Who Holds Back the Electric Motorcycle? | The Take


"Who holds back the electric car?" sang the members of Homer Simpson's secret society, The Stonecutters (it was rhetorical; they do). Perhaps they would have done better to ask, who holds back the electric motorcycle? The hype for two-wheeled electric vehicles has lagged behind that of the mass market Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, but a recent report by Pike Research indicates that there will be 138 million e-motorcycles and e-scooters on the roads worldwide by 2017.

The e-scooter market, which is big in Asia Pacific, will be significantly larger than the e-motorcycle market, according to the report. But in North America e-motorcycles will dominate because of their better range and higher top speeds. Have a browse of these e-motorcycles. We won't tell your mom. (Prices are before 10 percent federal tax credit.)

Lito's The Sora
Price: $43,000 (conversion from Canadian)
Top speed: 124 mph
What's more awesome about this Quebec-made motorcycle - it's ability to go from 0-200 km (124 miles) with zero clutch or its energy storage for 300 km (186 miles)? The Sora also has an application that allows you to input your destination, then manages the vehicles energy usage to ensure that you get there.

Zero S
Price: $9,995
Top speed: 67 mph
Zero motorcycles founder Neal Saiki (who recently left the company) started out as a mountain bike designer and it's apparent in the superlight Zero S. The motorcycle tips the scale at a calorie-deprived 297 pounds - with a frame lighter than most bicycles - but boasts a respectable maximum range of 58 miles.

Brammo Empulse
Price: $9,995 - $13,995
Top speed: 100 mph
The Goldilocks model - neither too small nor too big. The Empulse is a more substantial bike than the Zero S - weight varies from 360-420 pounds - but nowhere near the cost of The Sora. Brammo offers models with an average range of 60-100 miles. The styling says Ducati but the noise level says electric.