Electric motorcycles are making a power play. Motorcycle enthusiasts may not like the idea of a bike without the trademark engine sound, but there’s no way to complain about the muscle some gas-free monsters deliver. In fact, the world’s fastest electric bike has outraced four-wheel EVs in quarter-mile flashes by hitting top speeds over 215 mph.
Whether or not you like to take a bike out racing, the power show electric motorcycles provide helps you sidestep conversations about range, noise, sustainability, or style. There’s no debate over a 0-60 run in less than one second. This list is based on pure power and leaves the EV drama for another conversation. Estimates and track times were culled from manufacturer quotes or, when not listed, confirmed race times from riders and testers. Here are the ten fastest electric bikes in the world based on 0-60 mph speed times.
10. Brammo Empulse R (4.8 seconds)
While vaulting 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds driving a car would be spectacular, it’s only enough to crack the top ten of electric bikes. Oregon bike maker Brammo had Italian industrial design on the brain when it crafted the Empulse R, which features the first drivetrain designed specifically for an electric motorcycle. With 54 horsepower (hp) and 66 pounds-feet (lb-ft) of torque, the bike has plenty of muscle to blast its 460 pounds of weight down the highway or track. A top speed of 110 mph is in store at the end of the perfect sprint.
9. Brutus 2 (4.7 seconds)
Brutus is touted as an electric bike maker who can pull off the Harley image while still being green. That’s some feat. With the Brutus 2, riders get access to enough power to launch from 0-60 in 4.7 seconds. It’s not the muscular Brutus V9, but it’s much lighter than that brute at 485 pounds.
If the Brutus 2 speed isn’t enough, hang out until mid-summer 2014 when the Brutus V2 Rocket debuts at Pike’s Peak. Here’s a peek at the bike that may send Brutus up this list a few spaces:
8. Lito Sora (4.0 seconds)
Quebecois bike maker Lito has a new entry on the market in the pricey electric Sora ($49,000). This carbon-fiber beauty features a continuously variable transmission (CVT), the first of its kind for an electric bike. However, speed demons will be happy to know the Lito Sora can flash from 0-60 in 4.0 seconds and top speeds of 118 mph. It weighs 573 pounds and offers a maximum 66 lb-ft of torque.
7. Zero SR (3.3 seconds)
Zero is happy to brag about its emissions-free racer’s ability to launch from 0-60 in 3.3 seconds. That impressive quotient comes from the SR’s 67 hp and 106 lb-ft of torque. It’s the more aggressive model in the Zero S line, which the bike maker differentiates by saving the red color for SR performance models. You’ll have no trouble merging onto traffic on the Zero SR, and needn’t worry about tailpipe emissions while you do it.
6. Energica EGO (under 3.0 seconds)
The leap in cost from bikes like the Zero SR and Brammo Empulse — both of which retail for under $20K — to pricey superbikes like the Energica EGO can happen fast. In this class of electric beasts, there is no trouble making the 0-60 sprint in under 3.0 seconds. The Energica EGO pulls off the performance with the help of 134 hp and 144 lb-ft of torque. In ideal conditions, the EGO can top speeds of 150 mph.
5. Mission R (under 3.0 seconds)
The Mission R joins the upper echelon of bikes sporting under 3.0 seconds in 0-60 time and over $30K in MSRP. This San Francisco bike maker has been hailed the Tesla of motorcycles world by Wired and landed a spot in Time’s top twenty-five inventions of 2013 with the Mission R. It can reach a top speed of 140 mph. Few bikes (or cars) are capable of doing battle with the Mission R, which starts at $32,499.
4. Sarolea SP7 Superbike (2.8 seconds)
Belgian bike maker Sarolea came back after a fifty-year hiatus with something special. Its new SP7 is an electric demon capable of tearing from 0-60 in 2.8 seconds. This phenomenal sprint is made possible by 180 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. When you factor in the 440 pounds of total weight, it is easy to see how riders could manage a top speed of 155 mph. It will race on the Isle of Man against other electric superbikes in summer 2014.
3. Lightning LS-218 Superbike (1.0-2.0 seconds)
No one is sure how this bike is legal to drive on civilian roadways, but soon it will be. Lightning aptly named its LS-218 after the 218 mph speed record the bike hit at Bonneville in August 2013. It also holds the SCTA world record for production bikes at 216 mph. More detailed information will become available when the bike maker unveils its production LS-218 on Memorial Day Weekend, but it would be tough to see the bike taking anything above 2 seconds to blast from 0-60.
The bike uses 200 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque to make hay on the track or highway. In terns of production bikes, there is no faster model on the road today.
2. Chip Yates Superbike (1.0-2.0 seconds)
Racer Chip Yates retired after a record-setting run in which he claimed 8 FIM Official World Records, 4 AMA National Records, and4 AMA Championship No. 1 Plates with his electric superbike. In addition, Yates notched the World Record at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. On a bike said to go faster than the Lightning Superbike, Yates’s e-monster was the first to show up gas-powered bikes at the Auto Club Speedway.
With 258 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, the Yates machine is the world’s most powerful road-racing bike. It packs more torque than a Formula 1 car. Exact quotes are not available, but there’s no chance the Yates bike takes longer than 2 seconds to go 0-60. It features more than twice the torque of the Lightning bike.
Watch Yates in action on the bike here (race begins at 0:21):
1. KillaCycle (0.97 seconds)
A bike so legendary it can only be seen in widescreen, the KillaCycle is the fastest electric bike on the planet. If you cannot wait a full second to get to 60 mph, this bike is the only one worth riding. The KillaCycle uses 500 hp from A123 Systems batteries and two DC motors weighing 82 pounds each to accelerate from 0-60 in 0.97 seconds. KillaCycle Racing owner and lead designer Bill Dube has been competing against himself to set new world record speeds with his electric bikes since 1999.
In 2000, KillaCycle became the first electric vehicle (car, bike, or otherwise) to hit 150 mph in a quarter-mile sprint. This bike is designed and tuned to constantly set records. Its acceleration must be seen (if briefly) to be believed: