that’s why I work so much on the backseat of the bike. It’s the first problem for the girls when they’re riding with their boyfriends. Just because this is a real Superbike doesn’t mean it can’t be comfortable in the rear seat.”
But don’t think for a second that Cevolini always expects ladies to hold up the rear. “Lots of women are riding our bike. It’s clean; it’s not polluting; it’s powerful, but it’s small. It can ride easily without one having to worry too much about the gears. Women, even motorcycle racing professionals, are crazy about the Superbike.”
Cevolini pulled out all the stops for her Superbike from originality and fashion to ecological sensitivity. “We’re trying to do something different from everybody else. If you like motor powers, why pollute? We wanted to demonstrate to people that you can still have fun with something that is beautiful, and that you are proud of, and not destroy the planet. Now it’s official with the Superbike. When everyone was saying that we were going green like all the others, we were like this four years ago. We were one of the leaders.”
Main image photographed by Peter Musch