POLL - Would you buy an electric motorcycle?

We’re entering the phase of electrification of vehicles around the world. Cars, buses, vans, trucks, boats, planes and now even motorcycles are making the shift as the technology is developed.

Motorcycles have been a bit slow to innovate in this space, but there’s now some amazing companies selling or developing really good electric motorcycles. With this in mind I wondered what people’s thoughts on the matter was. Are we thinking about electric motorcycles yet?

Would you think about buying an electric motorcycle at some point?

  • Yes, for commuting
  • Yes, for pleasure
  • Yes, for environmental reasons
  • Maybe, at some point
  • I need more convincing
  • I haven’t really thought about it
  • No, I like the noise of an engine
  • No, other reasons

0 voters

For me it is all about the feel of the bike. If I get the same acceleration curve, torque etc that I get from my bike now I would be keen. But I would need a fair bit of convincing as I ride my bike and commute on it because it is FUN, not because it is a tool.

I worry that electrical bikes will feel like when I test rode the NC750X, It was adequate, it did it’s job and on paper was a great bike. In theory it was everything I needed and would have been a great commuter. But damn it was boring so I stuck with my hornet.

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I think you’re missing an option;

No - I don’t have anywhere to charge it.

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I test rode a Zero S (https://www.zeromotorcycles.com/zero-s/) last month. Surprisingly nippy for a dinky bike that is supposed to be a 125cc equivalent! Felt more like a very torquey mid range 500-600 bike. Perfectly acceptable and more than enough for London riding. Would love to give their bigger SR/F a go though.

As a commuter bike doing mainly town riding, the tech is there. Range is ample enough to get to work and back and charge overnight (~200 mile low speed town riding / ~100 mile hooning it fast roads). Though I’m intrigued what range is like in freezing winter temps with heated gear plugged in… Though the 5 year warranty on batteries is also reassuring, I would be concerned about being noticed on busy London roads on a silent bike.

As a weekend or longer distance touring bike, it just doesn’t cut it. Not enough range at high speed, and too long to charge (~ 2hrs odd if you spend an extra £2k+ on fast 6kW charger option, ~9hrs with default 13 amp kettle lead). You’re gonna have to say bye to all your friends mid ride out, and that trip up North to see family now needs a 2 hour pitstop. :frowning:

The other big blocker is price. £11.5k for the dinky S, £15k for the SR/F. Plus £2.5k ish for a slot in fast charger and/or extra bit of battery to go in fake tank. £17-18k can buy you a hell of a lot of petrol bike. Though, insurance quotes for a £17.5k SR/F in Dagenham are interesting - only two show up for me on MCNCompare, Lexham at £650 and MCE at £1k, but only £50 excess. I’ve never seen an MCE quote with less than a grand excess!

The other interesting thing I noticed when browsing the Zero catalogue, you can buy a parking brake at £690. Because you canna shove it in gear to stop it rolling down a hill… Doh!

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I think (and hope) this poll is just a bit of fun to get discussion going as not sure how much useful info you’ll get from it…

Yeah I’d buy one, if I could be sure of range, I could charge it at home and on the go without having to wait too long…

I don’t know how much they cost but I think they’re still quite pricey like for like?

I like the noise of an engine and would take me a bit to consider electric… But it’s not impossible

Don’t commute on bike anymore (train) so would be limited to fun rides… At the moment those are limited to 120miles max so if it could do that, I might skip on requirement to need charging points everywhere

It is just for fun. The options could be improved, but they can’t be changed after voting starts.

Very insightful. Thanks @Arfa. The parking brake sounds a bit Apple Monitor Stand-ish to me!

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yes i would
but i dont agree with a motorcycle crap about them being zero emissions
have you ever seen what envirometal damage happens to get the raw materials & the energy it takes to make the batteries

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Yes, but it moves the problem to some other developing country miles away out of sight. So it’s all fine and dandy, at let’s us be all smug about no smog right here. Short sighted and short term policies for quick political wins.

The process of extracting petrol from the ground and transporting it half way around the world is hardly environmentally friendly.

I would consider one, I pretty much only use the bike to commute on though so i can’t see it happening until they start filtering through second hand.
The idea of spending 15k on a shiny new bike and then rusting it away riding it 40 miles a day up and down the A3 all winter doesn’t really appeal.

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Yeah, I wouldn’t buy one for environmental reasons. I had my previous 748 for nearly twenty years, and it’s gone on to someone else for hopefully some more useful years. The damage to the planet in manufacturing that bike, spread over those years, seems like a fairly good return to me. You see how often we have to renew the batteries in our phones and laptops, imagine how useless an electric bike becomes once the battery reaches the same point. Imagine the damage to the planet having to replace them every few years.

I live in hope that we can invent a more environmentally friendly battery. Then for around town an electric bike would make a lot of sense.

This massively. We need to go back to repairing things rather than consumer culture. Why do I like my XV? I can easily fix it. It’s 22 years old now and there are no plans to get rid. I may be adding, but that only so I can get the other half riding.

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This is actually a fallacy. There’s a lot of misinformation like this being spread by big businesses with a lot to lose with the transition to electrification, i.e. anyone who makes petrol, diesel, engines, gearboxes, clutches, etc, all to try and sway people from considering EVs for as long as possible.

If we look at what goes into a claim like that (and this is no attack on you @Wise, just addressing the misinformation):

  • Cars with engines don’t just magically appear, they are also built using materials mined or extracted from the earth.
  • Petrol/Diesel is a one-time use of Earth’s natural resources. It gets extracted and processed (which is very energy intensive) and used once.
  • Vehicle batteries have a long life. Far longer than those we get in phones, etc. Tesla batteries are proven to degrade by 6% over 200k miles of driving on average. The same cannot be said for phone batteries, etc, which aren’t designed to last a long time.
  • Vehicle batteries once end of life will be recycled. The materials mined from the Earth are still present and can be re-used (in contrast to petrol/diesel). Countries around the world are requiring manufacturers to do this (i.e. China, Europe, etc).
  • Battery technology is improving all the time, use of rare earth metals is declining.
  • Electricity generation is getting greener every year with the increase in renewable energy sources. This also reduces the impact of EV production. In fact the UK is leading the way in the adoption of renewables. We’re running for longer and longer without burning coal to produce electricity.
  • Over time the environmental impact of creating and delivering EVs is going to reduce. The same cannot be said for petrol/diesel.

Those points are just relating to the environmental impact of EV production, but they also help show that whilst EVs are getting greener and greener, petrol/diesels aren’t, the efficiencies have been had and we’re well into the effects of diminishing returns.

Overall, the impact a producing a vehicle battery has on the environment over it’s lifetime is far less than the impact an engine has, and will improve with time as technology improves and more things in the supply chain move to electrification - think factories running on renewable energy, car haulers being electric, ships running on solar/batteries, etc. All those small changes add up to us weening ourselves off fossil fuels and doing less and less harm to the planet.

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the “misinformation” is only that if you beleive the other information
currently lithumim batterys end up in landfill they dont get recycled because of the cost against yeld
& this wont be changing
that information comes from the battery makers / recyclers

if you want to get both sides of the story you need to listern to both sides of the story
im not saying fossil fuels are the furture

their are plenty of alternative “fuels”, but we are just being forced to into accepting the battery arugment

I would take issue with this statement. That’s undoubtedly true for consumer batteries, but vehicle batteries, by law will have to be recycled by the manufacturer, and there will be clear benefits to doing so considering the amount of material present in them.

Not sure what you mean by being forced to accept an argument? I agree that batteries are just one means of providing electricity to the motors and more diversification in methods will help innovation overall. But I don’t think we’re being forced to accept batteries, it’s just that they’re the best we have at the moment?

By the time they’re good enough and a lot cheaper (about twenty years) I’ll be too old to ride anymore, or dead.

A no for me.

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I can see electric bikes taking off for commuting and I would consider one of I where to return to commuting. They are however rather expensive at the moment.

For touring and day trips it is deal breaker as it takes a couple of minutes to refuel whereas an electric bike takes hours.

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Not a great comparison but electric go karts are a lot more fun than petrol ones at the tracks I’ve been to. All that torque from zero rpm is great. That characteristic would work great on a bike.

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I think as more manufacturers turn to electric bikes there is a whole new world of fun to be discovered. I agree, I think the characteristics of electric motors suit bikes nicely.

from a more practical point of view all of them seem to be designed with the long legged in mind even the scooters are ginormous.

get me a seat height of <750mm (that isnt a Harley type vehicle) i’ll buy one - probably would need to pull the batteries behind it in a trailer I’m guessing :slight_smile:

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