At first glance, motorbikes and eco-friendliness don’t seem to mix.
The ear-splitting roar of a typical road bike seems to be a defiant celebration of air pollution as well as noise pollution. However, a number of new eco motorbike offerings threaten to shatter that old stereotype.
Zev Corp asserts that their ZEV7100 is the fastest street-legal electric motorcycles in the country. The sleek scooter’s three-gear electronic transmission and 7,100-watt motor give the bike a top speed of 70 mph. At a cruising speed of 50mph, the ZEV7100 has a range of 62 miles on a fully-charged battery. The Zev offers this streamlined scooter in five bold colors, as well as seating room for two adults. With an MSRP of £7’900 the ZEV7100 may be one of the most affordable high-performance eco motorbikes on the market.
Brammo Empulse 10.0
At the opposite end of the price spectrum, the six-speed Brammo Empulse boasts a 100mph top speed and a 100-mile range, all from just 4,000 watts of peak power. Much more traditionally styled than its electric competitors, the powerful Empulse promises a ride most comparable to a gas-powered bike. However, it also has a power-hungry 10 hour recharge time. The £12’999 MSRP puts the Empulse 10.0 at the top of the line in price as well as power.
Vectrix VX-1 Li
The streamlined VX-1 Li looks somewhat more like an alien spacecraft than a street-legal motorbike. With a top speed of 68mph and a top range of 60 miles, it won’t get its driver very far, but it will get its driver noticed. Available in six colors, the £10’995 VX-1 Li is guaranteed to turn heads.
The Dual Sport model from Santa Cruz-based Zero Motorcycles offers impressive power combined with futuristic styling. Looking rather like something from a science fiction movie, the one-speed DS has a top speed of 68mph and a maximum range of 58 miles on a four-hour charge. The two-tone Zero DS sells for £10’495.
All electric motorbikes present a trade-off between range and speed – the faster you go, the shorter your ride. On the other hand, they reduce fuel costs to less than a penny per mile. You can get good priced electric motorcycle insurance as insurance companys take into account the lower power.