May 14, 2018 By Nick
If you’re looking for a commuter to cut through the traffic then you could do a lot worse than a modern electric motorcycle.
They have come a long way in a short time and now the range has gone up and the weight has come down.
An electric motorbike is now a realistic option for a pretty short commute or a Sunday morning blast in the mountains or down the coast road.
That’s really all you need from a bike.
Nobody needs a motorbike to go 300 miles between charges, because you’ll need a rest and recharge long before the bike will.
What Are The Best Electric Motorcycles?
So, what are the best electric motorcycles for sale right now?
Here are our top 10 best electric bikes on the market.
In a way, Zero has become the Tesla of the electric motorbike world with a real-world electric motorcycle that you can just get on and ride.
The electric powerplant provides a solid 67bhp and 106lb/ft of torque, which is more than enough to turn this into a sportsbike.
The Zero SR hits 60mph in 3.3s and the top speed is 102mph, which is more than enough. You also get a 197 mile range, which means you shouldn’t even have to charge this every day if you live a normal distance from the office.
You can charge it from dead flat to full in just three hours and this is definitely a bike you could use on a daily basis.
ZR has a free fuel for life policy included in the $15,995 price tag and remember that some states will give you an incentive, so it could cost less than $15,000 to go electric.
In Maryland, for instance, this is a $14,695 electric motorcycle. Remember, free fuel for life, so this is going to be a free bike.
There are bigger, better and flashier bikes on this list. But this is all the bike you actually need and then a bit more.
Zero SR key specs
- Range (combined): 122 miles (196 km)
- Top speed: 102 mph (164 km/h)
- Torque: 116 ft-lb (157 Nm)
- Power: 70 hp (52 kW)
- Weight: 414 lb (188 kg)
Zero SR price
2. Alta Motors Redshift MX
If you’re looking for an electric motocross bike then there really isn’t any option.
Alta Motors is head and shoulders above the crowd and its Redshift MX has shown a clean pair of heels to established winners in 250cc Supermoto.
You get 40bhp and 120lb/ft of torque in a 251lb bike, which is about as strong a power-to-weight ratio as you’ll ever be able to use on the motocross track.
Each charge lasts 2.5 hours and this is turning into a viable competition bike. Red Bull welcomed it into their events as a competitor and it is steadily climbing the order.
As a trail bike, it still has limits. Having to charge up every 2.5 hours just won’t work out in the wilderness and you have to go back to Zero for the DSR if you’re looking for a real trailbike.
But batteries are getting there and we could soon see a Redshift MX you can take into the wild.
You can have the Redshift SM urban commuter right now, which is a great little electric motorcycle. But it’s kind of hamstrung by the 50-mile range that mean you really have to plan around your bike.
But this is coming…
The company has already shown us the plans for a street version of this epic bike and we cannot wait. That will give us a brutal off-roader with a licese plate that can handle pretty much everything you want to throw at it.
It will get more range, the weight will be stripped right down and this is a bike that could change the landscape.
That’s a bike that really excites us.
Alta Motors Redshift MX key specs
- Range: 3 hours of continuous use
- Top speed: 65 mph (104 km/h)
- Torque: 120 ft-lb (162 Nm)
- Power: 40 hp (29 kW)
- Weight: 267 lb (121 kg)
Alta Motors Redshift MX price
3. Victory Empulse TT
Polaris ultimately owns Empulse these days, through subsidiary company Victory, which brought he old-school Brammo technology and went to work on the R&D.
For now we get a 40kW bike with a styling job and a 10% boost on the battery pack. It’s basically a Brammo, though, which is proven technology and a genuinely usable bike.
The Zero SR has it beat on performance, range and price. So Victory really is on the backfoot. It’s still a great bike, but it has been eclipsed and the company has a mountain to climb if it wants to take back its position at the head of the electric motorcycle pack.
- Range: 140 miles (225 km)
- Top speed: 100 mph (160 km/h)
- Torque: 61 ft-lb (82 Nm)
- Power: 54 hp (40 kW)
- Weight: 470 lb (213 kg)
4. Lightning LS-218
The world’s fastest production electric motorcycle is an absolute beast.
You get 150kW coarsing through the rear-wheel and that is the electrical equivalent of 200bhp and 168lb/ft of torque.
So this bike is more powerful than the BMW S100RR and it also weighs in a little leaner at 495lb.
This is a Zero Emissions rocket and blasts from 0-60mph in two seconds.
That’s intense, but it’s not the end game. It’s a byproduct of the quest for top end speed on the Bonneville Salt Flats.
The 218mph top end speed is an estimate based on the bike’s straightline performance. It has achieved 215.6mph on a two-way average, but it still has more to give on the salt flats and there’s every reason to suspect the final top speed could be North of 220mph.
Now this is an experimental missile with a license plate and it isn’t a bike for every day use. It’s a special occasion bike, a superbike with almost no natural rival, and it really isn’t as expensive as it could have been.
We love the fact that it’s out there. Because this bike is the face of progress and frankly it looks pretty damned hot right now.
Lightning LS-218 key specs
- Range: 100 miles (160 km)
- Top speed: 218 mph (350 km/h)
- Torque: 168 ft-lb (227 Nm)
- Power: 200 hp (149 kW)
- Weight: 495 lb (224 kg)
Lightning LS-218 price
5. Energica EGO
The Energica Ego was one of the first electric superbikes.
A team that worked in Formula One and Le Mans decided to produce the best electric motorbike.
The end result is a 100kW (136bhp) machine with 144lb/ft of torque. That means this bike is no match for the Lightning, but that’s a straightline rocket.
This is a real, usable superbike that is loaded with technology. It hits 60mph in 3 seconds, tops out at about 150mph and weighs in at 585lb.
So it’s a heavyweight superbike, but it is clearly aimed at the top tier petrol-powered machines like the Ducati Monster and BMW S1000RR.
It’s a $35,000 motorcycle, so you’ve got to be really committed to go for an electric bike like this.
The Ego is in a different league to the Zero R and Victory Empulse TT when it comes to outright performance, but you are limited to 93 miles at 50mph and much less on the ragged edge.
That’s a factor and limits you to Sunday morning blasts, rather than long-distance adventures.
The Ego is built around an outdated battery pack and the team needs a replacement. With a slight performance boost, a diet and a lot more range, all of which would come with a new battery, this bike could be a real contender forthe best electric motorcycle in the world.
Energica EGO key specs
- Range: 93 miles (149 km)
- Top speed: 149 mph (240 km/h)
- Torque: 143 ft-lb (195 Nm)
- Power: 136 hp (100 kW)
- Weight: 585 lb (265 kg)
Energica EGO price
6. Brutus V9
A cruiser could make more sense when it comes to an electric bike, too.
It’s bigger and less agile by definition, so can accommodate a heavier battery pack and provide a better range.
The end result is a brilliantly practical bike that covers 280 miles in the city and 165 miles on the highway between charges.
So the police can use it, and so can you.
You won’t get more than 115mph out of this bike, but then you don’t need more.
The 93kW (125bhp) powerplant means you always have torque to play with and this bike is eery silent, compared to the overblown straight pipes on the cruisers of old that’s a real refreshing change.
It means you can enjoy your bike, without other people thinking you’re a dick.
Here is the world’s best electric cruiser arriving at Sturgis.
Brutus V9 key specs
- Range (city): 280 miles (450 km)
- Top speed: 115 mph (185 km/h)
- Torque: 277 ft-lb (375 Nm)
- Power: 125 hp (93 kW)
- Weight: 784 lb (355 kg)
Brutus V9 price
7. Lito Sora
The Lito Sora is a handbuilt Italian streetfighter-style bike with a massive price tag, but it can’t match the best on this list for pure performance.
It looks seriously tough, but it hits 60mph in four seconds and runs out of steam, or electric to be precise, at 120mph.
So it would get blown off the drag strip by half the bikes here and it really is just an expensive cruiser that’s designed to make an impression.
It does come with a 185-mile range. So, if you can handle the attention then you can use it on a daily basis.
You get a touchscreen to control and set-up the bike. It comes with keycard ignition and you can adjust the seat for the perfect position.
The bodywork is produced from carbon-fiber, every detail is stunning and it’s clearly a bike where they have obsessed over every small touch.
It was a groundbreaking bike, but it’s a testament to how fast the tech is moving that the performance looks ordinary.
Lito needs a new bike, with a next gen motor, to make the price tag a little easier to swallow.
Lito Sora key specs
- Range: 120 miles (193 km)
- Top speed: 120 mph (193 km/h)
- Torque: 66 ft-lb (90 Nm)
- Power: TBA
- Weight: 573 lb (260 kg)
Lito Sora price
9. Zero DSR
The Zero DSR is the only option here if you want to go proper trailbiking.
It comes with a 147 mile range if you opt for the smaller ‘tank’. Go for the optional bigger battery and you’ll get 187 miles of range.
Those are city miles, so you won’t get as much when you’re on the trail, but it’s the first electric bike you could legitimately take into the woods, although you still might want a power source at base camp.
The bike is 70bhp and delivers 116lb/ft of torque, which is more than enough!
You can take it on the road or off, it’s a true multipurpose bike for motocross fans that want to use one bike for everything.
With the smaller battery it weighs 419lb, which is a lot, but then this is new tech and battery weight is on the slide. This is an evolutionary step, then, rather than the pea of battery-powered bikes.
Zero DSR specs
- Range: 147 miles (237 km)
- Top speed: 102 mph (164 km/h)
- Torque: 116 ft/lb (90 Nm)
- Power: 70bhp
- Weight: 419 lb (190 kg)
Zero DSR price
We think we’re on the cusp of a new trend for North Americans, who ca finally catch up with the rest of the world.
Urban centers could come alive with electric scooters that are purposefully kept to a low speed, so they can sneak under the regs and potentially operate as bicycles.
As bike paths improve and get factored into city design, we can switch to two wheels and ride vintage designs without pedals, just to be hipster about it.
Most of us don’t go far to work, school or to visit friends anymore. We all live close.
So a powered bicycle, maybe up to 20mph, would be the perfect solution for urban living.
It will get cars off the road, free up our city streets and it might even be a nice way to get around.
The Motorman is a piece of art, as well as an urban transport solution.
You can see the influence of Harley Davidson, old-world cafe racers and more in a bike that weighs just 99lb. It does 43 miles on a single charge, 28mph and it recharges in six hours.
That’s enough to cover most of our daily transport needs.
Motorman key specs
- Range: 40 miles (65 km)
- Top speed: 28 mph (45 km/h)
- Torque: 44 ft-lb (60 Nm)
- Power: 3 hp (2 kW)
- Weight: 99 lb (45 kg)