The eight fastest street-legal electric motorcycles on sale in 2022:
- California-based Lightning makes the two fastest street-legal electric motorcycles, while Energica occupies the #3 and #4 spots
- The Zero SR/S and SR/F are tied for 5th place, while the LiveWire One is in 8th place
- They won’t be on sale until later in 2022, but the Verge TS and Energica Experia are tied for 7th place, while the Tarform Luna is the sixth-fastest street-legal electric motorcycle
Most riders likely quote practicality when talking about electric motorcycles. With quieter powertrains, less demanding maintenance needs, and cheaper fuel, street-legal electric motorcycles have several advantages over gasoline-powered bikes. Plus, these two-wheeled EVs are cheaper than their four-wheeled brethren. But buying for practical reasons doesn’t mean giving up on performance. And if you want to buy an electric motorcycle this year, the models below are your fastest options.
The fastest street-legal electric motorcycle on sale today is the 218-mph Lightning LS-218
First, a disclaimer: we at MotorBiscuit do not condone speeding. If you’re going to test the top speed claims of these street-legal electric motorcycles, do it on a closed track under controlled conditions. And if you’re going for maximum battery-powered speed, you’ll need a Lightning LS-218.
With the cheapest LS-218 starting at just under $39K, this 200-hp electric sportbike isn’t cheap. But with a verified top speed of 218 mph, hence the name, it’s the fastest street-legal electric motorcycle you can buy. Furthermore, it has a higher top speed than one of the quickest electric cars, the Tesla Model S Plaid. And keep in mind that you can buy three base-trim LS-218s for the price of one Model S Plaid.
That $39K doesn’t just get you 200-plus-mph speed, though. The Lightning LS-28 comes standard with Brembo brakes, DC fast-charging compatibility, forged-aluminum wheels, and a fully-adjustable Ohlins TTX36 monoshock hooked to a billet-aluminum swingarm. Its RaceTech forks are fully-adjustable, too, and for a little extra, you can upgrade them to Ohlins FGRT inverted forks.
Also, while the standard 12-kWh battery is good for 100-120 miles of range, you can get a 15-kWh or a 20-kWh pack instead. The 15-kWh model costs roughly $43K and goes 120-150 miles on a charge, while the $47K 20-kWh model goes 160-180 miles.
The 150-mph Lightning Strike is technically the second-fastest street-legal electric motorcycle
If a 218-mph, near-$40,000 street-legal electric motorcycle is too much, don’t worry, Lightning has something else for you. Well, theoretically it does—let me explain.
In 2019, California-based Lightning Motorcycles introduced a more affordable model, the Strike. It has a 120-hp liquid-cooled electric motor like what the LS-218 uses hooked to a 20-kWh battery. That’s enough to get this 455-lb electric sportbike to a claimed 150 mph, making it the #2 fastest street-legal electric motorcycle.
The rest of the Strike’s specs sheet, or at least the Carbon Edition’s sheet, also reads similarly to the LS-218’s equipment list. It has fully-adjustable Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes, DC fast-charging compatibility, and forged aluminum wheels. However, the Carbon Edition starts at $19,998; and the base Standard Edition was supposed to start at $12,998 in 2019, Cycle World reports.
However, while Lightning does list the Strike Carbon Edition as ‘for sale’ on its website, the Standard Edition is nowhere to be found. Furthermore, Lightning’s site also lists a deposit option for the Strike Carbon Edition. So, it’s technically for sale, but only one trim.
Right behind it is the 149-mph 2022 Energica Ego+
Alongside Zero and Cake, Italian company Energica is one of the few high-profile all-electric motorcycle brands. And while some of Zero’s bikes appear elsewhere on this list, the #3 fastest street-legal electric motorcycle is an Energica. Specifically, the 149-mph 2022 Energica Ego+.
Sharpened by Energica’s experience as a MotoE supplier, the flagship Ego+ is 22 pounds lighter for 2022 thanks to motor and inverter improvements. In addition, Energica lengthened the drivetrain’s maintenance intervals and bumped the battery pack’s gross capacity to 21.5 kWh. As a result, the 169-hp Energica Ego+ has a claimed 261-mile city range and goes 0-62 mph in 2.8 seconds. And the Ego+ RS, with its modified chain and final drive, can do that in 2.6 seconds.
Naturally, all this performance doesn’t come cheap. If you want the third-fastest street-legal electric motorcycle, the starting price is $25,600. But think about it this way. For less than $26K, you have a vehicle that can beat a 2022 Porsche 911 to 60 mph without putting out emissions.
4th place is a tie between the 125-mph 2022 Energica Eva Ribelle and Energica EsseEsse9+
Not only does Energica make the third-fastest street-legal electric motorcycle on sale in 2022, but it also makes the bikes that tied for 4th place. Those bikes are the 2022 Energica Eva Ribelle and 2022 EsseEsse9+, which can both hit 125 mph. However, how they go about that speed is slightly different.
Energica describes the Eva Ribelle as a naked version of the Ego+, which makes it an electric streetfighter. That also means it has the same 169-hp liquid-cooled electric motor, 21.5-kWh battery pack, Brembo brakes, fully-adjustable Marzocchi forks, and fully-adjustable Bitubo rear monoshock. The bikes even have the same 573-lb curb weights. And just like the Ego+, there’s an Eva Ribelle RS which has a faster 2.6-second 0-62 mph time.
However, unlike the Ego+, the Energica Eva Ribelle doesn’t have a full fairing. As a result, instead of 149 mph, it tops out at 125 mph. But again, that still puts it in 4th place as the fastest street-legal electric motorcycle you can buy today. And like the other bikes on this list, it probably feels even faster because there’s no need to shift.
Meanwhile, for 2022 the retro-style EsseEsse9 has become the EsseEsse9+ thanks to the previously-mentioned motor, inverter, and battery updates. However, while it has an RS version, too, the EsseEsse9+ ‘only’ makes 107 hp. So, it goes 0-62 mph in a yawn-inducing…3.0 seconds; the RS does it in 2.8 seconds. But it has the same 261-mile max range as well as identical suspension and brake specs.
Although the Energica Eva Ribelle and EsseEsse9+ give up the speed advantage to the Ego+, they receive a price advantage. The former starts at $23,800 while the latter starts at $22,850. Not cheap per se, but still quicker and cheaper than a 911.
The #5 fastest street-legal electric motorcycle is a 124-mph tie: the 2022 Zero SR/S and Zero SR/F
5th place in the list of fastest street-legal electric motorcycles is another tie, but this time it goes to Zero. Newly updated for 2022 alongside the SR, the Zero SR/S sportbike and SR/F streetfighter can both do 124 mph. And those updates also let them go faster for longer between charges.
Although it takes an app purchase to do it, the 2022 SR/S Premium and SR/F Premium can both get a claimed city range of 169 miles. That same app, though, also lets riders customize the riding modes and regenerative braking settings, and even track their bikes in real-time. And when you’re not staring at your phone, you can enjoy your electric motorcycle’s 110 hp.
You also don’t need to get the range-topping (no pun intended) Premium models to get all that speed and power. The fairing-equipped 2022 Zero SR/S Standard starts at $20,595 while the SR/F starts at $20,095. And both come with fully-adjustable Showa suspension and J.Juan brakes. Plus, they’re each over 50 pounds lighter than Energica’s bikes.
The #6 fastest street-legal electric motorcycle, the 120-mph Tarform Luna, is finally going on sale
Like the Lightning Strike listed earlier, the next street-legal electric motorcycle on this list is here on a technicality. However, it arguably makes a stronger case for its inclusion here than the Strike. Like many things, it was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Tarform Luna is going on sale at last. And with a 120-mph top speed, it’s the sixth-fastest electric motorcycle you can buy this year.
The Tarform Luna first appeared as an unnamed prototype in 2018, but the Brooklyn-based startup officially unveiled the production version in early 2020. With its recyclable flaxseed-and-aluminum body panels and biodegradable seat and motor—seriously—the Luna made some big waves. And while its 55-hp motor and 10-kWh battery pack might seem modest, they’re enough to get the 440-lb Luna to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. In addition, this DC-fast-charger-compatible motorcycle has a 120-mph claimed range as well as a rearview camera and blind-spot detection.
Originally, Tarform said that Luna production would start in summer 2020, with the first Founder Edition bikes shipping in 2021. But as noted earlier, COVID-19 happened. So, although those first Founder Edition Lunas did hit customer hands in late 2021, the promised base models weren’t forthcoming. However, Tarform is finally ready to start building the base Luna Scrambler and Racer, which will ship before 2022 ends, RideApart reports. The company’s website even says “deliveries starting in summer 2022.”
If you want to add your name to the waiting list, you can put down a $500 fully-refundable deposit. The Luna Scrambler and Racer both start at $24K, which might seem like a lot. But they both qualify for a federal tax credit up to $2500. And both feature hand-crafted frames, Ohlins suspension, ISR Performance brakes, and an HD display with Bluetooth.
You can buy the 112-mph Verge TS and Energica Experia later this year
The next two bikes on the fastest street-legal electric motorcycles list are also not for sale as of this writing but will be by 2022’s end. So, as with the Luna, I’m including them here. And they are the 112-mph Energica Experia and the 112-mph Verge TS.
The 80-hp Experia is Energica’s first touring model and isn’t quite as extreme as the Ego+ or even the EsseEsse9+. But it’s also not based on any other Energica model: its steel-trellis frame and aluminum swingarm are brand-new. Furthermore, its battery pack is slightly bigger at 22.6-kWh (gross). Although its claimed city range is still 261 miles, Energica says the Experia can go up to 160 miles in mixed-riding conditions. Plus, it comes standard with fully-adjustable ZF Sachs suspension, Brembo brakes, and lockable storage with multiple USB ports.
The 137-hp Verge TS, though, is anything but conventional. Its hubless rear wheel means it doesn’t have a belt, chain, or any kind of transmission. Instead, the motor spins the wheel using rim-mounted electromagnets. Not only is that more efficient, but it makes Verge’s claim of 737 lb-ft of torque technically accurate. And it’s enough to get this 549-lb street-legal electric motorcycle from 0-62 mph in under four seconds.
Like Energica’s bikes, the Verge TS is DC fast-charger compatible. Plus, its 20.2-kWh battery pack delivers a claimed 186 miles of range in the city and 124 miles on the highway. And the bike comes with Brembo brakes, Ohlins suspension, and a TFT dash.
Unfortunately, there’s one problem with the Verge TS: U.S. availability still hasn’t been announced. So, while Verge is offering demo rides right now and promising European deliveries later this year, we Americans can’t take advantage. The Experia, though, will be available here in the next few months starting at $25,880.
The fastest street-legal electric Harley-Davidson motorcycle is the 110-mph LiveWire One
Last but certainly not least, in 8th place on the list of fastest street-legal electric motorcycles on sale this year is the LiveWire One. And while its 110-mph top speed seems low in comparison to, say, the LS-218, that still means the One can do ‘the ton.’ Plus, with a $22,799 starting price, it’s one of the most affordable bikes on this list.
That $22.8K gets you a 100-hp electric motor, 4.3” TFT display with Bluetooth, fully-adjustable Showa suspension, and Brembo brakes. Also, the LiveWire One’s DC-compatible 15.4-kWh battery pack offers a claimed 146-mile city range. And not only can the One hit 110 mph, but it also goes 0-60 mph in 3.0 seconds. In addition, to remind you you’re on an electric motorcycle, the One delivers a gentle haptic pulse when you’re at a standstill.
So, even though it’s not the fastest street-legal electric motorcycle on this list, the One can still spark some thrills.
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