The Cheap Electric Motorcycles America Needs Are Being Sold Under The Radar
A few years ago, my dad had a weird motorcycle in his yard. My brother had traded a busted dirtbike or something for it. It was half fat-tire mountain bike, and half retro step-thru bicycle, but with a motorcycle engine to power the thing instead of pedals. It looked like something you’d see in Asia or Africa, and nothing like that had been sold in the States for decades.To get more news about high quality electric motorcycle, you can visit davincimotor.com official website.
After getting used to it in the driveway, I rode the thing around a bit and thought it was pretty cool. On the side, it said Trail 110 and Honda. My brother and dad figured out it was worth a lot more than its prior owner knew, and the thing just wasn’t their speed, so they traded it off for something else.
What I didn’t know at the time was that the weird little motorcycle was the most popular motor vehicle ever sold, and is usually called the Honda Super Cub (the Honda Trail was an off-road version of the bike). Sure, the Toyota Corolla is the top car ever sold, with all of its generations and global variants adding up to almost 40 million units, but globally there are a lot of people who can’t afford or don’t want to shell out the cash for a 4-wheeled 3000-pound vehicle. Plus, you can’t park a Corolla in the stairwell of a 4-story apartment building in Taoyuan, or stash one in a narrow motorcycle space in Bogotá. The rest of the world isn’t always built with cars in mind.
Underbone motorcycles like the Super Cub dominate global motor vehicle sales because they’re cheap (especially used), they’re relatively easy to maintain, you don’t have to put a lot of gas in them, they fit just about anywhere, and they’re reasonably good performers despite having a tiny engine. Not far behind bikes like the Super Cub are motor scooters, mopeds, and many other small, light, and cheap motorcycles. At intersections in Asia, it’s not uncommon for scooters to outnumber cars 2 or 3 to 1, and for the same reasons.
In the United States, motorcycles are more popular than ever, but this record high puts US motorcycle ownership at just 8%. Yeah, that’s not impressive at all. Here, motorcycles are seen as dangerous for road use, and if you do ride one in college, expect the whole family to tell you that it’s time to hang up those keys when you have your first kid because they “don’t want to see your kid grow up with a missing parent.” Riding in places where you’re not sharing the road with cars isn’t seen as so dangerous, so many people still do things like ride dirt bikes or take rural rides in a Harley. But, for daily transport? No way! You’ll shoot your eye out get run over!Like the early compliance car EV from most manufacturers, electric motorcycles do great in the city, but they aren’t great at for any kind of trip outside of town. Electric scooters face a similar issue, and are becoming increasingly popular in China, because the scooters are typically only used for short trips. It’s a natural fit. American buyers only want an electric motorcycle for use out in the sand dunes or in the woods (dirt biking), or for an accountant’s epic trip down Highway 191 with the rest of his motorcycle gang of lawyers and doctors, and an electric motorcycle doesn’t do so hot at any of those tasks.
With an EV, there’s plenty of space for extra batteries to get 300+ miles of range if you’re willing to pay the premium for that, but on a motorcycle there’s just not room for enough batteries at highway speeds.
And then there’s the cost. Even brand new, Harley-Davidson’s gas models start at under $10,000, while its cheapest electric bike starts at $2,000 more than the top gas model. For dirt bikes, a Zero DS starts at over $10,000, while Yamaha Dual Sports start around $5000 new (and that’s MSRP). The Yamaha gets 76 MPG and I couldn’t find the XT250’s fuel capacity on their website because even 3 gallons would do more riding than most people would ever want to do on the bike. Not enough for a crazy Alaskan adventure? Just strap a jerrycan on. The Zero? It won’t go 100 miles, so be prepared to charge it up before you hit the trail if you took a highway trip to the trailhead.