Electric motorcycles have been quite a hot topic recently.
On one side, riders love them for their instantaneous torque and acceleration, while on the other side – riders absolutely hate them for their lack of range and “soul”.
However, most of us can agree that the technology of electric motorcycles is pretty fascinating, and if you’re interested in how electric motorcycles work – then this article is for you.
This time, we will go over electric motorcycle transmissions and find whether electric motorcycles have gears.
Do Electric Motorcycles Have Gears?
The overwhelming majority of electric motorcycles do not have gears – there’s simply no need for them.
But why don’t electric motorcycles have gears?
To understand that, let’s first figure out why regular (Internal Combustion Engine) motorcycles need gears in the first place.
Regular Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) motorcycles only generate efficient power at certain RPM ranges. If the engine spins too slowly, then it will not produce enough power, and if it spins too fast – it will overheat and blow itself up.
Because of that, engineers have come up with a solution – the gearbox. The gearbox (or the transmission) allows you to match the speed of the engine to the speed you want to be riding on the road at. It lets you keep the engine at its most efficient RPM range at all times, while still allowing you to vary riding speed.
Here’s the thing – electric motorcycles are efficient at any RPM. They produce instantaneous torque and don’t need to be kept at a certain RPM range, thus they don’t need gears.
Do Electric Dirt Bikes Have Gears?
While a small minority of electric motorcycles have gears in order to make them feel more like regular motorcycles, electric dirt bikes do not have gears.
Electric dirt bikes don’t have a clutch, nor a kickstand. They do, however, have a rear brake lever in place of the clutch lever.
That’s what makes them so fun to ride. All you have to worry about is the throttle – no fussing around with the clutch lever and the gear selector.
Do Electric Motorcycles Have a Clutch?
A clutch serves two functions in motorcycles.
It disconnects the transmission from the engine, which then allows you to change gears, and most importantly – lets the engine idle when you need to come to a complete stop.
Now, once you’re at a standstill, you need to start moving again, and that’s where the clutch comes in again. It allows you to gently transfer power from the engine to the transmission.
Sure, you can start moving without the clutch and you might have done that before either by accident or if your clutch cable snapped and you had to get back home somehow. However, doing so makes the whole motorcycle violently jump forward and also causes a lot of damage to your transmission.
Now, remember – electric motorcycles don’t have a transmission and they can also produce power to the wheels gradually if needed. Because of that, electric motorcycles do not have a clutch. Again, they simply do not need to have a clutch, the same way they do not need to have gears.
There is no clutch lever on electric motorcycles. Instead, it is sometimes replaced with the rear brake lever, similar to the one on found scooters.
Jake is the site’s primary contributor.
Motorcycles and automotive repair have been a big part of his family for generations, therefore it’s only natural that he decided to become a heavy-duty diesel tech.
Outside of work, you’ll find Jake restoring and riding rare street bikes and ATVs.