E-bikes: Harley Livewire and KTM Freeride as petrol alternatives
A motorbike with an electric motor! For passionate two-wheelers, that reads like pizza with pineapple. But the reservations about the electric drive in the bike are often no longer appropriate. There have long been manufacturers who build real e-motorcycles – e-bikes that can keep up with their combustion engine counterparts and also score points with a silent, locally emission-free drive. Take the Zero, for example: the Zero SR/F and the Tourer SR/S offer everything that comparable bikes with combustion engines can do in terms of riding experience, ergonomics and power development.
Sure, the clutch fingers grab the first few kilometers into the void. But you quickly get used to the lack of leverage. There is certainly still room for improvement in terms of range, but the charging infrastructure is growing, albeit slowly at times. And if you have a wall box at home, you can even charge some electric motorcycles quickly.
Motorcyclists can use that
Here AUTO BILD presents the coolest e-bikes as an alternative to combustion engines that are currently available from us:
The Livewire is the sportiest Harley-Davidson
At first glance, there is only one combination that contradicts itself more than motorcycle and electric drive: a Harley-Davidson with an electric motor. But the LiveWire can do much more than just improve the fleet consumption of the Americans. She surprises with a completely unknown experience of driving a Harley. It runs almost completely silently, accelerates violently from a standing start and sprints around corners so nimbly and crisply that you keep asking yourself: Is that a Harley?
The Harley is said to travel up to 240 kilometers
The center of gravity of the Livewire is wonderfully low, the lean angle is immense, and the pressure is considerable. The manufacturer specifies the power as 106 hp, the top speed is 177 km/h. It goes from 0 to 100 km/h in three seconds if you turn the handle at the front right with emphasis. Depending on driving behavior, the range is between approx. 120 and 240 kilometers. Only the price is steep: the dealer will ask for 32,995 euros.
The Zero SR/S looks like a motorcycle – and rides like one
Zero shows the past of the company founder at the US space agency NASA. The electric motorcycle pioneer traditionally garnishes its bikes with technical delicacies such as hollow frame parts and special materials that increase rigidity and save weight at the same time. The Californians have achieved a remarkable feat with the sisters Zero SR/F (naked bike) and SR/S (tourer): The two sleek, 110 hp e-bikes not only look like real motorcycles, they also ride like one.
The SR/S is the comfortable, touring-compatible machine
Driving behavior, power output and ergonomics are in no way inferior to the competition with a combustion engine. And even the range of up to 365 kilometers can keep up, at least in theory. The SR/S outperforms its sister in terms of comfort. The taller handlebars mean the riding position is a little less aggressive, and the pillion seat offers real butt room. Zero specifies the top speed of 200 km/h. Prices start at 21,540 euros. Fast charging is possible.
The Zero FXE is an affordable way to ride an electric motorcycle
Zero from California was the first company to start building electric motorcycles in 2006. The American bikes beguile technology fans with their details. One of the currently cheapest ways to ride a Zero (and an electric motorcycle in general) is the Supermoto Zero FXE from 13,650 euros. Incidentally, the FXE is still pleasantly light with an unladen weight of 155 kilograms.
The E-American rides on 17-inch wheels and charges in 1.8 to 9.7 hours, depending on the charger. It is powered by Zero’s weakest engine with 33 kW. The required energy is provided by the smallest battery in the manufacturer’s portfolio with 7.2 kWh. In the end, 44 hp maximum output is on the list. The top speed is estimated at 132 km/h, the range at 161 kilometers.
Is the future of enduro sport electric like e-freeride?
Motocrossers and enduro fans will light up when they read the letters K, T and M. The Austrians’ machines, mostly in orange, are usually a bit more expensive than those of the competition. But they also contain the complete KTM off-road competence. And it’s huge! Numerous victories at the Dakar Rally and almost every important motocross event around the world bear witness to this.
With the KTM you can speed through the dirt silently
The perfect mixture of an enduro for plowing through terrain and a trials machine for complicated climbing is called KTM Freeride. And the Freeride is also available electrically. With 24.5 hp, a slim weight of 111 kilograms and a specified driving time of 90 minutes. After that, you can either recharge the Freeride E-XC in 110 minutes or simply swap out the battery. If you like to rip through the dirt, the E-XC is the right place for you. Especially if someone lives within earshot who doesn’t like the braaaaap of a single-cylinder combustion engine at the weekend. Price: 11,199 euros.
The Energica EsseEsse9 can be charged in one hour
The Energica EsseEsse9 can only be distinguished from a naked bike with a combustion engine at second glance. The Italian has sporty genes anyway: Energica builds the motorcycles for the electric Grand Prix. The manufacturer sees the EsseEsse9 as the tame little sister of the Energica Eva Ribelle.
It has 109 hp and a 13.4 kWh battery in the base. If the interested party orders the large battery with 21.5 kWh, the range increases: According to Energica, it should theoretically be between 130 and 420 kilometers.
With an average load on the battery in excursions or commutes, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. But that’s a good value too. Energica puts the top speed at a full 200 km/h. All versions of the EsseEsse9 – apart from the base – can be charged as standard at CCS fast charging stations. A full charge then takes about an hour. With the slower Level 2 charging, the electric Italian draws juice for a range of 67 kilometers in one hour. Driving fun starts at 19,499 euros.
Govecs has managed the comeback of the Schwalbe
Granted, calling the Govecs Schwalbe an electric motorcycle may be stretching the term a bit. But the electric rebirth of the legendary GDR motorcycle, like its ancestor, just doesn’t really fit into the scooter category. Govecs offers the E-Schwalbe in a large version with a 10.8 hp Bosch drive train. Then the optically successful new edition of the two-stroke engine, which is still extremely popular today, achieves a top speed of 90 km/h.
The Elektro-Schwalbe lies excellently in the hand
The driving characteristics are stable to crisp. If you are looking for a comfortable glider, the electric swallow could roll too rough. But it feels excellent in the hand, shows itself to be an absolute lover of nimble lane changes and sprints vigorously around corners. In addition, their acceleration behavior should inspire every driver. The rechargeable batteries and the charging cable are permanently installed, and charging takes place at a normal household socket. It starts at 6990 euros.