Electric Bikes To Watch In 2023

The Can-Am Pulse: Expect it on the market for 2024, and most likely, a full reveal in the fall of 2023. Credit: Can-Am

The tiiiiimes they are a’chaaaaangin’, as Dylan once sang. For proof, look at the motorcycle world, where battery bikes are finally looking like they’re here to stay. Make no mistake, the OEMs have a lot to sort out, including questions about battery range, pricing and recharging infrastructure. Having said that, here are some machines we are keeping an eye on this year, starting with a homegrown electric motorcycle!

Can-Am Origin/Pulse

In mid-2022, Can-An announced it would build the Origin dual sport and Pulse naked bike. These electric motorcycles would be the first two-wheeled Can-Am motorcycles since the 1980s. Don’t expect to see them in showrooms this year—Can-Am says they’re coming in 2024.

However, Can-Am is showing these prototypes off on the show circuit this winter, finally letting the public get its first look at these machines during the MMIC show in Toronto. Our first impression? These may be concept bikes, but they look very put-together. From what we saw, we’d guess Can-Am is tweaking the powertrain, but both of these bikes look ready to go otherwise.

The Can-Am Origin obviously shares a lot of DNA with the Pulse naked bike, as seen above in the featured image. Credit: Can-Am

So. We would expect to see the machines officially revealed as production-ready in fall of 2023, perhaps even available for pre-orders.

Unfortunately, the Origin and the Pulse will not be made in Canada. Can-Am’s original bike lineup used Rotax engines but other parts were made here in-country. The Origin and Pulse will be made in Mexico—Can-Am is currently working on construction of the factory in that country.

Also: Based on what we saw at the Toronto show, the Origin may be billed as a dual sport, but it’s certainly not as rugged an off-road bike as the Can-Ams of old. We’re just guessing here, but we expect to see such a machine (a hardcore electric dirt bike) as a future release.

See more details from Can-Am here.

Surron Storm Bee

Surron’s Chinese-built dirt bikes offer a lot of capability for very little money, but alas, they are not street-legal in our market. Surron’s Canadian staff is looking into making that happen, but they aren’t there yet.

With that in mind—the Surron Storm Bee is still a pretty desirable machine, as long as you’ve got the space to ride it off-road. This thing is packed with high-tech features such as traction control, separate riding modes, a “turbo mode” for overdriving the liquid-cooled, brushless electric motor for brief spurts of power, and lots more. The suspension is adjustable, and 21-inch front and 18-inch wheels come standard, just like any other proper dirt bike. It even has a reverse gear!

The Surron Storm Bee is made to compete with internal combustion-engined bikes. Credit: Surron

The bike weighs 280 lb, and Surron says it puts out 383 lb-ft of torque. It should have no problem pulling mad wheelies for miles, and that traction control feature is probably a necessity for many situations.

Maximum range on a full charge is 120 kilometers at 50 km/h; in reality, most riders will see less range than that, if they’re bagging on this bike, but then 10 amp charger will recharge the 104V/55Ah li-ion battery in four hours. You should be able to get a day’s ride out of this thing, recharge for a few hours, and go out again—and you’ll certainly be able to recharge overnight.

Asking price is $11,999 in Canada, plus taxes and fees. A lot of cash, but performance dirt bikes have gone wayyyy up in price lately and Surron often has promo pricing available. More details on the bike here.

Ducati V21L

The Ducati V21L is an electric racebike, intended to race in the MotoE race series. Previously, Energica built the bikes for this series, but Ducati is taking over, starting this season as the sole provider of racebikes.

While these bikes are not on par with the latest machines that Marquez, Quartararo et. al. are racing in the premier class, they are lighter and more powerful than the bikes raced in MotoE over the past four years. Ducati claims a 225 kg weight and output equivalent to 150 hp and 103 lb-ft of torque.

Here’s the V21L electric racebike that Ducati is about to debut in the MotoE racing series. Credit: Ducati

There is considerable engineering trickery going on here, with the carbon-fibre battery case serving as a stressed member of the frame and a dual-circuit cooling system meant to service the separate needs of the battery and electric motor. No doubt more ingenious tech will be unveiled as the machine campaigns this season. The V21L gets its first official track test at Jerez over March 6-8; we’ll know a lot more after that, most likely.

Long-term, this is obviously going to be the basis of a new street bike line for Ducati, which is constantly taking technology from its race programs and using it on street bikes. We don’t have a timeline for when that happens, but considering Europe’s quickly-approaching bans on internal combustion motorcycle sales, we’d expect to see Ducati’s first electric street sportbike in the next 2-3 years, based on lessons learned from the V21L.

Ducati has more deets on the V21L project here.

LiveWire S2 Del Mar

From sleek sportbikes to street trackers! In case you missed it, LiveWire is a spin-off from Harley-Davidson, focused on electric motorcycles. The original Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle is now sold in updated form as the LiveWire One; the S2 Del Mar is the second bike in the lineup, intended to hit the market in spring of 2023.

Unfortunately, that won’t be happening. LiveWire now says it’s coming in the second half of 2023, and we’re not really sure why. LiveWire also downgraded its sales expectations for the year, which makes sense if we’re getting a shortened selling season.

The original Harley-Davidson LiveWire borrowed much of its tech from now-defunct Mission, but the new S2 Del Mar is built on what the company calls “scalable” Arrow architecture. The powertrain used in this bike can be “big-bored,” so to speak, for a larger electric motorcycle, or conceivably even scaled down to build an around-town runabout.

The LiveWire S2 Del Mar. Seems like production is running behind schedule for 2023, and LiveWire has revised its sales projections. Credit: LiveWire

Based on the specs advertised on the LiveWire website, there’s lots to like about the S2 Del Mar. At 195 kg, it should be easy to handle. Torque output is a claimed 184 lb-ft, which will have you ripping and tearing around the city with plenty of zip (claimed 0-60 mph time of 3.1 seconds!). Speaking of the city, LiveWire says this bike will have 110 miles of urban riding range; expect less range on the highway, where higher speeds drain the battery more quickly, and there’s less regenerative braking putting juice back into the battery. And when that battery is drained, LiveWire says it will recharge from 20 percent to 80 percent in 75 minutes on a Level 2 charger.

All in all, these specs are a bit behind the category-leading electric motorcycles, but LiveWire’s price of $16,999 is also lower than many of the competitors’ halo bikes. Alas, that’s a USD price—for now, LiveWire’s site says “Delivery timing will be confirmed based on the reservation queue. MSRP is subject to change. U.S. market only.” But just as the original LiveWire was available in Canada, we also expect the S2 Del Mar will be on the market here in coming months, as the company gets through its growing pains.

See full details on the LiveWire S2 Del Mar here.

Sondors Metacycle

The Sondors Metacycle is the much-awaited affordable electric motorcycle, made for the masses. Except, uh, it’s still $6500 USD, which works out to nearly $9k CAD, and that’s before you tack on shipping and fees and blah blah blah.

The spec sheet isn’t exactly impressive either—nominal output of 11 hp, with 20 hp peak power from the permanent magnet, AC motor. Top speed in Drive Mode is 100 km/h; top speed in Sport Mode is 130 km/h. Battery capacity is 4 kW/h, and the machine recharges from a 110V wall socket. Sondors says the bike has a real-world range of 60 miles (96 kilometers), and under ideal conditions that will extend to 80 miles. One must therefore surmise that under non-ideal conditions—say, a chilly early-season or late-season ride in Canada—that range would be decreased.

The Sondors Metacycle is headed out to US customers as of late 2022. Canadians can buy it, but it may be difficult to get it across the border, let alone register for the street here. Credit: Sondors

Having said all that: If Sondors can get past its financial difficulties, this bike will sell well (deliveries started in late 2022). There’s no other company currently making something reasonably usable in this price range, and it looks pretty good as well.

The Sondors Metacycle webpage is here.

The Japanese options

You might notice we haven’t said anything about Honda’s upcoming electric motorcycle release (expected in our market in coming months), or Kawasaki’s electric Ninja or hybrid naked bike. That’s because we just haven’t seen a lot of confirmed information on those bikes yet; we just know that they’re coming, probably in the very near future.

This EV prototype appeared at EICMA last fall. We expect a production version on the market in 2024. Credit: Kawasaki

When those machines arrive, if the price is right, they’ll really blow the battery bike scene wide open. We await them with keen interest…




  1. FROM THE ARTICLE:There’s no other company currently making something reasonably usable in this price range,

    Actually CSC does. they have several models I would love to try. They just aren’t in Canada. Can’t blame them, they are selling everything they can get their hands on in the US. (And yes I believe that technically they don’t make the bikes, they are rebranding from a Chinese company.)

  2. I’d like to see electric bikes on a dyno to see what the actual measured torque values are instead of some of these astounding numbers. I still believe the scooter is the most practical place for an electric drive train, something with decent storage and around 100 miles range.

  3. I have been astounded by how badly the Japanese manufacturers have fumbled electric motorcycles. Then the filter at the border keeps more out CSC. So of the ones that may be coming the Sondors would fit my needs best. A small bike to run short errands around town to replace a car that currently only gets about 4000 miles per year.

  4. To write an article like this and not mention Energica, is like writing an article about the state of the electric car industry and not mentioning Tesla. Faster, longer rage, and faster charging than any other bike in this list.

    BTW, Ducati has announced their MotoE bike will NOT be making it into a production bike.

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