Plug-In: Best Electric Motorbikes For Touring 2022

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I thought I was being clever writing a post about the best electric motorbikes – seeing as though I’m world-aware, forward-thinking, and clearly as cool as Morgan Freeman dipped in an Old Fashioned whilst smoking a roll-up.

But as soon as I started writing it, I realised I’d made a terrible mistake – not because I’m against electric bikes, but because the entire subject is a frigging minefield.

For a start, Motorcycle Tourer focuses exclusively on the touring side of motorcycles. So where other publications can make a list of just ‘any’ of the top electric motorcycles, we have to make it so that it complies with our touring-only mantra.

And it turns out that’s easier said than done.

Secondly, there’s the problem of availability. It seems like most journos compile these lists without giving any thought to the fact that most of these bikes aren’t actually available. They’re simply concept bikes that may (or may not) one day make it into production.

Lastly, when you or I go to buy a bike, we want to go walk into a dealership and have a look at it. We want to sit on it, test ride it, and talk to a salesperson. Because who the hell buys a £25,000+ bike over the internet without seeing it or riding it first?

harley-davidson tank - best electric motorbikes
Image: Harley-Davidson via Unsplash

The Best Electric Motorbikes: How It Works

So with the rant out of the way, I put together this post for you – the heroic touring rider. In it, I’ll go through the 10 best electric motorbikes for touring, and every single one of them is available for you to buy right now.

I’ve also listed all the pertinent specs and added a section on what you need to do to test ride them.

Finally, I’ve collated all the specs together into tables and charts that will help you decide which bike is right for you.

Because like it or not, electric bikes are coming. And not only are they coming, but people are buying them, too, as the April figures from MCIA will attest. Compared to April 2021, there’s been a 68% increase in electric bike sales.

Zero and Energica have been leading the way for years. And with Harley-Davidson (surprisingly) spearheading the revolution from mainstream brands, we’ve already seen electric bikes in the pipeline from Kawasaki, Honda, Yamaha, BMW, Ducati, Triumph, Royal Enfield, MV Agusta, KTM, Norton, and many more. 

They’re coming. And now is the time to start taking the switch seriously. So in no particular order, these are the best electric motorbikes you can actually buy in 2022.

Disclaimer: I have been unable to assess the figures in this post in a real-world setting. I have no option but to use the theoretical (and sometimes real-world) figures and ranges claimed by the manufacturer – despite their test-controlled conditions.


Energica Eva EsseEsse9+

energica esseesse9+
Image: Energica

energicamotorcycles.co.uk

Energica has long been a driving force in the world of electric motorbikes and has one of the best portfolios to show for it.

But my reason for choosing the EsseEsse9+ was for its obvious touring capabilities. You can order it complete with panniers and a tank bag for starters. And those are only two of the things that make it one of the most native sports tourer-like bikes on this list.

Furthermore, the riding position of the SS9+ is more relaxed and upright – making it comfortable for long stints in the saddle. And it also comes with an in-built sat-nav, viewable through the 4.3-inch TFT.

The motor is impressive, too. The PMAC motor will propel you forward at 109 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque – enough to get you to 125 mph flat out.

But it doesn’t stop there. The 21.5 kWh battery is long-lasting, and Energica quotes the following ranges:

  • 249 miles in town,
  • 143 miles combined (mixed roads), and,
  •  112 miles on the motorway

According to Energica, a 24kW DC CCS Combo Fast Charger/AC Charger will give you a 0-80% charge in 40 minutes when on Mode 4.

 


Harley-Davidson LiveWire

harley-davidson livewire - best electric motorbikes
Image: Harley-Davidson

harleydavidson.com

Whether you love or loathe Harley-Davidson, you have to give them credit for being the first ‘mainstream’ brand to enter the electric bike market.

And you have to give them credit for doing a pretty decent job, too. After all, the LiveWire was good enough (mostly) for Charlie and Ewan, so it’ll be good enough for us!

When it first came out, the one thing everyone could agree on (unlike the looks) was the astonishing acceleration – around 3 seconds from 0-60.

And whilst the LiveWire was always going to struggle to convert petrol heads into eco-warriors, the numbers aren’t bad with H-D quoting:

  • 146 miles at town speeds,
  • 95 miles combined (mixed roads), and,
  • 70 miles on the motorway

Featuring Level 3 DC Fast Charging technology, you can go from 0-80% charge in 40 minutes and 0-100% in 60 minutes. Using the Level 1 charger, you can expect a full recharge to take 10-11 hours overnight. 


Zero SR/F

zero sf/r motorcycle
Image: Zero

zeromotorcycles.com

Unless you live in Hollywood or some other dreamland, then value matters. A lot. Especially when we’re talking about bikes that are often 2-3 times more expensive than their petrol-powered equivalents.

But in my opinion, the Zero SR/F offers the best value for money in this list of the best electric motorbikes.

As with many of the bikes on this list, the Zero SR/F isn’t marketed as a dedicated touring bike. But in the accessories catalogue, you’ll find both SHAD and GIVI luggage sets that are compatible with the SR/F.

Perfect!

Add to this the slightly larger screen and sports-tourer like riding position, and it’s easy to see this bike crossing long distances. And it’s easy to see why some think it’s the best electric touring motorbike.

In comparison to other models, performance isn’t groundbreaking on this bike. But it will get you from 0-60 in around 3.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 124 mph – which is plenty fast enough for most of us.

Charging times appear varied, with Zero claiming their fastest charge to 95% can be achieved in under an hour.


Brutus V9

rider on brutus v9 - best electric motorbikes
Image: Brutus

brutusmotorcycle.com

It’s all well and good me banging on about sports tourer style bikes. Or sports bikes. Or even street bikes.

But what if you’re a cruiser style of rider? What if you like to cover miles on big behemoths with comfy seats that you nicknamed “The Beast”?

Well, this one belongs on our list of best electric motorbikes. It’s for you, and it’s called Brutus.

Brutus! How can you not love a bike called Brutus??

The most impressive figures about Brutus involve power. With its AC35 motor churning out 88 hp and 92 ft-lb of torque, it will propel you up to a top speed of 115 mph.

Concerned about range? Silly question, really – we’re all concerned about range when it comes to electric bikes. But whilst Brutus doesn’t claim any official figures, test rides have reported around 130 miles on the motorway and a very healthy 250 miles at town speeds.

Brutus stipulates charging times as “dependent on battery and charging options.”

But it certainly looks badass with its dual front lights, panniers as standard, pegs, pillion seat for two-up riding, and the classic bad boy looks.


Energica Eva Ribelle

energica eva ribelle
Image: Energica

energicamotor.com

Accelerating with the rage of a superbike and aggressively strutting its stuff like a hyper naked with an attitude, the Energica Eva Ribelle is a decent all-rounder.

I think the Eva Ribelle is a rider’s bike. The slightly forward-canted riding position invites you to be aggressive into the bends. But it’s also comfortable.

The thing to remember with this bike is that it’s heavy at 270kg. That can be a hindrance, but it can also be a blessing in the bends – giving you that firm, planted feeling that you can only get with a weightier bike.

The Ribelle’s engine is the same one used in Energica’s MotoE racer – although tuned differently to produce a whopping 169 hp and 159 ft-lb of torque. As you can imagine, acceleration is blisteringly quick.

Energica claim the 21.5 kWh battery (the same one used in the EsseEsse9+) will give you 249 miles of riding at town speeds.

They also claim that the Ribelle is the fastest-charging electric naked bike on the market – giving you 5 miles of riding for every minute you charge it.

This is 82% quicker than any other electric naked bike available.


Arc Vector

arc vector - best electric motorbikes
Image: Arc

arcvehicle.com

If you like the finer things in life (and can afford them), the Arc Vector is the electric bike for you. Hand made in Britain and bespoke developed for each individual customer, the aura of the Arc reminds me of the exclusivity ordinarily reserved for the likes of Brough Superior.

But man, does it look good. Achingly good, in fact.

Arc boasts that the Vector is the most advanced electric motorcycle on the planet – merging technology, innovation, craftsmanship and experience.

At 220kg, it’s lighter than it looks. And the powerful motor will see you get from 0-60 in 3 seconds and on to a top speed of 120 mph.

In terms of range, Arc claims 436 km (271 miles) and a charge time of 40 minutes – although they don’t state if this is a full or partial charge.

But it doesn’t stop there. Awash with technology, the company have developed a Human Machine Interface known as the Arc Pilot System and combined it with a Head-Up Display (HUD) helmet – designed in collaboration with Hedon.

The entire thing is stunning on every level – from concept, materials, technology, and innovation.


Damon Hypersport (range)

damon hypersport
Image: Damon

damon.com

Okay, let’s address the elephant in the room here. This isn’t exactly a touring bike, is it? No, of course it isn’t.

But then again, I come from a background of touring on sports bikes. And I know plenty of others who choose to pack light so they can explore the world on their trusty sports bike, too. So the bikes in the Damon Hypersport range are going on the list!

If you’re looking for the perfect performance trifecta, the Damon Hypersport is a true triple threat with its 200 hp, 200 mph top speed, and 200-mile range. And sports bike or not, that’s pretty impressive.

I can’t find any ranges for combined or city riding (real-world or theoretical), but Damon states that the 200-mile quoted range is on motorways. So that means it should be significantly higher for town and combined riding.

With three charging options, you can recharge the Hypersport to 80% in 45 minutes on Level 3 Fast Charge, recharge to 90% in 2.5 hours on Level 2, and overnight on Level 1.

If you want the look and speed of a sports bike, a bike from the Damon Hypersport range has got to be on your list of best electric motorbikes.


Alrenda TS Bravo

alrendo ts bravo - best electric motorbikes
Image: Alrenda

alrendo.com

Marketed as a commuter bike, there’s no reason why the Alrenda TS Bravo can’t be used in a touring capacity.

The 11 kW (hp) continuous rated motor can churn out bursts of 58 kW (hp) meaning it will reach a top speed of 84 mph (135 km/h.) And that’s more than enough for spirited blasts across Alpine passes or sporadic bouts on the autobahn.

One of the main reasons I chose this bike for our list is the range. With a 16.6 kW/h battery, it’s larger than those used in the electric counterparts by Zero and Harley-Davidson.

And I like that Alrenda has posted real-world ranges rather than theoretical ones. They claim the TS Bravo has a range of:

  • 260 miles @ 31 mph,
  • 155 miles @ 50 mph, and
  • 93 miles @ 75 mph

So whilst the TS Bravo may not be ideal for long stretches of motorway riding, you should see around 150 miles of playtime where it matters – in the twisties. And that’s not at all bad.

In terms of charge time, the spec sheet quotes a 3.5 hour charge time from 0-80%. If you want a full battery refill, I’d expect it to take around 4-4.5 hours.


Energica Ego+ RS

Energica Ego+ RS
Image: Energica

energicamotorcycles.com

Bursting onto the scene in 2013, the original Ego was world-changing regarding electric bikes. Fast forward a few years, and Energica has developed the RS version. And what a machine it is.

As with the Damon Hypersport, the Ego+ RS is made for those who want to blast over mountain passes rather than trundle across them taking in the scenery.

And blast you will! With peak horsepower at 171 and torque at 159 ft-lb, the RS will get you from 0-60 mph in 2.6 seconds and on to a (limited) top speed of 150 mph.

Perhaps the only figures more impressive than the performance ones are the ranges. Energica claim these figures were collated in real-world settings:

  • 249 miles @ town speeds,
  • 143 miles @ combined, and, 
  • 112 miles @ motorway speeds

The upgraded and newly designed 21.5 kWh battery boasts a 62% increase in capacity over the older version whilst weighing less.

Charging times are quoted at 5-6 hours for a 20-80% charge using Type 2 or 40 minutes for a 20-80% charge using DC Fast Charge.


The Best Electric Motorbikes: Specs Comparison

In the table below, we inputted all the data from our best electric motorbikes, including price, power, top speed, 0-60, range, and weight. You can arrange the data into ascending/descending order by tapping on the arrows.

This gives us an overview of all 9 bikes.


Specs Chart & Overall Scores

Based on the table above, we awarded scores based on the best values. The best electric motorbike in any given category was awarded 10 points. The next best was awarded 9 points, and so on.

Then we added the scores together for each bike and plotted them on the chart below.

As you can see, the Damon Hypersport range came out on top with an overall score of 49. The Brutus V9 came last with an overall score of 24.

Of course, you can (and should) take these with a pinch of salt as we all have our own individual requirements and wishlist. For example, I wouldn’t choose the Damon for the simple fact I need more luggage space – I’d choose one of the mid-table bikes.

And the scores also do not account for the ‘feel factor’ of the bikes.


The Best Electric Motorbikes For Touring: Conclusion

As you can see, there is a wide and ranging mix of brands and technologies making up this list of the best electric motorbikes.

And as you can also see in the sales figures, the list of buyers is increasing at the same rate as the technology.

Many riders have expressed they aren’t yet convinced by electric bikes. And for touring riders like us, that problem is made even worse by the lack of range.

But as mentioned at the head of this post, electric bikes are coming, with many manufacturers and governments pledging electric-only vehicles in the coming decade.

The time has come for us, as touring riders, to contemplate electric bikes. They might not be perfect yet – but they will be.

So what about you? Have you made the switch? If so, what do you think is the best electric motorcycle? Let us know what you bought and how you like it!


If you liked this, have a wander over to our motorbikes category where you’ll find posts like these:

Top image: Harley-Davidson via Unsplash

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