True motor-cycles are emerging from the ICE age.
Even though they have an Internal Combustion Engine, we call the current, conventional crop motor-cycle; the same goes for motor-car; — they have an engine. The fact is that motor-vehicles preceded engine-vehicles by about half a century; Electric two-wheelers appeared first in 1895.
Today, everyone is talking about the ‘second coming’ of electric vehicles (EV). Quietly, (literally) they are increasing in numbers and gaining momentum briskly. Since those with two or three wheels are still in an almost invisible minority, let us give them a boost; (Batteries could use that as well, and good news was revealed in the article on 2015 07 26.)
Every self-respecting vehicle manufacturer is in the process of developing motor-vehicles at this time, many are modernizing and electrifying what their founders started out with — bicycles.
…moving through time on some amazing machine… I always felt that any motorcycle journey was special. Antoine Predock”
Our list, –in this case two- and a few three-wheelers, starts with Ariel. The reinCARnated Ariel of old has a new two-wheel version besides their four-wheeler ‘Atom’, while a new Chinese namesake is linked here. Next is BMW. Long before the firm became a conglomerate and owned distinct car lines from Mini to Rolls-Royce, Beemers were considered the RR of the bike world. Now the Bavarians from Munich are in Prussia (Berlin) building the C Evolution scooter (the cars are called ‘Bimmers’)
Everyone alive, on this continent at least, has heard a Harley-Davidson rumble past. In the future H-D will also ”rushshsh” past very quietly. The ‘Livewire’ concept bike is an indication of what electric bikes can and will do; Just think of the possibilities for the 81% of Canadians living in cities now and commuting to their shop, store or office: electrically heated seats, handle bars, windshields, a retractable roof and a third wheel in front for snow and ice and all–wheel-drive motor-bikes — all that has been done already.
As their past slogan claimed, “You meet the nicest people on a Honda” -in the past on an “engine-cycle”, in the future on a motor-bike.
Between the ‘H’ and the ‘S’ are likely a number of other famous names. We ask your forgiveness for not mentioning them all; we surely would miss some. Therefore, we opted for those best known in this part of the world. Suzuki is one of those, and they are also getting into e-bikes – and further. In England, they have been testing a Burgman scooter with fuel cell powered electro drivetrain together with Intelligent Energy in the UK. It is a removable fuel-cell-stack power-pack you could insert into the motorbike, into an outboard motor, or to power the cottage.
Yamaha, versatile and experienced with engines from children’s bikes to Formula1, and motors for sundry situations, is starting to produce an electric super-bike. With no more letters to go, we arrive at the tail end of the alphabet with Zero, That firm builds motor-cycles that do not come in at the tail end of any race, especially on the Isle of Man in the Tourist Trophy event.
A non-factory developed electric-motor-bike won the Zero TT Challenge, [don’t miss the video] where “The technical concept is for motorcycles to be powered without the use of carbon based fuels and have zero toxic/noxious emissions.”
“I learned one thing from jumping motorcycles that was of great value on the golf course, the putting green especially: Whatever you do, don’t come up short. Evel Knievel”
Words like that from a two-wheel authority should compel the above bike makers not to “come up short” regarding battery range. If you are inclined to further look into the silent type, here are four more pages of information on buying electric motorcycles.