Two-Wheeler Comparison: Electric vs. Gas Motorcycles
Motorcyclists in the market for a new bike seemingly have more options than ever. Not only are new conventional, gas-powered motorcycle models being released to accommodate the lifestyle and tastes of every rider, but a new wave of electric motorcycles is arriving, too.
Both classic motorcycle manufacturers like Harley-Davidson and dedicated electric bike builders are joining the fray, seeking to attract a new generation of riders who want the latest technologies, zero emissions and a unique riding experience.
In this edition of the fusionZONE blog, we’re looking at electric motorcycles and how they compare to more traditional, gas-powered models. Perhaps this comparison review will help you narrow down your options if you’re on the hunt for a brand-new bike.
Key Differences Between Gas & Electric Bikes
While there are some definite advantages to gasoline and electric motorcycles, let’s first look at some key differences that may be considered pros or cons, depending on the rider.
The most glaring difference between these two forms of two-wheeled transportation is the powertrain and the different characteristics that come with each type. A gasoline-powered motorcycle provides plenty of feedback and emotion, from the engine’s rumble and changing exhaust note as you shift through the gears to the vibrations and heat that the machine generates.
In contrast, electric motorcycles are silent, vibration-free and don’t create the heat of gas-powered bikes. Some riders may enjoy the serenity of a silent ride, while for many bikers, the lack of engine noise of an electric motorcycle would be a deal-breaker.
When deciding between a gas and electric motorcycle, one has to make a choice: do they want an expensive yet quick refill or a cheap but slow recharge? Both powertrains have advantages and disadvantages in this regard, so it’s up to the consumer to determine which factors matter the most to them. We’ll delve deeper into this aspect as we look at the advantages of both types of modern motorcycles.
Advantages of Electric Motorcycles
Proponents of electric motorcycles like the Harley-Davidson Livewire and the Zero brand of bikes point to zero emissions, silence and simpler designs as reasons to make the switch to electric. It’s clear that electric motorcycles are here to stay, just like electric cars. But is this form of two-wheeled fun right for you?
Many modern riders are seeking a new riding experience, which electric bikes certainly provide. With zero emissions, zero noise and simpler operation, many riders who have made the switch likely won’t be going back — or at least not if they only have one motorcycle.
Regarding performance, electric motorcycles provide instant torque and power that a gas motorcycle can’t match. And fewer parts means far less maintenance. That’s certainly a win-win for some riders.
There is still the issue of range anxiety, however. If you’re seeking a touring bike or planning cross-country rides, then you’ll have to pick an electric motorcycle very carefully — or ride with others who have also made the switch to electric. Actor and avid motorcyclist Ewan McGregor recently rode Harley’s Livewire from Argentina to California, so long-distance riding an electric motorcycle is possible, albeit with plenty of planning.
Advantages of Gas Motorcycles
While electric motorcycles deliver instant torque from a standstill, don’t count out gas motorcycles when it comes to performance. After all, gas bikes have a decades-long headstart on electric bikes. Gas-powered motorcycles are still some of the fastest models around, reaching cruising speed at a brisk pace and topping out at higher speeds than electric models.
Many riders consider the noise and vibration of a motorcycle a quintessential aspect of the riding experience. While this may change over time, some bikers will always prefer this more raw form of riding that, until recently, has always been a part of the motorcycle experience.
Gas motorcycles still offer key advantages when it comes to cost and range. Gas bikes are not only significantly more affordable than your average electric motorcycle, but they provide a far greater riding range, too. While it’s true that filling up the gas tank can add up, the lower initial cost of the bike, greater range and quick fill-ups are enough to keep many riders on a gas motorcycle for the foreseeable future.
Now that you’ve learned more about the pros and cons of electric and gas motorcycles, which would you choose? Stay tuned for more articles like this from the fusionZONE team!