The Electric Motorcycle is the newest innovation in the Motorcycle industry since just about ever. Motorbikes haven’t changed much in a long time. Of course, technology has improved, but rarely have motorcycles innovated, until now.
The newest eco-bikes deliver a vast range of benefits and convenience, but there are some drawbacks due to technological limitations, that in turn, do inhibit consumer prices. They are well on their way to leave gas-powered bikes in the dust.
The pros and cons of electric Motorcycles differ depending on who you are. If you’re a hardcore Motorcyclist who spends his time tinkering away in the workshop, you might not agree with everything here. For the majority of riders, Electric bikes are a no brainer.
Electric Saves You Time and Money in the Long Run
The time and money saved going electric compounds the longer you own it. On average, you will save $300 per 5000 miles on an electric bike. Batteries last for 570,000 KM’S and maintenance is almost nonexistent. You’ll never have to visit a gas station since you can charge your bike in the comfort of your own home.
Parts that need replacing are the drive belt and brake pads that cost about $120 every 25,000 miles. Just like cars, gas-powered motorcycles need to be taken in for a service job once a year. For any electric bike, engine problems are a thing of the past.
To sweeten the pot, all electric motorcycles are under a tax incentive by Uncle Sam. This means that you receive 10 percent cashback on any purchase for up to $2500.
Gas Powered Bikes are huge Environmental Polluters
It’s common sense to think most motorcycles are good for the environment. Having excellent fuel efficiency must translate into a significant cut in pollutants from the engine, right?
Well, not exactly. They do produce less CO2 than cars, but on the same token, motorcycles produce 13 percent of California’s vehicle emissions, yet make up less than one percent of total drivers in California.
Battery Technology hasn’t caught up just yet
The one factor that holds back so many would-be eco-riders is the range of most electric Motorbikes right now.
Lithium-Ion Batteries need to be quite small to fit on a Motorcycle. So small that doing a whole day trip can’t happen. The top electric bikes right now hit about 200 miles as their maximum distance.
If you charge from home, it will take 10 hours to charge from a power outlet. They’re great for city riding and joyriding for a day, but any long-distance motorcycle tours are out of the question.
Anything Electric Is Considered a Stain on Motorcycle Culture
Many motorcyclists have some gripes with the way these new bikes work. This might be an exaggeration, but when you think of motorcycles, what pops in your mind, big loud exhausts? Speedy gear changes? Doing maintenance and making repairs yourself?
Electric motorcycles embody many aspects that people enjoy about scooters and vice versa. This causes some riders to view electric bikes more like scooters than motorcycles.
Scooters and motorcycles serve the same purpose, yet are so different. Speeding around bends without lighting fast gear changes just wouldn’t be the same.
Companies are Trying to Break into the Diehard Niche
Harley Davidson is implementing exhaust sounds into their newest collection. More electric motorcycles are giving the option to come with a Gearbox and Clutch to preserve the old ways of riding, and if consumers want the old, the new will provide.
Globalization Fuels Technological Advancement
The heavy hitters, such as Harley and Kawasaki, are beginning to enter this niche. There have been many motorcycle startups popping up over the years, digging for gold, but none have succeeded in gaining real traction.
Technology continues to hold it back until now. If the titans of the industry see an opportunity, they’ll put everything behind it.
Furthermore, the rest of the world is slowly but surely transitioning to electric. The convenience of owning an electric motorcycle or electric car will only improve as more people, and subsequently, more innovation gets behind this green revolution.
Hugo Alais is a Motorcycle enthusiast from Australia who runs the website BikesFuture.com.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.