How to Maintain an Electric Motorcycle?
Electric vs Gas Motorcycle Maintenance
Maintenance of an electric motorcycle is much easier and less time consuming compared to maintenance of a gas-powered motorcycle. There are certain things that you have to do when maintaining a regular motorcycle, which you won’t be doing with an electric one. Let’s take a look at the differences between maintaining a gas-powered motorcycle and maintaining an electric motorcycle…
What Maintenance Isn’t Needed on Electric Bikes?
No Oil Changes and Oil Filters Changes
Changing an oil is the most important thing you should regularly do to keep a gas-powered motorcycle in good health. Electric motorcycles however don’t use engine oil, so you don’t have to change the oil and oil filters on your electric bike. Oil change is not that difficult thing to do and every experienced biker knows how to do it, but it is still a pretty annoying task that requires some special tools and it will make your hands dirty. Therefore, owning an electric motorcycle can save you some time and money, because there is no need to buy that extra stuff such as the engine oil, oil filters, screw drivers, rubber gloves etc.
No Need of Coolant and Other Fluids
Most modern gas-powered motorcycles usually use a coolant for cooling down the engine to prevent overheating of the vehicle. Engines of electric motorcycles don’t get that hot, so there is absolutely no need for any kind of cooling technology on an electric motorcycle. As previously mentioned, there is no engine oil in an electric motorcycle. But on the other hand, electric motorcycles still use some other fluids such as fork fluid and brake fluid. These all need to be changed every 10,000 miles or so.
No Spark Plugs, Clutch and Air Filters
These are parts of a gas-powered motorcycle that don’t require much maintenance and they don’t have to be replaced that often. But on an electric motorcycle, you don’t have to care about these at all. Spark plugs are not needed because there is no ignition inside of en electric engine. Clutch doesn’t have to be there because of a single gear. Air filters are designed to prevent dust from entering the engine of a gas powered bike and there is no need for them on an electric motorcycle.
What Maintenance Is Needed on Electric Bikes?
Chain Cleaning and Lubrication
Gas-powered and electric motorcycles both use a chain to transfer the power from the engine to the rear wheel. That means that you will still have to take care of your chain and clean it once in a while. While riding any kind of motorcycle, small particles of dust settle down in the chain and slowly start causing friction between each piece of the chain. It is recommended to give your chain a good clean every 1000-2000 miles depending on weather and other circumstances. In short, every time your chain gets extremely dry and dirty, it needs to be cleaned and lubricated.
You can use a special cleaning product or just a simple kerosene to clean your motorcycle chain. For the lubrication, it is recommended to apply a professional motorcycle chain lube, which will ensure your chain will stay properly lubricated and protected for long periods of time. There are plenty of high quality motorcycle chain lubricants available on the market that usually come in a spray can.
If your motorcycle has no chain, but uses a drive belt instead, those are almost maintenance free.
Maintenance of Tires
Motorcycle tires have to be kept in good condition and tires of electric motorcycles are no exception. You have to keep an eye on the pressure of each tire. Every model of motorcycle comes with different specifications for tire pressure. You will find the numbers in the manual of your model. Usually, the pressure in each tire should be kept around 2-2.2 Bars (29-32 psi) depending on the size and width of the tire and the weight of the rider and vehicle.
You will also have to change the tires once in a while, when they get worn out. There is a wear indicator in the thread of each tire, it will help you to determine when is a good to replace your tire. The front and the rear tire usually don’t wear down simultaneously and each of the tires can be replaced on it’s own. But you should definitely make sure, there is always at least some thread on the tires. It is much more important to have your tires in good shape on a motorcycle than on a car, as they can actually save your life!
Brakes and Brake Fluids
Electric motorcycles have brakes that work on the same principal as the brakes or regular gas-powered motorcycles. They have brake levers, cables, fluids, brake pads and brake discs that all need to be maintained. The usual part that needs to be replaced most frequently is the brake fluid (every 2 years or so). Brake pads and brake discs can get worn down after few years as well. Levers and cables don’t usually need any kind of maintenance, but they can still get broken sometimes.
Lights and Turn Signals
All road legal vehicles, including electric motorcycles, have lights and turn signals. Each of them uses a single or multiple light bulbs that needs to be checked regularly. If you ever find that one of your lights is malfunctioning or not working at all, you have to fix it and replace the bulb immediately. Yes, you can still ride a motorcycle without a working headlight or turn signal, but it can cause a serious accident. So, you should never ride a motorcycle without all electronics in 100% working condition.
The battery of an electric motorcycle will last for up to 10 years. It doesn’t require any special maintenance, however there are some things that you can and should to to prolong it’s lifespan. You can read our article about charging and maintenance of an electric motorcycle battery to find more info.
I am sure everyone will agree that maintenance of electric motorcycles is much easier than maintenance on normal motorcycles. Some may say, that maintaining a gas powered motorcycle is a part of the hobby and that you can learn a lot of new skills by doing that. It is definitely a truth. However, most of the responsibilities can get annoying quickly and in today’s fast paced world, it is always good to save some time for more pleasant activities such as riding. So, if you hate to change your engine oil and filters, or you are worried about your engine being overheated, an electric motorcycle might be a much better choice for you.