How fast do electric motorcycles go? That will depend on the manufacturer and model. Electric motorcycles do not have a gearbox, so the throttle is the only way to modulate and/or increase speed, so manufacturers design the single-speed gearing to offer the most torque, speed and battery range.
Most manufacturers electronically limit the top speed of their motorcycles based on a number of factors. When you run an electric motorcycle at or near its top speed, it will use the battery significantly faster than at slower speeds.
To get decent range out of these bikes, most sport a massive battery. Damon’s Hypersport, for example, has a 20 kWh battery, Zero’s SR/S has a 17.3 kWh battery, and LiveWire One boasts a 15.4 kWh battery, each bike weighing in at around 500-550 lbs.
Sondors sneaks in with a smaller, 4 kWh battery that keeps the weight at just over 300 lbs. Because of the smaller battery, it’s really limited on speed. It will go 80 mph in “Sport Mode”, which allows it to go that fast for only two minutes, otherwise it tops out at 60 mph. Riders complain that the 2-minute limit cuts the power abruptly at the end, which is bad for traffic.
Erik Buell’s e-bike company, Fuell, is promising a sub-400 lb electric motorcycle called the Fllow, with a 12 kWh battery. Promising, not shipping until 2024.
Most of these motorcycles offer regenerative braking, where you can set it to put power back into the battery as you slow down. Setting it aggressively enough to really slow you down can be fantastic, as you will use your brakes a lot less, a safety advantage when going downhill. You do have to be mindful that cars behind you won’t know you’re slowing down/decelerating unless you apply enough braking to light up your tail light, or you can use an accelerometer-actuated light like the Brake Free.
Electronically limited top speeds:
- Damon Hypersport 200 mph
- Damon Hyperfighter 170 mph
- Energica Experia 112 mph
- Energica Eva Ribelle 125 mph
- Energica Ego+ 150 mph
- Energica EsseEsse9+ 125 mph
- LiveWire One 110 mph
- Zero SR/S and SR/F 124 mph
- Zero SR 104 mph
- Zero S 98 mph
- Zero FXE 85 mph
- Zero DSR/X 112 mph
- Zero DSR 102 mph
- Fuell Fllow 85 mph
- Sondors Metacycle 60 mph (80 mph in “Sport Mode”)
To offer a comparison, a gas-powered Suzuki Hyabusa, a massive motorcycle with a 1300 cc engine, is electronically limited to 186 mph, though Mike and Becci Ellis turbocharged a Hyabusa and she took it to a world-record speed of 264.1 mph in 2014. There are aftermarket companies that make replacement controller upgrades that can increase/remove the limits on some of these bikes, and can sometimes also increase efficiency and range.
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