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Design could be the key to electric motorbike uptake

MOTORCYCLE trend analysis reveals the future of electric motorbike design and predicts continued resistance from bikers switching their petrol engines for new electric models if manufacturers stray too far from conventional and classic designs.  

With the government proposing a sales ban for new non-zero emission motorcycles from 2035, bikers will be restricted to purchasing only electric motorcycles within 12 years’ time.

Specialist motorbike insurance broker, Bikesure, has joined forces with concept artist and biking expert, Kar Lee, to predict the electric motorbikes of the future in a new concept design:    

New insight from Lee reveals that electric bikes which imitate their petrol predecessors are more likely to create demand to switch to electric, rather than new unconventional and futuristic designs.  

Lee claims, “If looking for mass appeal, make electric motorbikes look like traditional motorcycles.

“While there is a market for unique standout machines, the electric bikes that get the most positive reaction from bikers are generally the ones that look like a mildly futuristic spin on an existing internal combustion engine design.” 

Lee also offers up expert insight into the changes required to make it practical and feasible for bikers to make the switch to electric:

  • Develop batteries so they are smaller, lighter, and better integrated into the bikes design
  • Improve charging infrastructure to make it easier for riders to recharge their bikes
  • Help relieve ‘range anxiety’ by ensuring that rural areas, as well as cities and towns, have access to charging points
  • Consider adding engine sounds, much like you can change the ringtone on your phone, as the sound of a throbbing engine is a major part of motorcycling’s joy 

Lee’s design and trend analysis echoes the sentiment from the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA), who responded to the Government’s proposed 2035 ban on zero emission vehicles with the comment, “To increase uptake of these vehicles, the Government must adopt a four-fold approach: delivering appropriate products by ensuring supply ahead of demand, stimulating the market by driving demand, offer a viable alternative by improving access and incorporating powered two wheelers into infrastructure and communities by increasing integration.”

Rob Balls, Operations and Product Manager at Bikesure said, “Following increased backing for a global pledge to accelerate a shift to zero-emission vehicles at last month’s COP27, we anticipate a continued increase in demand for electric motorcycle quotes from customers considering making the switch to electric from their conventionally fuelled bikes, scooters and mopeds.

But for our customers to fully embrace new electric bikes, we need to make sure we don’t lose sight of the fact that motorcycles reflect an owners’ personality. The look, sound, and performance of a motorbike allows the rider to create a deeper connection and bond with their bike. Motorcycles aren’t just a vehicle to get you from A to B, and this should be reflected in design going forward.”






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