- 1 Introduction
- 2 Top Gear’s Top 9: electric motorbikes
- 3 Maeving RM1
- 4 UMC-063 XP Zero
- 5 LiveWire S2 Del Mar
- 6 KTM E-Duke
- 7 Kawasaki Z EV
- 8 Triumph TE-1
- 9 Honda EM1 e
- 10 Yamaha E01
- 11 Indian Motorcycles eFTR Hooligan 1.2
- 12 Understanding Electric Motorbikes
- 13 Benefits of Electric Motorbikes
- 14 Types of Electric Motorbikes
- 15 Charging Infrastructure for Electric Motorbikes
- 16 Range Anxiety: Addressing Battery Concerns
- 17 Government Incentives and Support for Electric Motorbikes
- 18 The Future of Electric Motorbikes
- 19 Conclusion
In recent years, there has been a significant shift towards sustainable and eco-friendly transportation solutions. As a result, Electric motorbikes have gained popularity as an alternative to traditional gasoline-powered bikes. With advancements in technology and increasing concerns about climate change, electric motorbikes are paving the way for a greener future in the world of two-wheeled transportation. In this blog post, we will delve into the details of electric motorbikes, exploring their benefits, features, and their potential impact on our lives.
Top Gear’s Top 9: electric motorbikes
The world is embracing electric technology, and many well-established brands are changing their strategies to adapt. This shift isn’t limited to car manufacturers; bike companies are also following suit. The success of electric-only start-ups in the motorcycle industry has paved the way for more established brands to enter the market.
In this future vision, our homes are bathed in sunlight. During the day, domestic battery packs are recharged, providing power for our homes and vehicles at night. This eliminates the need for reliance on harmful resources like oil and uranium that can pose health risks and contribute to pollution.
However, it’s important to acknowledge that we’re still in 2023. If we set aside all the valid criticisms of this flawed vision – such as infrastructure limitations and concerns about range anxiety – and disregard fears of overwhelming the national power grid during peak demand, we might be able to fully appreciate these exciting electric two-wheeled vehicles just as much as we do.
This unequivocally British electric bike is so incredibly good-looking that we can’t wait to get our hands on one. The brainchild of the Maeving team, based in Coventry, the zero-emission Maeving RM1 is part of a mission to design and engineer bikes that are both desirable and better for the world. While the sales pitch is pretty convincing, it’s the practicality and nostalgic retro vibe of the RM1 that truly win us over.
The RM1 can be configured with either one or two batteries, each providing a range of 40 miles. With a top speed of 45mph, it may not be a cruiser, but it can be ridden with just a CBT license. Conveniently, it charges from any standard plug socket and comes with a two-year warranty.
UMC-063 XP Zero
Untitled Motorcycles is a custom bike design company with locations in London and San Francisco. They have gained recognition for their collection of award-winning commissions. The XP Zero, another award winner, is a striking example of electric biking. Its unconventional styling is both visually appealing and practical. The weight of the batteries is just as important on two wheels as it is on four. Weighing only 218kg, the XP Zero is a mere 15kg more than the S2 Del Mar.
Untitled’s zero build boasts an impressive 110bhp – twice the standard considered acceptable for electric bikes – along with 140lb ft torque and acceleration that rivals that of a Ferrari F40, according to UMC. The XP Zero’s 14.4kWh battery can be fully charged in two to four hours. With a relaxed riding style, you can achieve up to 160 miles of range per charge.
LiveWire S2 Del Mar
LiveWire is Harley Davidson’s dedicated EV brand, similar to Polestar for Volvo or Cupra for SEAT. The LiveWire S2 Del Mar is the successor to the Harley Davidson LiveWire and is lighter and more affordable than the original. It is also the first bike produced since LiveWire became independent. The S2 Del Mar has received rave reviews, with the 100-unit Launch Edition selling out in just 18 minutes in the US.
Thanks to its famous electric torque, the S2 Del Mar can go from 0-62mph in under four seconds. Equipped with a 10.5kWh battery and a 59.6 kW electric motor, this bike features clever architecture where the battery is integrated into the overall structure of the bike, eliminating the need for a frame and saving around 50 kilos in weight. The goal is to achieve a range of 100 miles for city riding, making it an ideal choice for everyday commuting. The standard version is expected to be priced at around £19,000 when it arrives in the UK.
The popular KTM Duke core model is now available in an electric version. Almost a year ago, Pierer Mobility confirmed that it is developing the E-Duke. This electric bike is expected to be based on the E-Pilen model from its sibling brand Husqvarna, sharing the same platform but with some differences.
The KTM E-Duke will use a fixed 5.5 kWh battery pack, unlike the removable one found in the E-Pilen. Removable batteries are convenient for riders who live in apartments without access to a charging point in their driveway, as they can take the battery back inside to charge.
However, both bikes will have a similar frame and swingarm, as well as the same 10 kW motor. While not extremely powerful, this motor is sufficient for city riding and allows for quick recharging. The exact launch date for the electric KTM streetbike has not been announced yet, though there are rumors of an autumn release.
Kawasaki Z EV
Expected to make its debut later this year, the Kawasaki Z EV is part of a duo that makes up Kawasaki’s new zero-emission range, which also includes the Kawasaki Ninja EV. In summer 2022, Kawasaki rolled out a prototype of the Z EV while showcasing a Ninja Hybrid concept at Suzuka 8 Hours, and gave fans an unexpected demonstration run of the bike. Kawasaki has also been showcasing a concept propelled with hydrogen, so it’s really investing in this zero-emissions initiative.
Kawasaki released details back in 2019 of an EV concept and spoke about ambitions for ‘a mid-capacity style machine with more rider features’ than current EV competitors. The electric motor is expected to have an output between 10-20kW and uses familiar road bike suspension, similar to the Ninja 650. However, the Z EV will be a smaller electric bike.
The prototype used the frame from the fuel-based Z250, but during the 2022 unveiling, Kawasaki’s chief Hiroshi Ito said they would have two 3kWh removable batteries which suggests it will be more equivalent to a 125cc-class motorcycle. While details are limited, based on appearances, it seems like the Z EV will be one cool urban runner with Kawasaki’s signature styling.
Synonymous with motorcycles since 1902, Triumph Engineering underwent transformation under the shrewd supervision of John Bloor in the 1980s and became Triumph Motorcycles, achieving global success as it is known today. It comes as no surprise that this major motorcycle manufacturer has been working on an electric prototype. Now in its final testing phase, the Triumph TE-1 possesses all the specifications to assure commercial success.
The TE-1 offers a range of 100 miles and charges from 0 to 80 per cent in just 20 minutes as part of a collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE). This rapid charging capability is useful, as Triumph anticipates the TE-1 will accelerate from 0 to 100mph in 6.2 seconds—aiming to match the performance of the Speed Triple 1200. To achieve this, the TE-1 delivers a power output of 175bhp with a peak torque of 109Nm.
Daytona 200 racer Brandon Paasch, who has been involved in testing, describes it as ‘super-torquey’, stating that it handles corners well and feels extremely light. Alongside refined electronics such as traction control and front wheel lift control, there is promising potential for an exhilarating experience. We can’t wait.
Honda EM1 e
Coming off the high of an electric Speed Triple 1200, we realize that Honda’s first entry into the European two-wheeled market doesn’t quite bring the same level of excitement. But everyone has to start somewhere, right?
While there isn’t much detailed information available about the EM1 e, it is worth mentioning that its top speed will not exceed 30mph. Honda has confirmed that this moped will utilize their Honda Mobile Power Pack, a swappable battery system. Swapping batteries may not sound as impressive as it initially seems, but it is actually much quicker than waiting for a charge while you sit down for dinner with another person.
The Chinese brand Nio has found success in their home market with this battery-swapping approach. However, it does mean that Honda will need to develop battery swap stations to support the bike, and unfortunately, this means bringing up the dreaded “infrastructure” topic again… let’s just not go there.
Yamaha is another well-known motorcycle manufacturer with a long history of sporting achievements. They too are starting at the more affordable end of electric mobility with a scooter that competes against the aforementioned Honda EM1 e. The Yamaha E01 is powered by an 8.1kW motor and features a fixed battery design. This model aims to help Yamaha achieve its goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 90 percent by 2050.
The styling of the E01 is based on the Jin-Ki Kanno EV design concept, and its performance will be comparable to that of a 125cc bike. With a single charge, the battery can provide around 65 miles of cruising range. While a full recharge takes five hours, you can get up to 90 percent charge in about an hour. As for release date and pricing in the UK, these details have yet to be confirmed, but we believe this electric bike is a great choice for any late-night food delivery heroes who frequently visit the TG offices.
Indian Motorcycles eFTR Hooligan 1.2
Indian Motorcycles was founded in 1901 and claims to be America’s first motorcycle company. So what the heck is it doing building an electrically assisted pedal bike? Diversifying its portfolio, we guess. And it’s doing a pretty cool job at that.
The Indian eFTR Hooligan 1.2 is a collaboration with e-bike builders Super73, and it’s debatable whether it should be on this list or one dedicated to electric push bikes. Like the bike/scooter/push-scooter/push-bike naming dilemma, everything is getting electrified so it’s not especially easy to pigeonhole anything. But then, you may ask, would we want to?
For the time being, the Indian remains here. Featuring a 960Wh battery that offers a 75-mile range in ECO pedal-assist mode, there are also tour, sport, and off-road modes, making this particular push-bike sound more like a car than anything else on this list. It looks great and can hit a top speed of 28mph if you give it enough power in sport mode. Time to go and find a really big hill with a really steep ascent, hooligans.
Understanding Electric Motorbikes
Electric motorbikes are two-wheeled vehicles powered by electricity rather than gasoline. These bikes utilize rechargeable batteries that power an electric motor to propel the vehicle forward. Unlike traditional motorcycles that rely on internal combustion engines, electric motorbikes produce zero emissions and offer a quiet and smooth ride.
Benefits of Electric Motorbikes
One of the primary advantages of electric motorbikes is their positive impact on the environment. By eliminating exhaust emissions associated with gasoline-powered motorcycles, electric bikes help reduce air pollution and combat climate change. They contribute to cleaner air quality in urban areas, making them an ideal choice for environmentally conscious riders.
Electric motorbikes offer substantial cost savings compared to their conventional counterparts. While the initial purchase price might be higher due to advanced battery technology, the long-term operational expenses are significantly lower. Charging an electric bike costs much less than refueling a gasoline-powered motorcycle, resulting in reduced maintenance costs and overall savings for riders.
Unlike traditional motorcycles that can be quite loud due to their internal combustion engines, electric motorbikes operate silently. This noise reduction not only minimizes noise pollution but also provides a more peaceful riding experience for both riders and pedestrians.
Performance and Acceleration
Electric motorbikes often boast impressive torque and acceleration capabilities. Electric motors deliver instant power, allowing riders to experience quick acceleration from standstill. This feature enhances the overall riding experience and contributes to a thrilling ride.
Electric motorbikes have fewer moving parts compared to their gasoline-powered counterparts. This translates into lower maintenance requirements and reduced chances of mechanical failures. Additionally, there is no need for oil changes or regular tune-ups typically associated with internal combustion engines.
Types of Electric Motorbikes
There are several types of electric motorbikes available on the market today, catering to various riding preferences and needs. Here are some of the most popular categories:
Commuter Electric Motorbikes
Designed for urban commuting, these bikes prioritize efficiency, comfort, and range. They usually have a sleek design, lightweight frame, and offer decent battery range suitable for daily commutes.
Sport Electric Motorbikes
Sport electric motorbikes focus on performance and speed. These bikes often come equipped with powerful motors capable of delivering exhilarating rides. They combine the thrill of high-speed riding with the eco-consciousness of electric transportation.
Off-Road Electric Motorbikes
For adventure enthusiasts who enjoy off-road exploration, off-road electric motorbikes provide an eco-friendly alternative to traditional dirt bikes. With their durable construction and powerful motors, they allow riders to tackle challenging terrains without compromising on performance or environmental impact.
Charging Infrastructure for Electric Motorbikes
As electric motorbike adoption increases, the importance of a robust charging infrastructure becomes evident. The availability of charging stations plays a crucial role in the widespread acceptance and usability of electric vehicles. Governments and private companies are working together to establish charging networks across cities, enabling riders to charge their vehicles conveniently while out and about.
Range Anxiety: Addressing Battery Concerns
Range anxiety, or the fear of running out of battery power before reaching a charging station, is a common concern among potential electric motorbike owners. However, with advancements in battery technology, range anxiety is becoming less of an issue. Newer electric motorbikes come equipped with larger battery capacities, providing longer range on a single charge. Additionally, manufacturers are continuously improving charging times and exploring alternative solutions such as swappable batteries to alleviate this concern.
Government Incentives and Support for Electric Motorbikes
Governments around the world are recognizing the importance of transitioning to sustainable transportation options. As a result, they are offering various incentives and support programs to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles, including electric motorbikes. These incentives often include tax credits, subsidies on purchase prices, reduced road taxes and toll fees, and dedicated parking spaces for electric vehicles.
The Future of Electric Motorbikes
The future looks promising for electric motorbikes as manufacturers continue to innovate and improve upon existing technologies. Advancements in battery efficiency and charging infrastructure will further enhance the usability and convenience of these vehicles. Moreover, as more riders choose electric motorbikes over gasoline-powered ones, we can expect increased research and development investments in this sector.
Electric motorbikes represent a greener and more sustainable solution for two-wheeled transportation. With their numerous benefits such as environmental sustainability, cost savings, easy maintenance, and thrilling performance capabilities, it’s no surprise that they are gaining popularity worldwide. As governments provide incentives and support for adopting these eco-friendly vehicles and charging infrastructure expands globally, we can expect electric motorcycles to become an integral part of our daily lives in the near future. So why not join the revolution today? Choose an electric motorbike that suits your preferences and contribute to a cleaner planet while enjoying an exciting ride!