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Are electric bikes ready to hit the roads?

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Whether you’re determined to get your moped licence or love nothing more than whizzing down the road on a strong, powerful and exhilarating £2,750 Kawasaki ER6, you’re not alone. The motorcycle industry is hugely popular across the globe with both men and women alike slipping into their leathers and riding off into the sunset – and those with a need for a speed are always looking for new and exciting models to take for a spin.

The good news is, the world of motorcycles is ever evolving with vehicle manufacturers constantly looking to develop new and exciting products. As the world becomes more environmentally aware, they’re not only trying to clean up their act by introducing energy-efficient alternatives they’re also trying to attract biking fanatics with exquisite designs and detailing.

Electric bikes, for instance, have been in the pipeline for numerous years with designers attempting to come up with two-wheel sensations that are powerful fun and thrilling to ride while not emitting a range of harsh or non-sustainable chemicals into the atmosphere. And they’ve really made headway. There are already a wide range of ready-to-ride electric motorcycles out there including the LS-218 which is the fastest production motorcycle in the world - gas or electric.

That said, many top models from well-known brands are not yet out on the roads, but are instead being tweaked to perfection meaning that when they are up for sale in their masses they won’t disappoint. Take Harley-Davidson’s Project LiveWire, for instance. It looks great and is virtually silent to ride but if President and COO Matt Levatich’s comments at the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council's 2014 confab are anything to go by it seems the bike will not be ready for the roads until next-generation battery technologies are ready.

According to reports, the bike currently would only travel half the distance buyers want and cost $50,000, about 50 per cent more than customers would want to pay. This, of course, makes the bike less attractive to motorcycle fanatics which is why Harley-Davidson are prepared to wait for new technology and produce something that’s nothing but spectacular.

As the electric motorbike trend grows, other well-known companies such as Bultaco are rebranding themselves as electric motorbike manufacturers to ensure they have a more modern and up-to-date appeal. It’s been almost 13 years since a bike came out with the famous Bultaco logo on it, but that’s all about to change as two prototypes have already been revealed which point the way forward for the Spanish company – the Rapitan and Rapitan Sport. Both feature 53 horsepower, 92 lb.ft electric motors, Hossack-style front end suspension and enough battery storage to get over 200 km (125 miles) in town.

So, as you can see electric motorbikes are already on the roads. They’re making their mark within the motorcycle industry but with some manufacturers prepared to hold out for bigger and better things it looks like this is just the beginning of this exciting new craze.

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