Posts Tagged ‘electric motorcycles’

THE QUESTION STANDS:

ELECTRIC or GASOLINE POWERED MOTORCYCLES-WHAT’s better?

         As electric motorcycles are slowly starting to become more popular throughout the industry, many riders have begun to debate as to what’s better to own? Traditional motorcycles using gas or electric motorcycles using battery power?  There certainly are a lot of pros and cons to having a traditional bike as there are pros and cons to having an electric motorbike.  More than anything though, I think it all boils down to peoples individual values and wants.

          If you’re all about limiting pollution and promoting “green” energy and also interested in saving some “green” in your wallet, then electric is the way to go.  Traditional bikes however offer more speed and more options in terms of motorcycle makes and model availability.  If you’re going to spend some serious cash on a bike, you want it to have some umph and in that category compared to traditional motorcycles, electric bikes are lacking.

          Riding a motorcycle, at least in the USA, is done more for fun than for utility compared to other countries where gas prices are astronomical and riders use their motorcycle as their main vehicle.  If you’re only riding seasonal or just a few times a week it doesn’t make much of a difference in terms of money you’re saving on gas, however if you live in Europe where gas prices are at least double of what they are in the USA, then having an electric bike would make sense in terms of saving money on gas.

         In terms of the “coolness” factor, new tech is always cool, but there are a ton of cool looking traditional bikes out there like the 2014 Suzuki HayabusaYamaha V MaxSuzuki Boulevard, and Harley Sportster.  But again, it all depends on what you define as being “cool”.  As electric motorcycles become more popular however, and more companies start designing and manufacturing them, that will definitely gain them points in the “coolness” category.

         The infographic below gives a short comparison of electric motorcycles vs traditional motorcycles in terms of fuel economy, specs and how the electric motor works. If you’re still stuck deciding though, why not just have one of each?

        Have you heard about Zero motorcycles?  Zero motorcycles, is a fairly new company based in the US, that manufactures electric motorcycles.  I’m not talking about those little scooters that are made in China, that you usually see restaurant delivery boys whizzing around traffic with-especially in different parts of NYC.  Looking at the company website, the bikes that they manufacture look pretty bad ass.  They have 5 models right now, which include a “Streetfighter,” a motocross bike, an “Urban Crosser”, and a dual sport bike.  Prices range from roughly $9,000 and up.

       The all new 2013 Zero S, is a big step up from its predecessor.  It features 54 horsepower and 68 lb-ft of torque.  The motor and battery are an all new design. The brush-less electric motor is maintenance-free and air cooled which means it does not require liquid cooling, so that means less plumbing, and as an added plus, it shaves some weight off the motorcycle as well.  There is also no clutch and no gears, making it simple to use for novice riders.  The Zero S weighs 355 pounds-similar to the weight of a 250cc-class sport bike.  Once running, you can select one of two options- Sport or Eco mode.  What the bike lacks though is in its braking system, as it does not come with ABS, however, it will be available in the 2016 model.

Looks are important, and in that category, it ranks pretty high.  It has a sleek frame design which blends nicely with its black mirrors and clear turn signals.

Performance wise, it can reach a top speed on 95mph, however at that speed and for a significant amount of time, the battery does tend to drain quicker than normal.  The Zero S has a range of 64 miles combined highway/city on a full charge.  Charging ranges from 6hrs to 3hrs based on whether you have the quick-charge accessory or not.  The typical cost to recharge the bike comes to an amazing 90 cents.  A full charge is equivalent to 463mpg city and 236mpg highway. With gas prices going up the way they’ve been, it makes sense from an economic perspective.

Finally, it comes in at a starting price of $13,995.  A little high for its class, but it pretty much pays for itself from all the money you save from not having to fill up at the gas station.  Plus, all you eco nuts get to feel proud that your not polluting the environment.

Overall, its got a lot of pros and a few things they still need to work on, but it definitely is an impressive piece of machinery.