With electric vehicles--cars and motorcycles alike--being all the rage lately, we thought we'd look to their origins in the past.
The October 1911 issue of Popular Mechanics ran an article titled "Electric Motorcycle." Among its claims were that it would run 75 to 100 miles on a single charge, that it would run absolutely without noise, and it would turn on instantly with the flip of a switch. It also claimed to be a three-speed geared for 4, 15 and 35 miles per hour. It used a 6 cell, 12-volt battery, weighed about 200 pounds and had a 51-inch wheelbase.
Popular Mechanics also described its gasoline-powered competitors as having a ”gatlin-gun-like exhaust,” which should make this new electric motorcycle a very welcome option for those wanting a quieter ride.
Let's compare this 1911 electric motorcycle to a modern one, like Zero Motorcycles' Zero FX ZF2.8:
|1911 Electric Motorcycle||Zero FX ZF2.8|
|Top Speed||35 mph||70 mph|
|Range||75-100 miles||35 miles|
|Wheelbase||51 inches||56.6 inches|
|Curb Weight||200 lbs||247 lbs|
While there are modern electric motorcycles with much better ranges and speeds, you can see that, all things considered, the technology from yesterday isn’t too far behind where we are now.