Best electric motorbikes of 2019
Harley Davidson Livewire
After years of talking and concepts and temptation, Harley-Davidson have launched their Livewire electric motorcycle. The bike features Showa shocks, a TFT dash with Bluetooth connectivity, and the option to fast charge the battery through the tank.
The Livewire costs £28,995 and that price puts it in direct competition with the Energica Eva, although the Livewire certainly has more gadgets.
Delivery is expected to be in the autumn of 2019.
When launched in Amsterdam in February 2019, Zero claimed their SR/F streetfighter featured “industry-leading power, control and connection”. We’ve now had a chance to ride it, so check out our prototype ride here.
This latest development comes as Zero Motorcycles have successfully raised another $25 million (£19.3 million)to invest. This brings the total injected into the company in 13 years in business to over $250 million (£193 million).
Zero have been fighting a considerable headwind with electric motorcycles, with uptake slower than expected, however they do claim to sell more electric bikes per year than any of their competitors combined.
It’s expected the new SR/F, which closes the style and performance gap between their previous electric offerings and modern internal combustion bikes, will bring the company a boost. Even so the entry level model with the £1500 grant still comes in at a salty £16,490.
A glance at the past, but with modern electric underpinnings, the Čezeta 506/02 offers the brave a claimed 75-mile range and 75mph top speed. Read our review to find out how realistic that is.
Think of Vespa and you probably think of classic scooters propelled by two-stroke engines. Back at the 2016 Milan Show Vespa announced their own electric scooter, bringing the historic Italian brand firmly into the 21st century. The Elettrica has a guaranteed range of 62 miles, which is more than enough in the city, and orders have started being taken on the Vespa website.
Super Soco TC-Max
Worlds away from the likes of the Energica Ego and Harley-Davidson Livewire is the Super Soco TC-Max, which was one of two new Super Soco machines revealed to the UK at Motorcycle Live 2018.
With a top speed of over 60mph and around 133ft-lb of torque (similar to the Energica above) the bike aims to rival the performance of a petrol four-stroke 125, whilst remaining more economical.
With a planned price of just £3999, the removable, 72v and 45Ah lithium-ion battery fully charges in just four and half hours and offers a maximum range of around 80 miles.
What’s more, there are also Brembo hydraulic brakes and a combined braking system to help it pass Euro4 legislation. The battery was developed in conjunction with Amperex Technology Limited (the company that supply Apple with batteries) and uses pouch cells to pack more energy into a smaller space.
Super Soco will be selling a Ducati branded version of their existing CUx scooter. Ducati have been using CUxs as paddock scooters at the MotoGP, so now you’ll be able to say you ride the same bike as Dovi and Petrucci, except it will have cost just £2299.
The co-brand comes at an interesting time for Ducati, with parent company Audi saying that all of their brands will have to have an electric offering. With Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali already admitting that the firm is looking at making an electric motorcycle, this is their first toe in the water.
Speaking about the idea of developing an electric motorcycle earlier this year, Ducati’s Head of Innovation, Pierluigi Zampieri, said: “Being a company that is usually state of the art, we could arrive (with a product) that’s state of the art or even better than all of our competitors.
“The problem is: is now the right moment? It’s a small market and we’re still trying to understand when it’ll be ready for such innovation.”
This was added to by Super Soco spokesman, Andy Fenwick, who said: “We’re very excited to launch this special Ducati version of our CUx moped, a stunning representation of the Italian brand and helps to add even more credibility to the Soco range.
“The standard version has already been incredibly popular since its launch only two months ago so we’re looking forward to giving riders the chance to purchase this limited edition version.”
Zero have announced an upgrade to the DSR model for 2019, but MCN ran the previous version as a long-term test bike in 2018 and it impressed from the word go – proving to be a capable machine on shorter spirited rides. For 2019, the DSR gets a host of upgrades, including a new ZF14.4 battery.
Zero have also attempted to create an adventure bike for the electric class in the form of the DSR Black Forest. It comes with luggage and a 163-mile range (at city speeds) as standard, but optional upgrades like a range extending battery (£3000) can improve this.
Alternatively, a Charge Tank (£2300) will increase the charge-rate to 93 miles of range per hour of charge. Serious adventure touring on the DSR would be an expensive and impractical affair at the moment, but things are moving in the right direction.
The new electric Sur-ron LBX effectively bridges the gap between bicycles and motorcycles.
Available in two versions, there are no pedals and all the power control comes from a proper twist grip, while the rest of its cycle parts, like the suspension (which is adjustable), brakes, wheels and tyres are all built specifically for a bike of this size.
The result is that it weighs just 50kg but doesn’t feel flimsy like an up-specced push bike. For those wanting purely off-road, there is the X model (that can only legally be ridden on private land) and there is also a road-going L1E model.
This article first appeared in MCN