While most of the traditional motorcycle makers drag their feet in electric motorcycle development, upstart brands are churning them out. In fact, it seems almost every day we get news of a new electric motorcycle. Today is no different.
Chinese motorcycle maker Evoke revealed its new 6061 all-electric motorcycle. It’s rated to travel 248 miles in the city or 155 miles on the highway on a single charge. And it has an aerospace inspired, laser-cut frame, which houses its liquid-cooled DC motor and battery pack. These, if I am honest, are pretty standard figures in the electric motorcycle market. They’re in line with those from competitive startups Lightning and Druid, for example.
Where the Evoke 6061 distinguishes itself is with some of its tech. First off, Evoke claims the bike can recharge in 15 minutes, which is blisteringly quick for an electric motorcycle. Sure, it’s a far cry from the two-minute refuel time of a gasoline-burning bike, but a quarter of an hour is nothing to sneeze at.
Secondly, in addition to being quickly recharged and offering a significant city range, the 6061 features both a seven-inch LCD dash display as well as a 10.1-inch infotainment screen. This, as I am sure you might well know, is larger than most screens in new cars — let alone most motorcycles. I mean, I was psyched when I found an eight-inch screen in my VW’s dash. I can’t imagine a 10-incher on a motorcycle.
As if that weren’t enough, Evoke has also fitted the 6061 with a passcode security lock function and multiple rider modes. In its announcing the new 6061, Evoke didn’t elaborate on those features. We can safely assume, I wager, that a PIN will be required to unlock and activate the bike, much like a smartphone. And that, like a modern car, the 6061 will have adjustable features that can be tailored for the rider and saved in their profile.
Evoke hasn’t announced pricing for the 6061 yet. However, the brand’s Urban Series bike retails at $9,500. The Urban has lower performance figures than the 6061, though. So the sticker for 6061 will likely surpass that of the Urban. No matter how much extra it runs, it’ll likely not get anywhere the astronomically priced Harley-Davidson LiveWire all-electric motorcycle, which starts at a staggering $29,799.
Evoke 6061 highlights big problems for Harley-Davidson’s first-ever electric model — and it’s not even on sale yet. The LiveWire only has a 140-mile city range and yet it costs more than double most of its competitors, many of which have city charge ranges exceeding 240 miles — 100 more than the Harley.
So why would buyers choose a Harley over an electric bike from a burgeoning all-electric motorcycle brand, when they can have more for way, way less? Really, the only benefit I can see from picking a Harley is service availability. With a national network of well-supplied dealers, no matter where you ride a LiveWire, you probably won’t be far from a service center. Can Druid or Evoke claim that? Not a chance.
Still, though, one can only presume that electric motorcycles will be at least slightly more reliable than gas-powered bikes. So that benefit might be moot.
Regardless of how reliability shakes out for electric motorcycles, it’s clear that the market for them is growing (at least in terms of brands offering them) and they’re getting faster, cheaper, and more efficient by the day.