Just as the automotive industry looks towards a new and exciting future, the motorcycle trade has recently found itself in a state of flux too. As manufacturers extend their product lines in a bid to cater for a new generation of riders, greener, electric options are starting to rear their heads –and more and more futuristic designs are being launched every year.
Even Harley Davidson are getting in on the act, and we can’t wait to see who joins them over the next few years. But for now at least, here are just a few of our favourite bikes of the future.
Harleys, but not as we know them
If ever you wanted a badge of approval for electric motorcycles, you’d want to get one from the world’s most famous motorcycle badge.
It might seem completely unfathomable for Harley Davidson – so long the standard-bearer for big, loud motorcycle muscle, all while looking down on whimpy sports bikes – to venture into electric motorcycles. But that’s exactly what’s happened.
Project LiveWire burst onto the scene with a look reminiscent of the semi-stripped-back Ducati Diavel, with Harley Davidson giving away rides to competition winners in the US and UK.
Reviews have been good, but it seems Harley has some catching up to do tech-wise to get the range up to an agreeable standard, delaying production launch until 2020. Still, it’s a huge boost for the electric market that Harley is on board.
Return of an Icon
If you want a glimpse at the potential future of electric bikes – certainly within our cities – then look no further than the most popular motor vehicle ever made.
Honda has announced that an electric version of the Super Cub – which has, in various guises, sold almost 90 million units since 1958 – will be launched in Japan in 2018, with worldwide coverage surely to follow not long after.
If there’s any machine that can take electric bikes from intriguing, exotic novelties into everyday normality, it’s surely the Super Cub.
Although it was initially introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show back in 2007, Suzuki’s hydrogen-powered Crosscage motorcycle remains one of our favourite bikes of the future today.
Boasting single-sided suspension on both the front and rear axles – not to mention the machine’s hydrogen-powered drivetrain – the Crosscage looks every inch the real deal. Even Bridgestone have joined in on the act by designing a set of bespoke tyres to fit the bike’s tessellated discs.
Interested? Too bad. Suzuki still haven’t set a release date for the Crosscage – so for now, at least, this one’s going to have to wait.
Expanding the motorcycle base?
There is developing field of thought – particularly with Harley’s move – that future motorcycles are not about competing with petrol-powered models, but reaching a new market that will eventually progress into traditional machines.
It’s certainly a feasible theory, and is a subject we’ve covered before on this blog. You can check out our thoughts here.