Why did the electric Ducati MotoE leave the party? Because it didn’t have any spark!
I know, my missus was right. I should leave the comedy to real comedians and stay in my garage.
Jokes aside, what are some of the most popular EV motorcycles out there? What are their features, what kind of drivetrain do they have, and how much of that sweet kWh juice do they bring to the table?
Most Popular Electric Motorcycle: Picking from the Gems
There’s a new species whizzing down our roads and reproducing in our habitat: a strange eco-friendly breed of two-wheels called the electric motorcycle. (In truth, the concept isn’t new at all. But its realization is!) No longer do we hear RATATATA screams of Akrapovic exhaust systems on a Ninja 650 or the deep roaring of a Daytona Street Glide, but rather an electric buzzing going 30 down the street.
With a futuristic design, high efficiency, space-shuttle-like features, and astronomically low costs of maintenance, no wonder electric motorcycles are getting so sexy.
But who is the best of the best? Which ones will turn most heads?
Harley’s LiveWire, Zero SR/F, Lighting LS-2018, Verge TS, and Energica Ego are the GOAT of the electric motorcycle industry. But not for long! Several other equally good models are breathing down their necks and are gaining more popularity and renown by the day.
Here are the infernal 8 of the EV motorcycle industry, ready to clean town, guns blazing style!
8. Lito Sora
It’s not exactly an EV for the masses, but neither is it a superbike. It’s something new, in between those two different worlds.
Lito Sora is a strange combination of carbon fiber, aluminum, electric drivetrain, and adjustable suspension on-the-fly.
Seeing it for the first time roll down the street left me flabbergasted. It looks as if MotoGuzzi Griso and CCM Spitfire Bobber made love and gave birth to this strange-looking roadster/cruiser EV bike. Tapping into the future with its electric seating system and liquid-cooled AC induction motor, this electric motorcycle makes heads turn.
But what’s the secret sauce powering this two-wheeled evolution?
The 12 kWh lithium-polymer batteries with an onboard J1772 compatible charger make the rear wheel spin at 118 mph as a top speed. Featuring a belt-driven CVT transmission for higher freeway speeds, this EV bike comes with an Ace of Spades in its sleeve – three riding modes. Performance, Normal, and Safe Range are activated at a tap on the Sora’s TFT screen, placed on a faux fuel tank.
Here’s what you’ll absolutely love.
With the Safe Range on, it automatically calculates the distance left from your current location to a place you want to go and then switches to the power conservation mode to get you there.
Sora’s reverse gear is another thing you’ll fall head over heels with. A feature extremely handy when maneuvering a 573-pound battery on two wheels in tight parking spots.
Lito Sora comes with dual semi-floating 310mm discs for aggressive braking and fully adjustable Showa 43mm inverted forks. The price for this beast on two-wheels goes at $49,000 mark.
7. Alta Motors Redshift MXR
Alta Redshift is one of those EV dirtbikes packed with enough kWh to win any motocross race! But how?
Alta’s three-phase AC induction motor accomplishes what every dirt bike manufacturer dreams of: traction control. Being able to achieve traction control is mind-boggling with a regular petrol 4-stroke engine. But using an AC induction motor’s pulse control, traction control achieves its maximum potential.
With this kind of electric signal control, the rider becomes the master of their tire slip and grip.
The 5.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack powers the 50 HP water-cooled drivetrain, making it the most powerful in motorsports. Combine it with Brembo brakes, and you’ll get an EV motorcycle worthy of participating in the RedBull Straight Rhythm competition.
Here’s what Alta’s secret weapon really is: map options. A feature that’ll make your everyday ADV bike run for its money. It comes with 4pre-configured options:
- Eco – traction map for best range and starting out,
- Sport – transforms the Redshift into a beast going shoulder-to-shoulder with Yamaha YZ250f,
- Overclocked – max power and torque with no limits. Use it only if you have a death wish!
- Performance – sport-like option but with more traction on the bottom end.
6. Arc Vector
It’s one of those mean-lean-Blade-lookalike motorcycles coming with two powerful combos: An enormous battery pack and unconventional hub center steering.
The Bimota Tesi-like front end creates that supervillain vampire look. Add hub center steering, and you’re lightspeed away from any mainstream superbike.
Arc’s hub center steering system separates braking forces from any suspension movement allowing for much steeper steering geometry. It’s the trick behind achieving faster steering without having stability jump out of the window.
With a 115 HP, mile range of 270 miles, top speed of 124mph, and carbon fiber monocoque frame, this 110,000$ superbike is in a league of its own. Leveraging the monocoque frame design, Vector ditches the old-school frame-and-battery style and adds more battery juice without putting up weight.
Basically, it’s every EV motorcycle manufacturer’s dream come true.
5. BMW CE 04
Is it a Tesla or a Prius? None of those. It’s better than both!
BMW’s maxi scooter magic comes from a 9 kWh li-ion battery pack and water-cooled induction motor. They took the same iX SUV electric technology and put it into a quick and nimble two-wheeler.
And here’s BMW CE secret.
The “04” mark represents the same performance as a 400cc 4-stroke maxi scooter. It’s what provides it with an enviable acceleration and performance. However you twist the throttle, it won’t leave you high and dry with battery juice.
With an 81 miles range (BMW claimed) and 75 mph electronically-limited max speed, it’s a dream come true for any maxi-scooter enjoyer looking to dip their toes in the EV bike waters. Commuting from A to B with belt-driven BMW Motorrad ABS is a hassle-free job during heavy traffic.
4. Damon Hypersport
Some say it’s the world’s fastest EV motorcycle. Others say it’s a bumblebee version of the Kawasaki Ninja 650.
In truth, it’s none of the above!
It’s a sportsbike capable of a whopping 200mph on the freeway with 200 HP and 200 Nm of torque. Guess they really loved the 200 number during the build.
Damon Hypersport comes with a copilot advance warning system. Like the name suggests, it’s a feature that turns it from the world-fastest into the world-safest EV motorcycle. Equipped with always operational 1080p cameras, long-range radar, and haptic feedback handlebars, this EV tech saves the rider from unpredictable car turns, road hazards, and soccer moms in vans.
But wait, it gets even better.
Damon’s warning system comes with three different levels:
- Level 1 (Basic Detection): Capable of seeing potential collisions from all sides
- Level 2 (Anticipatory): Goes a step further and tracks velocity, direction, and speed of surrounding vehicles and even anticipates their approach
- Level 3 (Critical Automation): Understands the rider’s ability and intent to avoid a collision.
It seems like AI and EV motorcycles go hand in hand with this 20 kWh powered PMAC liquid-cooled two-wheeler.
3. Honda PCX Electric
Honda PCX Electric is like Suzuki Burgman 400 in electric mode.
Conquering the busy streets with the help of 18.5 Nm of torque, two 48V li-ion batteries, and a power rating of 5.7 HP.
Its Achilles’ heel?
The 26-mile range! But to be honest, Honda didn’t even want a 200-mile range capable scooter. Instead, they made a bike to serve the needs of busy blue-collar people by making their day more efficient and hassle-free. It’s one of those EV “grocery getter” motorcycles.
They know the average Joe doesn’t have time to waste at a charging station. That’s why they added two removable batteries easily swapped at a proprietary swap station for pennies on the dollar.
(We may have to wait for these stations to become widely available, but that’s another story.)
But that’s not all! Honda PCX Electric comes with front ABS brakes. A premium feature added to a low-budget EV motorcycle. Something you won’t even see on high-class 250cc petrol maxi scooters.
2. Brutus V9
Here’s why Brutus is getting our prize for the greatest EV cruiser motorcycle.
With the top speed of 115 mph, 18.8 or 36 kWh li-ion battery pack, 130 miles range, 128 Nm of torque, and 125 HP, this EV cruiser strikes fear and respect even amongst its petrol brothers.
Some riders reported pushing this cruiser beast to a whopping 250-mile range at low speeds. A mark even Damon Hypersport would be jealous of. It’s a perfect example of what happens when old-school design meets new cutting-edge EV tech.
1. Vespa Elettrica
My personal favorite of the bunch! (I’m a hard-core leather cruiser rider, btw.)
It’s one of those “It’s cute but can throw a punch” kind of scooters. Vespa Elettrica is the greenest EV motorcycle out there. Greener than this is impossible to find. Period! It’s a perfect commuter for traffic dodging.
These are 2 rider modes Vespa enthusiasts must know about:
- Power – Transforms this little Elettrica into a city -conqueror by reaching its full potential
- Eco – Goes into power conservation mode, and let’s enjoy the ride on your two wheels for a whole day
A 4.2 kWh battery pack and 5.36 HP drive is a perfect power couple for those who want to run their errands across town fast and in an eco-friendly, EV style.
Where Will Electric Motorcycles Be 10 Years From Now?
So, are EV motorcycles just another fad that’s going to stick around for a few years and then ease out of our focus as quietly and smoothly as… an electric vehicle?
Honestly, that would be a big surprise.
In a decade from now, we’ll see huge amounts of electric motorcycles on the streets. They’ll become the new norm since environmental laws are becoming more strict. We’ll see the new era of EV bikes with 300-mile range, 100 HP, carbon-mixed-aluminum frames, and supreme three-phase AC motors with hybrid drive trains.
The days of our petrol-powered two-wheeled babies are already numbered. No more Akrapovic exhausts and ratatat Instagram cruiser reels. The gentle electric motorcycle buzz will be our new way of exploring the world.