7 of the best electric motorcycles
With Harley-Davidson’s surprise announcement last month that it is venturing into the electric motorcycle market with its LiveWire model, has the electric bike sharpened up its image? The LiveWire has met with approval during test rides across the US, though many Harley aficionados have been left bewildered by the absence of the engine roar that has always been a trademark of the brand. No-one could deny, though, that the LiveWire looks pretty sleek. But what about its competitors? We take a look at six other electric models aiming to turn us green – with envy, at least.
See the best electric motorcycles of 2016 here!
Harley-Davidson LiveWire (top image)
Motor: 55 kw 3-phase induction
Torque: 52 ft-lb
Top speed: 92mph
Range: 130 miles
Mission’s impressive machine, the world’s first fully electric sport motorcycle, was named one of 2013’s top 25 inventions by Time magazine. The Mission R, which can rocket from 0 to 60mph in only three seconds, was the first bike to show that electric motorcycles can be fast, powerful – and sexy.
Motor: 120 kw liquid-cooled 3-phase AC induction
Torque: 133.4 ft-lb
Top speed: 140mph
Range: 105 miles
It’s pricey, but it sure is good-looking. With a silhouette that looks a bit like the Ducati Diavel, the Lito SORA is really striking. Production began in Quebec in February this year, and the first models have now been delivered. Better check your piggy bank.
Motor: Liquid-cooled 3-phase AC induction
Torque: 66.37 ft-lb
Top speed: 118mph
Range: 60 miles (highway) to 120 miles (city)
Price: 49 000 €
Agility Saietta R
Described by its manufacturer as ‘muscular and aggressive’, the Saietta R is most at home in the city – it’s a real commuter machine, with exceptionally smooth handling. Agility claims its motorcycle features the world’s first production composite monocoque chassis. Its top-heavy appearance might not be to everyone’s taste, but it certainly turns heads.
Motor: High Torque Electric motor
Torque: 93.7 foot pounds
Top speed: 105mph
Range: 74 miles (120 in the city)
How about a 3D printed electric motorcycle? Read about a new motorcycle innovation here!
Powerful but also heavy, weighing in at 269 pounds, the Energica Ego certainly looks the part of an Italian superbike. It will be available in early 2015 – watch this space.
Motor: Permanent Magnet AC (PMAC), oil cooled
Torque: 143 Nm
Top speed: 150mph
Range: 90 miles
Price: 25 000 €
In case you were wondering, the 218 in the name refers to the Lightning’s top speed – and that’s in miles. In terms of speed, then, it leaves the competition trailing in its wake – and with 168 lbs of torque, it is more powerful than most cars. Taking electric bikes out of the realm of the practical and into true adrenaline-junkie territory, this model looks like it comes from the future; at that speed, though, it’s probably already there.
Motor: IPM liquid cooled 150kw+ 10,500 rpm electric motor
Torque: 168 ft·lbs
Top speed: 218mph
Range: 150 miles
Price: from $38,888
The world’s biggest producer of electric motorcycles, Zero nonetheless withdrew from the UK market in 2013 following poor sales. Upgraded for 2014, the S model shows the great strides the company has made. With 24% more power and 56% more torque, the 'R' configuration of the Zero S puts Zero right up there with its rivals.
Motor: Z-Force® 75-7 passively air-cooled, high efficiency, radial flux permanent magnet, brushless motor
Torque: 106 ft-lb
Top speed: 102mph
Range: 105 miles
See the best electric motorcycles of 2016.
What's it like to ride an electric motorcycle? Read about one experience here.
The BMF exists to support motorcyclists. For more information about what the BMF does and how it helps motorcyclists, visit our about page.