Electric Bike That Looks Like a Motorcycle: Are Both the Same?

A mechanical engineer became an active blogger, and it’s James Miller. Well, the journey of his blogging started more than a decade ago. As a...Read more

Ever looked at an electric bike that looks like a motorcycle and wonder if it’s just a motorcycle transformed by the magic of electricity? Well, you’re not alone. Many think that motorcycle-style e-bikes are simply motorcycles that have been electrified.

But, here’s the real thing- these two-wheeler lookalikes are not exactly the same. While a motorcycle is “a two-wheeled vehicle with a fuel-powered engine,” an electric bike, on the other hand, is “a bicycle with an electric motor.”

Now that we have that cleared up, let’s go into the nitty-gritty of their similarities and differences. Hopefully, in the end, you’ll know exactly what sets them apart and when to use each one.

Key Takeaways

  • A motorcycle and a motorcycle-style e-bike are similar-looking two-wheeled vehicles. The former uses a fuel-powered engine to run, whereas the latter is pretty much a bicycle with an electric motor.
  • The two vehicles share similarities in appearance, transmission styles, drivetrain, and riding positions.
  • Motorcycles and motorcycle-style e-bikes mainly differ in power, functionalities, legalities, and cost.

Electric Bike That Looks Like A Motorcycle: Both Are Same?

Motorcycles and motorcycle-style e-bikes may not be all the same, but there are certain aspects where they share a few noticeable similarities.  Check out these eight contemporary e-bikes inspired by motorcycles.

Electric Bike That Looks Like A Motorcycle

Rayvolt Cruzer E-Bike

The Rayvolt Cruzer E-bike takes you back to the good old days with its vintage post-WWII British cruiser bike design. The aluminum frame and massive battery capacity of 550Wh make for a lightweight, stylish ride that is easy on the wallet.

Rayvolt Cruzer E-Bike

Moto Parilla

Moto Parilla e-bike, the Italian beast, is a sleek, powerful, and rugged piece of equipment that’s just as at home in the city as it is on the trails. It has a 48V battery and a 500W motor, so you can climb any hill with ease. However, some might find the 20 MPH top speed to be a major disadvantage.

HPC Typhoon

There’s nothing you won’t love about the dirt-bike-inspired HPC Typhoon. It’s got a 500-watt motor, 26-inch tires, 10 speeds, and a 30-mile range—all at a price that won’t break the bank.

CAB Recon E-Bikes

The CAB Recon e-bike is what you’ll want if you’re looking to get off the road and onto the trail. With a sleek, minimalist design and an abundance of power, this bike will take you anywhere your heart desires. It’s light, easy to ride, and goes up to 20 mph. The Recon can also go up to 40 miles on a single battery charge.

Azbo Vintage Electric Bike

A vintage style and oddly shaped seats make this e-bike unique. With its Brushless motor, it can reach speeds of 20 to 25 mph. It may appear small, but this bike is as large as any motorcycle. It also has speed gear and reliable brakes to prevent accidents.

Revi Bikes Cheetah Cafe Racer

Revi Bikes’ Cheetah Cafe Racer is a no-nonsense, high-performance electric bike that delivers on both style and power. The ’60s cafe-cruiser motorbike-style e-bike has a range of up to 32 miles per charge and a top speed of 25 mph. It can take you farther than you’ve ever gone before—and it’ll do it with style.

Revi Bikes Cheetah Cafe Racer

Michael Blast Greaser Cafe Racer

The 350-watt Michael Blast Greaser Cafe Racer is a unique choice for its efficient 12 torque sensing bottom bracket motor. It’s got a range of 45 miles and a top speed of 28 MPH. The Back to the Future-vibed retro design is sure to turn heads as you cruise down the streets in style.

Monday Motorbike

With a 750-watt motor and a top speed of 45 MPH, this isn’t just any electric bike—this is a high-speed, high-powered ride that can get you anywhere you want to go quickly and efficiently. The bike’s frame is made out of lightweight aluminum, so it’s easy to carry around when you’re not riding, but it’s also sturdy enough for all the heavy lifting your commute can dish out.

What Is the Difference Between an Electric Bike And Motorcycle?

Let’s now look at the key differences that set motorcycles and motorcycle-style e-bikes apart.

Comparative Overview between motorbikes and ebikes:

Criteria Electric Bike Motorcycle
Pedals Available Not available
Power Electric Motor Internal Combustion Engine
Legal Requirements Protective gear MVD registration, License, Insurance, Protective gear
Speed Limits 28 MPH Site-wise speed limit
Functionality Runs with or without motor and battery Requires engine power to run
Mobility for Commuting Requires less effort, easier to park almost everywhere Can sometimes be less convenient to park
Average Weight 65 pounds 300 pounds
Maintenance and Repair Requires less effort, Lesser costs Requires more effort, Costlier
Average Cost $1500 $6000


The most obvious difference between an e-bike and a motorcycle is that e-bikes have pedals while motorcycles don’t. This is an important distinction as it allows e-bikes to be classified as bicycles under the law. This has several implications, such as being able to ride on bicycle paths and lanes, not needing a license or registration, and more.


The main difference between an electric bike and a motorcycle is that the electric bike runs on a battery that needs to be recharged from time to time. The battery will usually give out around 30-60 miles of range, depending on the size of the battery. The small motor can get you anywhere from 15 to 30 miles per hour (mph), which is fast enough for many people.

On the other hand, the motorcycle is powered by an internal combustion engine with a large fuel tank. You will have to refill the fuel tank at a gas station from time to time for it to continue working. A motorcycle can go as fast as 100 mph or more—much faster than an electric bike. It all depends on how quickly you want to go and what you are willing to pay for it.

Legal Requirements

In most states, the legal requirements to operate an electric bike are less strict than those for a motorcycle. But that doesn’t mean you’re free to do whatever you want with your electric bike.

Requirements for a motorized bicycle vary from state to state, but most have similar provisions. For example, in California, you can’t operate a motorized bicycle on a public road unless it has certain safety features, such as pedals and handlebars. If you’re riding on private property or trails open to the public, most states don’t require you to wear a helmet or have insurance.

If you own a motorcycle, you’ll need to register it with your local motor vehicles department (MVD) and get a license plate before riding it on public roads. You’ll also need to buy the insurance and wear protective gear when riding.

Because electric bikes aren’t motorcycles (or even mopeds), they’re generally exempt from these requirements. However, some cities have their own rules about riding them on roads or sidewalks, so you must check before riding.

Speed Limits

In the US, e-bikes are limited to 28 MPH on level ground. This is due to several factors such as safety, battery life, and motor efficiency. In contrast, motorcycles have no such limit and can go as fast as their engine will allow them. However, you must follow the posted speed limits when riding on public roads.


Although e-bikes are intended to be pedaled, they can also be ridden without them. This is perfect for those who want the option to pedal or not, depending on the situation. For example, you can pedal up a hill and coast down the other side without pedaling.

On the other hand, motorcycles can’t be ridden without the engine on. This is because there’s no additional power source than the engine to provide power to the wheels.

Mobility for Commuting

E-bikes are often used for commuting because they are easy to ride and don’t require much effort. You can ride an e-bike in traffic and not get too tired. A few models will also let you fold them up to take them on the bus or train. Besides, you can easily park an e-bike almost anywhere without much worry.

Motorcycles are also a good option for commuting, but they can be more dangerous in traffic. They are also less convenient to park and harder to store.


E-bikes are typically much lighter than motorcycles. This is because they don’t have an engine or fuel tank. The average weight of an e-bike is around 65 pounds (29 kg), whereas the average weight of a motorcycle is about 300 pounds (136 kg).

Maintenance and Repair

E-bikes are reasonably low maintenance. You don’t have to do much to keep them running smoothly. Just clean the chain, check on the tires occasionally, and you should be good to go. If something does break, most parts are easy to find and replace.

In contrast, motorcycles require more maintenance than e-bikes. You’ll need to check the engine oil level and change it regularly. You’ll also need to tune up the engine every few thousand miles. And if something does break, it can be more difficult and expensive to fix.


E-bikes are considerably cheaper than motorcycles. The average cost of an e-bike is around $1,500, whereas getting a motorcycle will cost you at least $6,000, as high as $100,000.

Several factors contribute to the cost difference between electric bikes and motorcycles. These include the price of gas, the cost of insurance, and the price of licensing and registration.

Who Should Consider Buying An Electric Bike That Looks Like a Motorcycle?

Why not just about anyone? After all, anybody can enjoy a motorcycle-style e-bike’s unique riding experience without getting bogged down with legalities. These bikes are mostly preferred by people who ride to work, school, etc., not for thrills alone. This is because they are more practical than motorcycles. After all, they are-

Buying An Electric Bike That Looks Like a Motorcycle

Great for Urban Commuting:

These e-bikes are excellent for riding in urban areas because of their lightweight and small size. It can be easily parked anywhere, and most importantly, it requires less maintenance than motorcycles.

Free of Legalities:

They can be ridden on most streets without worrying about getting a license or registration.


These bikes are pretty affordable, considering the price of gasoline-powered motorcycles and scooters.

Speedier than Bicycles:

They have higher speeds than standard electric bikes as they come with more powerful motors which can achieve speeds up to 30mph.


Compared to bicycles, these bikes offer a comfortable riding position because of their upright riding style and comfortable seats, especially on bumpy roads. They also don’t have the vibration and noise of motorbike engines.

Easier to Handle:

They have a lower center of gravity, making it easier for riders to handle them in tight spaces and at low speeds.


They’re more environmentally friendly since they emit less pollution than cars or motorcycles.

And above all, a motorcycle-style e-bike gives you the best of both worlds when you want to live the dream of being a motorcycle rider while benefiting from the convenience of an electric bike.

On the other hand, if you’re primarily looking for an adrenaline-pumping experience and blazing-fast transportation, you might want to go for a gasoline-powered motorcycle.

Final Thoughts

An electric bike that looks like a motorcycle, though having the same purpose- getting you from point A to B, still has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. You get to enjoy the experience of riding a motorcycle but in a greener and more cost-effective way.

While they’re great for regular commuting around the city or medium distance cruising, they’re certainly not for long cruising. Motorcycles, on the other hand, are comparatively more expensive but offer more mileage and speed.

Make your priority list and be sure to break down your cost before you go for an ebike or a motorcycle. There’s no point in spending $10,000 on a motorcycle for city rides and commuting to work.

But an ebike with a limited battery won’t cut the need if you want the raging power of a motorcycle for long tours either. Get the one that gets you where you want to be, and make the best use of your investment.

A mechanical engineer became an active blogger, and it’s James Miller. Well, the journey of his blogging started more than a decade ago. As a mechanical engineer, he started his professional career as a technical assistant in a renowned automotive industry and later joined an e-bike manufacturing company as a quality in charge. James created this site “Bikerreview” to share his decade of experience with e-bikes. He wants to help the people who are newly looking for an e-bike and doesn’t have any prior knowledge about that.

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