The motoring world is going electric. And it's not just fancy, 1,000-horsepower, six-figure electric trucks. Electric motorcycle options have been increasing over the past few years. And even the relatively humble and underpowered dirt bike segment now offers a proliferation of emissions-free options.
Why You Should Get an Electric Dirt Bike
Helps Save the Planet: Smaller motorcycles are far from the most fuel-thirsty vehicles. But electric dirt bikes still reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and every little bit helps.
Less Maintenance: Electric motors require far fewer moving parts. That means more time riding and less time (and money) replacing parts. You also don't need to buy things like oil.
Less Noise: Electric dirt bikes do make some noise. But they make less noise than combustion dirt bikes — noise that can diminish the enjoyment of being in nature for riders and those nearby.
More Accessible to New Riders: Like electric cars, electric dirt bikes do not need a manual transmission. This may disappoint some riders looking for a traditional feel. But it's also way easier to manage while off-road.
Torque: Electric dirt bikes tend to have a lot of torque, which comes on instantly. This helps them accelerate rapidly and feel quick in everyday riding.
What to Look For
Street Legality: Like combustion dirt bikes, many of them will not be street legal. And you may live in a municipality that will confiscate and crush them if you try to use them for that — electric or not. There are dual-sport electric dirt bikes (lighter than adventure motorcycles), which can also be used as commuter bikes. But make sure you clarify that before buying.
Battery Range: Range is a significant drawback to any electric vehicle. You want to ensure you have enough range to do the amount of riding you're planning. More expensive electric dirt bikes will have range that can exceed what most drives can handle physically. But that may be costly.
Battery Charging: Another important factor beyond range is how long it takes to charge the battery. Shorter is better. Manufacturers may offer accessories that improve charging speed. Some dirt bikes can instantly swap in a newly charged battery and return to the trail.
The Best Electric Dirt Bikes of 2022
Zero has become a name brand for electric motorcycles. This is their dual-sport bike, which is street legal. The ZF 7.2 has a larger battery pack that delivers up to 91 miles of range in city driving. It can potentially — with multiple accessory chargers — charge to 100 percent in less than two hours.
Top Speed: 85 mph
Range: 91 miles (city)
Curb Weight: 247 lbs
Swedish manufacturer Cake builds stylish but practical electrical motorcycles. The Kalk OR Race is their racing dirtbike. It has a premium Öhlins suspension and delivers more than 200 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheel of a bike weighing just 165 pounds. It is not street legal.
Top Speed: 56 mph
Range: up to 3 hours (trail)
Curb Weight: 165 lbs
Segway is a big name in e-scooters. But they also produce Dirt eBikes; the X260 is the larger of the two. It isn't street legal. But it is super lightweight and affordable. The smaller X160 model offers a lower top speed and less range.
Top Speed: 46.6 mph
Range: 74.6 miles
Curb Weight: 121.3 lbs
KTM is an Austrian motorcycle manufacturer. The EX-C is their electric dirtbike. It offers high-end componentry and three different drive modes including an Economy mode with regenerative braking. The battery can charge to 100 percent in less than two hours. It's also quickly removable so you can swap in a new one.
Top Speed: 50 mph
Range: 11.5 miles
Curb Weight: 245 lbs
The Electric Light Bee Sur-Ron X is designed to offer motorcycle power and bicycle-like handling. It has Eco and Sport modes. It can climb more than a 45-degree grade. It can charge in as little as three hours and has swappable batteries.
Top Speed: 45 mph
Range: 60 miles
Curb Weight: 110 lbs
The DTRE Stella is a new offering from Belgian company Trevor Motorcycles. It comes in street-legal and non-street-legal versions and begins shipping in September. It only comes in white, but you can buy additional body colors to swap in.
Top Speed: 59 mph
Range: 62 miles
Curb Weight: 223 lbs
Price: $13,064 ($14,572 for street legal)
The Kuberg Trial Hero is a great option for kids (age 5-12) that Kuberg says will "glide over anything you can throw at it." Speed is limited compared to a full-size electric dirtbike. And it's lighter. The battery offers up to two hours of riding and can recharge in six hours.
Top Speed: 17 mph
Range: up to 2 hours
Curb Weight: 72 lbs
Never compromise when it comes to your brain bucket.