Reviewing electric motorcycles with UsernameKate

buying your first motorbike

Electric motorcycles – a contentious topic for many motorcyclists around the world. Whether you embrace, shy away from or are actively against the EV movement, one thing is for sure… electric motorcycles are here and they’re here to stay!

The statistics show that UK bikers are becoming more accepting towards electric motorcycles (we’ll call them EMs for ease). Why do I say this? In 2019 there were 525 EM registrations here in the UK. In 2020, those figures increased to 933.

It would seem our green-fingered, European counterparts are more supportive of the EV revolution, with Spain showing 6,144 and Italy showing 5,607 registrations in 2020. Italy showed the biggest increase in EM registrations as there were previously only 1,664 documented sign ups in 2019. Pretty interesting huh!

In the UK it has been decided by the powers that be, that by 2030 the production of cars housing the beloved internal combustion engine (commonly referred to as ICE) will be permanently halted and that even hybrid vehicles will be completely phased out by 2035. Motorcycles haven’t been specifically mentioned in these rules so I am hoping that electric motorcycles and ICE motorcycles can roam the open roads together or am wondering if indeed production of ICE motorcycles will be halted too.

ZERO SR/F is an exciting option

What do I personally think of electric motorcycles? Having ridden a few of them at an ‘Empire Night’ hosted by the English Electric Motor Co a few years ago, you could say I was suitably impressed. One of the bikes that particularly stood out to me for all the right reasons was the ZERO SR/F.

The SR/F is a naked roadster, producing 110 bhp and a staggering 140 ft-lbs of delightful torque. Of course, not having a gearbox or clutch, this thing is effectively a scarily quick rev and go. Which does have a… kind of… novel appeal.

Pulling up at traffic lights with my boyfriend Mike, who was also on an electric bike, was a strange feeling – being able to speak to him normally without having to shout over a noisy engine was certainly a unique experience, and nipping away once the lights turned green to a spaceship like whine is quite different!

I must admit, I was a bit of a cynic and I was expecting its performance to be a little lacklustre. Lets just say after riding the Zero SR/F, I came away with a whole different attitude towards the capabilities of electric bikes and how well they can perform.

Of course there are still concerns from motorcyclists about price, range, charging times and just general practicality of electric motorcycles and I get that completely. I still believe there is some way to go in making these high end, eco friendly, well performing machines accessible to us mere mortals on average wages with busy lives but I do think there is potential for electric vehicles to become a viable option for the future, if not a full blown replacement – given that ranges improve along with prices and infrastructure, of course.

If it comes to that though, I’d love to be in a position to store a Ducati Anniversario in my front room, and give her a cheeky run out once in a while. Shhhhh.

What do you say?

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August 8, 2023