The initial American biker reaction to the electric motorcycle phenomenon began as a fading yawn.
It didn’t last long, though, as our attention was awakened by the tenacity of the electric bike’s leading engineers to innovate upon and, in many cases, outdo the gas-powered industry standards of efficiency and performance.
There’s no denying the exciting yet varying specs of gas and electric-powered two-wheelers, but are electric motorcycles easier to ride?
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Here’s the Answer to Whether Electric Motorcycles Are Easier to Ride:
Though subjective, some riders consider electric motorcycles easier to ride than gas-powered bikes due to the noticeably lower vibration levels, both while riding and while idling at a stop. Their lightweight engines make them agile to maneuver, and many don’t require gear-shifting.
How Often Should You Charge Electric Motorcycles?
You should charge your electric motorcycles every 6-8 hours, or every 150-200 miles, whichever you hit first.
You should charge your electric dirt bike every 3-4 hours/50-100 miles. Electric mini pit motos should charge every 1-2 hours, or every 10-15 miles, again, whichever you hit first.
If you’re a first-timer, know that you’ll likely have to charge your electric motorcycle before riding it.
Once your electric bike is fully charged, monitor both the clock and odometer, as you’ve got the average miles or number of miles mentioned above to rip and roar and explore just how nimble your electric bike was before you’ll need to hit up a recharge.
The details vary bike to bike, so let’s dive into the nuts and bolts and wires and circuitry of juicing up, including how, where, and just how often you’ll need to charge them.
Although electric motorcycles come with different battery types depending on make and model, the most common battery is the lithium ion type.
More important than the type of matter your motorcycle uses is its capacity and effectiveness of the riding you’re interested in; there are electric motorcycles that ride all day on a single charge, while others can’t last an hour on a single juicing.
- Unlike numerous makes and models of electric cars requiring specific plugs for recharging, electric motorcycles don’t need a particular hookup style.
- Still, high-voltage cables and outlets will charge your electric motorcycles faster. There are now over 100,000 charging stations around the country with different pricing, depending on setting power and location.
- Some stations are free, some proprietary, some pay-by-app, etc. Note: For regional, up-to-date maps of all stations, the US Department of Energy has an online locator showing a complete electric-charging station map.
- Not all types of charging stations are compatible with all models of electric motorcycles. Consult your owner’s manual to ensure compatibility with the spec setting requirements.
- You can charge your electric motorcycle overnight on a standard electrical supply, like an outlet in a garage or house, as long as you have your electric charger handy.
- Overnight charging is the most common method—car charging stations are generally used for re-juicing electric motorcycles in low battery emergencies while riding.
There are three predominant charging levels for electric motorcycles when writing this.
Level 1 is a standard modern-household outlet of 120 volts of AC power. As mentioned earlier, level 1 charging requires overnight charging. While level 1 is the most accessible charging level and most affordable, it won’t quench the thirst of a stranded electric bike for another 8 hours.
Level 2 charging uses 240 volts of AC power, like a dryer or an electric oven. Public Level 2 charging stations are becoming more and more common, often integrated into travel-stop gas stations.
Level 2 charging stations will get your bike juiced up in a few hours, about half the time of a level 1 charging station.
The third level of electric motorcycle charging uses DC voltage to feed the steed.
DC charging is the fastest method for charging if your bike is compatible. A DC charger will get that pup on the road in about 20 minutes, though they require a unique charging port.
Modern electric moto-manufacturers like Lightning and Energica come pre-equipped with DC charging outlets for fast and convenient charging on the go.
Like we said upfront, electric bike batteries come in multiple styles. We’ve provided some general knowledge of electrical moto charging; you’ll need to research the specifics of your bike’s battery to know where you should be charging it and for how long.
Also, both OEMs and aftermarket accessories, like quick chargers and boosters, are available to shorten your bike’s charging time.
How Good Are Electric Motorcycles for Long-Distance Driving?
Electric motorcycles are more economical for long-distance riding than ever, thanks to the shifting cultivation of electric vehicles and their associated charging station infrastructures. Plan your ride and stay vigilant to your electric bike battery’s charge during your trip.
Electric motorcycles are actually very easy to ride for beginners.
One of the first things people tend to ask when considering switching to an electric bike is how many charging options are available for long-distance touring on an electric motorcycle.
In a recent Alternative Fuel Data Center report, the US Department of Energy claimed over 100,000 EV (Electric Vehicle) charging stations in the US alone.
They’ve also conducted at least five different “Alternative Fuel Corridor” route mappings for long-distance EV riding. These initiatives carve interstate and highway routes across hundreds of US roads and line them with charging stations for cross-country electric motorcycle tours.
The recent increase in funding for EVs here in the States will only make charging more efficient for travelers in time.
Until then, here are 3 tips for riding long-distance on your electric motorcycle:
1. Use an Electric Motorcycle With a High-Power Battery Pack
The rule of thumb for open-highway-roasting on a traditional motorcycle is to look for an engine capacity of 750cc or more. The only problem is that, like gas-powered bikes, which are measured by their cubic capacity, electric motorcycles are measured in kW of power.
We suggest an electric motorcycle with at least 120kW of power and a listed highway battery range of at least 150 miles for long-distance riding.
Also, consider the battery recharge time.
You should check our article about how fast Zero Motorcycles are if you want to buy an electric bike.
2. Plan Your Route Ahead of Time
Once you’ve got an electric motorcycle that can stand up to the highway for prolonged periods, step 2 is to plan your route. Check out those specified “Alternative Fuel Corridors” by consulting the various resources available from the US Department of Energy.
Sketch your travel route based on the locations and frequencies of charging stations along the way. Some electric-moto enthusiasts say the average electric bike gives you about 25 km per minute of charging; plan your route to set your bike during your meal breaks to capitalize on the stop time.
One important note regarding long-distance touring on electric motorcycles is to factor weather into your travel plans. Electric bikes can withstand about as much rain as a gas-guzzler; neither is plentiful in the wet weather for long periods.
You’ll also want to plan your lodgings to ensure you have access to overnight charging.
Even if you’re moto-tent camping, book yourself an RV site with electric hookups so you can charge your bike while you’re camped. For motels, choose stops with charging accommodations nearby.
3. Inspect Your Electric Motorcycle
You’ll want to conduct a primary inspection of all motorcycle systems before your trip. Be sure your battery is holding a charge for the expected amount of time. Also, make sure it’s charging in the projected timeframe.
If the bike is performing either of these functions erratically, you’ll want to get the dealership’s seal of approval on its condition before you hit the bricks.
The dealership is also where to hook up to your ECU, run diagnostics, and ensure your bike’s software is all up to date before a long-distance trip.
In short, long-distance touring on any motorcycle, any vehicle for that matter, runs the risk of leaving you stranded at the hands of failures you can’t control.
Taking your time with route planning and bike selection, inspection, and preparation makes riding your electric motorcycle long-distance as enjoyable as hitting the road on any other bike.
Can You Take Your Driver’s License Test on an Electric Motorcycle?
It’s up to the specific driving school or testing program whether you can bring your motorcycle or must test on one of the school bikes.
Generally, school policy and insurance make the bike’s owner more of a factor than whether it’s electric or not.
If the motorcycle license schools allow riders to bring their motorcycles, we can’t see why they wouldn’t let you get an electric bike to class as your demo, as long as its specs don’t exceed the class requirements in terms of power and max speeds.
The best thing to do is to contact the Class-M school you’re looking to take the class or test with and see if they require you to use their school-property learner bikes or if they encourage you to learn on their motorcycles, in which case you can mention yours is electric and see if it raises a flag.
We don’t foresee a problem, though; any motorcycle, including electric motorcycles, scooters, and mopeds, legally requires the rider to carry a State-specified license.
When Should You Consider an Electric Motorcycle?
You should consider buying, owning, and riding an electric motorcycle if you’re environmentally conscious, want an efficient commuter that’s easy to ride, or are tired of spending money on high-priced gasoline to fuel your hobby.
The most celebrated benefit of switching to an electric bike seems to be the savings.
The price point of an electric moto isn’t any lower than a gas-guzzler. It’s more expensive in many spaces up front, depending on which makes and models you compare.
The annual percentage of fuel savings varies, again based on the gas and electric you’re looking at.
Still, when it comes to refueling costs vs. recharging expenses, the result is always a financial win for the electric motorcycle, by a long shot.
Electric motorcycles are also the way to go if accessibility and ease of riding are a factor. You have to twist the throttle and let her rip; no missed shifts, stall-outs, foot shifting, or left-hand clutch deactivation. Just turn and go.
And finally, an electric motorcycle significantly reduces your carbon footprint, but its lightweight motors also make it a nimble commuter that’s easier to park.
Are Electric Motorcycles Easier to Ride Than Motorcycles?
Electric motorcycles are sometimes easier to ride, as their engines are much smaller, lightweight, and don’t generate the heat and vibration of a gas-powered bike. They also have no gears; twist-and-go throttle makes for a more leisurely ride.
The heaviest part of an electric motorcycle is its battery speaks volumes about how light and agile they genuinely are to command around town from day 1.
Since their engines are simple electrical devices, there aren’t any rumbling, sweltering engine headers generating heat, friction, and vibration between your legs while you’re riding.
Not to mention that an electric motorcycle is clutchless and gearless, meaning your left hand is free from clutch control duty, your left foot is free from shifting, and your eyes, mind, and soul are free to take in the open road.