The Best Electric Motorcycles 2022 | Ultimate Electric Motorbike Guide

Visordown runs down the best electric motorcycles covering touring, sports bikes, nakeds, commuters and scooters and adventure motorbikes

Harley-Davidson

CHOOSING any motorcycle is a tricky task, and the growth of electric bikes has only added to this complication! But choosing the best electric motorcycles for you doesn’t need to be hard, you just need a little bit of insight, into the motorbikes, their capabilities, and their shortcomings.

In this article, we’ll be listing the best electric motorcycles currently available, and updating the list as new bikes get released and we’ve had a chance to ride them. All the electric motorbikes in this guide have been ridden and tested here at Visordown. We’ve also included some we haven’t tested or that are coming soon, but we’ll make it clear when that’s the case..

The Best Electric Motorcycles

Energica Experia: Best Electric Motorcycles overall best buy

Specs and features (claimed – range is combined use)

Range

Recharge time

Weight

Power

Torque

Price

 160 - miles

45-mins (fast)

260kg

102bhp

85lb-ft

£27,790

Pros and cons 

Pros:

  • Great range
  • Excellent handling
  • Fast recharging

Cons:

  • Seat comfort isn't great
  • Screen could be taller
  • Cruise control is fiddly to use

Launched in 2022, the Energica Experia is the newest platform from the Italian electric motorbike maker, and it represents the biggest leap forward in capability in electric motorcycle design and engineering to date. In short, it is one of the best electric motorcycles you can currently buy.

In a real-world test to North Wales, we found the Experia to be heads and shoulders above not just the other bikes in the Energica range, but the rest of the competition too. It’s a bike that you can honestly ride like a petrol-powered machine, without compromising on the range or, more importantly, the enjoyment of the journey.

It handles exceptionally well on twisty B-roads and motorways alike, and really the only fly in the ointment that we found was slightly compromised long-distance comfort.

More information on the bike can be found on Energica Experia’s site here.

Full Visordown review: Enerica Experia review

Harley-Davidson LiveWire \ LiveWire One | Best electric motorcycles styling

Specs and features (claimed – range is combined use)

Range

Recharge time

Weight

Power

Torque

Price

 150 - miles

60-mins (fast)

255kg

105bhp

84lb-ft

£28,995

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Great looking
  • Probably the best handling Harley-Davidson ever made
  • Zero to 100mph acceleration is mind-boggling

Cons:

  • No weather protection
  • Expensive to buy
  • OEM tyres are not the best

The Harley-Davidson Livewire is one of the most ambitious models from America’s most famous motorcycle manufacturer. It not only showed Harley was serious about a more sustainable future, but that it was setting out its stall with the ambition of becoming a big name in the world of electric motorcycles.

The first prototypes were unveiled in 2014, although it wasn’t until 2019 that the bike was officially released to the press and public. And the LiveWire didn’t disappoint. With claimed class-leading range and recharge times, the LiveWire proved that when a historic brand like Harley puts its mind to something, it can achieve the desired results.

And it wasn’t just the stats and specs that impressed, out on the road the LiveWire was a revelation to ride. It handled better than any H-D bike had before, and, more importantly, allowed you to ride it like a petrol-powered bike without forsaking that all-important range.

Harley also pulled off a neat trick with its first electric bike, by designing something that appealed to died-in-the-wool Harley fans and early adopters of electric motorbikes. 

More information on the bike can be found here.

Full Visordown review: Harley-Davidson LiveWire review

Zero DSR/X | Best big ADV bike with off-road spec

Specs and features (claimed – range is combined use)

Range

Recharge time

Weight

Power

Torque

Price

111 - miles

60-mins (fast)

247kg

100 bhp

166 lb-ft

£24,150

Pros and cons 

Pros:

  • A tourer you can take off-road
  • Electric fun on the open road
  • Constant wireless updates via Cypher III+

Cons:

  • Brakes & engine braking leave a bit to be desired when pushing on
  • Plenty of ride mode tweaking potential, but not a huge difference between standard set modes
  • Should modern bikes require old-fashioned chocks to park on a hill?

The Zero DSR/X is the latest machine from California-based Zero Motorcycles, and has been recipient to over 100,000 hours of development time since 2018 to develop, what Zero hope, is the most important & ambitious electric motorcycle to date.

Certainly a large motorcycle in stature (both tall and 247 kg on the foot), the DSR/X features an all-new Z-Force 75-10X motor with 225 Nm of torque and peak power of 100 bhp. It’s also fitted with the new Z-Force 17.3 kWh lithium power pack with quoted range of 111 miles combined, 85 miles highway, and 180 miles in the city.

Where the DSR/X distinguishes itself from the pack is in it’s off-road prowess, granted off-road specific traction control and rider modes, allowing you to take the less-trodden path on your adventure - though, we’d recommend the right boots if planning a detour. The standard on-road tyres will spin up at a mere breath of throttle when the going gets a tad dusty.

More information on the bike can be found here.

Have a read of the full Visordown review: Zero DSR/X review.

Energica Eva Ribelle (RS) | Best electric motorcycles naked catergory

Specs and features (claimed – range is combined use)

Range

Recharge time

Weight

Power

Torque

Price

 123 - miles

40-mins (fast)

260kg

171bhp

159lb-ft

£27,540

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Stylish design
  • Top spec chassis components 
  • Agressive handling dynamics

Cons:

  • TFT dash is a bit dated in design
  • Not the most comfortable bike to ride
  • Cruise control is fiddly to use

The Energica Eva Ribelle RS might not be the newest platform on this list, but it’s a heavily updated bike from one of the older electric motorcycle manufacturers, and for that it simply can’t be ignored.

The RS version of the Ribelle boasts greater acceleration than the stock Eva and Eva Ribelle, while still featuring the same top-spec components from Öhlins and Brembo. With an in-built charging system that supports fast charging, an 80% recharge time can be achieved in as little as 40-minutes, putting real-world usability closer than with many of the current crop of electric motorbikes.

Out on the road, the Eva Ribelle RS is a physical machine to hustle, providing the pilot with an old-school riding experience that rewards grabbing the bike by the scruff of the neck on a twisty B-road. It’s not the most finessed machine here, but it’s a rewarding experience, nonetheless.

More information on the bike can be found here.

Full Visordown review: Enerigca Eva Ribelle RS review

Zero SR/F best electric motorcycles for commuting

Specs and features (claimed – range is combined use)

Range

Recharge time

Weight

Power

Torque

Price

 124 - miles

2.5-hrs (fast)

227kg

110bhp

140lb-ft

£16,490

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Lightweight (for an electric)
  • Very easy to ride
  • Good value (compared to some of the competition)

Cons:

  • Some of the finish and detailing is a bit cheap
  • Range when you hammer it drops significantly 
  • Fast recharge times come at a price!

Zero is one of the first electric-only motorcycle manufacturers having been founded in 2006. Its range covers naked bikes, sports and touring models, adventure, enduro and standard commuters. The Zero SR/F though was the firm’s first crack at the premium naked bike sector.

It features an upgraded battery, and motor, and an all-new for the model Cypher III+ control unit. On top of that it gained Bosch Motorcycle Stability Control system, meaning it boasts corning ABS too.

Comparing the SR/F to it predecessors is like comparing a Nintendo 64 to a PlayStation 5, it was and still is a much more complete motorcycle. It handled better on the road, had more premium suspension and brakes and boasted styling that was more than a match for its petrol-powered competitors. It also featured better range and recharging times than anything Zero had produced before, although to unlock its maximum range and fastest recharge times, you’d be looking at spending a fair chunk more money on add-ons and range extending battery packs.

More information on the bike can be found here.

Full Visordown review: Zero SR/F review

Maeving RM1 | Best electric motorcycles for city riding

Specs and features (claimed – range is combined use)

Range

Recharge time

Weight

Power

Torque

Price

 80 miles

4-hrs (fast)

98kg

5.9bhp

118lb-ft

£4,995

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Super lightweight
  • Removable batteries make charging a doddle
  • Great looking retro styling

Cons:

  • Brakes are easy to lock up
  • Range varies wildly based on size and weight of the rider
  • Ignition indicator can be obscured by the speedo

The Maeving RM1 the first electric motorcycle from the brand new Coventry-based motorcycle maker. It’s very easy to ride and perfectly suited to city rides. It has a claimed maximum range of around 80 miles, although under normal conditions a more realistic number would be between 55 and 65 miles.

It’s one of the best-looking small-capacity electric motorcycles currently for sale, taking inspiration from the many classic motorcycles built in Coventry when the UK motorcycle industry was booming.

More information on the bike can be found here.

You can read the full electric motorcycle review here.

Best Electric Motorcycles | What you need to know

What licence do I need to ride an electric motorcycle?

The simple answer to this question is yes, you will need a motorcycle licence to ride an electric bike in the UK. The licence you will need will be dependent on the type of electric motorcycle you want to ride. The licence rulings for electric bikes are the same as they are for petrol-powered motorbikes, meaning there are restrictions on the power output of the bike in question, and specific licence types for bikes with no more than 11kW (15bhp), 35kW (47bhp), and unrestricted machines.

L1e-B Electric Scooters And Mopeds

Electric scooters and mopeds with a top speed of no more than 28mph fall into the L1e-B category and are viewed as a 50cc petrol equivalent. Riders must be 16 years or older, and have completed their CBT.

L3e-A1 Electric Motorcycles And Scooters

Above the L1e-B category is L3e-A1 and things get a little more complex. If the bike has no more than 11kW (15bhp), a CBT, theory and practical test are all that are required. If the bike has more than 11kW but not more than 35kW an A2 licence is required - either direct access or stepped/progressively obtained. For bikes that have more than 35kW, a full, unrestricted A licence is required to get out on the road.

Electric motorcycle licence types and requirements

Vehicle

License

Requirements

Minimum Age

Up to 11kw

A1

CBT, Theory Test, Practical Test

17

Up to 35kW

A2

Direct access

Progressive access

19

Unrestricted

A

Direct access route Progressive access route

24 (direct access)

21 (progressive access)

How far can an electric motorcycle go?

The answer to this question is very much dependent on the type of electric motorcycle you are looking at. A cheap and cheerful commuter bike that is designed for nipping around town will likely have much less range than a bigger, more powerful and more expensive machine. Typically smaller commuter bikes and scooters have a range of anything up to 50 miles, sometimes more. The best electric motorcycles, the kind that requires a full, unrestricted A licence, can travel distances of over 100 miles, with some, like the Energica Experia, boasting more than 200 miles in some circumstances.

What insurance do I need for an electric motorcycle?

The insurance for electric motorcycles works in the same way as for petrol-powered bikes. To ride an electric motorcycle on the road, a minimum of third-party-only (TPO) insurance is required. Third-party fire and theft cover includes the same as TPO, and also covers fire, theft and attempted theft. Fully comprehensive insurance will cover all of the above and accidental damage cover (fault claims) as well as usually a host of other benefits. 

You should also check out our best motorcycle insurance deals article for more information.

Do electric motorcycles have gears? 

Most electric motorcycles on the market are single-speed machines that feature a ‘twist-and-go’ design, much like that found on common scooters. That said, there are some exceptions to the rule. Brammo Empulse R, for instance, built an electric motorcycle that featured a six-speed gearbox with a conventional clutch. KYMCO has also developed an electric bike called the SuperNEX that features a gearbox and clutch. It is though fairly telling that the best electric motorcycles on this list feature a single-speed design.

Can you convert a petrol motorcycle to electric power? 

While there are companies out there producing bolt-on kits to convert petrol motorcycles into electric ones, the time taken to make the conversion and the costs involved make this a fairly niche sector. In most cases, saving a little more money and buying a motorcycle already designed and developed as an electric machine is a better way to go.

Why are electric motorbikes so expensive? 

Electric motorcycles are an emerging technology and like all emerging technologies, things are a bit more expensive, to begin with. As time passes though as the technology and manufacturing process becomes more ingrained, the price will inevitably come down. 

There are though many cost-effective options out there, with some small capacity electric motorcycles costing less than £5,000, and in some cases on a par with their petrol-powered counterparts.

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