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Is Honda Busy Working On A 500cc Or 750cc Equivalent Electric Bike?

As more firms dive into the nuts, bolts, and electrons of coming up with their own electric motorcycle designs, the wide variety of opinions (and perspectives) is fascinating. You have scrappy upstarts like Ultraviolette, pulling something beautiful together and eagerly sharing every step of their process on their official YouTube channel as they bring the F77 to market. (For now, it’s only in India, but who knows what the future holds?) 

Then you have legacy OEMs that have decades of combustion motorcycle experience behind them, like KTM. As recently as March 2023, KTM and Pierer Mobility CEO Stefan Pierer used the word “nonsense” to describe the idea of larger, high-powered electric motorcycles in an interview with Motorrad. Commuter bikes and smaller-range two wheelers are one thing, he said, but he discounted the idea of any of the brands that he currently oversees getting involved with high-powered electrics. Instead, he said, he sees e-fuels as being where it’s at for reducing emissions in future performance motorcycles. 

While relative newcomer Energica clearly doesn’t agree with that assessment, it’s evident that old-school OEM Ducati hasn’t been so quick to dismiss the notion outright, either. After the surprise announcement that Energica was leaving the MotoE championship and Ducati would be taking over, its development updates regarding its new V21L electric race bike have been promising. A prototype race machine is of course not a street bike, but every OEM that goes racing always says that it hopes to use what it’s learned from racing in its production machines. 

Honda may have taken longer than many would expect to go public with its electrification plans—but it’s clear that Team Red also doesn’t dismiss the idea of high-performance electric motorcycles out of hand. In fact, as recently as December 2022, Honda Racing Corporation publicly announced that it’s working on electric motorcycle development specifically for racing, and those words came from none other than Shinji Aoyama himself. The former American Honda CEO has been in charge of Honda’s entire global electrification program since late 2021, so it’s a safe bet that if anyone knows the score, it’s him. 

In a new interview with Young Machine, Aoyama gave even more insight into Honda’s present thinking about future brand electrification as of April 2023. Among the most interesting things that he mentioned are the fact that plans are in the works for a 500cc- to 750cc-equivalent electric bike down the line, possibly by 2025.  

While that’s not quite in line with the super high-powered combustion sportbikes of today, it’s a reasonable step forward from the electric scooters and 125cc-equivalent electric bikes that are most prevalent on the market in 2023. It’s also in line with the kind of bikes that a lot of riders choose for everyday transportation, so it makes total sense that it’s a target that Honda wants to hit. 

Another extremely interesting thing that Aoyama mentioned is the fact that Honda is currently researching development of solid-state batteries for use in future EVs. Team Red isn’t the only one, of course; BMW and Ford are also researching solutions in a similar vein, among others. Things can and do change over time, so it’s difficult to say with certainty what the future holds for Honda—but it will be interesting to watch. Check out the Young Machine link in our sources for the full interview. 

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