As electric vehicles become commonplace in the car world, motorcycle enthusiasts are finally warming up to the idea that their next ride require a plug. It may be a thing of the future, and current models aren't yet value for money, but if you've got a wallet to burn, there are a number of lust-worthy rides.
Here are five electric bikes that reveal why swift, silent, torquey propulsion might help us say goodbye to petrol sooner than we think.
5. Energica Ego
When Energica's parent company CRP Corp. isn't forging ahead with this high-powered electric superbike, they're busy rapid-prototyping parts for Formula 1 racers and some of Italy's most exotic car manufacturers. Though its 569-lb curb weight makes it porkier than leading gasoline-powered thoroughbreds, the Ego's 136-hp and 145 lb-ft of torque do an admirable job of hustling it through space. When tapping into that power, it might be hard to see the claimed cruising range of 100 miles per charge. But the Ego's charismatic performance traits go a long way toward making it a compelling way to spend Ducati money on a technologically advanced EV.
4. Harley-Davidson Project Livewire
Of course Harley's into the new wave of alternative energy. Still a couple of years away from actual production, Livewire intends to gauge consumer interest and fielding feedback on areas such as styling, riding dynamics, and even the sound design of this unorthodox machine.
Gentrification at its best, make sure you're there when it goes on sale.
3. Lito Sora
People will continue to whine about the range of electric bikes, so this model takes on that issue. The Lito Sora incorporates a Safe Range system that gauges speed and acceleration patterns and projects estimated riding distances onto the bike's 5.7-inch GPS touchscreen. With its carbon fiber bodywork and 120 mile range, the Sora is a distinctly styled piece of industrial design that took 60,000 man hours to develop. The product is a bike that offers a surprisingly well-developed blend of form and function.
2. Victory Motorcycles Empulse TT
The Empulse TT is Victory's first electric bike. By tweaking the Bramo's original Empulse formula with a slightly bigger 10.4 kilowatt-hour motor, improving battery capacity, and sharpening handling, the Empulse TT offers an incrementally better EV than its predecessor. But more significantly, the TT beats Harley-Davidson to the production punch, turning Victory from a nostalgic bike-builder to a future-friendly manufacturer.
1. Zero Motorcyles SR
California–based Zero Motorcycles has been toiling away at the electric-bike game for years. Their SR model proves that EVs can outdo many of their internal combustion counterparts in the fun-to-ride department. With a blisteringly quick 0 to 60–mph time of 3.3 seconds (which matches the acceleration of some exotic cars), the SR is also rated for up to 105 miles of range, which makes it a thrilling, yet commute-worthy, ride.