Manufacturers such as Harley Davidson are now producing electric motorcycles that compete with traditional motorbikes, and many automatic motorcycles are taking over the market. But what about electric motorcycles? Are they automatic or manual?
Electric motorcycles only have one gear, so they are neither automatic nor manual. Electric motorbike manufacturers adjust the gear ratio to maximize power without shifting gears. However, they are experimenting with multi-speed transmissions for electric motorcycles as well.
Let’s explore how the gears of electric motorcycles work, what category their transmission system falls in, and the benefits of electric motorcycles.
Are Motorcycles Usually Automatic or Manual?
Manual motorcycles are usually more popular than automatic ones because the motorbike industry has always depended on manual transmissions, gears, and other features.
Since electric motorcycles are powered by stored energy, they don’t have manual transmission systems. However, even automatic transmissions have several gears, and electric motorcycles don’t fit into this category either.
However, automatic motorcycles are becoming more popular, especially among people who find electric vehicles appealing. Just like electric cars, automatic bikes are easier to handle and maintain.
Are Automatic or Manual Motorcycles Better?
While many motorcycle enthusiasts lean towards traditional manual transmission systems because of the “kick” they give, automatic transmissions have their advantages.
Let’s compare these transmission types based on usability, cost, power, and speed:
Electric motorcycles are easier and safer to use because they are great at navigating traffic. They don’t stall and have better-stopping power. Bikers find automatic motorcycles easier to ride because it helps them focus more on the road.
Most automatic bikes have a dual-clutch system. They’re great for people with special needs, such as those with arthritis who find constantly shifting gears a nuisance. Automatic motorcycles also have a built-in system that automatically shifts the clutch and gear while driving.
They’re perfect for a city or an area with a lot of traffic, as you can start and stop without worrying about shifting the gears or stalling.
In comparison, manual motorcycles are harder to learn and more challenging. In addition, it’s distracting to ride them sometimes, especially in cities, as it can be challenging to navigate the gears all the time.
Automatic bikes are usually more expensive than manual motorcycles. The cost of maintaining automatic motorcycles is also much higher compared to a manual bike.
Although some exceptions exist, most automatic bikes also don’t have good fuel economy. As a result, they consume more fuel, which makes them more expensive in the long run. On the other hand, manual motorcycles have better fuel economy as they weigh less.
Finding replacement parts for automatic bikes is also tricky, and the spare parts tend to be expensive. Compared to automatic motorcycles, mechanical costs for manual bikes are lower as these are cheaper to maintain.
Manual motorcycles have more variety to choose from, and you can even opt for customized options. Most manual motorcycle manufacturers give their consumers custom style and color options for their bikes.
Power & Speed
Most motorcycle enthusiasts love manual transmissions because of the faster acceleration, which makes them more thrilling. Manual motorcycles also have a quicker response time, and the driver has more control due to its broader speed range.
Are Electric Motorcycles Automatic?
Since electric motorcycles only come with one gear, they’re neither manual nor automatic. Most electric motorcycles are also not automatic because they lack combustion engines, a clutch system, or the need to change gears.
Certain electric motorcycles, however, do use automatic assistance to switch users from one speed to the next. The bike also has a so-called “automatic” transmission that lets the user switch between neutral, drive, and reverse.
Electric motorcycles run on an Electric Direct Drive, a small device that powers the electric motor solely through the throttle, much like a CVT transmission. However, due to the high torque of an electric motorcycle, this procedure is significantly smoother and faster.
Things You Should Know About Electric Motorcycles
Electric motorcycles are very convenient and high on customer satisfaction. As a result, many motorbike industry experts think it won’t take long for electric motorbikes to completely take over the bike industry.
The advanced technology of electric motorcycles sets them apart from manual and automatic bikes.
Here are some reasons why electric motorcycles are better than manual and automatic bikes:
They’re Environmentally Friendly
Electric motorcycles are better for the environment as they don’t use gasoline or oil and only need electricity to keep the bike powered. As a result, they don’t emit exhaust fumes, reducing air pollution and climate change. Simply charge the battery, and then you’re good to go.
They Require Less Maintenance
Electric bikes have lower energy and maintenance costs. In addition, they have a less complex design than traditional bikes as they don’t have an oil or cooling system. With few engine components to maintain, this reduces your trips to the mechanic and saves time and money.
They’re Lighter than Other Motorcycles
Electric bikes are also easier to operate. If you find manual bikes intimidating and are looking for something with no start delay, you should opt for an electric motorcycle. They are more enjoyable to ride as they’re more agile, climb better, and accelerate faster.
On longer rides, even a few pounds less weight can considerably impact your enjoyment.
Electric Motorcycles are Quiet
No one likes a loud motorcycle roaring through the streets. However, if you think loud combustion engines aren’t for you and are looking for something more discreet and quieter, electric motorcycles are ideal. They’re much quieter; even the police use them for discretionary purposes.
Electric Motorcycles are Fast
Because of recent updates, different manufacturers have started to incorporate multi-speed transmissions to increase the overall speed of electric bikes. However, if there isn’t a multi-speed transmission in the electric motorcycle, speed might have to be compromised.
Electric Motorcycles have Decent Power
What some electric bikes lack in speed, they make up for in power. Electric motors have access to instant power since they don’t have to wait for torque. As a result, they’re quick to accelerate when switched on and don’t have to build on speed like regular bikes.
While electric bikes are still relatively new in the market, they’re more advanced than manual and automatic bikes, so it’s a good idea to shift.