Best Electric Dirt Bikes 2023
Electric dirt bikes are getting better all the time. Choices were limited not too long ago, with price and battery life being the main drawbacks. A competitive model would have set you back 12,000 and may only have delivered an hour or so of usable riding time. KTM was definitely ahead of the curve with their Freeride electric dirt bike upon its initial release.
TeamMA spent some time studying the options for rider who wants something a little different. Electric motocross bikes have started making appearances at major events, and they even have dedicated classes at certain tournaments. With the world moving rapidly towards electric vehicles, electric dirt bikes are the wave of the future.
Best electric Dirt Bikes For Adults
With more options to choose from than ever before, there’s never been a better time to invest in an adult electric dirt bike. As with any dirt bike, they all have their differences in both preferences and cost. Choosing an electric dirtbike brand is an important part of the buying process, and being informed is the first step. Before we look at some buying tips, check out some of the best electric dirt bikes for adults below!
KTM Freeride E-XC – The Best Overall Electric Dirt Bike
The KTM Freeride E-XC just gets better and better in 2023. Giving us a glimpse as to just how reliable electric off-road motocross is already. An 80-minute charge time will return around 60 to 90 minutes of riding depending on the terrain, with power storage and delivery from 360 Lithium-ion cells. This charging constraint does mean that an all-day adventure ride is a tricky proposition, but it’s not impossible if you have enough charged power packs and are riding with support.
The KTM Freeride range is for shorter track or leisure rides. With 22bhp and 42Nm of torque on tap from the brushless, permanent magnetic synchronous electric motor, the power comes in immediately, and it’s comparable with a 125cc gas-powered dirt bike.
KTM has produced two competent machines worthy of any MX circuit. The SX is the more focused circuit machine, and the XC is more of an enduro machine. Neither of these dirt bikes are toys. We spoke with KTM in Plymouth, UK and they describe the Freeride-E as
remarkably quick. It takes you by surprise. I guess the weirdest thing is the lack of engine noise, and the fact it is more like a twist and go.
When it comes to power delivery, there are three mapping modes available. Setting one is the softest and is most similar to a wet weather setting. It has a slower power delivery and a more sedated top end. Setting two starts softly and increases sharply in power towards the top end of the curve. Setting three is the full-fat MX mode, and it’s most comparable to a 250cc four-stroke dirt bike.
KTM has installed moisture sensors that shut down the motor if any moisture is detected, and as such, riding in deep water is not recommended. The Freeride range comes with the same quality of components that you would find on other KTM models. At 97 kilograms, with a 27 kilogram power pack, the bikes handle exceptionally well and turn almost instinctively.
Tracking ruts is effortless, and the well-balanced design means that the Freeride does everything you would expect of a top-end enduro bike. Freeride electric bikes are quickly earning their place among their contemporaries, and they’ll only keep getting better and better.
However, let’s be clear here. KTM electric dirt bikes are thoroughbred off-road bikes, and they are fully competitive for short race sessions or casual rides when covering lots of miles is not a requirement. While used is always an option, a new Freeride electric motocross bike will run you around 11,299.
Why we chose this model
Above the other models on this list, the Freeride range was a breakout addition to the electric dirt bike world, and features like the moisture sensor and mapping modes have set KTM apart from their early competitors. Compared to other electric dirt bikes, you’d be most likely to find the KTM Freeride E-XC on the used dirt bike market simply because of how well known KTM is as a brand. As long as you’re aware of the potential conditions and power challenges that you’ll face while riding, we recommend the Freeride for its rugged power and durability.
|Battery||18 kW Lithium-ion KTM PowerPack|
|Weight||111 kilograms / 245 pounds|
|Frame Material||Chrome-molybdenum with bolt-on forged aluminum|
|Seat Height||910 millimeters|
|Ground Clearance||340 millimeters|
Best Electric Dirt Bikes – Stark Varg
Stark Future is changing minds about just how impressive electric mx dirt bikes can get. As of January 2023, the Stark Varg has much to brag about. 80 HP beats out the horsepower of most four-stroke dirt bikes in the industry, and the Stark Varg is supposed to offer up to 100 fully customizable power profiles depending on what you need out of it that day.
‘Varg’ is Swedish for wolf, so it’s no wonder this adult electric dirt bike is a beastly competitor. Power isn’t the only thing to boast about on the Stark Varg Electric Dirt Bike. Since this marvel is built around its water-cooled engine, the frame weighs only about half of what a comparable gas-powered dirt bike would. The motor is also encased in a carbon fiber sleeve for even more lightweight maneuverability.
Runtime is similarly increased thanks to the massive 6 kWh battery upgrade that Stark Future has compared to the longevity of a full tank of gas on a 450cc dirt bike. Instead of recharging your electric enduro bike every hour or two, the Stark Varg will allegedly last up to six hours of trail time or a full motocross championship.
Since an estimated 20% of dirt bike tracks have closed due to noise issues, the Stark Varg makes it feasible to ride where it was previously not possible. With no gas or oil to maintain, the Stark Varg won’t need more maintenance than a normal bicycle according to Stark Future.
The Varg features a rugged phone holder on the handlebars, with an optional Android phone to boot. Even if you use your own phone, pop it in to control the many power profiles and select five to have on hand during your day out. The battery is also rated at IP69, meaning complete waterproofing and the wild capability to ride underwater if you end up in a sticky situation.
TeamMA continues to be super impressed by the Varg and all of its potential capabilities. We’ll be excited to see if this new competitor actually holds up to the power that Stark claims. As of early 2023, the Stark Varg is available for reservation from Stark Future for a 100 deposit and is expected in March of 2023. The basic model will set you back almost 13,000, but this is a small price to pay to ride this futuristic model.
Why we chose this model
What’s not to love about the Stark Varg Electric Dirt Bike? So many different companies have attempted to do what Stark Future is doing now, and it will be the most groundbreaking development in electric motocross bikes if their claims hold water. Between the versatility of adjustment in power modes, longevity of riding, superior construction and attention to detail, the Stark Varg is an electric dirt bike to watch out for.
|Battery||6 kWh Stark VARG battery|
|Weight||110 kilograms / 242 pounds|
|Frame Material||Ultralight tubular chromoly steel|
|Ground Clearance||310 millimeters|
Cake Kalk OR Race
This Swedish made Cake Kalk OR Race electric dirt bike is a bold addition to the ever growing off-road category. They also produce a road legal version. The look/design will make you stand out along with premium Öhlins suspension, 3 braking modes and 3 ride modes, to use as an exploration machine, or an explosive performance tool.
We at TeamMA were impressed by the styling and quality of build and parts, however, it comes at a price, starting at 14,370, it is the most expensive electric dirt bike on this list. For that you get a top speed of 56mph / 90kmh with up to 3 hours of range with only 165-pound weight. It really feels like a game-changer in most respects.
CAKE connect is an app that you can use to help optimise your experience. Service reminders, ride statistics, diagnostics and ride mode customizations really make you feel in control and at one with your machine.
Why we chose this model
With 280Nm (207ft/lb) of torque at the wheel with only 165 pounds/75kg of weight provides instant movement that you can really feel. Combined with premium components, superb build quality and an impressive 11.75”/300mm ground clearance, means you can really be competitive with any gas-powered dirt bike on the market with comparable size. Plus the design is a real “head turner”.
The fact that there are 26 outlets selling/servicing the CAKE brand in the all over the United States alone, means that there is good support and after-sales. Even though they are Swedish based, they have a good reputation and is more comprehensive than much of the competition.
However, the price is as premium as the bike. For over 14,000, you really have to be committed to the experience and would not recommend for the novice. If you do, am sure you will love it, but there might be better options for your personal finances and expectations.
|Battery||50Ah/2.6kWh Premium 18650 lithium cells|
|Weight||75 kilograms / 165 pounds|
|Frame Material||6061 aluminium – extruded, forged and CNC machined|
|Seat Height||926 millimeters|
|Ground Clearance||300 millimeters|
Kuberg Freerider Electric Dirt Bike
The Kuberg Freerider is an excellent entry-level electric dirt bike adults and kids alike can test out for a smaller investment. With aggressive motocross looks and fun graphics, the Kuberg is a competent off-roader geared towards both teens and adults. It has a top speed of 46 mph, weighs in at a total 40 kilograms and it boasts up to 2 hours of riding time. Full recharge time is around 1.5 or 2.5 hours (optional extended battery), but slightly over one hour will get you about an 80% recharge.
Kuberg offers different choices in terms of wheels and suspension so that you can tailor your bike to your needs for height, power and wheel base dimensions. In many ways, the Freerider is the perfect electric dirt bike for a newcomer for its price and accessibility.
Based on our ride on the Freerider, the centralized location of the controller and resulting sensitivity really helps you get going in a hurry, and the single speed transmission means there’s no shifting to worry about. Mid-range riders will fit the Freerider perfectly with an 876-millimeter seat height, and 11 horsepower gave us even powerband control without feeling overwhelming.
Why we chose this model
The Kuberg Freerider is ultra-lightweight and ideal for either youngsters new to the sport or veterans who want an easy transition into electric dirtbikes. The Freerider is a solid investment for decent power without being overloaded and you won’t break the bank like some other high-end models.
|Battery||14kW Power Force Lithium-ion polymer 48V battery|
|Weight||40 kilograms / 88 pounds|
|Frame Material||Poweder-coated steel double-cradle tube|
|Seat Height||876 millimeters|
Sur Ron Light Bee X Electric Dirt Bike
The Sur-Ron Light Bee X weighs in at a modest 83 kilograms, making for quick work and easy handling on your track of choice. The 60V removable battery pack provides an easy recharge that ranges anywhere from 2.5 to 3.5 hours. A slick LCD handlebar dashboard comes standard with a digital speedometer and USB charger for any power emergencies that might arise.
As far as performance, we love that the light weight lends itself to a robust 45 degree climbing range for more aggressive rides on this electric mx dirt bike. The combination of a thicker and wider seat provides a comfortable ride on most terrain types. Though we found that it doesn’t quite scream along like some other models, the Light Bee X is a smooth, dependable ride for a rider new to the game.
Unlike most other models, the Sur Ron Light Bee X comes in a choice of silver, black or blue depending on your desired starting line look. Though it comes with LED lights, we’re still crossing our fingers for a street-legal version of this electric motocross bike sometime soon.
Why we chose this model
The Light Bee X is perfect for beginner riders with its adjustable seat height range, lightweight frame and affordable price point. The quiet ride is a plus for low-noise pollution environments, and while the powerband may leave some to be desired for more experienced riders, it’s ideal for learning and easy manoeuvring.
The Light Bee X is definitely the most “bang for buck” electric dirt bike on the market, with lots of after market mods available to suit your needs.
|Battery||6kW Panasonic 60V Lithium removable battery|
|Weight||70 kilograms / 154 pounds|
|Frame Material||T4 T6 aluminum alloy|
|Seat Height||840 – 880 millimeters|
|Ground Clearance||270 millimeters|
Electric Motion EM Escape – 2023
Made in the US, the EM Escape is a small but mighty ride. With a 38-mile range and three map settings varying from low to high power, it’s no surprise that this model is described as being best for ‘discrete, long distance backcountry exploration.’
We were impressed with both the ability to toss this 183-pound electric enduro bike around as well as the 46.5 mph / 75 kph speeds. Even though this can cut into your mileage range, it sure is fun to zip around on while you’re riding trails. The enhanced seat doesn’t hurt either, especially after all that time in the saddle.
New for 2023:
A significant new safety feature for 2023, all Electric Motion models now feature our Anti-Reverse system. Anti-Reverse keeps the bike from rolling away in the event that the the rider fails a steep ascent. At speeds from 0 to 3mph, the rider can instantly lock the back wheel by pushing the grey button on the handlebar.
IMPROVED BRAKE PEDAL TIP
Now made of aluminum for improved quality, better control surface, and more traction against your boot.
Improved sensitivity and throttle control come from the better mechanical system on the new Domino throttle.
New linkage ratio for 2023 improve rear-suspension performance and increase rear wheel grip in all situations.
As always, you can easily manage your traction control on this adult electric dirt bike with a switch. The top left of the handlebar controls traction, while the bottom switch controls the map setting. Switch between green (low power), blue (medium power) or red (high power) to set your vibe for the day. You’re also able to choose between a switch that controls the braking system for battery recharge, or a clutch-like lever to cut power to the rear wheel.
The one drawback is that the EM Escape takes a bit over four hours to fully charge, and it’s not as reduced as we’d like even with Electric Motion’s upgraded charger. In case you’re not quite satisfied with the power that the EM Escape electric dirt bike brings, the Escape R is a solid choice for upgrades like a hydraulic clutch and high-capacity battery.
Why we chose this model
Electric Motion has integrated some exciting features into the EM – 2023 and we love to see the result. The low 820-millimeter seat height means almost anyone can get in on the fun, and easy left-hand controls offer a variety of options that aren’t super common yet on electric enduro motorbikes. Just be sure to come prepared with an extra battery or plan ahead for the generous charging time on your day out.
|Battery||11kW Lithium-ion 50.4V battery|
|Weight||83 kilograms / 183 pounds|
|Frame Material||15CDV6 Steel|
|Seat Height||820 millimeters|
|Ground Clearance||320 millimeters|
ZERO FX Road Legal Electric Dirt Bike
The ZERO FX ZF7.2 for 2023 from Zero Motorcycles has been added to this list as the only Road Legal dirt bike because we felt it deserved this spot for being the most versatile all-rounded dirt bike that you won’t need a trailer for. It’s sold as a dual-sport, meaning it is good for both road and off-road, which can be argued to make it average in both. However, many people appreciate that adaptability.
Peak power of 46hp, peak torque of 78 ft-lb (106 Nm) with a top speed of 85mph are pretty impressive numbers, however, the company does admit that those figures are not maintainable for too long before the battery runs down.
Showa forks and rear suspension, a reasonably light weight of 289 lb (131 kg) combined with a good 7.2KW battery with regenerative braking, makes it a very reasonable deal for 12,995. 5 years unlimited mileage warranty also give you the peace of mind that the company takes it’s quality and customers seriously.
Some not so great things
We can’t help but point out a few down sides… the main one being that you will need to live near your favourite dirt track, with only 69 miles @55 mph combined riding (meaning including stop and starts at lights), it won’t leave you much time to have fun on your best bit of dirt.
Charging times are also very high… 9.2 hours to 95% with a standard charger is extremely high, however with extra accessory chargers, this is reduced to 1.3 hours. However, you really need to keep in mind that with the standard charger only, you will realistically only get 1 ride of between 50-80 miles per day!
However, don’t let its downfalls with battery life and charging time stop you, it is still a great all-rounder as happy on-road as off-road. Easy to use, competent and you can do your daily around town runs with ease and no trailer.
|Battery||11 kW Z-Force Li-Ion intelligent integrated|
|Weight||131 kilograms / 289 pounds|
|Frame Material||Oval steel trellis|
|Seat Height||881 millimetres|
|Transmission||Clutch less Direct Drive|
Best Electric dirt bikes – What you need to know
Whether you’re interested in the fastest electric motocross bike or the best electric dirt bike with the longest range, it all comes down to the battery. The power, capacity and weight of the given battery is critical. Modern design has led to Rapid advances in battery technology, although long distances timeframes are still problematic. Short sessions at a dirt bike race track or sub-three-hour trail rides are about as much as you can do.
A portable generator is always handy if you intend on riding in remote spots, which isn’t a huge addition considering you’re probably already hauling your electric motocross bike on a flatbed or trailer. The principal factor when comparing battery life is the amount of power on tap. Think of the battery as your fuel tank and the electricity it stores as your petrol. Electric is measured in KwH (kilowatt hours), so a higher the KwH rating means you’ll go even further. As with a petrol bike, the harder you hit the throttle, the more juice you will use.
Well balanced weight distribution
Weight distribution is another factor to consider when looking at electric enduro bikes. Lithium batteries are heavy. Then again, so are engines, fuel and frames. The best electric dirt bikes make use of battery weight in the right places, and this creates a low centre of gravity. When done right, the battery can be incorporated into the frame design to help balance the machine.
Finally, you need to look at power modes. Most decent electric enduro bikes will offer power mapping to adjust the rate of power consumption and how that is turned into power at the back wheel. With these basics satisfied, look at the quality of the suspension and the brakes.
Electric Dirt Bikes – The Benefits
Industry leaders are banking on kids starting young with electric motocross bikes. Since so much of older generations have been hooked by the sounds and smell of motocross, it’s clear why they’re not keen on a quiet ride. However, peewee bikes can still have their downfalls with stalling and learning to shift, and this can be a huge road block to enjoyment depending on the experience.
Even with adults, the 4-stroke powerband is often preferred since it’s a more straightforward and dependable ride. As technology advances, electric dirt bikes are improving to the degree of matching the 4-stroke model and almost surpassing it to become the superior ride. Since noise pollution is a barrier for many young riders, electric alternatives offer a chance for youngsters to practice regularly and enjoy their electric mx dirt bikes with friends. Parks, beaches and trails can be rethought as new areas for riding!
Electric dirt bikes for kids are the wave of the future, and we love seeing how this will lead to the evolution of the dirt bike industry. Improvements are made year over year, and we’re hopeful for a more affordable model soon. As the technology becomes easier to create, we’ll cross our fingers for more companies to fill the 3000 to 12,000 void in the next few years!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the fastest electric dirt bike?
According to the claims above, the Stark Varg will be the fastest adult electric dirt bike upon its release in 2023. It’s got the highest powered engine and some of the most state of the art technology to back it up. Until then, the Alta Motors Redshift comes in second at 50 horsepower (if you’re able to track down a used model), and the KTM Freeride E-XC arrives third with 24.5 horsepower.
What is the best electric motocross bike?
As of 2023, the Stark Varg and KTM Freeride E-XC are neck and neck for the title of most accessible and best electric dirt bike for adults. They both provide substantial power and have thought of almost everything to make riding convenient and quick despite recharging and other electric pitfalls. One positive for the Freeride E-XC is that it’s available now and has already gone through a few iterations and updates for 2023. The Stark Varg’s release is super exciting, but it won’t be ready for another year. The Varg is ideal for updating in the future, but if you want something now, the Freeride is the way to go.
Is an electric dirt bike worth it?
In our opinion, absolutely! Even though motocross started as a gas-powered sport, green energy will most likely overtake combustion engines eventually. While this may not exactly be what some riders want to hear, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Considering the research and development that’s gone into the electric motocross bikes above, technology is rapidly changing to meet and exceed these previous expectations. It won’t be long before electric dirt bikes are better than the standard gas-powered ones.
Which electric dirt bike has the longest range?
Once again, the Stark Varg wins out when compared for longest range. It’s rumored to run for six straight hours without a recharge, compared to alternatives that only offer 1–2-hours of riding time. Along with coming in second for fastest, the Alta Redshift comes in second for electric enduro motorcycle range as well at around 4 hours riding time.
No matter what electric dirt bike you choose, it will undoubtedly be a new and exciting experience. It might take some extra preparation, but sooner or later you’ll be ripping just like you do on your gas-powered models! We’ll be back with more electrifying advice soon!
Hiboy DK1 Electric Dirt Bike For Kids Ages 3-10
Equipped with a high-strength shock-absorbing spring, which has a super shock-absorbing capacity and no noise while driving. Provides you great performance with 3-speed modes and up to 13.7 miles long-range with a rechargeable 36V sealed lithium battery system in all scenarios. Takes only 4-5 hours to fully charge.
Super Shockproof Performance
Equipped with a high-strength shock-absorbing spring, which has super shock-absorbing capacity and no noise while driving.
Don’t worry about making noise to your neighbors.
Safe speed modes
The dirt bike has 3 safe speed modes:Low: 5.0 mph (8 km/h)Medium: 7.5 mph (12 km/h)High: 15.5 mph (25 km/h).
You can choose to use any speed to give you the best riding experience.
Electric motorcycle designed for kids aged 3-10 with authentic dirt bike geometry provides for a solid ride off-road with a max rider weight of 140 lbs.
I’ve ridden every electric motorcycle out there. Here’s what I’ve discovered
Electric motorcycles are my jam. If I’m on two wheels and it’s not a bicycle, then odds are I’m on an electric motorcycle. I don’t ride them because they’re clean or green, though those are nice side benefits – I ride them because they’re fun and enjoyable. They’re infinitely better than sitting in a car watching the world go by through glass. And the ownership experience is so much nicer than gas motorcycles due to their greatly reduced maintenance, lower cost of ownership, lack of vibrating cacophony, and a laundry list of other reasons.
My love of these awesome e-motos has put me in a unique position of having ridden pretty much every one of them out there.
Now let me stop the pedants right here for a second. No, the title isn’t clickbait.
But to say it in more words than fit in a headline, I’ve ridden basically every electric motorcycle out there, not counting a few cool international models I’m still missing (Stark Varg, TS Bravo, etc.) and a few super low-volume boutique e-motorcycle companies in the US (Tarform, Lightning, etc.).
But other than those few edge cases, I’ve ridden every major electric motorcycle currently available in the US, and some that aren’t even available yet.
Here’s a rundown of what you need to know about each company, the cool bikes they build, and how they ride. And since I could never possibly cover each one in enough nitty-gritty detail in a single compilation article like this, make sure you click through to the in-depth reviews I’ve done on these bikes as well.
To avoid playing favorites, I’m also going to bang these out in alphabetical order. Sorry, Zero, but that’s on you guys.
One of the best parts is also just how many looks and Комментарии и мнения владельцев you get. The last time I was riding one was in San Francisco when I attended the Micromobility America 2022 conference. People were stopping me on street corners just to ask about these wild-looking things. Another experience near Miami was the same thing – people were riding up next to me on the street just to talk about it.
I also like how they have a locking trunk in back and how the rear seat can also be used for a decent amount of cargo space (when you’re not carrying a passenger).
The range is modest at around 100 miles in city conditions, but highway riding cuts that range down quickly. Don’t expect to go on long touring rides with these.
I’ve also tested the open-top Arcimoto Roadster, which feels more like a trike motorcycle. Its chopped top and sportier seating position give an entirely different sensation. It’s a lot of fun, but I prefer the FUV for daily riding.
Neither are the most practical vehicles on the road. They’re too wide to lane split but too small for carpool duty. But they make up for it in sheer charm.
The only other slight downside is that you’ve got to think about your placement on the road as a triple-track vehicle. Unlike a motorcycle, where you swerve around obstacles or a car where you straddle obstacles, triple-track vehicles like these trikes mean you have to be more accurate when “threading the needle” with potholes, road debris, etc. If this were your daily driver, then I’m sure you’d get used to it quickly. But each time I hop back in one, I have to remember that I’ve not only got three wheels on the ground, but each one follows a different line.
CAKE has three main platforms: the Kalk electric dirt bike, the Ösa electric utility bike, and the Makka electric moped. To be fair, I’ve only tested the first two, and it wasn’t a particularly long test ride on either, but they were both quite enjoyable.
The Kalk is their original dirt bike-style electric motorbike. It introduced the brand’s Swedish design with a love-it-or-hate-it appearance and showed that CAKE was here to play with the big boys. You’ll regularly see CAKE Kalks flying through the air and taking big jumps in stride.
The bikes are powerful, fairly lightweight, and a lot of fun to ride, though they’re pretty pricey at around 14,000.
The lower cost INK line drops the price by a couple thousand bucks, but these still aren’t budget bikes. Fortunately, they do have both on- and off-road versions of the Kalk line, meaning you can actually use them as street-legal motorcycles too.
The CAKE Ösa is a utility bike that was first marketed as a “workbench on wheels.” That feels like a suitable name for these things. They are incredibly modular and are designed to be customized based on your needs. Whether that’s delivering packages, powering an electric saw for a carpentry job, or working as a forest ranger and carrying around axes and chainsaws, they’ve been outfitted for just about everything.
They’re also quite powerful and fun to ride. I was having a bit too much fun with one in a gravel lot in Munich, leading to one of my only motorcycle crashes from getting a bit too jubilant in the corners.
CAKE’s rides are awesome-looking and fun-riding electric motorcycles, but they don’t have the same bang-for-buck you’d get elsewhere. You’re paying for fancy Swedish design, which is still worth something, but it means these won’t be the best option if you’re trying to squeeze every penny. For those that want something different looking though, CAKE takes the cake.
CSC is a California-based motorcycle importer that deals with largely Chinese-made bikes, both ICE and electric. They’ve got some of the best in the business, and they only work with good-quality imports. They also have an absolutely massive warehouse in LA that is stocked to the brim with dozens of spares of every part on all of their bikes, which ensures that you get US-level service if you ever need a spare part. I’ve tested all of their electric motorcycles, but my sister has their CSC SG250, and the head mechanic at CSC even walked us through a carb tuning question over the phone while we worked on the bike. So don’t think that just because these are Chinese bikes means you’ll get bad quality or poor service. You get good versions of both.
Now let’s get to the bikes. The most impressive in the lineup is the CSC RX1E. I rode one near LA, and it was so much more impressive than I was expecting.
It’s got a super comfortable adventure bike setup, even though it’s really more of an urban commuter. But with a liquid-cooled motor, top speed of 80 mph (130 km/h), and a range of 112 miles (180 km), it can handle any commute you can throw at it. At its current price of 8,495, it gets you similar performance to an entry-level Zero motorcycle but at a fraction of the price.
A much smaller bike in the company’s lineup is the CSC City Slicker, which is more like a Honda Grom-sized electric motorcycle. It has a lower top speed of 45 mph (72 km/h) and is definitely meant for sticking to the city, hence the name.
The removable battery makes it convenient for charging in an apartment, yet it still gives you all the motorcycle fun of flying around turns while trying to drag knee. It may have scooter-level performance, but it comes in a motorcycle-shaped package. When riding the City Slicker, I would always get questions from people and thumbs-ups along the way. There’s just something about a mini-moto that makes people look up.
Speaking of scooters, the CSC Wiz has much of the City Slicker’s performance but in a true scooter platform. That means you get a cargo trunk, a step-through body for even more cargo space at your feet, and a big comfortable seat with plenty of room for a second rider. As long as you are OK with speeds in the low 40’s of mph, then the Wiz is a great, low-cost electric scooter option at just 2,495.
Last but not least, you’ve got to check out the CSC Monterey. At just 2,195, this vintage Honda Cub-inspired scooter looks incredible. It’s underpowered and only gets up to 32 mph (51.5 km/h), but it makes up for the lackluster performance in pure charm.
I got a Monterey, and everywhere I went, people would smile and give me a thumbs-up. When I parked, people inevitably want to ask me about it. It’s a crowd-pleaser for sure. I ultimately gave it to my father, who gets a kick out of the classic styling. It also goes nicely in his retro-themed garage. If you live in a beach community or other area with lower-speed roads where a 32 mph scooter will suffice, the CSC Monterey is a hoot to ride.
I’m more of a comfort cruiser type of rider than a super-tucked sport rider, and so while the Ribelle is fun, that streetfighter is sportier than I really need. The EsseEsse9 was my favorite with its lower pegs and higher bars, even if the bike has slightly less power than the Ribelle.
But when Energica launched the Experia, that bike quickly became my favorite of the bunch. The sport tourer combined a powerful drivetrain with a comfortable and upright seating position. And with level 3 DC fast charging, touring is a reality with quick charge stops while grabbing a coffee or a bite to eat.
The Experia is my hands-down favorite of the bunch, but any time I get a chance to hop on an Energica, I know I’m going to have a good day.
I was on the Ribelle for a couple of days on a recent trip to San Francisco and had a blast on the bike. While going over the windy bridges, I was glad to be on a solid, heavy bike as opposed to something much smaller.
So while I’d definitely opt for the Experia if it were me, the company’s sportier bikes are still a blast. The only model I haven’t tried is the Evo, which is just so much sportier than I’d ever need or want. But those who have them seem to love them, so to each their own!
Gogoro technically isn’t available in the US… yet. But since the company is rapidly expanding its presence, I’ll include Gogoro just in case they decide to come stateside soon.
The company recently expanded to Tel Aviv, Israel. For those who don’t know, despite being in the US often to ride new bikes and enjoy the country’s vast diversity of riding areas, I actually live in Tel Aviv most of the year. And so I was one of the first to get a new Gogoro S2 ABS electric scooter when they came out.
The scooters use a pair of swappable batteries that are the heart of the Gogoro Network. I’ve never charged the scooter – I’ve only ever swapped batteries. Theoretically, the range is well over 100 km (62 miles) in the city, but I’m often taking it up to its top speed of 95 km/h (59 mph) on highways, and so I often get closer to 60-70 km of range (36-45 miles).
But there’s a battery swap station every mile or two in Tel Aviv, and so range just isn’t an issue. When the batteries start to get low, I just roll into a battery swap station and pop in a pair of freshly charged batteries. The whole thing takes barely a minute if I’m moving slowly, and I can get it done in 30 seconds if I’m quick. A monthly subscription of around 38 covers my access to the swap stations.
The bike is also available in a chain-drive off-road version, though I like the belt-drive on-road version better as it’s quieter and also lower to the ground, which is nice for my 30-inch inseam.
The bike isn’t wildly powerful, but it’s enough to beat cars off the line at green lights, which is what I expect out of a commuter bike. Anything less, and you might as well get a scooter.
Kollter is actually known as Tinbot in Europe if you’re wondering why there are nearly identical-looking versions across the pond. And the company is coming out with several new models in the next few months that offer more power and speed, so this is going to be an exciting company to watch.
I LOVE me some LiveWire bikes. I was one of the first to ride the original production version of the Harley-Davidson LiveWire back in 2019, and my takeaway was that it was an incredibly-performing bike that was also grossly overpriced. Well, perhaps not grossly. But at 30K, it was pretty darn pricey.
The company ended up spinning off LiveWire as its own all-electric sub-brand and relaunched the bike as the LiveWire One.
At closer to 22K, now we’re talking. I’ve ridden the LiveWire one as well, and it feels pretty much the way I remember the H-D LiveWire to have felt a few years ago. The bike is incredibly powerful off the line with a 0-60 mph of 3.1 seconds.
It’s fun in the canyons and works great in the city as well, and I love the Level 3 DC fast charging for quick fill-ups. The last time I was riding the LiveWire One in LA, I made frequent use of the fast charging in 20-minute stops, which allowed me to get over half of the battery’s charge back into the “tank.”
I also had the chance to test an early prototype of the LiveWire Del Mar, which is LiveWire’s second bike, schedule to be released early next year.
At 17K, it’s a decent bit more affordable than the LiveWire One, but it still offers nearly the same 0-60 mph time. It’s not a toned down LiveWire One, though – it’s an equally fun bike in its own right.
In fact, I also find it more comfortable since it doesn’t have as long of a reach as the LiveWire One. The only downside in comparison is that it’s likely to have around two-thirds of the range of the LiveWire One. (We don’t yet have full battery or range specs from LiveWire at the time of publishing.) But as a more urban-oriented bike, even 100 miles (160 km) of range is going to be plenty for nearly any commuter.
After my LiveWire S2 Del Mar test ride, I was kicking myself for not pre-ordering one of the Launch Edition bikes. Those 100 individually numbered motorcycles are all but guaranteed to become collectors items one day.
This alphabetical ordering gives us some doozies, like NIU’s cute little city scooters following up behind LiveWire’s rocket of an electric motorcycle.
But I call ’em like I see ’em, and I see NIU as a great option for anyone who needs a modestly powerful scooter in the city. I have the NIU NQi GT Long Range, and it has served as my daily driver for just over two years. The scooter does absolutely everything I need it to do (well, except for taking my dog to the vet) and has been an awesome way to get an electric vehicle in the city when my wife and I neither want (nor can afford) something as large as an electric car.
The NIU isn’t the most powerful scooter out there, but it keeps up with the 125cc scooters off the line without a problem.
One of its quirks is that your feet are up a bit high since one of the two giant batteries is under the foot platform, but I got used to it quickly and stopped noticing. I also wish it had more built-in storage, but I just added one of NIU’s cargo boxes on back and that gave me extra cargo space.
With a top speed of 80 km/h (50 mph), it’s been sufficient for the city, but I’d certainly love to upgrade to the newer NIU MQi GT EVO, which tops out at 100 km/h (62 mph). I test rode one last year at the EICMA Milan Motorcycle Show, and the first thing I noticed was how the more powerful motor accelerates even quicker than my NQi GT. If you’re going to be riding a lot with your partner or just want a faster and more powerful scooter, the EVO is a great option.
I haven’t ridden NIU’s RQi Sport electric motorcycle yet since it’s only been released in China. But the first chance I get, I’ll be on it.
The bike feels light and nimble, even if it’s not the fastest off the line like a LiveWire or Energica. But it makes up for it in style and experience.
The Anthem is also quite comfortable, especially for a smaller rider like me at 5’7″ or 170cm. But because you can raise the seat up by 4 inches, taller riders can feel good on the Anthem as well.
The last cool thing to mention on this bike is the removable battery. It may be small at just over 4 kWh, but it is removable with a quick release and even has wheels so you don’t have to carry the 65-pound pack inside to charge it. Instead, you just roll it like carry-on luggage. That’s a key benefit for apartment dwellers who don’t have a place to charge on the street.
But since this is a commuter bike and not really a long highway cruise type of bike, that’s probably going to be fine for most people.
I test rode one of the first production Metacycles in LA and took it on a combination of fast highway riding and local city street cruising. I got an extrapolated range of 40 miles (64 km), though that was with ample use of the sport mode. Not exactly the most impressive range, but obviously fine for anyone with a commute of less than 40 miles (or 20 miles if you don’t have a charge spot at work).
The bike itself is actually a lot of fun to ride. Not only is it a head turner and conversation starter at traffic lights, but it’s a nimble and easy-riding bike for weaving between cars and slicing through traffic.
In fact, it’s so easy to ride that it feels like a simple upgrade from an electric bicycle. If you’ve been riding higher-speed e-bikes like Super73s or other motorcycle-inspired designs and want to upgrade to an actual motorcycle, the Metacycle makes that transition quite easy.
The bike comes with some neat innovations I haven’t seen elsewhere, like a see-through glovebox with a wireless charger for your phone. The original 5,000 price was a great deal, but even the current 6,500 price feels reasonable for what you ultimately get.
Sur Ron Light Bee
The Sur Ron Light Bee is like if an electric bicycle hit puberty, lost its pedals, and grew some power. It’s not a “real motorcycle” in the sense that it’s barely 6 kW (8 HP), but it can hit a solid 45-50 mph off-road and is often found beating gas-powered motorbikes in races.
The thing barely weighs over 100 pounds, and thus it feels more like a heavy electric bicycle beneath you, except that it has a short enough wheel base and sufficient torque to flip you right over if you grab too much throttle.
The Sur Ron’s Achilles heel has always been its lower battery capacity, which can be sucked up in 40 minutes or less of super hard riding, though it could last for a couple of hours of leisurely trail riding.
But as a fun runabout that you toss in the back of your truck and take out to the boonies for off-road shenanigans, it’s a great starter off-road bike. And considering its usually priced at around 4,000, it’s just not that expensive either.
It may not be here for a long time, but it’s here for a good time.
I guess we saved the biggest for last here. Zero has so many models in its lineup that it’s hard to keep track of them these days. I think I’ve ridden most of them at this point. From the flagship SR/F and sleeker fully-fared SR/S, to the smaller Zero FXE and other bikes in between, there’s a bit of something for everyone.
I recently had the chance to test out the new Zero DSR/X, which is the company’s newest and perhaps most impressive model. The electric adventure bike gave me some of my first tastes of high-power adventure riding in the trails over Park City, Utah. Between the rider aides that help a so-so rider like me play at a much higher level to the utility additions like tons of locking storage space, that is one impressive bike! It also comes with a massive battery pack to match its massive pricetag of 24,495, so don’t expect to get into this one cheap.
Even so, Zero’s entry-level bikes in the FX line still offer a thrilling ride for closer to half of that price. I fell in love with a 2019 Zero FXS a few years ago, but the Zero FXE is likely my new favorite among the company’s starter bikes. As a commuter-level bike that still gets you fast speeds, powerful acceleration, and an entry ticket into Zero’s walled garden, it’s a hell of a ride.
Top comment by JeffnReno
I no longer ride but anyone that hasn’t had skin meet asphalt or gravel may not understand the need for protective gear at nearly any speed over 2 mph. I’ve got a few scars still to prove my point but still have many more happy memories to go with them. If I were younger and had little responsibility other than myself, I’d for sure be on 2 wheels as much as possible. Thanks for a nice article on today’s offerings.
As Zero’s have walked up, though, this undisputed leader of the US electric motorcycle market has been faced with a number of new start-ups trying to eat its lunch on the commuter end of the spectrum. Companies like Kollter, SONDORS, Ryvid, and CSC all offer interesting and unique commuter-level electric motorcycles that could give options to those that can’t afford (or can’t justify paying for) Zero’s higher prices.
One of the coolest things about the electric motorcycle market is just how quickly it is evolving. New e-moto companies seem to crop up every month, and new models are rolling out on a weekly basis.
Who knows what bikes we’ll see in the coming years?
The only thing for certain is that I’m going to need to find myself sitting in a pile of new saddles if I want to keep this up. And that ain’t a bad thing to me!
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MCN guide: choosing an electric dirt bike in the UK
While the motorcycle world at large is taking its time to warm to electric alternatives to petrol, there’s one category that’s embracing the tech with open arms in the UK: electric dirt bikes.
Lightweight, unlikely to break down, torquey and with barely any servicing to worry about, UK electric dirt bikes are fast becoming a genuine alternative to petrol models. This is especially the case at the intersection between electric bicycles, electric motorcycles and electric mopeds.
If you’re using your bike for competitions or on private land (with the owner’s permission) then you don’t need to worry about the legal side of things. But if you want to use your electric dirt bike on the road or public byways then there are a few things you need to know.
Electronically assisted pedal cycles (EAPCs) can be ridden everywhere a bicycle can by anyone aged 14 or over without a licence as long as they adhere to the following rules.
- An EAPC must have pedals that can be used to propel it.
- It must show either the power output or the manufacturer of the motor.
- It must also show either the battery’s voltage or the maximum speed of the bike.
- Its electric motor must have a maximum power output of 250 watts and should not be able to propel the bike when it’s travelling more than 15.5mph.
- An EAPC can have more than 2 wheels (for example, a tricycle).
Any electric bike that doesn’t meet the above rules counts as an electric motorcycle or electric moped and must be registered and taxed. You can only ride it on the road if you can the relevant licence and you must wear a helmet.
Road-legal electric dirt bikes for sale in the UK
A 50kg crossover between a bicycle and a motorcycle with 8bhp and 28lb.ft of torque on tap and a 60 mile range. Not to be confused with the cheaper and non-road-legal X model, the L1E costs £4995 and requires at least a CBT licence to ride.
The Kalk (Kalk And) is the first road-legal model from Swedish fans of awkward bike names, Cake. The bike weighs 69kg and has a power rating of 13.5bhp meaning a top speed of 56mph. It’s much costlier than the Sur-ron with a price tag of £12,500 and you’ll need at least a CBT to ride it.
Competition only electric dirt bikes
Stark VARG motocross racer
Meet the Stark VARG: An all-new electric motocross racer claiming to outperform its combustion-engined rivals in every way.
Developed over the last two years on the outskirts of Barcelona, the Stark VARG (‘strong wolf’ in Swedish) weighs a claimed 110kg ready to race, with a suggested power figure of circa 78.9bhp.
Said to be more powerful than its 450cc petrol-powered competition, the bike has been developed alongside Stark Future by former AMA Motocross Champion Sébastien Tortelli and AMA Supercross race winner Josh Hill.
This performance is then delivered in a range of customisable power settings, with maps to mimic a 125 two-stroke, up to a 650 four-stroke – controlled via a smartphone app, which also doubles up as a dashboard for the bike. There are over 100 riding modes in total.
Housing that motor is a lightweight chassis, which uses the unit as a stressed component and features a carbon fibre sub section to help keep the weight down.
Providing the energy is a compact sub-32kg 6kWh battery, which claims to offer both full Gran Prix intensity or up to six hours of gentle trail riding – a performance they claim is similar to a 450 four-stroke with a full tank of fuel. Expect between one and two hours to recharge it.
On top of that, other quality touches include Pirelli MX32 tyres and KYB suspension with 310mm of front and rear travel.
If you’re interested, the Stark VARG is available to order online now for €11,900 – around £10,170 to you and me. Visit www.starkfuture.com
Ducati MIG-RR eMTB
Ducati paired up with eMTB specialists Thok to create the MIG-RR. Costing £5412, the MIG can be ridden anywhere a bicycle can with no licence requirement.
That’s because it’s an electric mountain bike rather than a dirt bike, but it’s still available to buy in the UK.