Survey says: 31 percent of Brit riders would quit if forced to “go electric”

The Mugen E.Rex electric dirt bike, which first broke cover in 2017. This is probably what Mugen will run in the new FIM series, or an evolutionary descendant of this bike. Photo: Mugen

It seems the triumph of the electric motorcycle is not a question of “if,” but “when.” Although the OEMs themselves are slow, nay, reluctant, to replace gasoline engines with battery banks, it doesn’t matter. Government regulations and taxes and fees will eventually force pistons to go the way of the phaeton, and electric motorcycles will dominate the market.

But when that happens, will motorcycle riders stick around? A recent survey from the UK’s Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) suggests many riders will just walk away from motorcycling at that point, rather than switch to “go electric.”

The survey drew 4,805 responses, and according to MAG, “It is assumed that all respondents would consider themselves to be motorcycle enthusiasts due to the channels used to promote the survey. This was not a randomised sample of all motorcycle riders.” This isn’t a survey of Facebook randos, it’s people who have a demonstrated interest in motorcycles. You can see MAG’s write-up here.

One of the questions in the survey asked what riders would do, if gas-powered bikes were banned. Again, here are the results according to MAG: “Asked whether they would stop riding altogether, keep existing petrol motorcycles running for as long as possible, or adopt electric before the end of any phase-out, 31% said they would hang up their crash helmets, 56% would resist the switch for as long as possible and just 13% would make the switch before it was unavoidable.

Well—certainly sounds like it’s going to be a divisive issue as time goes on, and authorities will have their work cut out trying to convince riders this is a good idea.

Nevertheless, the change is coming, and as we’ve seen lately, the Japanese manufacturers, still the biggest movers/shakers in the industry, are on board with the idea more than ever before.


  1. It’s not about hating change. It’s about the range limits unique to motorcycles, lack of charging stations, the time it takes to charge, and cost. Those things being equal, I’m sure that there will be some who would resist, but not near as much.

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