The Electric Motorcycle | Things You Should Know
6 Must-Know Facts Before Riding an Electric Motorcycle
Reading time: 3 mins
As Singapore is set to phase out internal combustion engine vehicles by 2040, electric motorcycle numbers are slowly rising again. Electric motorcycles give out zero tailpipe emissions and are noiseless. So, if you’re a motorbike enthusiast and an eager environmentalist – always worrying about the carbon footprint you’re leaving on this planet – an electric motorcycle is something to consider.
In other words, electrically rechargeable motorcycles have the potential to reduce air and noise pollution. And nowadays, prominent bike makers like Harley-Davidson and Honda are also manufacturing electric bikes due to demand in urban mobility post-COVID.
Not sure if it’s worth buying an electric motorcycle? To help you decide, we’ve put together 6 important advantages and facts you should know before riding an electric motorbike.
1. The Silence
Electric motorbikes work on electricity. And because they don’t need combustion engines, they are free from noise caused by engine vibrations. This also means no transmission noises, no roar from the exhaust, nothing! So, riding them would be a different experience compared to fuel bikes – it’s almost as if you’ll be in stealth mode.
2. Instant Torque
If performance is what you’re after, conventional fuel motorbikes can’t compete against electric motorcycles. Electric motorbikes can accelerate from 0-60mph in a couple of seconds. They maintain more consistent power and acceleration throughout the entire ride too.
Of course, such fast acceleration could put you and other road users at risk of an accident, affecting your motorcycle insurance. That’s why electric motorcycles are also equipped with great brake-power and a regenerative braking system. This advanced braking technology greatly reduces the wear of brake pads and rotors by taking the energy used in the process of slowing down to recharge the motorcycle’s batteries.
3. Added Safety Features
Electric motorcycles are more technologically advanced than fuel bikes. Besides a more interactive dash, the electric motorbike implements advanced features to enhance the rider’s safety.
Some electric motorcycles come with an advanced collision warning system. The system uses radar, cameras, and non-visual sensors to track the speed, direction, and velocity of moving objects, 360 degrees around the motorcycle. This is so that the rider is aware of the surroundings and can react in time to avoid an accident.
On top of that, several bike brands have produced their own mobile apps to increase riders’ levels of connectivity. Through these mobile apps, riders will receive safety alerts and suggestions on how to avoid them. You’ll also be able to track your electric motorcycle via GPS tracking on your mobile device if your motorcycle gets stolen.
4. Easy to Operate
Electric motorbikes have no gears, meaning riders don’t have to worry about shifting gears at the traffic lights or crowded streets. And without the need to shift gears, electric motorcycles are as easy to ride as a scooter – just twist the throttle and off you go!
But, bear in mind that electric motorcycles are heavier – though it doesn’t matter – so pay attention to traffic because before you know it, you'll be travelling much faster than you feel.
5. No Maintenance
Electric motorbikes are manufactured to be simple and fuss-free. No engine oil, spark plugs, air filters, timing belts, clutch, or gearbox – just an electric motor and a battery. There will be no more checking of the clutch fluid and oiling the chain.
So, unlike your fuel motorbike, you won’t have to get all messy. The only maintenance you’ll need to carry out is on the tyres, brake pads and hydraulic fluid, which will all last longer due to the regenerative braking system.
6. No More Petrol
Electric motorcycles run on stored batteries. You can charge them overnight as they take around 6 to 8 hours to charge from flat to full. Yes, we know not everyone may have the luxury of overnight charging, but the good news is charging facilities and infrastructure are constantly being improved to ensure electric motorcycle owners have the option of charging their bikes on the go. Added charging stations would also avoid long queues, as the number of electric vehicles increases on Singapore roads. To date, there are 2,942 EVs in Singapore.
Currently there are only a few charging points across Singapore island due to the low numbers of electric motorcycles on the road. However, the LTA, together with industry players and technical experts, hopes to introduce high-powered chargers for fast charging and swappable batteries for ease of charging your electric motorcycle at home.
Save Money and the Environment with an Electric Motorcycle
Yes, currently electric motorcycles are expensive to buy compared to fuel bikes and battery costs are high. However, in the long-run, you will make more savings. A full charge of your electric motorcycle would cost much less than a full tank of petrol.
Moreover, the Singapore government has aligned the road tax structure for electric motorbikes to that of regular fuel bikes, so you won’t be paying anything extra. And because electric motorcycles are easy to maintain, you will also save money on servicing, maintenance and repairs.
And if you’re worried about getting electrocuted while riding in the rain, don’t be! Electric motorcycles are designed to keep water out of the electrics. With that said, it’s important to know that electric motorbikes are water-resistant and not water-proof. So, you certainly should not keep your electric motorcycle submerged in water. Not because it will cause electric shock but because it can significantly affect the bike’s components. Remember, any vehicle with long-term exposure to water will have serious problems.
Motorcycle insurance is also another area where you can consider for electric bikes. You can customise your policy by choosing your cover type and optional benefits according to your needs. Plus, in Singapore, you get up to 20% discount in premium under No Claim Discount (NCD20) after 3 consecutive years of safe riding, without any claims.