From unmatched performance capabilities to incredible efficiency, electric motorcycles are setting new standards and enticing a fresh wave of enthusiasts.
The rumble of a motorcycle engine has long been an emblem of freedom, rebellion, and raw power. But as we propel forward into a cleaner and greener future, that familiar roar is evolving into a hum. Electric vehicles (EVs) have already begun their ascent in the four-wheeled automotive world, and now, they're making waves on two wheels. Motorbikes are beginning to plug into the electric revolution, redefining the way we ride. From unmatched performance capabilities to incredible efficiency, EV motorcycles are setting new standards and enticing a fresh wave of enthusiasts.
Most models are upcoming and will be released in the next year, which posies 2024 to be the “Year of the EV Bike”. For now, you can browse our nation-leading range of EV motorbikes at Wheels Motorcycles, and read our guide below on what to expect when transitioning to electric motorbikes and which brands are leading the way in this up-and-coming field. Browse our EV motorbike range today and see what you can do with an electric motor underneath you.
What Changes With an Electric Motorcycle?
Going electric presents many changes to how you think about a bike. For one, electric motorbikes come with removable batteries, offering an advantage in that you can quickly charge them at home without the need for a driveway. Their design includes fewer mechanical parts, eliminating common issues related to spark plugs, air filters, or timing belts. Many electric bikes don't even require a gearbox or clutch. This streamlined mechanical design also makes winter storage simpler. Performance-wise, they boast impressive torque, giving them almighty performance off the line.
However, their primary limitation is the shorter range compared to petrol bikes, requiring riders to plan longer journeys with care. Petrol motorbikes may provide a longer range, making them more suitable for extended trips. But they come with the downside of having more mechanical parts that can fail, and they don't offer the convenience in charging or storage seen in electric bikes. Weighing up these pros and cons is ultimately a matter of personal preference.
A Rundown of the Key Electric Bike Brands
It may have only just started to kick into gear, but there are already several key players looking to make the EV bike that convinces riders of their potential.
Kawasaki is the first major Japanese brand to venture into the world of EV technology, with game-changing electric upshifts of its two most popular models - the Z EV and Ninja EV. Debuted as a prototype in summer 2022, few details have been made official yet, but from the look of the models, they do a bang-up job of continuing the Z and Ninja’s iconic designs. The Kawasaki Ninja EV and Z EV are currently available to reserve for later in 2023 on the Wheels Motorcycles website, and the company's chief Hiroshi Ito said both models would have two 3kWh removable batteries, suggesting it will be in the 125cc class.
Future-forward electric tech meets classic British sophistication. Maeving has been attracting the eye of many motorbike enthusiasts for its throwback to the days of Norton, Royal Enfield and the BSA Lightning. The Maeving RM1 is the flagship bike and is designed specifically for British city roads. Its upcoming RM1S variant doubles the motor power to 7kWh, so you’ll soon be able to handle yourself on a Maeving all over the country.
The EV side project of Harley Davidson, LiveWire is a definite tone shift. You won’t be immersed in Americana when riding a LiveWire S2 Del Mar, but you will get a frameless design that gives it a raw, industrial feel and shaves off weight. That pays off in the stats, too, with a 0-60mph time of just over three seconds. The LiveWire electric motorcycle still shares some of the DNA of a Harley Davidson, as with 70 miles of range and a quick charge-up time, there is still potential for grand tour-style cruises on one of these bikes.
With the way they experiment with the track-day experience, it should be no surprise that Austrian brand KTM would be leading the charge for electric motorbikes. Their primary model is the KTM E-Duke, which is currently still under development and is being kept quiet for now. What we do know is that it has a 10kWh motor and that it will surely make waves once it does arrive.
As the UK’s biggest motorbike manufacturer, Triumph has a responsibility to be at the forefront of the industry. It has been diligently doing so with the Triumph TE-1, which aims to show how electric power can provide immense speed. Triumph boasts that the TE-1 has 100 miles of range and can charge from 0-80% in just 20 minutes, but the performance trumps this convenient range solution. Triumph reckons it’ll do 0-100mph in 6.2 seconds - in other words, blisteringly quick.
Wheels Motorcycles will continue to follow the growing EV motorbike space, and you can browse the Wheels Motorcycles collection of new and used motorbikes to see how incredible riding experiences you can get yourself today.