The motorcycling community has been slow to accept electric bikes, in part because they haven’t yet been able to match the power and range of gasoline-powered machines. (Although that’s changing, rapidly.)
Meanwhile, in another part of the two-wheel world, electric power is making big strides. Electric bicycles are flourishing in Europe, where high gas prices and vehicle taxes put owning a motorcycle out of the reach of many would-be riders. Some models weigh just 60 pounds, go 30 miles on a charge, and have a top speed of 50 mph. The M-55 Terminus, pictured here, costs about $35,000, and represents the high end of the e-bicycle market, but many less exotic models go for around $1000. The good news for riders who are intrigued by electric motorcycles but still aren’t ready to take the plunge is that the number of manufacturers getting into the e-bicycle market can only hasten the development of lighter batteries with shorter recharge times, making electric motorcycles more viable in the future.