Author: Ollie Rooke

5 reasons you shouldn’t write off electric motorcycles just yet

Hear that? The low hum of tyres on tarmac and a whirring belt is the unassuming sound of the electric revolution in motorcycling, and it’s gathering pace.

Yep, brace yourselves, because we’re about to broach a topic that never fails to provoke debate in biking circles. Sure, some people love their electric motorcycles. But for those raised on a diet of Castrol and two-stroke smoke, the prospect of a motorcycle powered by a silent motor is sacrilege.

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But what if there’s a middle ground? A world where we still love internal combustion engines but also recognise that electric motorcycles are not only the future, but they’re also pretty damn nifty in the present too.

To see if we can find that happy medium, below you’ll discover five reasons that you may not want to write off electric motorcycles just yet.

1 – Electric motorcycles are seriously fun to ride

Zero SR/S electric bike

Let’s start off with the most important point. Riding a motorcycle is a choice dictated by our hearts over our minds, and our bikes need to be able to tap into that passion.

To put it simply, the two wheels beneath us need to appeal directly to our souls. If it’s not fun, then we aren’t interested.

Luckily, electric bikes aren’t lacking when it comes to delivering mile upon mile of exhilarating riding. Just look at the power stats.

For example, the Zero SR/S, the electric manufacturer’s fully-faired sports tourer, delivers 110bhp and a whopping 190Nm of torque, available almost instantly at the twist of your wrist (to put this into context, the rocket-powered Ducati Multistrada V4 makes 125Nm).

That’s enough to put a very wide grin on your face in the twisties, and leave just about every other road-going vehicle in your rear-view mirrors when pulling away at the lights.

2 – Long distance trips aren’t off the cards

curt langan round the UK

For adventure bikers exploring the world on two wheels, the limited range that a fully charged electric bike can deliver is likely to be a key sticking point. But as Curt Langan, pictured above, has proven, that limited range doesn’t spell the end of long distance trips.

Curt completed an epic 5,000 mile, 21 day trip around the UK astride his Zero S, topping up his battery throughout the day and at his overnight stops.

Sure, the experience was a little different to the mile-munching you’ll do with a 30l touring tank, and he had to factor in more ‘fill-ups’ during his days on the road.

But, if you like stopping for food and coffee while on tour (and who doesn’t?) then electric touring is very much on the cards. Read more about Curt’s trip here.

3 – Technology is improving, and will only get better

electric motorcycle technology

When the first petrol-powered car whizzed past a farmer sat on a horse and cart at the end of the 19th century, I’m sure the bemused farmer tutted to himself, patted his horse, and thought, ‘They’ll never catch on…’

Humans have a funny knack of problem solving, and history is paved with innovations that have changed the world as we know it. And, with the deadline banning the sale of new internal combustion engines fast approaching (2030 for petrol and diesel cars in the UK, 2035 for hybrid vehicles), research and development has significantly stepped up.

Battery technology, range, and charging times are improving year on year, and more and more manufacturers are adding their own electric motorcycles to the market. Batteries can be replaced down the line to, so existing electric bike owners don’t have to miss out.

Zero’s electric motorcycles even link up with its Cypher III+ mobile app, which can be used to change everything from the power and torque your bike produces to the traction control, and even project directions onto your dash.

4 – One could be your next greenlaning machine

greenlaning electric bike

If you love nothing more than sinking a set of knobbly tyres into some dirt and gravel at the weekend while greenlaning, then an electric trail bike could be for you.

The silent motor won’t disturb the peace (or attract the unwanted attention of local residents), and still produce plenty of thrills in the rough stuff.

If you’re riding trails close to home or popping a bike in a van to get to a start point, the low range isn’t going to be an issue.

And with bikes like the Zero FX offering a punchy ride weighing in at just 112kg, on paper, they look perfectly suited to life in the rough stuff.

5 – Owning one is friendly on your wallet

electric motorcycles

Filling a Zero’s ‘tank’ costs less than £2 in electricity, and it’s even less if you plug into one of the free charge up points scattered around the UK.

Add in a maintenance-free belt drive and seriously low running costs (there’s no engine oil to replace or valve clearances to check for a start), and your bank balance starts to look a lot healthier.

Oh, and don’t forget the exemption from the various Vehicle Emissions Duties and Clean Air levies. Commuting or weekend blasts have never been easier on the wallet.

Zero Electric Motorcycles

So, that’s five reasons you may not want to write off electric motorcycles just yet. But don’t take it from me, book in a test ride for yourself and see just how much fun an electric bike can be.

Find out more on Zero’s website today.