Have you noticed the two schools of thought about electric motorcycles? One side, where I tend to be, looks at e-bikes as not ready for everyday use because it requires too many compromises and adjustments about distance, speed and direction. If you want to go a long distance, occasionally at high speeds, you may very well end up out of juice before you reach your destination with no easy or timely way to recharge, perhaps no way at all. When the batteries are improved, let me know. The other side says, many commutes are short distance round trips and where electrics can go today, you won’t have a problem. Ride to work, ride home, recharge overnight or if you can recharge at work, your commute can be longer and the trip home more relaxed. One side says, for how I ride, “e-bikes don’t work,” the other side says, “I could use one today.” They’re both right.
When we saw those photos of the early Harleys crossing streams and riding up mountain trails, they looked out of place because many special purpose bikes are out there able to do the job much more easily, 60 years ago, not so much, so back then, if you wanted to ride off road, you took your Harley and went off road. If riders at the time evaluated the Harley for its off road ability a person might cite the shortcomings, while other guys took pictures from the mountain tops. It’s all perspective.
The more we expect from any one bike the fewer there are that will meet the challenge, but unlike those earlier years, excellent all around motorcycles exist today and that’s why the e-bike has a tougher time making its case, we’re not used to functional compromise because a wide range of conventional ICE models fit many riders and their widely divergent needs. Electric bikes, though, are like those early years when you had to really push things to make your bike work in areas it was not designed for. Some can use them today, but they’re not for everyone or every situation, expecting them to fit everyone is expecting too much.
In many ways, this whole discussion about electric motorcycles is like the earlier exchanges with the sport bike rider criticizing the Harley or vice versa. Both riders found what they want, both have a bike that fits their needs, everyone should be happy, while at the same time, they should realize their view of the other guy’s ride isn’t that other rider’s view. E-bike, Harley, GSX-R, if you’ve found the answer for how you ride, enjoy it. As models proliferate or your needs change, reevaluate your position once in a while, you may be surprised to find yourself riding something totally different. Enjoy that bike, too.