First electric motorcycle accessible on the highway at an affordable price


I’m a big fan of electric motorcycles, which offer all the thrill of gas-powered bikes without the emissions, maintenance, or headaches typically associated with ownership. The only problem is that they are traditionally much more expensive than gasoline bikes. Or at least they were, until the Kollter ES1 hit North America.

As much as I enjoy riding flagship Zeros and electric Harleys, these are expensive bikes at around $ 20,000 or more (although to be fair, Zero has other models closer to $ 11,000 to $ 12,000).

On the other end of the spectrum, I had a blast driving the City Slicker CSC under $ 3,000. But as the name suggests, it is limited to the city. The top speed of 45 mph allows for quick work in urban jungles, but is totally inadequate for highway use.

But with speeds over 70 mph, the Kollter ES1 can drag on the freeway, although it may be limited to the right lane depending on the scenario.

And with a starting price of around $ 6,000 in the US, it is reasonably priced between sophisticated high-end electric motorcycles and less expensive urban options.

Check out my video review of the Kollter ES1 Pro below, then read on for my full thoughts!

Kollter ES1 electric motorcycle video review

Quick specifications of the Kollter ES1

  • Motor: 11 kW (15 hp) rated single-stage central reduction motor, belt drive
  • Top speed: 115 km / h (72 mph)
  • City range: 136 km (80 mi) with two batteries
  • Highway range: 90 km (56 mi) with two batteries
  • Drums: Single or double 72V 32Ah packs for 2.3 kWh or 4.6 kWh
  • Typical recharge cost: $ 0.26 to $ 0.52 (single or dual battery)
  • Loading time: 4.5 hours with 15A fast charger

(Keep in mind that these are the specs of the US version I flew. The Canadian and / or European versions may differ.)

Modest power, lots of fun

The Kollter ES1 is a fun bike, but it’s not overly sporty.

I discovered that I can still beat cars out of the line when the light turns green, which is my baseline for “does that have enough horsepower?” “

It’s certainly not a Zero with 82kW of power at your fingertips, but it’s more than enough for shuttle use and it’s an absolute delight every time you turn your wrist. The 11 kW motor combined with a fairly quiet belt drive make the bike responsive and fun to ride.

As fun as it was, I would borrow the bike and only spent a few hours on it entirely in an urban setting with roads at 50mph max. This meant that even pushing my luck, I wasn’t much past 60. He had more to give, but with the level of police presence, I really didn’t want to get a speeding ticket on a bike I was riding.

So when Kollter says he’ll hit 72 mph, I’ll have to take their word for it. But I can tell you he hit his low 60s without protest and wants to keep going, that’s for sure.

I might have done city driving, but it was South Florida city driving – which means a lot of those 50mph three-lane roads. Based on my usage, I was getting an extrapolated range of around 65 miles. I was also on the dual battery model, mind you. With a single battery, I would expect about half of that range.

The single battery model starts at $ 5,995 and the second battery costs $ 900 more.

Both are removable, although they are large batteries. Think of it as your farmer’s workout for the day, as each weighs just under 30 lbs. If you have a garage, you will probably never need to take them out as you can load them onto the bike. But if you live in an apartment with no street-level charging infrastructure, the removable batteries make this whole ordeal possible.

And by “charging infrastructure” I mean a typical 110V wall outlet. Batteries charge from a conventional wall outlet, just like your cell phone or laptop. There’s no Level 2 charging here, so don’t expect to use this fancy EVSE charging station on the street.

Another interesting advantage is that there are actually Kollter dealers in almost every corner of the country. I borrowed one from NatiCycle in the northeast for my testing, but there is also a dealer in California and a dealer in Florida. Again, it can’t compete with Zero or Harley-Davidson, which have dealerships everywhere (especially in the latter’s case). But it’s always good to know that you can be a few hundred miles from a bike to test it.

To me, the Kollter looks like the exact bike the market was missing – something to bridge the gap between high powered but high priced Zeros and cute little city electric motorcycles. He has the power and speed to hold on to medium dogs, and he has the fun of a “real” bike, not a mini-bike.

There are even footrests so you can take your partner for a ride. Talk about utility! Do you know what it’s right there? A gentle confirmation bias that tells you that it’s basically as good as a family car, and that your partner will definitely agree with you when he or she sees how useful the bike is in the city!

Okay, so maybe it’s not the best family car. But for someone like me with a wife, a dog, and no responsibility, this feels like the ultimate race to me. And given that it costs a third of the price of the flagship electric motorcycles available today, it also seems like a lot more sane splurge on a fun electric motorcycle, even if it doesn’t turn into a daily commuter bike and instead transforms. into a fun weekend toy.

As long as bikes like the SONDORS Metacycle, NIU RQi, and Sur Ron Storm Bee take their time making it in the US, long live the Kollter ES1 as the only affordable option for those of us looking for motorcycle speeds. electric highway on a budget!

Oh, and for anyone who likes to get dirty, there’s an enduro package available to swap out bigger wheels with spiked tires and a chain kit!

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About Frances R. Smith

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