Electric motorcycles appeal to half of riders

·2-min read
Harley-Davidson is an electric motorcycle pioneer with the LiveWire.

Around half of all bikers now feel that they would like to own an electric motorcycle, or even already have one. This interest, which is stronger among younger riders, is driven by performance and potential cost savings.

While the switch to electric in the motorcycle sector is currently lagging behind cars, it nevertheless seems inevitable. More and more mainstream manufacturers are expressing an interest in going electric, even if, for the moment, only Harley-Davidson has really made the leap. BMW and Kawasaki, which have already presented electric prototypes, should be in line to follow soon.

According to research from the British insurance provider BikeSure, 46.7% of riders polled would like to own an electric motorbike (or scooter/moped), and a further 3.6% already own one, making for a total 50.3%. This interest is stronger among younger riders (58% of under-25s) than older bikers (32% of over-65s).

The majority of people polled (57.8%) were excited by the prospect of instant torque/power from electric models. Unfortunately, even more people (65.1%) were concerned about range, with travel distance before recharging putting them off going electric.

As well as instant torque, riders' top reasons for buying an electric motorcycle were these being more economical to run (43.7%) and their contribution to reducing carbon footprints (38.3%). On the other hand, as well as range, things putting people off going electric include charging times (51.1%) and missing the sound of an engine (42.2%).

The findings are based on a survey of 673 motorbike enthusiasts in the UK. Although the study only featured British-based riders, it shows that motorcyclists are far from reluctant to change or to eventually move to electric -- all of which should prove encouraging for manufacturers' research.

David Bénard