The Best Electric Dirt Bikes You Can Ride [2023 Edition]
Over the past few years, electric motorcycles of all types have started to gain mainstream support. While most of these bikes have been oriented solely at road use due to the weight and power of electric motors, advances in miniaturization and extracting more power from lighter batteries have allowed off-road electric bikes to emerge.
In 2022, electric vehicles are becoming less fringe elements of traffic and transportation, and more mainstream. While electric bikes are joining in that mainstream push, dirt bikes are still considered a less important part of the push as a whole. That does not mean, however, that the industry is simply standing by and waiting for electric vehicles to overtake them.
With an average charge time of 1.5 through to 6 hours depending on the battery and how you charge it, and with at least an hour or more of useable time expected from the batteries, electric dirt bikes are here, and here to stay.
#5: Upcoming Yamaha YZ-E Motocross/TT-E Dirt Bike
Yamaha Motor Europe has produced a prototype electric motocross bike in collaboration with battery system manufacturer SPIKE (now called ELEO), Dutch engineering company DOHMS Projects, and the Royal Dutch Motorcyclists Association KNMV.
The electric motor and battery system are retrofit into an existing YZ250F chassis.
The new bike will feature a swappable battery to allow riders to easily swap out the battery between races. This is a very important factor for electric dirt bikes as currently battery still life cannot match a gas-powered bike.
Another major factor of an electric dirt bike is power delivery. They have much more torque right from the outset.
“I am convinced that the electric machine we are building will soon be faster than the current generation of dirt bikes. The big advantage of an electric motor is that the torque is much higher. That gives more pulling power. You can drive a faster lap with it”, said Bas Verkaik of ELEO.
A quiet dirt bike! Electric dirt bike technology is being pushed by ever-increasing noise and emission restrictions.
As electric dirt bikes make very little noise, motocross tracks under threat of closure due to noise restrictions can remain open as noise won’t be a factor anymore.
Electric dirt bikes are also good news for trail riders who will be able to ride in areas without attracting noise complaints.
There is no word yet on when the Yamaha Electric Motocross bike will go into production. We will keep you posted.
#4: 2022 Electric Motion Escape R
In 2020, we recognized Electric Motion, a builder of electric dirt bikes in France, for their excellent Escape model. This year, they’ve released a new, more powerful, and by logic much more fun, model known as the Escape R.
It uses the same basic frame as the Escape, but adds on competition-grade brakes, shocks, and an entirely new VCU (the electric version of an ECU) mapped for aggressive power and acceleration. Full trials-grade Morad rims front and back, with Michelin X11 competition rubber on them, give superb grip to handle the massive torque that the 50V motor can produce, which is the 40 to 45 lb-ft range depending on riding mode.
The same 2.62 kWh battery returns from the Escape, but with the 50V motor can produce up to 20 HP peak, but nominally runs at 11 to 15 HP. The biggest addition over the Escape is that there is now a gear-to-gear clutch system that you don’t have to shift. It will automatically and seamlessly switch to the best gearing to get you up the hill, flying along the trail, or simulate engine braking going downhill.
A big addition coming to the standard 2022 version is Electric Motion’s revolutionary “TKO” – or Tick Over” system. This system is controlled with an on/off switch and E.M. claims that this system has brings an ideal feeling of the bike thanks to the constant RPM.
If you’re looking for an automotive equivalent, think of it as a dual-clutch transmission found on the Corvette C8, but running in automatic mode all the time.
Aventon Pace 500 Next-Gen
Aventon Sinch Step-Through
Rad Power Bikes RadRunner Plus
eBikes have become transportation toys for adults.
Zipping around town on an ebike is fun, nostalgic, efficient, and far better than getting gouged by gas or walking until you melt into a sweat puddle on the sidewalk.
I’ve rounded up a list of the smoothest, cushiest rides so you can whizz by standstill traffic in total comfort.
Which Factors Did I Consider in Deciding on Comfort?
What exactly makes an ebike comfortable to ride? There are several factors at play.
I’ve considered the riding position, seat, handlebars, tires, and shock absorption elements on each of the seven models below. I’ve also taken standard features into account like the range, top speed, and safety features of each of these ebikes.
The Best Budget Ebike is the Lectric XP Lite: Unbox, Text & Review
Step 2: Choosing the Battery
For this application I would recommend the use of lithium ion battery packs. I have outlined some of the reasons below. The main factor for me was that I wanted this pack to be relatively small so that I could fit it in my backpack while at school.
- High discharge rate.
- Smaller and lighter than alternatives (e.g. lead acid).
- Available in different sizes.
Regarding the voltage required from the battery, I went for a 7s4p (7 cells in series, 4 in parallel) 24v battery. I chose this, as motor I was using was 250w 24v (the legal UK limit). The battery could also discharge at least 11 amps (volts amps = watts).
If Tesla Made A Bike, This Would Be It | Lectric XP Lite Review
I got my battery of Aliepress as they were more available and cheaper. This did, however, mean that I had to wait for a significant number of weeks for shipping.
Step 4: Card Access
This project uses an Arduino to control the RFID scanner.
The Arduino can be coded to accept certain cards.
When the correct card is placed onto the scanner, the Arduino sends out a signal to the relay (electromechanical switch), which then allows electricity to flow to the motor.
Turning off the box or touching the scanner again will turn the relay off again.
This is discussed further in the code section.
Step 5: Powering the Arduino
The Arduino then powers the relay and RFID module.
The Arduino can be powered through 5v into it’s Vin. To get this from the battery we can connect it in parallel with the battery. The problem is, the battery will be supplying 30-20v (depending on how charged up it is). To solve this problem we can use a voltage regulator.
This utilizes a step down buck converter circuit.
I have attached pictures of 2 variants. The first has buttons and a LED segment display to allow you see and monitor the input and output voltages easily. The second variant is cheaper but does not have this display so you have to use a voltmeter on the output end to see what you are getting. The little screw on the top of that blue box allows you to adjust the output voltage to 5v.
Note: these are able to handle the amperage that the Arduino part of the circuit draws however make sure to not connect them the wrong way round as they do not have any diodes and get damaged by negative polarity (I learnt this the hard way).
We know that time can be of the essence, so have introduced some speedier delivery options; 48H working hours or 3-7 working days available to almost all UK mainland addresses.
And if you’re not in a rush we offer our standard delivery option of 7-14 working days (it rarely takes that long though) plus its free for orders over £50! And an added benefit, the 7-14 day service also allows us to group deliveries more efficiently, creating the most direct delivery routes preventing orders travelling unnecessary miles and reducing your carbon footprint. That’s a win for everyone
We are expanding the range of our own delivery service all the time but, if you are in an area we are unable to cover with one of our own vans we have a number of trusted courier partners who will get your order to you safe and secure.
Doing our bit
Having our own fleet of vans ready to deliver direct to your doorstep as well as producing our own products in the UK we are creating jobs and cutting down on unnecessary product miles for each item we deliver or make.
Take our climbing frames for example, the timber comes into our manufacturing plant then the finished product is shipped direct to the customer. No trips to separate warehouses or courier depots, saving extra journeys and a lot of extra miles; helping keep down and reducing our carbon footprint.
From ride on toys and trampolines, to our own swings and garden playsets our centralised operations hub allows us to be competitive on price as well as getting products to our customers in as little as 48H without compromising on service!
Lies! Deception! Blasphemy!
This happens for a number of reasons. A common cause is to skirt importation laws. Many European countries limit imports to electric bicycles with a motor rated at 250 watts or less. 250 watts is not very much power by ebike standards. Professional cyclists can put out more than 400 watts on leg power alone.
So in order to clear their electric bicycles for import to as many countries as possible, many ebike manufacturers rate the components on their ebikes much lower than what they are in reality.
Here is a great example of a 250 watt electric bicycle conversion kit. It comes with all the parts except the battery, a pretty standard motor rated by the vendor as “250” watts, and a pretty decent price of about 250 including shipping. But when we look at the specifications, we see the 36V controller has a peak current limit of 15A. Doing the math shows us that 36V 15A = 540 peak watts.
This is very common in the industry. Ebikes sold with “250 watt” motors often come standard with 36V batteries and 15 or 20 amp controllers. As we saw, a 15 amp controller would mean the actual peak power supplied to the motor is closer to 540 watts and a 20 amp controller would be over 700 watts.
How do ebike manufacturers get away with this? One way is to rate the motor for “continuous power” instead of “peak power”. The difference between continuous power and peak power is that continuous power essentially means power a motor can safely handle for an indefinite amount of time without damage or overheating the motor. A “250 watt continuous” motor, theoretically, could run forever at 250 watts without overheating, but any more power would cause it to eventually overheat. If the motor is truly a 250 watt motor by definition, then running this motor at 251 watts would eventually cause it overheat.
Is it ok for ebike companies to rate their motors this way? Technically yes, if the numbers are accurate. But most of the time a “250 watt continuous” motor can handle more than 250 watts continuously, meaning the numerical naming convention is inaccurate and misleading.
The problem here isn’t the morality of underrating ebike specifications (this is one of the few times you usually get more than you pay for), it’s that this often confuses customers and makes comparing different motors much more difficult.
a “250 watt” motor that I run at 500 watts
How can you best use power ratings?
When comparing ebikes or ebike kits, it is important to know first of all if you are comparing continuous or peak power. When someone advises that a 220 lb rider would likely need at least a 1,000 watt motor, he or she usually means 1,000 watts of peak power, as in the amount of power the ebike should be able to produce to drive the rider up a hill.
A 500 watt electric bicycle conversion kit may be listed as a 500 watt kit, yet a closer inspection could show that the kit comes with a 48V battery and a 20 amp peak controller. The math shows us that this kit is in fact capable of putting out 48V x 20A=960 watts, essentially a 1,000 watt kit. What might have initially appeared to be too weak (advertised as 500 watts) is actually an approximately 1,000 watt peak kit, perfect for our 220 lb rider we used in the example about above.
Lawmakers are ignorant about ebikes (among other things)
This is also an interesting example of how nonsensical many electric bicycle laws are. Limiting the wattage of ebike motors doesn’t necessarily limit how powerful they can be. Even though a motor is marked as 250 watts (and even if it may actually be a true 250 watt motor), anyone could connect it to a 48V battery and run 20 amps through the motor to achieve 1,000 watts of power. Of course this could eventually damage or destroy the motor, but it is still demonstrates how it is entirely possible from a practical standpoint.
In fact, direct drive motors such as the Nine Continent are often listed as 500 or 1,000 watt motors, but many people have had success running them at over 3,000 watts by drilling out the cover plates to provide additional air cooling to the motor. Other modifications such as increasing the gauge of the wires carrying power to the copper windings can help maximize the useful power output of these strong, underrated motors.
These examples should reinforce the take-home message here: when you are looking into an electric bicycle or ebike conversion kit, always calculate peak watts in your mind (volts x amps) to do a fair comparison of the actual power you can expect out of any ebike setup. That way you’ll know what type of power level you’ll really experience when you’re ready to twist the throttle.
Micah is a mechanical engineer, tinkerer and husband. He’s spent the better part of a decade working in the electric bicycle industry, and is the author of The Ultimate DIY Ebike Guide. Micah can usually be found riding his electric bicycles around Florida, Tel Aviv, and anywhere else his ebikes wind up.
Комментарии и мнения владельцев
We have bought two hub motor rating 60v and 2000w…we are using battery of 48v and 32amp. We want to give this to both the motar. We want to know the uncharging time. And importantly can we get the maximum speed?
the discharge time (the amount of run time) is impossible to calculate without knowing the conditions of the ride. You’ll have to experiment on that yourself. To calculate speed, determine the original speed the motor was rated at for 60V and multiple that speed by 4/5 (which is 48V/60V).
i have a 1000w motor and 48v battery with 30Amp controller then i need to know the battery consumption of the motor according to the motor power when a certain load is applied on it. how can i calculate it
The instantaneous battery consumption (in watts) is equal to the instantaneous current (in amps) multiplied by the instantaneous voltage (in volts). So using your 30A controller, if you were using full power, like during acceleration or hill climbing, you’d multiply the 30A by your voltage. Your exact voltage changes depending on the current, but let’s just assume it’s right at 48V. So you’d have 30A x 48V = 1,440 watts. Interestingly, the wattage of the motor isn’t very relevant here, as long as it’s providing a load to the controller sufficient that the controller wants to give it full power (in the case described above) or any amount of power, such as during flatland cruising where you might only be pulling 10A (or 10A x 48V = 480 watts). Hope that helps!
i got it but i have to know the charge that is going to discharge from the battery when connected with respect to the time.
As in the watt hours? If your load isn’t constant then that is very difficult to calculate. With a constant load it is just Volts x Amps x hours = watt hours. But if your load is normal riding then you’re stopping and starting and going up hills. At that point you’d basically have to take the integral and get the exact VxAxH=Wh at every second and sum them up. Alternatively, you can just test this by using a wattmeter or cycle analyst.
If motor has a tag of 350w 48 v. Current controller is 48v 20 amps. Can controller be upgraded to 60 volts 20 amps? Can the motor handle it.
It depends. The controller can likely handle 60V but you’ll have to check the capacitors inside to be sure. Most 48V motors can handle higher voltages but if you use high power for extended periods of time then you can risk overheating the motor.
Hey Micah, I was wondering if it was possible to run my 48v 1000w rear hub motor @ 36v 500w? Is it as easy as just plugging in a 36v battery and 36v controller, and will I run into any efficiency issues doing this? My reason for doing this is so I can utilize my 10cell hobby charger and avoid a bms and also to have a slightly longer but slower ride. Is there any sense in this, keeping in mind I am stuck with a 48v 1000w motor? Thanks!
You can definitely do that. Like you said, just use a 36V battery and a matching 36V controller. The downside is you’ll get about a 25% drop in speed by using 36V instead of 48V, but it will still work.
Hi Micah, Congratulations for your site is amazing and i have learn a lot with it. I leave in Europe and we have the 250v limitation law, so my question is related to the following and having in considering the bike features: Range – 10ah – 25 Miles Motor – Xiongda 2 – 636V250W brushless geared rear motor Controller – Tongsheng – 36V15A speed sensor, aluminium Battery – Lithium Ion 36v / 10aH Yoku/Samsung with lock I want to get more speed from the 250V engine so i need to increase the power to 46v so far so good, but instead of changing the controller or even the battery, can I increase the output power at the end of the controller to give more voltage to the engine, like adding a voltage multiplier or something of that kind ? Kind Regards