It didn’t take long for the promise of electric vehicles to takes over the automotive industry, and for motorcycle manufacturers, the revelation of innovative technologies, instantaneous power delivery, and lightweight cells seemed like too good of an opportunity to pass up. As you might imagine, the inclusion of battery-powered peripherals found new life in the two-wheeled medium, with droves of prominent companies, developers, and engineers flocking to the new frontier for a shot at stardom.
While electric motorcycles have been in development for the past decade or so, the industry is currently at its apex. From juggernauts like Arc and Harley-Davidson, all the way to less-known brands like Cake and Tarform, the race to introduce the industry’s leading moto has hit the space like a fever dream, promoting consumer-focused manufacturing practices, the pursuit of environmentally-friendly alternatives, and aesthetic redesigns that look like they’ve been pulled straight from the future. There are a lot of different electric platforms out there — some, better than others — making the prospect of picking up or learning about a new bike all the more daunting. So, we’ve picked out a handful of the industry’s leading motorcycles for your perusal, and given you a deeper look into their specs, capabilities, and downfalls. Check them out below.
Twist The Throttle
Lightning Motorcycles burst onto the scene almost five years ago, and with it came the promise of an all-electric superbike to brandish one of the industry’s most affordable price points. For most, the $13,000 “Strike” provided the perfect opportunity to step into the world of cutting-edge motorcycle technology, without having to take out a second mortgage. A modest 150-mile range and 35-minute charge time placed it into the industry limelight as one of the most capable e-bikes around; and thanks to a reported 150 mile-per-hour top speed, it quickly became one of the most anticipated cycle announcements in the past few years. Sadly, the bike is still in pre-production, and aside from the specs provided, not much is known about the underlying architecture of the Strike. It is, however, still available for preorder via the company’s website, meaning that there’s still hope for those of us who are willing to wait.
Battery Capacity: 10 kWh
Range: 150 miles depending on use
Top Speed: 150 miles-per-hour
Weight: 455 lbs
Cake’s Kalk& is an all-encompassing e-moto that boasts the title of the company’s first-ever road-legal platform. Aside from its award-winning design principle, futuristic styling, and off-road orientation, this interesting cycle also features improved range and speed over its predecessor, making it a valuable proposition for the urban commuter. If you’re tired of sticking to the city’s tightly-packed streets, you can utilize the Kalk& on your favorite trail, back road, or alleyway, thanks to its dirt bike-inspired layout. A capable suspension system, lightweight chassis, and slimline silhouette pair nicely with the bike’s 2.6 kWh lithium-ion battery, giving it an expansive 83-mile range and 56 mile-per-hour top speed. When you’re out of juice, the Kalk&’s quick 2.5-hour charge time ensures that you’ll be back on the road with minimal effort.
Battery Capacity: 2.6 kWh
Range: 83 miles depending on use
Top Speed: 56 miles-per-hour
Weight: 174 lbs
Zero’s SR is a great-looking platform that doesn’t focus on being the flashiest bike on the road. It relies on its subtle appearance and extravagant performance figures to do the talking, giving it an err of tasteful quality that can’t be beat but the genre’s alternative manufacturers. The California-based company is no stranger to the creation of capable e-bikes, and it shows; the SR is what the perfect middle ground looks like, as far as handling, power, and aesthetics are concerned. It boasts a 223-mile range, a 102 mile-per-hour top speed, and a 458-pound curb weight — all of which are made possible by the bike’s 14.4 kWh battery. Sadly, it suffers from a prolonged, 9.8-hour charge time, making it a little less attractive than some other option on our list. The good news is that you can purchase an alternative tank that drops the cycle’s charge time to a modest 2.5 hours, bringing the SR in-line with its competitors.
Battery Capacity: 14.4 kWh
Range: 223 miles depending on use
Top Speed: 102 miles-per-hour
Weight: 458 lbs
Tarform’s self-titled electric motorcycle draws heavy inspiration from the cafe racer genre and boasts one of the more aesthetically-pleasing silhouettes available on the market today. But the bike isn’t just a great-looking showpiece, it’s also completely customizable, offering personalization options that many other manufacturers can’t abide. Larger battery packs are available for increased range, faster charging, and improved riding experience all around. With the base offering, you’ll be able to partake in up to 90 miles of traversal, alongside a relatively quick charge time of four hours. And, like most contemporary electric offerings, the Tarform will embody a slew of smart features, including health diagnostics, digitally-integrated system optimizations, and maintenance reminders that are sent directly to your smartphone. While specifications about the bike’s top speed, horsepower, and performance capabilities are scarce, it’s currently available for pre-order via the company’s website.
Battery Capacity: 9 kWh
Range: 90 miles depending on use
Top Speed: 95 miles-per-hour
Weight: 350 lbs
Harley Davidson’s LiveWire motorcycle started out as one of the industry’s most anticipated concepts, and after a while, it was passed off as just another baseless platform. However, after entering production for release in August of 2019, the bike recaptured the interest of the motorcycling community with its sleek bodywork, powerful electric motor, and legendary brand name. The cycle takes on an undeniably sporty appearance, thanks to its rounded, aerodynamic panels, sharp edges, and less-than-subtle midsection. Thanks to the bikes’ 15.5 kWh battery, it’s able to rocket from 0-60 in just under three seconds and boasts a top speed of 95 miles-per-hour. Calling upon its well-endowed architecture, it’s capable of producing around 74 horsepower, accenting the LiveWire’s 140-mile range and speedy one-hour charge time.
Battery Capacity: 15.5 kWh
Range: 140 miles depending on use
Top Speed: 95 miles-per-hour
Weight: 549 lbs
Energica’s EGO motorcycle is a powerful Italian electric bike that acts and looks the part of a well-rounded racer. It’s a superbike, first and foremost, offering riders an established design that was brought to light by a team of F1 and Le Mans engineers, and a capable 107 kW engine that translates to around 145 horsepower, overall. Obviously, the bike is no slouch in the performance department, boasting a blistering 150 mile-per-hour top speed, 143 lb-ft of torque, and a 93-mile range to keep the time between charges at a minimum. The EGO accelerates from 0-60 in just under three seconds, making it a prominent contender for those riders who want to step into the realm of instantaneous power. Better yet, the bike can be charged from 0 to 100-percent in around 3.5 hours, placing it right in the middle of the pack when it comes to quick charging capabilities.
Battery Capacity: 11.7 kWh
Range: 93 miles depending on use
Top Speed: 150 miles-per-hour
Weight: 569 lbs
Lito’s Sora is another cafe-inspired racer, giving it a unique aesthetic that’s hard to beat, even by conventional standards. And while the bike’s performance isn’t anything to laugh at due to its 120 mile-per-hour top speed, 120-mile range, and 0-60 of only three seconds, it’s relatively lackluster everywhere else. In an odd twist of events, the bike’s performance and power figures are still rather elusive; but, what we do know is that the current generation of the bike is dressed from head to toe in lightweight carbon fiber, boasts a 50-percent stronger battery than its predecessor, and features an ultra-limited run of only 20 models. At $82,000, the Sora is surely an investment that won’t be undertaken by anyone other than the company’s most devoted connoisseurs, making the bike an interesting example, and avid competitor, for today’s alternative e-bikes.
Battery Capacity: 12 kWh
Range: 120 miles depending on use
Top Speed: 120 mils-per-hour
Weight: 550 lbs
To round out our list, we’re taking a look at the Arc Vector. This futuristic cycle is unmatched when it comes to visual appeal, thanks to its sleek architecture, integrated systems, and insane technology, making it a force to be reckoned with for every other electrically-inclined company out there. It boasts a top speed of 125 miles-per-hour, a 0-60 acceleration time of 2.7-seconds, and a range of 270 miles, thanks to its powerful 95 kW battery system. Below the bikes front fairing, you’ll find a unique Öhlins hub-steering design, steep rake, and stiff chassis that easily adapts to the curvature of the roadway, promising riders a platform that doesn’t skimp on handling capabilities. And, in a truly unique fashion, the Arc Vector comes paired with a cutting-edge Human Machine Interface (HMI), providing haptic feedback, a HUD-based Arc Pilot System, and three different adaptable riding modes to keep you on your toes at all times. Needless to say, it’s perhaps the most capable electric platform that’s available right now, which is reflected by its $117,000 asking price.
Battery Capacity: 16.8 kWh
Range: 270 miles depending on use
Top Speed: 125 miles-per-hour
Weight: 485 lbs
The 10 Best Adventure Motorcycles
If sticking to the streets on an all-electric platform isn’t your cup of tea, head over to our guide on the best adventure motorcycles to get your off-grid fix.