According to Michael Partridge’s “Motorcycle Pioneers,” electric motorcycle development harkens back to the 19th century. During the days when moving mechanical vehicles were first being engineered, bicycle manufacturer Humber showed off an electric tandem bicycle at the 1896 Stanley Cycle Show in London. Like most internal combustion engine designs decades later, the motor sat between the bike’s wheels and ran via storage batteries. Over a century later, these battery-powered motorcycles are rechargeable, capable of achieving high speeds, and eat up sharp curves.
Today, the EV motorcycle market is large enough to label it ubiquitous. Makers from tiny Swedish startups like Cake Kalk to the massive Harley-Davidson have embraced electric motorcycles for adults. These producers are putting out styles that appeal to any and all bike enthusiasts, from naked street racers to big ol’ hog cruisers. The electro-curious can be assured accessibility at any two-wheeled EV level with prices from $5,000 to above $100,000. With estimated ranges from 50 to 200 miles, these zero-emission motorcycles will get you where you need to go on whatever bike style gets your motor revvin’.
The potential for powerful motors that tap pure adrenaline is available in the Energica EGO. The original flossy electric road bike encapsulates the pep and panache that describes road racers, and with zero emissions, you’ll eliminate the hazardous carbon dioxide.
Considered one of the best electric sports bikes since it debuted in 2013, Energica writes that the EGO began its life as a pro racing bike and has taken home several victories, including the 2010 European Championship. While Energica’s electric racing circuit impact continues, its engineering spawned a beefy consumer model. This begins with a massive battery that boasts an incredible 261-mile range. Thanks to an upgraded electric motor in the 2022 model, Energica claims that this already impressive distance has increased by 10%. With a motor that can reach 150 miles per hour, you can get where you’re going fast while striping the road with the EGO’s slick, tricolor paint scheme. $19,500 estimated MSRP.
If it’s the classic fat, stocky road bike that you’re looking for, Harley-Davidson nails it with the LiveWire. First rolled off lines in 2019, Electrek reported that the LiveWire motorcycle experienced so much success that Harley spun the production into a separate, publicly traded brand in 2021.
This ambitious, but still-mean vision of the open road flashes a classic Harley orange “fuel tank” and headlight guard atop an athletic matte black and gray frame. These motorcycles don’t growl like their gas cousins, but they provide 100 horses and 84 pounds-feet of torque — similar to Harley’s ICE bikes, but with an even quicker takeoff. There’s no need to rev to uncork instant electric power via the LiveWire’s 15.5-kilowatt-hour battery that can launch the machine from 0 to 60 in three seconds. The LiveWire also comes installed with a lightning-quick 40-minute charge from dead to 80% full. This electric Harley can get you an abundant 146 miles per charge with city driving and 95 miles when cruising through country roads. $22,799 estimated MSRP.
Energica is one of the few brands with multiple electric motorcycles on sale in the U.S. While the EGO provides riders with an electric replacement for a sport bike, the EsseEsse9 is a vintage-inspired bike that based on the company’s EVA Ribelle. The EsseEsse9 may not look as sporty as the EGO, but it takes lessons that Energize learned from MotorE to deliver strong performance.
The bike’s electric motor makes 107 horsepower and 153 pound-feet of torque. Brave riders can get to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds and hit a top speed of 125 mph. The one figure that’s even more impressive than its performance is that the EsseEsse9 can travel up to 261 miles on a single charge. When the time comes to charge the bike, it can gain 4.16 miles every minute on a fast charger. $22,850 MSRP.
Most companies focused on sport bikes or urban commuters for their two-wheel electric lineups. Energica was one of the first to explore the possibility of an electric touring bike with the Experia. In true touring fashion, the Experia comes with features that make riding long distances easier. The bike is available with ABS, six traction control levels, cruise control, multiple USB ports, hard panniers, a hard case with up to 4 cubic feet of cargo space, and a forward and reverse park assistant.
On the performance front, the Experia has Energica’s PMASynRM electric motor with up to 100 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. The Experia may be a touring bike, but it will beat sports cars to 60 mph with a time of 3.5 seconds. It’s also a true touring companion with a range of up to 261 miles. $23,750 starting MSRP.
If your headlights are pointing toward adventure, the latest Zero DSR/X is your machine. This luxury off-roader will take on mud, sand, and more to whatever overland destination might lie ahead. The most up-to-date ride from California-based Zero Motorcycles will cost you, but that’s to be expected when the company has dedicated more than 100,000 hours to carving this machine since 2018, according to Gear Patrol.
A bike with a snarl is what’s expected of an ADV crawling across all sorts of wilds, and that’s what Zero delivers with the DSR/X. A new motor, the Z-Force 75-10X, ratchets the ride up to 100 horsepower and 166 pounds-feet of torque — enough growl to take on any imposing obstacle (according to Motorcycle.com). The DSR/X also features the new Z-Force, 17-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion power pack with a mean range of 111 miles — 85 highway and 180 city. $19,995 estimated MSRP.
Trevor DTRe Stella
The beauty of the emerging electric motorbike market is that its innovative output arises from racing laps and riding dirt tracks. Trevor’s DTRe Stella, for example, is hand-built in Belgium to deliver dirty rides with clean energy. This dirt bike is a nod to the purity of its breed: minimalist, lightweight, and shock-absorbent. Trevor weighs the Stella in at a light 223 pounds. Pushing about 191 pound-feet of torque is a bit less than you’d desire at 100 horsepower, but the Stella achieves a flat, balanced ride off of the asphalt. Its 3 kilowatt-hour charger has a reasonable reach of up 62 miles and charges from zero to 100 in 70 minutes, according to Trevor.
Trevor Motorcycles only has off-road versions for order right now, but the company is jumping through regulatory hoops to make the DTRe Stella legal on regulated roads in the next few months. For now, this bike is strictly for off-road use in the U.S., and that ain’t a bad thing. The ride arrives at a reasonable price point for a premium bike. $16,000 estimated MSRP.
Roman numerals are apropos for this traitor to old-school choppers. The Brutus may not roar like its progenitors, but motor shoppers searching for a classic cruiser should check in on the V9. Brutus weighs in at a whopping 784 pounds and ticks off all the best old-school boxes: A wraparound winged fender, a waving tail feather rear end bookending chrome handlebars, pipes, and starred spokes.
With no combustion rattling this hoofless carriage, the V9 only kicks out only 88 horsepower and 92 pounds-feet of torque (Brutus specs). This churns out a top-end 115 miles per hour, and the 33.7-kilowatt-hour battery earns one of the longest ranges in the EV market — a 280-mile range on a single charge. The Brutus V9 is built for tearing up cross-country asphalt. $32,000 estimated MSRP.
Johammer J1 200
Designed for the fashionable urbanist, the quirky Johammer J1 200 sports a Jetsons-like futuristic look. This off-beat, alien design from Austrian makers reflects applying forward-thinking interior artistry as well.
On its site, Johammer describes its ambition to engineer a balanced, streamlined, and comfortable electric transport. With no need for a large engine in its center, the bike has its electric motor and controller situated in the rear wheel. With its top speed of 76 miles per hour, though, this won’t slow anyone down. The result is distributed weight for an elegantly stable and functional ride that’s easy to handle, approaching the Platonic ideal for a commuter motorcycle.
These advancements extend to the 12.7-kilowatt-hour battery pack that can cruise up to 200 miles on a single charge, which requires about three-and-a-half hours. Batteries are installed alongside shock absorbers inside the top of a torsion-resistant aluminum main frame for a super-stable ride. Straddling the fender is another next-gen perk — a high-resolution digital display embedded in side mirrors provides center console data like miles per hour and battery life. Instead of making you look down, these only require a quick glance. $25,000 estimated MSRP.
With a maximum of 100 miles of range, the Zero FXE lands as a strict commuter. But that doesn’t mean it has to have a design that makes a scooter look cool. The FXE boasts a futuristic look that resembles an urban supermoto bike. We’re digging it. The design also results in a relaxed seating position that’s similar to a dirt bike’s.
The FXE may only have 100 miles of range, but it can get 95% range back in just 1.3 hours. You don’t even need to have a Level 2 charger in your garage, as this bike can gain a full charge in roughly nine hours when plugged into a regular wall outlet. The FXE’s electric motor cranks out 46 horsepower and 78 pound-feet of torque. These aren’t mega figures, but the bike can still get to 60 mph in five seconds and has a top speed of 85 mph. Plenty of oomph for getting around the city. Starting MSRP of $11,995.
The Ryvid Anthem is one of the sleeker-looking urban commuter motorcycles on the market. It’s also incredibly light, weighing in at roughly 240 pounds. The Ryvid Anthem’s lightweight design is due to its stainless-steel chassis that weighs just 12 pounds. Beyond the Anthem’s lightweight design, the bike features a unique removable 4.3-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that allows for flexible charging by bringing the whole unit indoors or for instant replacements with a full battery.
What puts the Anthem firmly in the commuter bike section is its range of roughly 75 miles. That’s with the bike in Eco mode. Engage Sport mode, and the range drops to around 50 miles. The Anthem’s powertrain produces 53 pound-feet of torque and helps the bike have a top speed of 75 mph. What more do you want from a city bike? Pricing starts at $8,995 MSRP.
With 150 miles of range, the quirkil -named Fuell Fllow (Erik Buell, the bike’s designer and engineer likes his double “Ls”), is a great bike for urban commuting, though it doesn’t come cheap. Its MSRP of i$10,495 may be a bit pricy for riders looking for an entry-level electric motorcycle.
But if the cost doesn’t scare you, the Fllow is a powerful bike, capable of speeds of up to 85 mph, and 553 pound-feet of torque coming from the rear wheel-mounted motor. And you won’t have to wait too long to charge the 10 kWh battery either, it can be fully charged in just 30 minutes, letting you get back on the road and on with your day.
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