When you think of motorbikes, it’s easy to think of grease-smeared overalls, gas-guzzling hogs and seriously noisy exhausts, with engines wailing at 12,000rpm and beyond. But all that is changing. There’s a new breed of electric motorbikes that rule the road while also helping Mother Earth. Here are five of the best.
1. RMK E2
The Tron of the electric motorbike world, the E2 features a non-centred rear hub, just like the bikes in the iconic sci-fi film. It’s not just designed to look nice, either – it’s functional too, as the rim frame actually houses the electric motor. It comes in two models – the basic one will last 200km (124 miles) on a single charge, while the flagship model will run for up to 300km (186 miles). Charging it will take between two and three hours. And the top speed? It’s limited to 160kph (100mph). Just don’t expect to turn on a dime, not with that fatty back wheel in tow.
2. Alta Motors Redshift SM
Remember Kick Start? Most people won’t, but it was a TV show in the 1980s about dirt bikes, and the Alta Motors Redshift SM looks like an electric version of the bikes used in the show. While it’s infused with the DNA of a race supermoto, it’s built for the urban commuter – picture yourself zipping in to work on this thing, with no oil changes, no pesky maintenance and no draining your bank balance on fuel.
It packs 42bhp, 51.5Nm torque and a 120V battery that lasts 80km before needing a recharge. Which should last you most – if not all – of your commuting during a working week. Makes going to work something to look forward to.
3. Harley Davidson all-electric motorcycle
There’s no name for this one yet, but it’s possibly the most highly-anticipated electric bike of all time. Why? It’s a Harley! You might not picture the oil-stained brand as a champion of electric smarts, but the firm has previous – four years ago, it unveiled a prototype all-electric hog named LiveWire (pictured above).
The electric Harley should be on sale in less than a year. Its prototype predecessor had an 80km range and went from 0 to 60mph (97kph) in four seconds. We’re hoping the production model can top that.
4. Energica Ego
5. Evoke Urban S
It looks just like Street Hawk! While it can’t fight crime, the Urban S is a superhero in its own way: the 200km (124 mile) range gives you plenty of scope, whether you’re heading to the office or hitting the beach for the weekend. And it comes with three performance settings depending on how you’re riding: eco is the most environmentally friendly, city is ideal for getting around urban environments with their stop-go traffic, while pro mode is designed for performance. Just like your phone, you can also unlock it using a PIN code, to stop anyone stealing it. Inspired.