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2014 Electric Motorcycles: Buyer’s Guide

Electric motorcycles are now ready for primetime, and this year’s selection shows that the pace of development is quick. This buyer’s guide focuses on street-legal, highway-ready motorcycles.

There are many two-wheeled electric vehicles out there that are more properly considered scooters or dirt bikes, but this guide covers only motorcycles (plus a scooter or two) that are safe to use on all highways.

2012 Zero S electric motorcycle [photo: Ben Rich]

2012 Zero S electric motorcycle [photo: Ben Rich]

Bikes are categorized by whether they can be bought now, or have be ordered ahead of time. My experience after covering the industry for several years is that nailing down a delivery date for motorcycles that haven’t yet been built is challenging.

If you look online, some of the projections seem a bit inflated for some of the Pre-Order motorcycles; we’ll see how they perform when deliveries start.

Zero Motorcycles and Brammo were the first two companies to put their money where their mouths were and put bikes into consumer hands. Vectrix also has bikes on the ground from 2007-8, though they are more of a maxi-scooter–but they’re included because they can legally travel on highways.

I have ridden all the Zero and Brammo offerings as well as the original Vectrix VX-1. (The original VX-1 had a nickel-metal-hydride battery, but it will soon sport a lighter, more durable, and longer-range lithium-ion battery.)
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