How to Buy the Right Electric Motorcycle

Want to buy an electric motorcycle but not sure which one suits you? You can make the decision easier by focusing on your needs.

What you’re looking for is a capable, well-made, and reasonably-priced electric motorcycle suited for your intended purpose—whether that’s commuting, off-roading, long-distance travel, or anything in between.

In this buying guide, we’ll cover:

  • Types of electric motorcycles for different riding purposes
  • Factors to consider when making your purchase

Let’s find your go-to ride! 👇

Types of Electric Motorcycles to Choose From

Electric motorcycles are designed for different riding purposes. To find your perfect match, ask yourself:

What will you use your electric motorcycle for?

1. Daily Commutes

Compact, light, and nimble electric motorcycles are ideal for everyday commutes. They accelerate quickly and weave easily through congested city streets, crowded parking lots, and narrow passageways.

Typical commuter models reach city-legal speeds of:

  • 45 km/h in Europe
  • 48 km/h in the United States (though regulations vary depending on jurisdiction)

Plus, electric motorcycles can be fully charged in just a few hours, so you can easily top up your two-wheeler’s battery before or even during your workday.

2. Long-Distance Travels

Bikes designed for long-distance travel need to be comfortable—with well-padded and roomy seats, adjustable suspension systems, and comfortable handgrips. It’s even better if they come with built-in or add-on luggage storage for your belongings.

With an impressive range between charges, these electric motorcycles can take you far and wide.

Some models allow you to add extra batteries to double or even triple your range. For example, the Ride Colibri M22 can be fitted with a single battery for a range of 50 km (for urban commutes) or with three batteries for a range of 200 km (for long-haul trips).

3. Off-Road Rides

Tough enough to ‘take a beating and keep on going’, electric off-road motorcycles are capable of handling the roughest terrain—from sand to gravel and mud.

These adrenaline-pumping two-wheelers come with:

  • More power and torque than the typical commuter bike
  • Knobby tires for better traction, acceleration, and braking
  • Softer suspension to soak up bumps and jolts

Certain models offer customizable riding modes that allow you to switch between on-road and off-road performance.

4. Utility

Utility electric motorcycles are well-suited for transporting goods and making deliveries. They have a large storage capacity and can be equipped with various accessories, such as racks, baskets, and trailers.

Sure, they may not be the fastest motorcycles on the road. But that’s not what they’re built for; their purpose is to be functional.

Even if a motorcycle isn’t built for utility, you can make it more functional with accessories like extended tail sections, top boxes, and passenger add-ons.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Electric Motorcycle

1. Performance

When evaluating the performance of an electric motorcycle, there are a few things you should look at:

  • How far can the electric motorcycle take you?

For shorter trips, such as commuting to work or running errands, a motorcycle with a range of 50 km should be sufficient. If you plan on taking longer trips, you’ll need a model with a range of up to 200 km. This will allow you to commute to and from work and still have plenty of charge left for a weekend getaway (e.g. from London to Brighton).

Your range may vary depending on the weather, the load you’re carrying, and the type of terrain you’re traveling on.

  • What’s the maximum speed the electric motorcycle can reach?

Some models are limited to 45 km/h, while others are capable of reaching 100 km/h or more.

Speed is not as important in the city as it is on the highway; the stop-and-go traffic and strict speed limits will keep you from going too fast.

But if you’re a thrill-seeker who wants to go from ‘slow and steady’ to ‘fast and furious’ on a high-speed road, then you’ll need an electric motorcycle that can keep up with that.

  • How much torque does the electric motorcycle have?

Electric motorcycles with exceptional performance have a torque output ranging from 140 Nm to 280 Nm. This allows the bike to accelerate quickly, go up hills without any trouble, and reach top speeds in a shorter amount of time.

Good torque is also useful for taking on a variety of terrains, especially off-road. You’ll have more control over your bike and be able to navigate challenging terrain with more ease.

  • What is the amount of power the electric motorcycle can supply?

Two-wheelers powered by 4 kW hub motors provide excellent acceleration and top speeds of over 100 km/h, making them a great option for both urban and off-road use.

Riders looking to haul heavy loads, ride aggressively, or hit high speeds on the highway should pick a model with a higher power output—preferably exceeding 10 kW.

2. Motorcycle Size and Weight

Electric motorcycles are built to accommodate riders of all shapes and sizes. Some models are extremely light (weighing in at just 55 kg), while others are quite hefty (coming in at 225 kg). There are also bikes designed specifically for shorter or taller riders.

You should choose an electric motorcycle that is tailored to your height and weight. This will make it easier to:

  • Get on and off the bike
  • Maintain full control
  • Sit comfortably

When seated on the two-wheeler, you’ll need to have enough legroom, be able to grasp the handlebars without hunching over or straining your back, and generally maintain a relaxed posture. Some models feature adjustable ergonomics, allowing you to customize the fit for greater comfort.

3. Battery Technology and Charging Time

Electric two-wheelers use two main types of batteries:

Lithium-ion batteries power the majority of electric motorcycles today. They have a higher power density, longer lifespan, and superior performance—even in cold temperatures. Plus, their quick charge time of 2–3 hours reduces the waiting time between rides.

Lead-acid batteries are the most affordable option for electric motorcycles, but they also have a shorter range. They take longer to charge (up to 10 hours) and lose efficiency and capacity in cold temperatures, which can further reduce their range.

So, you’ll get better performance with a lithium-ion-powered motorcycle. Just be sure to check the battery’s capacity; the higher it is, the farther you’ll be able to travel.

4. Design, Features, and Build Quality

Electric motorcycles are available in a wide range of designs, with some featuring:

  • A lightweight build that makes two-wheelers quick to accelerate and more responsive to rider input
  • A low or high center of gravity that affects how the bike handles when cornering
  • A compact design that allows for easy storage and transport

Regardless of their design, most models are equipped with advanced technologies (e.g. smart connectivity, customizable riding modes, and anti-theft systems) that make riding easier, safer, and more enjoyable.

The build quality is another crucial aspect to consider, as it will have a big impact on the bike’s durability and performance over time. Take a close look at the frame, battery housing, brake discs, and even the electric wiring; all components should be made of strong (and preferably lightweight) materials.

5. Price, Fees, and Cost of Ownership

Prices range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, but there are plenty of great electric motorcycles available for under $5,000.

On top of the purchase price, you’ll need to factor in insurance, registration, and licensing fees—depending on how your two-wheeler is classified.

But don’t worry, the savings on fuel and maintenance will compensate for all these expenses. Electric motorcycles are much cheaper to operate and require very little maintenance; it’s wise to schedule a service checkup every six months or so.

6. Local Regulations

Not all electric motorcycles can be used on public roads.

Dirt bikes, for example, are not street-legal by default. This is because they don’t have the necessary equipment, like turn signals, rearview mirrors, and headlights, for operating on public roads. As a result, these models can only be used on designated off-road trails.

An electric motorcycle designed for street use is fully equipped for legal operation on public roads.

Found Your Dream Ride?

Finding the right electric motorcycle among the many available options can be challenging.

That’s where I come in.

I’d like to introduce you to the Ride Colibri M22: a street-legal, compact, and lightweight electric motorcycle that goes 200 km on a single charge and is perfect for both on and off-road use.

Want to learn more or get your hands on the Ride Colibri M22? 💬 Get in touch today!






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