Quality Verified | Posted February 28, 2024

Electric Motorcycles Leading the Pack

The number of electric motorcycle choices continues to grow, each featuring quiet power and style.
Picture of Evelyn Kanter
Evelyn Kanter

Freelance Writer

When Harley-Davidson introduced the LiveWire electric motorcycle in 2019, the iconic all-American tough-guy brand was laughed at. But the Milwaukee-based company recognized that its hard-core market was aging out, and e-bikes looked like an appealing eco-friendly choice for younger customers for local commuting and errands, even a long-distance glide, without the complications of a clutch.

 

The LiveWire can launch zero to 60 mph in a respectable three seconds, reach 110 mph, lean into corners at an equally respectable 45 degrees and recharge overnight on a standard outlet.  Driving range is between 70 miles at highway speeds only and 145 miles in stop-and-go city driving only. But at $22,799, it costs about as much as a traditional Harley without that familiar throaty roar and “Easy Rider” vibe.

Fast, Fun Easy to Charge EV Motorcycles

There are many EV motorcycle brands these days, nearly all of them imports, plus those producing smaller EV scooters and mopeds. Even Tesla has one on the drawing board. The advantage is they are fast, fun to drive, cheap and easy to charge. The downside is there’s little to no storage space, including for your helmet. 

 

The Damon HyperSport HS costs nearly $40,000, more than some four-wheeled vehicles. But this model has 200 horsepower and a combined range of 200 miles and high-performance Brembo brakes like those on high-priced sportscars.

 

Kawasaki offers two EV motorcycles, the Ninja and Green Power. Like their traditional gas-powered siblings, they look like they are moving even while standing still.  A stand-out feature is a removable battery pack for theft-prevention and for recharging, which takes two to four hours on a standard outlet. The price also is a standout, with a starting price of $7,599. 

 

Yadea claims to be the world’s largest producer of e-bikes and e-scooters and is now also producing electric motorcycles. Its new Kemper line is equipped with a 10-kilowatt mid-mounted high-performance motor with a maximum of 60 mph and Bosch antilock braking system. Perhaps its most appealing feature, though, is that it can recharge to 80% range in just 10 minutes at any fast-charging station. 

 

Zero Motorcycles offers a half-dozen models that range from 85 to 124 mph. Driving range is 105 to 179 miles between charges, which takes five to eight hours on a regular household outlet, or one to four hours on a fast charger. There’s also an option for an extended range battery. Prices on 2023 models ranged from $14,999 to $19,999. 

 

The Stark Future Varg is a Swedish import with a strikingly understated, even minimalistic, design. It offers up to six hours of ride time on full charge and a top speed of 71 mph. There are an incomprehensible 100 drive modes to adjust such things as traction control, lean and braking for whether you are in a competitive motorcross or picking up takeout. Prices start at an affordable $12,900.

 

Electric motorcycles generally require the same license and insurance as a conventional gas-powered motorcycle. 

 

Learn about coverage for specialty vehicles and motorcycles with AAA Insurance. AAA.com/Insurance

AAA’s Recommendation: Whether you own an electric vehicle or a gas-powered car is up to you – and you should consider lots of factors in making that choice. No matter what type of vehicle you’re choosing, we recommend visiting a dealership, test driving one, and asking as many questions as possible to make an informed decision.

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