Electric motorcycles have been around for awhile, but they've never gained any real attention from the motorcycling community. This may be about to change. A little bit, anyway. There are plenty of reasons that electric bikes have not yet been embraced by bikers. They don't sounds like motorcycles (which may be good or bad depending on who you ask), they don't ride like motorcycles (no shifting gears) and until recently, most of them didn't look very cool. On top of this, you couldn't just fill them up, so you pretty much had to stay close to home, or risk being stranded — at least until you could sit for a few hours while they recharged.
California-based Zero Motorcycles is working on changing this. Last year, they introduced the first electric motorcycle with a traditional transmission, allowing riders to shift up through the gears while they ride, giving them a much more traditional riding experience. Early next year, they are bringing out their first "long-distance" motorcycle. The new Z-Force model promises a range of over 100 miles, and a life expectancy of 300,000 miles for the battery. Sure, the 100-mile range is not suitable for trips from Los Angeles to San Francisco — but it seems, for the time, that an electric bike could make the trek from Orange County to LA and back.
I've been looking to sneak a dual sport to my already-cluttered garage. Hmmm… maybe I'll have to check out these electrics. No emissions, and they are actually made in California! Keep up the good work, guys.