Electric motorcycles appear all the rage for this decade, but what about electric adventure motorcycles and their future?
Will they ever become mainstream and sustainable? This really depends on some factors.
Adventure motorcycles are used for long-distance riding where large fuel tanks are necessary between fuel stations. Thus, an electric dual-sport motorcycle isn’t commercially viable right now and isn’t likely to be during this decade. Currently, the range on the main electric adventure motorbikes in the market is less than 150 miles or 240 kilometres.
Let’s not forget that most riders love the tune of a humming 4-stroke on a highway, so this is probably some time away.
Electric Adventure Motorcycles
Right now the only sustainable electric ADV bike is the Zero Black Forest Edition. Yet this bike can get you to 160 miles before needing a recharge. Can you recharge this in a tent? Unlikely.
The technology in these bikes is amazing and the ride is very silent. Yet the bike is only ideal for weekend riders who are looking to come straight back home.
Let’s consider that most adventure riders will ride for 300+ miles per day. The charging time on electric times is considerably high and we aren’t likely to see genuine dual-sport riders hanging around the gas station for hours waiting for a top-up. Likewise, they aren’t camping there either!
Not only is the fuel issue but the sound issue. Who doesn’t love the sound of that 4-stroke on the highway? There’s also the joy of working on the engine on the side of the track.
Then again – much of the mechanics are the same otherwise. The tyres and brakes are the same, as is the seat and controls, just the throttle is more twitchy. You’ll find the handling to be different as the backend is more easily to slip out on some roads.
For now, the offroad motorcycling market will stay owned by petrol-driven motorcycles. The exception is MX bikes which are used in closed-circuits and are optimized for lap times. Additionally, there are now electric side-by-sides.
Manufacturers will need to be waiting until batteries can really go the distance, as well as charge quickly. Bonus points if solar charging can be amplified through smaller panels. For now – that just isn’t happening.