While electric motorcycles were previously seen as an experiment for recreational use, they are now directly competing with gas-powered ones. However, there are still doubts surrounding electric motorcycles’ safety, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.
Electric motorcycles are significantly safer and more energy efficient than gas-powered ones. They are also easier and cost-effective to maintain. Best of all, electric motorcycles are more environmentally friendly and have a lower carbon footprint.
Let’s look at what makes electric motorcycles so effective and whether they are really safer than gas motorcycles so you can make a better decision on whether it’s worth getting one.
Are Electric Motorcycles Better Than Gas Motorcycles?
Electric motorcycles are better than gas motorcycles in terms of efficiency, features, long-term savings, usability, and other metrics. The only thing that gas-powered motorcycles have over electric ones is a better range and high speeds, which are only better in high-end gas motorcycles.
Compared to several years ago, gas-powered motorcycles have made significant advances in speed, range, acceleration power, and other features.
One common misconception surrounding electric bikes is that they are too slow. While it’s true that an electric superbike won’t have the same maximum speed as a gas superbike, an electric motorcycle is no slouch either.
Many have faster acceleration than similar gas motorcycles since the electric bike doesn’t need to shift gears. So, even if your electric bike has less horsepower, it may still go faster than a high cc gas motorcycle in a short drag race!
Are Electric Motorcycles More Environmentally Friendly?
When you take the energy consumption and overall environmental impact of electric and gas bikes, it’s clear that electric motorcycles are more environmentally friendly. While they also have a negative environmental impact, it’s a fraction of what gas motorcycles produce.
Gas-powered motorcycles produce significantly more pollutants per mile than electric ones. This difference becomes more evident when you take the effects of extracting fossil fuels and the environmental costs of maintaining a gas motorcycle.
Electric motorcycles also have a negative environmental impact since they run on electricity predominantly produced by burning fossil fuels. However, electric motorcycles are more environmentally friendly when you look at the average pollution produced per mile.
Electric motorcycles are quieter than gas-powered ones and therefore produce little to no noise pollution. This can be especially helpful in large cities where loud motorcycle engines affect others’ peace of mind.
As EV technology progresses and electricity production shifts to renewable energy sources, it is estimated that the environmental impact of electric motorcycles will decrease further.
Are Electric Motorcycles Cheaper?
Another misconception surrounding electric motorcycles is that they are more expensive than manuals. While this is true, considering the initial cost of getting an efficient electric motorcycle, you’ll save much more in the long run.
Not only are gas motorcycles more expensive to operate, but they also have higher maintenance costs.
The Tax Rebates
When buying an electric motorcycle, the first thing you’ll save money with is tax rebates. Many States offer tax rebates for EV cars and motorcycles. Depending on how much your motorcycle costs, you can save up to a third of the total sale price up to thousands of dollars.
When you compare the discounted prices with that of equivalent gas motorcycles, there’s hardly any difference between the two options.
However, most of your savings will be from reduced operating costs. The average electric motorcycle costs several times less to run per mile than a gas motorcycle. With gas prices increasing rapidly, this difference will only increase in the future. The cost difference is significant if you live in an area with cheap electricity.
It typically costs $2-$8 to fully charge an electric motorcycle that can travel up to 100 miles on a single charge. This is more than 5x cheaper than how much you’ll pay to ride some gas motorcycles for the same distance!
If you calculate how much you’re saving daily by commuting with an electric motorcycle, you’ll see that electric motorcycles pay for themselves in gas savings after some time. Granted, gas motorcycles are also more fuel effective than cars, but electric motorcycles cost next to nothing to operate.
Best of all, you can charge them with a home socket or a DC charger. Most motorcycles will charge from 0-100% in less than an hour with DC chargers, but there’s no harm in charging your motorcycle overnight in your garage.
And with the latest models averaging around 100 miles on a single charge, the average city dweller will only need to charge it once a week.
Electric motorcycles are much cheaper to maintain. You’ll only need to change the belt occasionally, get new tires after several hundred miles and change the battery after 150000-200000 miles.
Considering that even expensive electric motorcycles get a battery change for under $500, you’re paying pennies in daily maintenance.
Are Electric Motorcycles Safer?
Electric motorcycles are much safer than gas motorcycles since they don’t risk engine problems or other mechanical issues. They are also much easier to ride since there isn’t any gear system, and you don’t have to worry about engine noise or vibrations when driving.
What makes electric motorcycles so safe is their relative comfort, not for comfortable seats (although many have that too)! Instead, electric motorcycles are more comfortable to drive since there’s no gear system. Therefore, you’ll have to worry less about moving the right gears and can focus on the road ahead.
With manual motorcycles, you must rely on your hand and foot reactions to stay safe on the road. There’s also a greater risk of shifting to a forward gear by mistake when you want to slow down, and this mistake is common among beginners.
Electric motorcycles are quieter and don’t vibrate as much as gas ones. This can improve your concentration while driving and may reduce the risk of accidents.
Secondly, there isn’t any risk of engine overheating problems, chain issues, and other mechanical issues that may cause accidents. The only issue you might encounter on the road with an electric motorcycle is a low battery, but this has more to do with planning your rides than a mechanical failure.
Nevertheless, following safe driving practices and wearing protective clothing is always important. Regardless of the motorcycle type, a motorcycle accident is always hazardous.
Things to Know Before Buying an Electric Motorcycle
While it’s clear that electric motorcycles are better than gas ones in terms of ride quality, safety, and environmental impact, they are still riskier than cars and other enclosed vehicles. So before getting an electric motorcycle, make sure that they are street legal and that you have the proper safety gear when driving.
Here are some tips to consider before buying an electric motorcycle:
Check Whether the Motorcycle is Street Legal
The last thing you want is to get a new motorcycle only to find out that you can’t ride on public roads. So always check your local laws on what types of electric motorcycles are street-legal. In most States, full-sized electric motorcycles with side mirrors, horns, and other safety attachments are legal, but it’s best to check anyway.
Get a Motorcycle Driving License
You’ll need to be over 16 or 18 to ride an electric motorcycle, and you’ll need a special motorcycle license. Go to a reputable motorcycle driving school and only ride on public roads after you get your license.
Wear Safety Gear Before Riding
Like gas bikes, electric bikes are always a risk to ride, especially in congested areas. Unlike with cars, there aren’t any airbags or a frame to protect you in case of an accident. However, wearing proper safety gear can reduce the risk of getting injured.
Leather jackets or unique motorcycle jackets are essential if your motorcycle can go above 30 miles per hour. Never ride in shorts or thin clothing, as it will only increase the severity of injuries, even if you’re involved in a minor accident.