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 before of electric motorbikes, from expensive luxury models to affordable budget options.
1. Zero S
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.
2. UBCO 2X2
One of the advantages of electric motorbikes is 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.
3. Cake OSA+
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 article out for a closer look at Cake bikes.
4. Artisan EV0
Of course, most people who want an electric motorbike do want something that looks like, well, a motorbike. 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 50mph, 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.
5. 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. The TC-Max is ideal for cheap commuting, but 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.
6. Lexmoto Cypher
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 licence 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.
7. Energica Experia
Stepping out of the budget zone, the Energica Experia sees the Italian brand branch into a touring segment. Energica states its latest bike has the largest battery capacity of any of their bikes at 22.5kWh.
The battery, which has undergone maintenance to boost its capacity, now sees the Experia’s range increasing to up to 261 miles on a single charge. However, that figure drops significantly to around 130 miles is you’re riding on motorways and dual carriageways.
Built from the ground up, the Experia features a reengineered motor and a new frame and chassis design, all of which has been done to reduce weight. The Experia can deliver a top speed of 112mph.
Charging can be done using a DC fast charger at a rate of 24kW, allowing for a 0-80% charge in just 40 minutes. That performance and tech does come at a premium, with prices starting from £27,790.
8. Harley-Davidson Livewire
Even pricier, 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 from 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.
9. Yamaha Neo’s
The Neo’s is Yamaha’s prestigious electric motorbike, with a stunning design and a 50.4V lithium-ion battery sitting underneath the chassis.
Weighing just 8kg, the battery can be removed from the Neo’s body for charging, which takes around eight hours using a domestic socket. Yamaha says the Neo’s can do 23 miles between charges.
Whilst the mileage may seem poor when compared to others on this list, it’s the Neo’s price that sets it apart as it starts at £3,005.
If the mileage range is a concern, you can add an additional battery which increases mileage to 42 miles – although that will set you back an extra £980.
What licence do I need to ride an electric motorbike?
The licence you will need depends entirely on what electric bike you wish to ride. Just like with petrol-powered bikes, there are a few different licences, and the one you need will depend on how powerful your electric motorcycle is. Knowing which licence you need can be complicated, which is why we’ve created a handy infographic to break down what you need to know.
Electric bike insurance 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 Bikesure. Bikesure’s best policies are usually available over the phone so call 0330 031 8392 for a quote today or request a callback at a time that suits you.