A little over a year ago, Electric Motorsport gutted a Yamaha R1 and filled it with batteries and an electric motor. It looked a bit rough but it worked pretty well. They evidently learned quite a bit from that project because they’ve introduced the GPR-S, a lithium battery powered model that looks like a finished bike, no strapped on battery pack this time, with a 60 to 70 mph top speed and a 35 to 60 mile range depending on whether you’re running in power or economy mode. An onboard charger takes 4 hours to charge it back up or an optional speed charger does the trick in 1.5 hours. The price is $8000.00.
They also note the motor mounting system is industry standard so you can swap motors for another when you think it’s time to upgrade or if something better comes along.
All of the electric motorcycles coming out so far seem to be suitable for short commuter use or occasional errands and they seem ready for that right now. The range is still a little short for any more extended riding and the recharge time is the hurdle if you want to go much further. They’re very close but not quite there yet and battery development is the key. When better batteries come along, this market will explode. There’s a huge market waiting and I’m sure everyone working on batteries is painfully aware of that. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
One further thought/question: Electrics suffer from short range and long recharge time, but suppose we could solve one of those two, would it be better to have longer range and long recharge or short range and shorter recharge?
More questions: What would you consider acceptable range? What is acceptable recharge time?