“It’ll be too loud, too dangerous. Nobody’s gonna want to buy that”. This is what Arthur Davidson said about a bigger, stronger, faster motorbike, according to the miniseries Harley and the Davidsons. Throttle forward a century, and now there are nearly 10 million registered motorcycles in the United States. The industry faces completely opposite doubts as electric motorcycles begin to enter the market. People are saying they will be too quiet, too weak, and you won’t get far enough on a battery charge. Come take a look at the best electric motorcycles to change your perception.
Electric vehicle technology continues to evolve, and some of these new bikes could surprise you. The new breed of electric motorcycles may be quiet, but they aren’t always weak or limited to short ranges. They do tend to be noticeably pricier than their gas-guzzling counterparts, though. Regardless, if you are ready to dump the pump, there are plenty of electric motorcycles out there.
The best electric motorcycles:
1. Harley Davidson LiveWire
We were unsure whether this concept would ever come to reality. Now it’s a reality, but it isn’t cheap starting at $29,799. Regardless, it marks a new era for the motorcycle giant. Not to mention we have seen plenty of enthusiasts pay more for their Harleys.
The Harley Davidson LiveWire looks tough, but you may also notice the aesthetic language has evolved to a more sporty one. This is likely due to Harley Davidson’s attempt to attract newer generations, which they have been struggling with.
Though fully electric, the Harley Davidson LiveWire is no slouch. It can go from 0-60mph in three rapid seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 95mph. Range is not the best at 146 city miles, but it is also not half bad, especially considering it can be fully charged in one hour using Standard DC Fast Charging.
Harley Davidson LiveWire key specs:
- Range (city): 146 miles (235km)
- Top speed: 95mph (153km/h)
- Torque: 86ft-lb (116.6Nm)
- Power: 105hp (78kW)
- Weight: 549lb (249kg)
Harley Davidson LiveWire price:
2. Brutus V9 electric motorcycle
Nothing beats the classic look and comfort of an all-American cruiser. I am sure many of you would agree that a cruiser is the ideal motorcycle for a long ride. If what you are seeking is a brawny bike with saddlebags and stability, this is likely your best choice.
Police agencies can even sign up for a special version. And while cruisers aren’t known for performance, you should think twice before trying to run away from one of these. The V9 has a top speed of 115 mph and a range of 280 miles. That should get you from Los Angeles to Las Vegas (about 270 miles) on a single charge.
Brutus looks mean, and it is a powerful machine with plenty to offer. You won’t get the rumble cruisers are known for, but it looks amazing and is easily one of the best electric motorcycles you can buy right now. It won’t come cheap, though.
Brutus V9 key specs:
- Range (city): 280 miles (450km)
- Top speed: 115mph (185km/h)
- Torque: 277ft-lb (375Nm)
- Power: 125hp (93kW)
- Weight: 784lb (355kg)
Brutus V9 price:
3. Vespa Elettrica
This is easily the most recognizable brand on our list of the best electric motorcycles, aside from Harley of course. Vespa is the king of scooters, offering some of the best options of its kind since 1946.
Back then motorcycles were considered dangerous, complicated machines people were too intimidated to try. But after WWII money was tight and people needed more affordable modes of transportation. Scooters were friendly and easy. Vespa helped bring motorcycling to the masses, and now they are going electric.
The Elettrica wins no races, but keep in mind it’s a Vespa. It’s not meant for performance, but it will definitely take you places. Piaggio Group claims it has more power than a 50cc scooter and a range of 100 km (62 miles). Not bad for zipping around the city!
Vespa Elettrica key specs:
- Range (city): Up to 62 miles (100km)
- Top speed: 43.5mph (70km/h)
- Torque: 147.5 ft-lb (199 Nm)
- Power: 5.4 hp (3.95 kWh)
- Weight: 287lbs (130.2kg)
Vespa Elettrica price:
4. Pursang E-Track
Pursang may be a new brand, but the company is rebirthing a classic motocross bike from 1967. This motorcycle comes with a new twist and an 11kW Bosch motor with a trio of batteries for 7.2KWh of juice, that give it plenty of power and capacity to take on the streets. It also comes with a gorgeous cafe racer style design motorcycle enthusiasts will love.
The Pursang E-Track can go for 140km on a single charge, and its top speed reaches 120km/h. It’s a serious bike with a serious price, as it costs 13,700€. And while it doesn’t seem like it, the electric bike is made to accommodate two people.
You can’t buy the Pursang E-Track just yet, but you can reserve yours and the first units will be shipped in October 2020.
Pursang E-Track key specs:
- Range (city): 87 miles (140km)
- Top speed: 74.6mph (120kmh)
- Torque: N/A
- Power: 15hp (11kW)
- Weight: 324.1lbs (147kg)
Pursang E-Track price:
5. Johammer J1 200 electric motorcycle
I promise this is the last scooter I’ll add to the list! I mean, I just had to. This has to be the most interesting motorcycle I have ever seen. It’s… cute? Weird? Let’s settle with unique; and that is exactly why I like it. This is not simply a motorcycle with a replaced mechanism; it’s a new breed.
The manufacturer decided to move away from traditional bike designs, simply because they could. There is no longer a muffler to worry about, or a motor shape. In fact, there are many components manufacturers no longer have to deal with when making electric motorcycles. Not to mention batteries can take many shapes. Why stick with traditional bike forms?
It’s not a bad scooter, either. Speed is electronically limited to 75 mph, which is good enough for most highways, and range is estimated at 200 km (124 miles). The Johammer J1 is a bit pricey at €24,900, but it is a unique bike that is sure to start a conversation or two.
Johammer J1 200 key specs:
- Range: 124 miles (200km)
- Top speed: 75mph (120km/h)
- Torque: 14ft-lb (19Nm)
- Power: 21.5hp (16kW)
- Weight: 390lb (178kg)
Johammer J1 200 price:
- €24,900 (about $30,894 USD)
6. Zero SR + Power Tank
It is not the fastest, or the flashiest, but sometimes you just want a bike that gets the job done, and this one does that pretty well. Zero Motorcycles is based in California and is known as one of the best electric bike makers around. They were making electric motorcycles before most of the bigger guys, so we have to give them credit for that.
As for the Zero SR, it is a naked style street bike with a good price (relatively speaking), a top speed of 102 mph, and a range of up to 223 miles on a single charge. Not a slouch at all, and that’s a range most people can actually live with.
Zero SR key specs:
- Range: Up to 223 miles (359km)
- Top speed: 102mph (164km/h)
- Torque: 116ft-lb (157Nm)
- Power: 70hp (52kW)
- Weight: 458lbs (208kg)
Zero SR price:
7. Zero SR/S electric motorcycle
Zero is known for its minimalist naked and adventure style bikes, but they now have a bike with a sports body that will definitely get many of you riled up. It looks every bit as good as the super motos and is definitely one of the best electric motorcycles.
The Zero SR/S can reach speeds of up to 124mph, and the range can go as high as 200 miles (with a power tank). In good electric fashion, torque is plentiful at 140 ft-lb, and it even comes with Pirelli tires stock. All these goodies will cost you at least $19,995.
Zero SR/S key specs:
- Range: Up to 200 miles with added Power Tank, 161 miles otherwise
- Top speed: 124mph (199.6km/h)
- Torque: 140ft-lb (189.8Nm)
- Power: 110hp (52kW)
- Weight: 505lbs (229kg)
Zero SR/S price:
8. Lightning LS-218
The Lightning LS218 is the world’s fastest production electric motorcycle and it is, frankly, ludicrous. It comes with 150 kW, so the electric equivalent of 200 bhp and 168 lb/ft of torque. That’s more than BMW’s all-conquering, fossil-fuel burning S 1000 RR. It is also a few pounds lighter at 495 lb.
The end result is a bike that can storm through the 60 mph mark in two seconds and leave almost anything on the road trailing in its non-toxic wake. This has become one of the flag bearers for electric power, and it made a powerful impression on Jay Leno.
The 218 mph top speed is a conservative estimate based on the speed the bike actually achieved on the Bonneville Speed Flats. Now, with a number of new developments on the final production bike, the manufacturer claims it could be even faster.
This is almost too much bike for the public road. It’s a race motorcycle with plates, and it isn’t for a novice or the faint of heart. It is, though, an awesome machine and we should celebrate its mere existence. This is definitely one of the best electric motorcycles around, if not the very best. It will cost you, though. Prices start at $38,888 and can go up to a whopping $46,888.
Lightning LS-218 key specs:
- Range (highway): 100 miles (160km)
- Top speed: 218mph (350km/h)
- Torque: 168ft-lb (227Nm)
- Power: 200hp (149kW)
- Weight: 495lb (224kg)
Lightning LS-218 price:
9. Lightning Strike
Don’t have 40 grand or more to spend on an electric superbike? Very few do, so we would understand if you went with Lightning’s cheaper alternative. The Lightning Strike, a motorcycle that starts at a more reasonable $12,998.
You get more modest specs with the lower price point: the Lightning Strike has a 150-mile range, but it is still plenty fast with a 150mph top speed. Apparently, it charges in a mere 35 minutes as well, which is useful. At the time of writing, we don’t know much else about the bike as it is pre-launch, but a good looking sports bike coming from the company is a start.
You can’t quite buy the Lightning Strike yet, but you can reserve if with $10,000.
Lightning Strike key specs:
- Range (highway): 200 miles (321.9km)
- Top speed: 150mph (241km/h)
- Torque: 186ft-lb (252.2Nm)
- Power: 120hp (89.5kW)
- Weight: 455lbs (206kg)
Lightning Strike price:
10. Energica Ego Plus
The Energica Ego Plus looks like a million bucks, and it performs like even more. This Italian superbike is all sharp angles and flat surfaces rather than the traditional curves. It looks modern and will stand out from the crowd.
The original Energica Ego was one of the first serious electric bikes and it was designed by a team of Le Mans and F1 engineers that specialize in rapid prototyping for the big teams. This newer, improved version is even better. It can reach 150mph, is pulled by 145Hp, and has 159 ft-lb of torque. Max range is also amazing at 250 miles. That’s some real power.
Energica Ego Plus key specs:
- Range: Up to 200 miles (321.9 km)
- Top speed: 150 mph (241.4 km/h)
- Torque: 159 ft-lb (215 Nm)
- Power: 145 hp (108.1 kW)
- Weight: N/A
Energica Ego Plus price: