Electric motorcycles are having a moment. Over the past few years, the technology behind electric vehicles has come on in leaps and bounds, with the end result that more and more of us are abandoning our gas guzzlers for their more environmentally friendly counterparts. But despite their ever-growing popularity, electric motorcycles are still the subject of some derision… not to mention some surprisingly popular myths. Here, we give you the straight-up truth behind 10 of the most common myths about electric motorcycles.
1. It’s no fun without the exhaust noise
There’s no arguing that riding an electric motorcycle is a vastly different experience to riding a regular one. But the suggestion that it’s less fun simply because it’s less noisy? Pure myth. As happywrench.com writes, gas engines on bikes aren’t properly equipped to deal with exhaust heat, leading to performance issues and that loud, gnarly exhaust noise that might have a fair few fans in the biking community, but leaves most everyone else with nothing but sore ears and a headache. By contrast, an electric motorcycle is a much quieter experience. But while you won’t get the roar of the exhaust, you will get to hear the sounds around you – something that, for most people, is an altogether better proposition.
2. Electric motorcycles need more maintenance than regular ones
For some reason, a lot of people seem to think that electric motorcycles are way more high maintenance than the regular kind. Not true. Electric bikes are neither riddled with maintenance issues, nor are they in need of any more upkeep than their conventional counterparts. Yes, you’ll have to make sure they’re maintained properly if you want to keep the bike in peak condition, but their mechanisms are remarkably simple. A simple service every now and again should be all that’s needed, keeping inconvenience to a minimum and maintenance costs even lower.
3. You can’t ride an electric motorcycle in the rain
Typically speaking, electricity and water don’t get on. So it’s perhaps unsurprising that some people think you can’t ride an electric motorcycle in the rain. But trust us when we say you can. You won’t get electrocuted and the bike won’t turn into a speeding lightning bolt. You might find the roads a little slippery, but that’d be the same if you were riding a conventional bike. So, don’t worry. You can ride an electric motorcycle in the rain without being in any more danger than you would be otherwise.
4. You can’t ride it over rough terrain
Some people think that an electric motorbike is designed for smooth, paved roads only. That you can’t take it over rubble. That gravel will be a problem. None of this is true. Sure, some bikes are less suited to rough terrain than others, but a good, reliable, and sturdy electric motorcycle is just as well equipped to deal with a bit of rough as a regular bike. Basically, wherever you can ride a conventional motorcycle, you can ride an electric one.
5. Electric motorcycles are difficult to charge
This myth is just a flat out lie. Providing you can follow the simplest of instructions, you won’t experience any difficulties in charging an electric motorcycle. Neither will you have any problems finding somewhere to charge it. As bikesamag.co.za notes, electric vehicles are becoming ever more popular, with ever greater numbers of companies and manufactures investing in creating giants webs of charging stations. And the numbers of charging stations are growing almost daily. Electrify America, one of the largest open DC Fast Charging networks in the US, for example, is planning on installing a further 800 total charging stations by December 2021, adding another 3,500 chargers to their already considerable collection. Regardless of whether you’re on the highway or in the city, you shouldn’t face a problem in charging up.
6. Electric motorcycles have poor range
If you’ve considered an electric motorcycle in the past but ultimately decided against one, we’re betting “range” had something to do with your decision. A lot of people seem to be under the impression that an electric motorcycle will struggle to get you from A to B, and even if it somehow manages to succeed in doing that, the chances of it getting you back to A are slim to none. This is a myth. Battery technology has come on in leaps and bounds since the early days of electric vehicles. On a full charge, most modern electric motorcycles will get you anywhere between 100 – 250 miles, depending on the terrain and your driving style.
7. The batteries are rubbish
Since the early days of electric vehicles, battery technology has evolved beyond recognition. And yet for some reason, a lot of people are still hanging onto the idea that the battery on an electric motorcycle will be lucky to last 12 months. The reality, as extremepowersportssa.com notes, is that most modern batteries will last between 149,000 to 249,000 miles before exhibiting a loss in performance. Most manufactures are also happy enough to offer 3- 5-year warranties on their batteries.
8. The acceleration isn’t as good as on a regular bike
If you’ve been laboring under the assumption that the acceleration on an electric motorcycle isn’t as good as it is on a regular bike, then let happywrench.com set you right. As they note, the acceleration you’ll get from an electric motorcycle isn’t just equal to the one you’d get from an internal combustion engine, it’s superior. Advanced performance at a higher level of efficiency... it’s convincing stuff.
9. Electric motorcycles are terrible in the cold
We’ve already put to bed the rumor that you can’t ride an electric motorcycle in the rain. But what about in the cold? Does the rumor about electric motorcycles hating the cold have any truth in it? Yes, but with a caveat. While it’s true that cold weather can make an electric motorcycle a little sluggish, it’s not true that an electric motorcycle behaves any differently in cold conditions than a gas bike. Providing you prepare an electric motorcycle for winter in the same way as you’d prepare a gas bike, you can carry right on riding it all the way through winter.
10. Electric motorcycles are more expensive in the long run
Where this particular myth comes from, we’re not quite sure. Perhaps it’s because people think the maintenance needs of an electric motorcycle are higher than those of a conventional bike. Maybe it’s because they think they’ll need to replace the battery every 6 months. Either way, it’s wrong. As motorcycle.com rightly notes, over the course of its lifetime, an electric motorcycle is cheaper to run than a gas engine, allowing buyers to recoup the costs of their initial investment that much sooner.
Written by Benjamin Smith
Read more posts by Benjamin Smith