eBikes That Are Blurring the Line Between Bike & Motorcycle

Man holding helmet walks across grass towards Sondor Metacycle parked off-road
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With so many advances in eBike performance & overall PEV capability, the line between bike and motorcycle is becoming increasingly blurred. After just ~10 years, we’ve gone from mediocre motors to highly reliable electric mopeds – with the performance to match. Though many motorheads may think of mopeds as slow, a purely electric emulation is a considerable achievement.

At webBikeWorld, we don’t review ebikes – but we are definitely fans of them. If you’re wanting to dive deep on ebikes, check out the ebike reviews at Electric.Travel (our sister site).

Even still, a handful more models have started to push the boundary between eBike and motorcycle, remaining reserved for the most fearless riders. For those brave pioneers, we’ve compiled a selection of the top 3 fastest eBikes to hit near-motorcycle speeds. But before we get into the details, we’ll first cover the basics; from how they work to what the average model is capable of. So, let’s dive straight in!

The Basics of Electric Bikes

Group of friends sit on fence near several Electra electric bicycle models

Via electra.trekbikes.com

Electric bikes have quickly become one of the world’s favourite vehicles, with eBike sales predicted to grow continually from 3.7 million to 17 million per year, by 2030. Regardless, such rides remain fairly new, and some may be wondering just what they are, exactly.  To start, an eBike is a bicycle fitted with an electric motor, offering varying levels of power and assistance in propulsion. Whilst many models exist, there are two main types, pedal-assist and throttle-driven models:

Pedal-assist models

Pedal assist models, also known as “pedelecs” perfectly suit those who enjoy a casual ride and stretching their legs, instead of the average speed demon. Riding a pedal-assist model is much like a regular bike, just with super strength!  A pedelec’s motor will only activate to make pedalling easier, offering a variable boost in power when needed most.

Close-up shot of Shimano mid-drive motor system for an electric bike

Via freewheel.co.uk

Throttle-driven models

In contrast, a throttle-driven eBike model operates much like a “twist-and-go” style moped, typically without any riding restrictions whilst often offering much more power. In most municipalities, throttle-only models are assorted within their own class of eBike, even remaining illegal in some areas. As such, we highly recommend our readers learn about PEV law in their local area beforehand.

Close-up shot of a throttle-driven eBike handlebar

Via lift-mtb.com

What are modern eBikes capable of today?

There are many models to choose from, although most on the market average out with a speed of around 20-28 mp/h and a range of ~25-40 miles – typically powered by an 800-1500W motor. Even still, each year we see brands producing more powerful designs and listing them for a lower price, indicating just how fast this industry is growing. For example, Australia is somewhat strict with e-bike laws, including restrictions limiting the bike wattage and the reason why most e-mountain bikes in Australia are 250 watts.

Despite this advancement, the majority of models remain operable unassisted and with pedal-only use, so do not qualify as electric motorcycles. However, that doesn’t mean models on par don’t exist… Here are the top 3 fastest eBikes, offering ludicrous performances that nearly cross the line of becoming a motorcycle:

Helmeted rider on forest trail sits stationary on electric dirt bike during daytime

Via washingtonpost.com

Three Electric Bikes That Are Nearly Motorcycles

From humble beginnings in 1895, the electric bike has come a long way. 250W motors used to be the standard, offering speeds of around ~20 mp/h. Now, we have dual 1500W motors granting gutsy speeds of 70+ mp/h to rush-seeking riders. So, let’s jump straight in with the Stealth B-52 Bomber, one of the world’s fastest eBikes:

#3. Stealth B-52 Bomber eBike

Helmeted rider descends off-road trail at speed on Stealth B-52 Bomber eBike

Via 2nernation.com

Top speed: 50 mp/h (80 km/h).

Max. range: 62 miles (100 km).

Motor size: 2500W (6200W peak power).

Additional features:

  • 3-hour charge time
  • 150 nm of torque
  • Minicross Formula Hydraulics

#2. Delfast Top 3.0

Advertised as an “off-road electric mountain bike”, the aptly named “Delfast Top 3.0” incorporates a number of cutting-edge components and technologies within its design – all helping to offer a nearly unbeatable performance. Honestly, an electric bike of this calibre could replace your car, especially with the current gas prices!

Experienced rider mounts Delfast Top 3.0 electric bicycle on grass with a large city in the backdrop

Via electrek.co

Top speed: 50 mp/h (80 km/h).

Max. range: 199.5 miles (321 km).

Motor size: 3000W (6000W peak power).

Additional features:

  • Built-in GPS.
  • Motorcycle tires.
  • LED front & rear lighting, Carbon belt drive transmission.

#1. eRockit

One of the latest high-performance eBike brands to burst into the market, this German-made model offers a delightful design indicative of a classic Harley Davidson motorcycle, with the speed to match. It’s also the first pedal-controlled electric motorcycle, operated like a bicycle. In fact, it’s even comparable to a 125cc category motorcycle, with an A1/A2 class license required for riding in Europe.

Man rides eRockit electric motorcycle at speed through a German city

Via digimagazine.bike-eu.com

Top speed: 55.9 mp/h (90 km/h).

Max. range: 74.5645 miles (120 km).

Motor size: 5000W (16kW peak power).

Additional features:

  • Front & Rear LED lighting.
  • 52V / 6.6 Kwh battery.
  • Clutch-free belt drive.
  • Equivalent to 22 horsepower.
  • Air-cooling.

Honourable Mentions

Sondors Metacycle

One of the sleekest commercial electric bikes available, and perhaps the start of a completely new era of PEVs altogether. Described as an “electric commuter motorcycle”, the Sondors Metacycle is easily one of the most cutting-edge modes to recently enter the market; currently only available for custom pre-order:

Sondors Metacycle electric motorbike parked stationary on kickstand in well-lit warehouse

Via visordown.com

Top speed : 80 mp/h (128.7 km/h).

Max. range: 80 miles (128.7 km).

Motor size: 8000W (14,500W peak).

Additional features:

  • 4 kWh battery.
  • Motorcycle-grade tires.
  • 108 nm torque (176 nm peak).
  • Front & rear lighting.

Lightning LS-218

Undisputedly the fastest commercial electric motorcycle available and an indication that electric vehicles are more than on par with their petrol-guzzling counterparts. In a relatively short span of time, the Lightning LS-218 surpasses the power of most modern superbikes. The future is here!

Man riding Lightning LS-218 electric motorcycle on the road at speed

Via motorcycledaily.com

Top speed : 218 mp/h (350.8 km/h).

Max. range: 160–180 mi (260–290 km).

Power: 200hp(14,500W peak).

Additional features:

  • 12-20 kWh battery.
  • 30-90 minute charge time.
  • 227 nm torque.
  • Front & rear lighting.
  • Regenerative braking.

There you have it, those are the 3 fastest electric bikes on the market, easily pushing the limits between bike and motorcycle. Of course, we’d like to give a brief honourable mention to a selection of electric dirt bikes. They offer great power and versatility, but just didn’t quite make it into the top 3.

As mentioned throughout this article, it’s important to know your local laws before riding – especially on such mighty models. Such laws on how powerful e-bikes vary across states, countries and even city borders.