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Fuel Powered Motorcycle vs Electric Motorcycle, what is the difference?

Fuel Powered Motorcycle vs Electric Motorcycle, what is the difference?


Climate change is a real concern.  Natural fuel resources are running low and we as a global community need to make a change.  This has prompted us to move into an electronic era, which has revolutionised the motorbike industry.  It is expected that by 2040 all diesel and petrol fuel powered motorcycle designs will be banned and taken off the market.  By this time, only hybrid and electric motorcycles will be available for purchase.  Which means, you will, eventually, have to convert to a hybrid or electric motorbike. But what is the difference?  What does this mean for you? This blog will tell you everything you need to know. 


The main difference between a fuel powered motorcycle and an electric motorbike 

The main difference between the two designs is what fuels the motorcycle.  Most motorbikes are fuelled by petrol or diesel.  As such they are damaging to the environment and costly to maintain. Fuel powered motorcycles rely on lots of different moving parts working together.  Which means a lot can go wrong with them. Now, more electric motorcycles are being made, these are fuelled by electric.  Electric is much more energy efficient and it doesn't emit toxic fumes. An electric motorcycle does not have an engine, it is powered by a rechargeable battery and electric motors.  

Fuel powered motorcycles and electric motorbikes both come in a range of styles and designs.  To ride both you need a suitable driving licence, valid insurance, MOT and tax and you need to wear a riding helmet and outfit. 


Financial differences between an electric motorcycle and a fuel powered motorbike

Because the fuel powered motorbike has been so popular for so long, it is often cheaper to buy one.  There are lots of second hand fuel motorbikes for sale and plenty of new models on offer.  So to initially buy a motorbike, a fuel one might be your cheaper option.  But in all other areas, the electric motorcycle is cheaper. In fact, owning an electric motorbike can save you so much each year, it is actually worthwhile paying more initially.  Here are some of the ways you can save money by buying an electric bike instead of a fuel one:

  • Government Grant.  The government has created 'the plug-in motorcycle grant'.  This is a new incentive is designed to encourage bike riders to switch to an electric model. This entitles you to up to £1500 grant towards the cost of your new electric motorcycle. This grant money can be redeemed against a variety of bike models.
  • Petrol/diesel costs more than electricity. Obviously it depends on the motorcycles, but to fill your petrol/diesel tank up usually costs more it would to fully recharge the battery on your motorcycle. By charging your motorcycle at home, using a standard plug, your household energy bills would increase.  But you will save more on diesel/petrol than you spend on electricity, so each year you make a saving. 
  • Government incentives. The government is eager to encourage motorcyclists to switch to an electric motorbike.  Which is why they offer incentives on electric motorbike related fees, such as taxes. 
  • Easy to maintain. Because electric motorbikes have only one moving part, they need much less maintenance.  Less can go wrong on an electric bike, which saves you money in services, maintenance, repairs and parts. 


Riding differences between an electric bike and a fuel one

You might be wondering if riding an electric motorbike feels different to riding a fuel powered one. Here are the main riding differences you can expect:

  • Noise: electric motorcycles are much quieter than fuel powered ones.  This is great for your ears, allowing you to chat, listen to music and be able to hear other road users. It also means you wont need to wear ear protection or worry about upsetting your neighbours with your roaring engine. Although you might miss the thrill of your engine roar, some manufacturers are adding an artificial noise. 
  • Weight: electric motorbikes are lighter, more agile and easier to handle than fuel powered motorcycles. In many ways, this makes for a much more exhilarating ride, especially on the tracks.  
  • Speed: electric motorcycles have 100% instant torque and excellent power. They have rapid acceleration and they are very fast. Electric motorcycles don't have a surge feeling like fuel powered bikes do, which you might miss.  This is because the torque is linear.  


Other differences

There are some other differences between electric and fuel powered bikes, these include:

  • Braking: on fuel powered bikes braking and accelerating consumes your fuel.  Whereas an electric motorbike uses a regenerative braking which actually recharges the battery as you brake.  
  • Pollution: electric bikes reduce CO2 emissions, lowering air pollution.  As they are quieter, electric bikes also reduce noise pollution.  This is better for the environment, the community and our carbon footprint. 
  • Options: in comparison to fuel powered bikes, the choice of electric motorbikes is much more limited. If you buy a fuel powered machine, you have a wide choice of brands and models, which means you're more likely to find that dream bike. 
  • Refuelling/recharging:  petrol stations are everywhere so refuelling your petrol/diesel bike isn't a problem.  But there aren't as many charging stations, which could make recharging an electric one slightly more difficult.  To compensate for this, with an electric bike, you can take a spare and fully charged battery with you for emergencies.  And there are more charging stations being installed across the country everyday, to make recharging that little bit easier. 
  • Less TLC: with a fuel powered bike you have to give your machine lots of TLC.  But an electric motorbike doesn't have as many parts, it doesn't need a chain oil or much other regular maintenance.  If you are a bike enthusiast, you might miss giving your bike some TLC if you switch to an electric.  


Consider going electric

If you are thinking of, or currently looking for a new motorbike, consider going electric.  There are lots of benefits to an electric motorcycle and although it might seem strange at first, you'll soon fall in love with the thrill of your new ride.  To find out more about electric motorbikes, check Chelsea Motorcycles Group, the expert team here will be happy to answer any questions you have. 

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