A second look at Electric Motorcycles

After reading that Harley is getting into the electric motorcycles and looking at the specs of their new bike and the specs of the other big electric bike makers, I’m starting to get a much better feel for the market.  It ain’t me.

Or is it?   After figuring it out, I could see me riding one, if they aren’t ridiculously priced.  They are the perfect “real” sized motorcycle for quick trips around town.  Like when I run to the store, go to work (assuming work is within 20 miles) and any other in city driving.  I actually do a lot of that, although it’s not what got me into riding motorcycles.

As of now, an Electric could never replace my motorcycle on long rides for the fun of it.  And it makes sense.  The top end of all the electrics is about 70 miles or so.  But that’s all city miles.  Put them on the open road, and they are done in 45 miles or so.  And that makes sense, on the open road the bike just goes.  The batteries never rest, and the regenerative charging doesn’t go into effect.  So it’s really the stop and go of the city, with breaks being used and the batteries recharging, that are where these bikes really shine.  These bikes are quick, going faster off the line than there gas guzzling brethren.  Nimble, the bikes are all on a touring set-up, so they will turn on a dime and weave through traffic.  So if I needed a dedicated bike for city riding, I would consider an electric.

But I don’t.  I don’t need two bikes (although I have two, long story for another time), and most other riders don’t need two either.  But if I lived in a big city, and I mean one of those cities where owning a car is almost impractical.  Where most of the time you take the metro rail or bus system.  Having an electric could be handy for those times when waiting on public transportation isn’t an option, cabs are busting the budget, I could see having one to zip around the big city on.  But I can’t see myself ever living in a city like that.

So while I can’t see me on one, I can see a bunch of hipsters scooting around the city on them, probably wearing cheap leathers and odd shaped glasses.   And while I’ll call anyone who rides a brother, and give them the secret wave as they go by.