It seems every week someone is announcing news about an electric motorcycle. A year or two ago, electric motorcycles were virtually unheard of. They were about as common as flying motorcycles.
Now, tons of companies are releasing their offerings. Most electric motorcycles are coming from new companies. But some old-school players, like Harley-Davidson, are also getting into the market. Let’s recap the offerings that have been announced or updated in the first quarter of 2019.
2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire
Rumbles about this electric bike started in 2014. Harley-Davidson unveiled the concept to the media. They also made public test rides available in the United States, Canada, and Europe. In 2018, they announced the LiveWire was going into production. Then, in Las Vegas at CES, the all-electric motorcycle made its debut.
You are already able to pre-order the Harley-Davidson LiveWire. Its price starts at $29,799. According to Harley-Davidson’s page about the bike, pre-ordered motorcycles will be delivered in August of 2019.
Unlikely previous Harley-Davidson bikes, the electric motor provides instantaneous power. The LiveWire will go 0 to 60 in 3 seconds. But it might not be traditional Harley riders buying this bike. CNET described the bike as an “electric Hail Mary” to attract younger riders.
It is powered by a high-voltage battery with lithium-ion cells. The range will be 140 miles in the city or 88 miles of combined city and highway driving. The battery can be charged overnight using a standard household outlet. A Level 3 (DC Fast Charge) charging station will charge the bike to 80% in 40 minutes or 100% in an hour.
2019 Lightning Strike
Lightning Motorcycles started in 2009 as a Silicon Valley startup. Lightning Motorcycles revealed their first electric motorcycle available for sale. They launched the Lightning Strike in late March of 2019.
The Strike will come in three model options. First is the Strike Standard for $12,998. Next up is the Strike Mid Range at $16,998. The top tier option is the Strike Carbon Edition at $19,998.
The Strike Standard and Mid Range both have less power at 90 hp. They also don’t support Level 3 charging. The Mid Range will have 50% more battery capacity than the Standard. The Standard provides 70-100 miles of ride time. The added battery power on the Mid Range brings it up to 105-150 miles.
The Strike Carbon Edition features an added performance package. It’s also constructed from a carbon fiber body. It adds 30 more hp and brings the top speed from 135 mph to 150 mph. This version offers twice the battery capacity of the Standard. It also adds support for Level 3 charging stations. They will charge the bike to 100% in 35 minutes for a range of 150-200 miles.
You can already make a reservation to purchase the motorcycle on their site. The bike starts at $12,998. A reservation requires a refundable deposit of $500 or $10,000. The more expensive reservation ensures you get one of the first produced. It also comes with all the available options.
Electrek reported a generally positive reception about the Lightning Strike. However, they added that the Strike is “a major step forward in the electric motorcycle industry, but not the paradigm shift that some had anticipated.”
It’s certainly a lot cheaper than the Harley-Davidson LiveWire.
2020 Zero SR/F
Zero Motorcycles has been in the motorcycle business since 2006. They’ve been releasing production electric motorcycles since the early 2010s. They’ve been met with mixed results and reviews. They’ve received some bad press about recalls, quality issues, and lawsuits.
But according to many, their motorcycles have improved substantially over the years. Earlier this year, they announced their newest model, the Zero SR/F. Zero Motorcycles said in their press release that the bike “sets a new standard for premium electric performance.” And it does include a lot more than their previous motorcycles.
The Zero SR/F boasts 110 horsepower, a 124 mph top speed, and a 200-mile range (with an added Power Tank option). Without the Power Tank, the bike will have a range of 161 miles. The bike can charge to 95% in one hour using Level 2 charging.
The standard version of the motorcycle will start at $18,995. A premium version with added accessories is also available starting at $20,995. That price puts it slightly higher than the Lightning Strike, but still far cheaper than Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire.
2021 Fuell Flow
If that wasn’t enough, a big motorcycle player from the past is also starting a new brand. In early March, MCN announced that Erik Buell, of Buell Motorcycles, is starting a new electric motorcycle brand. The brand is Fuell.
Buell formerly started the motorcycle brand of the same name to create racing motorcycles. Buell Motorcycles was eventually acquired by Harley-Davidson. Buell continued to design the Buell motorcycles. Harley-Davidson discontinued the Buell brand in 2009.
The motorcycle Buell will be releasing is the Fuell Flow-1. According to Autoblog, the bike will start around at $10.995. They also say additional information will be available on their website in mid-April of this year.
If the Fuell Flow does indeed remain near that price point, it could be very competitive. It’d be cheaper than all of the offerings from Harley-Davidson, Lightning, Strike, and Zero.
2019 Fly Free Electric Motorcycles
If that wasn’t enough, there is yet another new entrant to the market. Fly Free was founded in 2016. Their goal was to produce a “visually appealing electric motorcycle based on the scrambler models.” They raised over $42,000 on Indiegogo for three different electric motorcycles.
There are vintage looking bikes they’re offering: the Smart Desert, the Smart Old, and the Smart Classic. The bikes will have a top speed of 50 mph, 50-mile range, and a 5 hour charge time. Indiegogo backers pre-ordered their motorcycles for as little as $4,159. The retail prices will start at $6,399.
The Fly Free Smart line of electric bikes are substantially cheaper than others in the news recently. They also offer far less in terms of range, speed, and charging capabilities.
These motorcycles are likely going to targeting a slightly different market. As Electrek reported, “[t]hese aren’t going to be highway-capable rides.” That doesn’t mean it’s not a great option for someone looking to get started with an electric motorcycle.
Electric Motorcycles in 2019
Lots of small and new companies are trying to make a splash with electric motorcycles. Will any of them really take off? Will they take market share from traditional motorcycle brands? Or will they carve out their own niche?
All of those questions are big unknowns right now. Some big players, like Harley-Davidson, are also jumping into the arena. Kawasaki might be working on something, according to Visordown. But others like BMW, Honda, and Yamaha have yet to release anything concrete.
Do you think electric motorcycles have a future? Is it in 2019? Will they replace existing motorcycles or become a new market? Would you ride one? Let us know your thoughts or opinions in the comments.