There’s nothing quite like hopping on a motorbike and hitting the open road. There’s promising news for consumers looking to get away from gas-powered vehicles. Electric vehicles, both automobiles and motorcycles, continue to make noticeable improvements in both performance and range. And while electric motorcycles may not be replacing their gas-powered cousins any time soon, the performance ability gains have been on a steady climb.
There’s no denying the demand for emission-free vehicles. However, when it comes to motorcycles, creating an electric bike that really sells and turns a profit is much harder than one might imagine1. They can compete in performance, but range and price continue to hamper their competitiveness in the market. There are two kinds of electric bikes on the market today — the smaller pedal-style electric bikes best suited for city cruising and the more heavy-duty electric motorcycles that resemble the motorcycles we know and love. For this article, we focus on electric motorcycles that have more in common looks-wise with gas-powered, heavy-duty bikes.
Three Promising Electric Bikes
A silent motor, no shifting, cheap to run and sometimes quite fast — electric motorcycles do have a lot going for them. The electric motorcycle landscape is changing, which is good news for motorbike enthusiasts. Below are three notable electric motorcycles gaining a lot of traction on the market and the road.
Fly Free Smart Classic
If you’re looking for an electric motorcycle that’s a few steps above electric scooters, consider the new Fly Free Smart Classic. These EVs get bonus points for their classic café racer-inspired design. They have that favorite “race bike” look popularized in the 1950s, with lower positioned handlebars in line with the mono seat. And, even though they have a maximum speed of 50 mph (with two batteries), they offer everything the average commuter needs to zip around town and back and forth to work. An easily removable LG Lithium battery pack, mounted under the faux gas tank, has a range of up to 50 miles on a full charge. When you add another battery pack, you can double the range! Plus, after 700 cycles, the battery retains up to 70% of its initial charge capacity. The Fly Free Smart Classic features a 3000w electric motor with three-speed modes. You can switch from eco, city and speed, and since there are no gearshift or clutch levers, it’s a breeze to ride. Check the city sights in a Fly Free Smart Classic electric motorcycle and ride on! The MSRP hovers around $6,399.
If you’re looking to dip your feet into the world of electric motorcycles, a ZERO SR is an excellent choice. The Zero motorcycle company continues to improve its electric motorcycle models with higher horsepower and range. These electric motorcycles come ready to ride. They include a Z-Force lithium-ion power pack and an onboard charger. You can fully charge a Zero SR in three hours, and with an optional new Charge Tank accessory available, you can charge it six times faster than using a standard wall charger. And with a usual range of up to 197 miles, you can set your sights on the road ahead. Thanks to 67 hp and 106 lb-ft of torque from the motor, and a top speed of up to 102 mph, these electric motorcycles boast some decent speed and power, too. Ride with confidence. The power pack has 5 years/unlimited miles warranty. You can find a base model 2019 ZERO SR electric motorcycle starting at $16,495 MSRP. You can purchase optional accessories like the Charge Tank mentioned, as well as a Power Tank (not compatible if Charge Tank installed).
Harley Davidson LiveWire
The iconic motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson is getting into the electric motorcycle market. The LiveWire has been in the prototype stage for a while now, but it’s now ready for a summer 2019 release. Harley Davidson’s entry into the EV market is sure to cause a stir, which is great news for anyone interested in reducing their carbon footprint. It has the muscular shape you want in a motorcycle, with a sleek design that is sure to turn heads as you’re quietly zipping down the road. Speaking of zipping by. The LiveWire goes 0 to 60 in 3 seconds — and you can achieve instantaneous power without releasing a clutch or going through gears. Its high-voltage rechargeable battery features lithium-ion cells inside a finned, cast-aluminum housing. On a full charge, you’ll get up to 140 miles of city range, so they’re a great option for urban rides. A full charge battery also provides up to 88 miles of combined stop-and-go and highway range. You can charge this mechanical beauty in two ways. You can connect to a standard household outlet and get a full charge using the onboard Level 1 charger and power cord or, for a faster charge, find a public level 3 DC fast charge station and get a full charge in an hour. So, how’s the ride? A rigid, lightweight cast-aluminum frame provides precise, responsive handling and a thrilling ride. MSRP starting at $29,799.
The general public may not have bought into the idea of electric motorcycles just yet, but manufacturers continue to push out more competitive models year after year. It’s just a matter of time before you start noticing more and more electric motorcycles zip on by the road.
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