Electric vehicles of all kinds have become a more regular sight in recent years, and electric motorbikes are no exception. With more affordable options appearing on the market, Bikesure takes a look at the latest lithium powered wonders out there for anyone considering abandoning the internal combustion engine.
OK, there hasn’t been the huge breakthrough in battery technology that will finally let electric motorbikes break the current barriers of range and speed. Nor have we seen a huge investment in the infrastructure required for widely accessible fast charging networks. Nevertheless, there is more choice than ever of electric motorbikes, from expensive luxury models to some genuinely affordable budget options.
The latest version of Zero’s city electric motorbike includes a range of incremental improvements over the previous models. It’s not the fastest of electric motorbikes, but it’s mature technology from a pretty well-established company so it’s a good, reliable choice for anyone with 12k to spare. It is also classed as an A1 motorcycle, which means it can be a bike for learners too. Wealthy learners. If you want something with a bit more umph, their top of the range model is the Zero SR/S for around £20,000.
One of the advantages of electric motorbikes is that they allow for a wider variation of form factors over internal combustion. The 2X2 is a bike from New Zealand company UBCO that strips the idea of a motorcycle right down to the bare essentials – literally. It’s basically all frame, with nothing unnecessary like fairings to boost the weight. Over in New Zealand it’s finding a niche as a farm bike with its ability to handle off-road travel, but it’s equally at home on the road. It’s not the fastest, but the ability to have both rear and front mounted luggage racks makes it an excellent cargo solution or city commuter for anyone who doesn’t want high speed.
Cake bikes take a similar stripped back approach as the UBCO but with a more designed, abstract approach. The Osa is intended as a workhorse utility electric motorbike, which strips the concept of a motorcycle down to a few lines, and that can be customised with a range of accessories for different purposes. A maximum load of 250kg means it can carry a good amount of stuff and it claims a recharge time of just three hours. Prices start around £7,700. Check this out for a closer look at Cake bikes.
Of course, most people who want an electric motorbike do want something that looks like, well, a motorcbike. And most of them don’t want to spend considerably north of £10k. Artisan are one of the handful of manufacturers offering a range of pretty affordable electric motorbikes, with the Ev0 costing £3,300 (or so). For that money what you get is equivalent to a 125cc in terms of power with a maximum speed around 50 mph, so it’s basically a good little commuter for anyone who can’t bring themselves to be seen on something that looks like a scooter.
Super Soco TC Max
In the same bracket of affordability, the TC Max has a sleek, attractive appearance to it that looks more expensive than it is (from a distance), but it is fundamentally in the same power bracket as other budget electric motorbikes. So: ideal for cheap commuting, definitely not ideal if you need something that can handle long distance journeys. But to be honest even the most expensive electric bike will fall short on that count.
Lexmoto is arguably the most popular manufacturer of budget motorcycles and scooters currently in the UK, with a range that includes some of the most affordable electric scooters. The Cypher is their first electric motorbike in the shape of a motorbike and, costing under £2k, is the cheapest on the market. Its 30mph top speed puts it in the moped category, meaning it can be ridden on an AM category license at the age of 16. The low initial price and low running costs mean that it’s a great choice both for new riders and anyone looking for a cheap, eco-friendly method of getting about town.
Stepping out of the budget zone, if you’re looking for an electric motorbike that can hold its own against more powerful bikes the Energica Eco does 0-60 in under three seconds and has a top speed of 150 mph. It’s a quality machine, and you’ll be spending quality money if you want to drive one at £23,750 new. That kind of money gets you a bike with advanced technology like a fast charge program that can fill 80% of the battery in just 30 minutes, along with battery management systems to make the charge last longer. In February 2021 Energica will be launching an upgraded RS version with increased acceleration.
Even pricier, but also more available than the Energica, the Livewire starts at just under 29k. Harley-Davidson’s first electric motorbike is quite a break from its history in terms of looks. It’s more reminiscent of a cafe racer than Harley’s iconic chopper, and includes all the top end components and technological refinements you’d expect of a big, expensive bike. A maximum range of around 140 miles (compared to the Cypher’s 40, for example) gives you an indication of the kind of money you need to spend to match the performance of more powerful ICE motorcycles, but the Livewire makes a convincing argument to justify its cost.
Keep it protected with Bikesure
Whether you ride an electric motorbike or a traditional petrol powered machine, you will ride it with more confidence when it is protected by a Bikesure insurance policy. Bikesure’s best policies are usually available over the phone so call 0330 031 8392 for a quote today.
- Do you own, or want to own, one of the electric motorcbikes on our list? Have you got any other hot tips for anyone thinking of going electric? Let us know in the comments.