Properly maintaining your electric motorcycle is essential for it to run smoothly, be safe to ride, and last longer, all while continuing to be energy-efficient and eco-friendly.
But how difficult is it to keep your two-wheeled vehicle in good shape?
Gas motorcycles need frequent part replacements (e.g. air filters, spark plugs, oil filters, timing belts, or clutch cables) and oil changes. You must often inspect the exhaust system, tune the engine, adjust the carburetor, and make sure the oil cooling system functions properly. You’ll also need to pay close attention to the gasoline in the tank, as it can spoil if left for too long.
Electric motorcycle maintenance is far simpler.
Electric two-wheelers have fewer parts that need regular servicing, but they still need some occasional check-ups to run at their best. Basic checks, like brake, tire, and battery inspections, can be done without much cost or professional help.
In this article, we’ll explain the following in more detail:
- Why electric motorcycles are so easy to maintain
- How to keep yours in good condition
- What the upkeep costs are
Plus, if you’re looking for an easy-to-maintain ride, we’ll introduce you to the Colibri M22. 😉
How Do You Maintain an Electric Motorcycle?
To keep your motorcycle looking and working like new, you have to regularly scrub away dirt, mud, and grime.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Disconnect all electrical systems and remove the batteries.
- Use a mild, non-abrasive solution with a soft brush, sponge, or microfiber cloth to clean the frame, wheels, lights, and other exposed parts.
- Spray brake cleaner on the brake discs and use a soft-bristled brush to clean hard-to-reach areas like the charging port.
- Rinse with cool, low-pressure water and then gently dry with a clean cloth. Don’t let it dry in direct sunlight to avoid streaks and water spots.
- Finish by applying wax or polish to protect the paintwork and chrome coating.
After cleaning, lubricate the motorcycle’s components as needed. For some bikes, like the Colibri M22, general service lubrication is enough. This applies to components such as the kickstand pivot and steering column bearings.
2. Battery Care
Having a healthy battery is essential for your electric motorcycle’s longevity. With three fully charged batteries, the Colibri M22 can cover up to 200 kilometers. But to maintain optimal performance, you should:
- Monitor your battery’s health and charge status carefully.
It’s not complicated; try to keep your battery above the half-charge mark, avoid overcharging or letting it completely drain, and periodically clean it to prevent corrosion.
- Adjust the battery charge for storage.
When not in use, store your motorcycle in a cool, dry place, with the battery charge between 50 to 60%.
- Keep your battery at the right temperature.
Extreme cold or heat can harm performance. Studies show that lithium-ion batteries can suffer from reduced capacity and a shortened life cycle when temperatures drop below 0°C. The same goes for high temperatures; too much heat can reduce capacity and power.
3. Brakes (and Brake Fluids)
Your motorcycle’s brakes are essential for safety, so be sure to inspect all brake components (including pads, calipers, and discs) at regular intervals and replace any worn or damaged parts right away.
- Pay special attention to signs of wear, corrosion, or damage, such as nicks, cracks, or dents in the discs.
- Always keep the brake fluid levels at full. If the fluid level is low, it could be a sign of worn brake pads. This can cause the brakes to become spongy.
Changing the brake fluid every two years is highly recommended to ensure maximum braking power. Doing this will prevent any water build-up that could lead to corrosion and brake failure.
4. Tire Pressure
Before you hit the road on your electric motorcycle, take the time to check and adjust the tire pressure. Maintaining the correct pressure:
- Improves safety
- Prevents unnecessary wear and tear
- Maximizes fuel efficiency
Bear in mind that outside temperatures can affect pressure: extreme heat increases inflation, while colder weather decreases it. For accurate readings, tire manufacturers recommend checking the tires when they’re cold; do this in the morning or after they have cooled down.
Don’t forget to inspect your tires for any signs of wear or damage when assessing the pressure.
5. Lights and Signals
Make it a habit to inspect the:
- Tail light
- Turn signals
Your motorcycle’s lights should stay firmly attached to your vehicle and shine brightly so that you can have a good view of the road and other drivers can easily spot you, too.
Also, check to see if the electrical wiring and connectors are in good condition. If you notice any lights that are dim, flickering, or have stopped working completely, replace the faulty bulbs or wiring as soon as possible. Riding with malfunctioning lights and signals is not only a violation of the law but also extremely dangerous, as it can lead to severe and fatal collisions.
Are Electric Motorcycles Less Maintenance-Intensive?
Yes, they are. 😄
Gas motorcycles have complex engines with many components (combustion chambers, intake/exhaust valves, pistons, spark plugs, and more)—all of which need periodic upkeep, adjustments, and replacements.
Electric motors are made up of two main components (stator and rotor) and a few additional parts (armature, commutator, and brushes) that typically require fewer repairs due to less wear and tear. They also have more efficient cooling systems because they generate less heat than gas engines.
Unlike gas-powered motorcycles, electric rides don’t need oil changes, as they run on batteries instead of internal combustion engines that require lubrication.
With electric motorcycles, you also don’t have to worry about cleaning carburetors, dealing with spoiled gasoline, adding coolant to the engine, or changing air filters. Just keep them clean, look after the battery, and perform basic checks on the components.
So, in summary, electric motorcycles require significantly less time, money, and effort for upkeep. But don’t get us wrong; it’s still crucial to provide them with regular care to keep them running optimally.
How Much Does It Cost to Maintain an Electric Motorcycle?
1. What are the expenses involved in maintenance?
From simple check-ups to replacing parts such as lights, tires, and wiring harnesses, proper maintenance helps you diagnose issues before they become too costly to repair.
Battery packs, in particular, can be expensive to replace—but if well-maintained, should last for at least five years.
Regenerative braking can reduce the wear on brakes and associated maintenance costs. Nonetheless, brake pads and discs will eventually need to be swapped out as they are not designed to last forever. Similarly, you should set aside money for tire replacements every five years, as well as any repairs that may be necessary for the charger and charging cable.
Depending on the parts and repairs needed, prices could range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.
A six-month or yearly check-up can help to ensure that everything is in good working order and will cost no more than a few hundred dollars.
2. How often should an electric motorcycle be serviced?
For optimal upkeep of your electric motorcycle, scheduling a service every six months is a good idea. Still, the exact maintenance requirements may vary according to the specific model you own.
To make sure that your motorcycle is getting the best possible care, look up and follow the manufacturer’s model-specific maintenance instructions and schedules.
3. Can you service your electric motorcycle yourself?
You may be able to do some basic regular maintenance on your electric motorcycle yourself, such as:
- Cleaning the bike
- Checking the battery, tires, and brakes
- Inspecting for loose bolts, damaged wires, and other potential safety hazards
Taking care of these tasks can save you money. But for anything more complex, such as repairs or replacements, it’s best to rely on a qualified professional.
What Is the Lifespan of an Electric Motorcycle?
Electric motorcycles can last for a long time if given the proper care and attention. But low-end models won’t hold up as well.
You do get what you pay for.
It pays to invest in a higher-end electric motorcycle made from durable materials and components. The batteries that come with it may also last anywhere from 5 to 10 years if you take good care of them—and that gives you plenty of mileage to enjoy.
As with any motorcycle, always ride responsibly; riding aggressively and subjecting the motorcycle to severe weather conditions can cause early wear on components.
Generally, electric motors are expected to operate efficiently for 15 years or longer. Yet, if any issues such as bearing malfunction, winding insulation degradation, or loose windings are not identified and dealt with promptly, the motor might fail prematurely.
Luckily, a well-designed frame should last a lifetime. You can replace any worn parts as needed and, if possible, source them from the supplier.
How Do You Store and Protect Your Electric Motorcycle?
1. How do you protect your motorcycle from rust?
These are some ideas to help you keep your motorcycle from rusting:
- Store your motorcycle in a dry, well-ventilated area—far from chemicals, salts, and moisture.
If you don’t have access to a garage, consider investing in a waterproof cover to shield your ride from rain, snow, and dew.
- Thoroughly inspect all exposed metal surfaces for signs of rust and corrosion. Apply a rust inhibitor spray to these parts.
If you spot any issues, use a rust removal product to immediately treat the affected areas.
- Before winter sets in, apply a protective coating to create a barrier against moisture and further damage.
P.S.: Cleaning your bike frequently will help remove dirt and other residue that can lead to rust.
2. What is the best way to store your electric motorcycle?
Before putting your motorcycle away for storage:
- Give it a thorough clean and make sure it’s fully dry.
- Choose an indoor space, such as a garage, that is both secure and protected from flooding and drastic temperature changes.
- Keep the area clean and free of dirt and dust. If possible, lift your bike off the ground to prevent it from coming into contact with moisture, dirt, and the like.
If you’re going to keep your motorcycle in a garage for a long time, take extra care of the battery and ensure that it’s stored at the right temperature for optimal battery life.
Hassle-Free Motorcycle Ownership with Colibri M22
With the right care, your electric ride will stay road-ready for many years. Plus, it won’t take much effort to keep it that way.
Colibri M22 is engineered to be low-maintenance, featuring strong and durable parts with minimal servicing needs, high-capacity and long-lasting battery packs that are easy to care for, a 4,000 Watt hub motor that runs reliably without any risk of misfiring (unlike gas engines), and little to no lubrication needs—typically only during general servicing.
Why don’t you find out for yourself how easy it is to own and maintain your electric motorcycle?
Get in touch, and let us tell you more about the Colibri M22!