Gas powered motorcycles have been around for over 100 years! Electric motorcycles aren’t very new either but are becoming more popular as time passes. With most major motorcycle brands exploring their options on making fully electric vehicles, it’s important that we the consumers know what are the differences between these two styles.
Since e-motorcycles run on stored energy, there is absolutely no need for a combustion engine. This reduces vibrations that we normally see on gas powered bikes. Electric bikes also don’t include an exhaust kit due to not having a combustion engine. This automatically eliminates the sound of a roaring engine most of us bikers love to hear. The fact that electric bikes produce no sound or roar, has been a big reason why a lot of gas powered bikers have not made the switch. Can you imagine a quiet Yamaha R1 or BMW S1000rr? Seems crazy!
With these new electric motorcycles hitting the market, its important to note that these bikes DO NOT require any shifting between gears..seriously…they don’t even come with a clutch! For those of us who have been riding motorcycles for years, pulling in that clutch and popping the shift lever up or down is just second nature. However, I do remember back when I took the basic rider course, a lot of the students where having major issues understanding the whole shifting concept. For beginners who are bringing their knowledge from driving a car to riding a motorcycle, it can be a tricky thing to understand. The fact that being on an electric bike can help eliminate that learning curve is sort of a plus in my eyes.
Gas powered motorcycles and their combustion engines require a lot of routine maintenance. From oil changes to valve adjustments, these things need to always be done at the correct time intervals, if not your bike may develop serious issues that will become very expensive to fix. On electric motorcycles, all you really have to worry about maintenance wise is the brakes, brake fluid and the tires. I can totally see how local motorcycle service departments may begin to have a problem with this if electric bikes become the norm later on.
RANGE COVERED & REFUELING/RECHARGING
Gas powered bikes have a MAJOR advantage today on the range you can cover versus any electric motorcycle. The e-motos of today simply cannot store enough energy as a tank of gasoline will. These bikes are primarily good for commuting around town or short trips because of their limited range.
Refueling or recharging an e-moto also can take some time to do. The fastest charge time I’ve seen is 30 minutes for one bike. Refueling a gas bike can easily take a few seconds and you won’t be worried about where the next charge station is as much.
Most electric motorcycles of today have an insane amount of torque right at the twist of the throttle. Peak torque is reached almost instantly as the bike gets moving. The instant torque is something that may be a bit much for a new rider. For gas vehicles it does take some time to get to peak torque. Personally I think the fact that it happens gradually on a gas bike makes this a lot safer than an electric bike.
As motorcycle riders we should always be aware of where our industry is heading. Electric vehicles keep popping up and there doesn’t seem to be a stop. Triumph Motorcycles released a prototype of an electric bike that they’ve been working on in the hopes of starting their very own electric lineup. Ducati has done the same. It’s only a matter of time before we start to see these vehicles becoming more available. Ultimately the choice will hopefully remain in the consumer hands whether to make the switch or not…but its always good to see what are the pros and cons of each choice in life.