There are plenty of benefits to riding an electric motorcycle. Thanks to the use of modern motor technology, electric bikes enjoy the benefits of instant power, thrilling acceleration, and hair-raising performance.
And since many motorcyclists ride their bikes in pursuit of high speeds and two-wheeled excitement, electric motorcycles appeal to a wide range of riders, both current and new motorcyclists alike.
Although electric motorcycles are not quite the environmental halo we may like to hope for, as they still have an impact, they are definitely the future. Cleaner air and less noise are big plusses, and gas motos aren’t as green as you might imagine, even when compared to automobiles.
Even the racing world sees the electric value. Supporting the MotoGP since 2019, the MotoE World Championship is a racing class that uses only electric motorcycles. That shows just how exciting electric motorcycles can be.
The Isle of Man TT has been promoting electric motorcycles for years — and if the most successful rider of the race, John McGuiness, can get a kick out of riding an electric motorcycle, then you probably will too.
The 10 Best Electric Motorcycles
At the moment, the industry has two kinds of electric motorbikes for adults: the smaller pedal-assist style and more heavy-duty e-motos equipped with powerful acceleration and a more conventional rider experience.
For this article, as we look at the best electric motorcycle models, we’re going to focus on the latter: the best electric motorcycle models that resemble the classic bikes we already know and love.
If you’re not clued in about the state of the industry (who the big names are, what models they have, and what the regular price for one of them is), then this article should help you brush up. Electric motorcycles are here to stay.
Let’s take a serious look at the best electric motorcycles that have been released so far. Here are some of our favorites worth considering.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose an Electric Motorcycle
The first thing you need to decide is how you plan to use your electric motorcycle. For daily commuters, a 100-plus-mile battery range isn’t necessary. But if you’re planning on touring across the country, you’re going to want a longer range. If you’re more of an adventure rider or track racer, higher power, torque, and speed will be a factor.
Once you’ve figured out the above, it’s time to dial in your range. If you want to use your bike primarily as a daily commuter, sub-100 miles per charge should be plenty. If you want your bike to be your road-tripping machine, shoot for higher mileage per charge.
Power, Torque, and Speed
These three factors will determine the “wow” factor of your ride. On electric bikes, power is usually listed in kilowatts. To determine a bike’s horsepower, multiply the kilowatts by 1.34. As far as torque goes, the higher the torque, the faster the acceleration.
Speed is self-explanatory, usually determined by the power and weight of the bike. Decide how fast you want to go, and then choose accordingly.
It doesn’t matter how awesome your ride is if it’s plugged in most of the time. Most bikes will charge to at least 80% in a few hours, and many will be fully charged in 13-16 hours at the lowest charge setting. This means you can plug it in at the end of the day and your bike should be good to go by morning.
Weight, Seat Height, and Position
This is common to every motorcycle, electric or not, but is still worth considering. Make sure the bike isn’t too heavy for you to handle, and that the seat height and riding position fits your preferences. Smaller people should opt for small motorcycles and vice versa for taller people.
Do you need a license for an electric motorcycle?
It varies by state, but it can depend on the type of electric vehicle you ride. For instance, in California, you don’t need a license to operate a scooter or motorized bicycle, but you do need a license to operate a moped or electric motorcycle. Check the specific requirements where you live to make sure you’re riding legally.
What companies make electric motorcycles?
There is a wide range of companies that make electric motorcycles. Quite a few specialize in electric vehicles, but there are bigger brands that offer electric motorcycles as well, including Harley-Davidson and Honda.
How far can an electric motorcycle go?
Electric motorcycles can vary wildly in terms of range. Much of it depends on the bike’s weight and the capacity of the battery. Some models have a range of 50-60 miles, while others get closer to the 300-mile range.
How much are electric bikes?
New electric motorcycles might be filled with cutting-edge equipment, but they’re actually reasonably priced considering the technology they use. For example, the Zero FX dirt bike model retails for around $13,990, which is actually quite reasonable for the performance it delivers. Similarly, the KTM Freeride E-XC’s price tag of $8,299 is cheap for the package that’s on offer.
Are electric motorcycles automatic?
Almost all electric motorcycles are automatic because electric motors can provide power directly to the wheels without the need for a gearbox. However, some manufacturers such as Tacita have been developing electric motorcycles with manual transmissions to make their motorcycles more familiar to traditional riders.
Are electric motorcycles safe?
Electric motorcycles are just as safe as gasoline-powered motorcycles. The major concerns that road users have is their quieter nature and almost unbridled power delivery. They are quieter, but they’re not silent and you can hear them coming. As for the power delivery, most electric motorcycles have mode selects that keep power in check, making them safer to operate.