Going electric on two wheels is becoming easier than ever thanks to a host of innovative and intriguing machines landing in the past year alone.
Many of these new machines were showcased at this month’s Motorcycle Live event at the NEC in Birmingham.
With a diverse range of models on display, we headed to the show to track down the very best electric two-wheelers.
The German brand’s flagship electric scooter landed earlier this year, with the futuristic machine featuring a striking and angular exterior design and extended wheelbase.
BMW’s CE 04 is equipped with a 8.9kWh battery with the electric scooter using smaller versions of the car battery cells used in the brand’s BMW-i electric car line-up.
The CE 04 provides up to 130km (80 miles) of range with a peak power output of 31kW from a liquid cooled synchronous motor. Opt for the reduced capacity 23kW variant and range is up to 62 miles.
And the CE 04 is nice to ride too as we found out when we took the electric scooter for a ride around Barcelona. BMW spent a lot of time ensuring weight was kept down, while cleverly placing its kilos low down in the chassis.
Using a wallbox charger a 10-80% charge takes just under four hours. A quick charger however will replenish the battery in 45 minutes if you want to add 20-80% charge.
Prices start from £12,270 but BMW offers a number of packages and optional extras meaning the CE 04 is likely to set you back around £14-15,000. A high price tag, but that is for a super-intelligent, boldly-styled electric scooter.
Italian supersports bike manufacturer Energica branched out into the touring segment with the launch of its Experia Green Tourer.
Energica claims its latest e–motorbike has the largest battery capacity of any electric motorbike, with a 22.5kWh unit powering the Experia.
The battery’s chemistry was revised in order to boost its capacity, with Energica promising a claimed city range of up to 261 miles, which drops to 130 miles for extra-urban routes (a mix of motorways and fast a-roads).
Built from the ground up, the Experia features a reengineered motor and a new frame and chassis design, all of which has been done to reduce weight.
The Experia has a 75kW electric motor which can deliver a top speed of 112mph. Charging can be done using a DC fast charger at a rate of 24kW, allowing for a 0-80% charge in just 40 minutes. That performance and tech does come at a premium, with prices starting from £27,790.
Kawasaki Ninja EV
Yes, the fabled sports bike now has an electric version, although much of its details remain under wraps.
Kawasaki hasn’t fully confirmed the name of its electric Ninja, but the very fact they’re branching into electric power with a flagship model is good news for the future of electric sports bikes.
The Ninja EV shown here in prototype form is set to launch fully next year alongside a smaller electric model and hybrid variant.
Technical details on the forthcoming electric Ninja are limited with company boss Hiroshi Ito revealing that the future model would fall into the European A1 licence category, making it the equivalent to a 125cc motorbike. The Ninja EV is likely to feature two removable 12kg battery packs.
Kawasaki Z EV
Shown alongside the Ninja EV is the slightly smaller Z EV, which actually looks more like a 125cc equivalent than the Ninja EV.
Like its new electric sibling, much of the details on the Z EV are unknown, but Kawasaki has said that it will use the same powertrain as the Ninja variant.
And because it will likely fall into the A1 licence category, riders with a CBT licence should be eligible to ride the inbound e-motorbike.
The electric motorbike start-up Maeving has come a long way since its launch at last year’s Motorcycle Live.
Based in Coventry the firm’s first e-motorbike, the RM1, has been designed, engineered and built in the UK, with the retro-styled machine proving to be a desirable two-wheeler when we tested it earlier this year.
Unlike many e-motorbikes designed today, the RM1 is inspired by cafe racing motorbikes and board trackers from the 1920s. This has also made the RM1 lighter than other machines available today, with the Maeving tipping the scales at 123kg with a battery on board.
Speaking of batteries, the Maeving has been innovatively crafted so that the units can be removed and charged using a domestic plug socket. Weighing 10kg each, the bike can carry two batteries at a time, each offering a range of up to 40 miles. That’s a promised 80 miles of range if you opt for the dual battery model.
And thankfully you won’t have to wait too long for the RM1 to charge; you should be back on your way after three and a half hours.
The single battery model starts from £5995, with the dual set-up commanding a slight premium at £6990. Still, that’s a lot of bike for the price and who wouldn’t say no a motorbike with a stunning tan seat.
The S01+ joined the brand’s e-moto model line-up as a performance orientated range-topper earlier this year.
Silence UK was founded in 2021 and offers a range of Vespa-like electric scooters, with the S01+ the sixth model in its plug-in all-electric range.
The S01+ is based on the firm’s S01 Connected model and is equipped with a removable battery and 7.5kW motor. 0-30mph takes just 3.9 seconds with the e-scooter limited to a top speed of 62mph.
To give the S01+ a performance edge, Silence added a “push-to-pass” overtaking mode which increases the top speed to 68mph. The electric scooter also has upgraded brakes and adjustable suspension.
The Silence S01+ costs £6795, just over £1000 more than the previous range topping S01 Connected, which is priced at £5695.
Another British start-up which caught our eye last year with its electric chopper-style e-motorbike is Stirling - but this time it was the striking new Sinatra stealing the limelight.
The Sinatra is substantially different in its design to the firm’s well-received Electro Ride chopper, with the new e-motorbike featuring bigger wheels, a larger battery and more range.
Mounted on the rear wheel is an electric motor with a peak output of 11kW, while the range is said to be more than 100 miles. Battery size is not yet known but Stirling promises a charge time of around four hours.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the Sinatra is its huge wheels. Rocking 23 inch wheels at the front and 18 inch wheels at the rear, the firm says they are the biggest rims to be fitted to a motorcycle.
Stirling also offers an unlimited level of personalisation with buyers able to create a unique bike solely to their own specification.
How much will Sinatra set you back? £9999 is the starting price but personalised versions are likely to come in at a higher cost.
Boldly-styled and showcasing some serious performance figures, the Triumph TE-1 may have been a testing exercise for the British brand but proved the future of electric two-wheelers is in safe hands.
The TE-1 was developed through a collaboration between Triumph and Williams Advanced Engineering with the prototype’s design based heavily on the attributes of the Triumph Speed Triple.
Peak power is 130kW will torque is 80lb ft, resulting in a 0-60mph time of just 3.6 seconds, while the 0-100mph sprint takes just 6.2 seconds.
Range is claimed to be 100 miles and the battery can be charged from 0-80% in 20 minutes with a 50kW device. Regenerative braking has been incorporated into the Triumph’s ABS system to harness more energy.
The team behind the TE-1 focused on designing a lightweight machine and the results speak for themselve with the performance bike coming in at 220kg, the final result being 25% lighter than some competitors.
Triumph was clear from the beginning that the TE-1 was just a development project with the model not bound for production, but the firm has confirmed that its first electric e-motorbike is well underway.
Aimed at younger riders, Vmoto’s first electric dirt bike was only revealed a few weeks ago alongside the Vmoto Stash and Vmoto F01 electric scooter.
The OFF-R is offered with two power outputs for different bike classes. The L1 models - electric motorbikes which are equivalent to 50cc machines - are limited to a top speed of 28mph while L3 models (125cc equivalent) can do 53mph. Torque is 191lb ft for both powertrains.
Both models feature a 8kW motor powered by a 48Ah battery, offering a range of 93 miles. The battery can be charged in around three hours using a domestic socket.
Vmoto has also kept weight down thanks to an aluminium frame and swingarm, with the OFF-R coming in at just 84kg. The electric off-roader also has hydraulic damping suspension, designed with long travel to ease off-road riding.
The price of the OFF-R remains under wraps.
Yamaha’s 50cc moped equivalent was the first model from the Japanese brand to be offered in the UK and made an instant impression when we tested it earlier this year.
The Neo’s is powered by a 50.4V lithium-ion battery which sits underneath the seat in the centre of the chassis. It weighs just 8kg and can be removed from the Neo’s body for charging, which takes around eight hours using a domestic socket. Yamaha says the Neo’s can do 23 miles between charges.
That mileage might seem poor when compared to rivals, but the Neo’s is a cheap machine with prices starting at £3005. You can add an additional battery if range is a real concern which increases mileage to 42 miles - although that will set you back an extra £980.
Yamaha’s e-moped is also very well made with great build quality making it excellent value for money.
And even with its low price point the Neo’s still gets some useful features, including a number of riding modes and a neat LCD rider display.
The American brand unveiled its new adventure bike in September, with the new model headlining Zero’s model line-up for 2023.
Zero offers a range of electric motorbikes from urban commuters to more powerful sports bikes. The DSR/X is the first adventure bike from the brand, which blends urban and motorway commuting with off-road capabilities.
The DSR/X is equipped with Zero’s latest Z-Force motor which produces 166lb ft of torque, which is paired to a 17.3kWh battery.
Zero says the new adventure e-motorbike has a city range of up to 180 miles, and a combined range of 134 miles.
The California-based outfit completely redesigned the frame of the DSR/X to create more ground clearance, with almost 200mm of adjustable front suspension and three integrated storage compartments.
Using a domestic plug socket, the DSR/X will replenish its battery in around ten hours, while a level 2 standard charger will boost the battery to 100% in just two hours.
Buyers can opt to trade a port of on-board storage compartments for a Power Tank which increases the battery capacity to almost 21 kWh. A 6kW rapid charger can be added which drops the charging time to one hour.
You can buy a Zero DSR/X in the UK with prices starting at £24,150.
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