What is a hybrid motorcycle?

A hybrid motorcycle uses an electric motor to supplement a gasoline motor, resulting in a more efficient engine and lower running costs. Hybrid motorcycles also produce fewer emissions, making them more environmentally friendly than traditional motorcycles.

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How does a hybrid motorcycle work?

Similar to a hybrid car, a hybrid motorcycle combines a traditional combustion engine with a small electric motor. However, you can't charge a hybrid motorcycle engine straight from a power socket like you can with a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Instead, the battery charges from regenerative braking or power provided by the combustion engine.

The two engines of a hybrid motorcycle work together, controlled by a computer, to power the bike. Electric power is used when possible and the combustion engine is used for longer rides or when you need higher speeds.

Pros and cons of hybrid motorcycles


Here are some advantages offered by a hybrid motorcycle:

  • Lower emissions
  • Better fuel efficiency
  • Reduced engine noise (hybrid motorcycles are silent when running on electric power)
  • Improved torque and acceleration
  • Longer lifespan due to reduced wear and tear


Here are a few drawbacks when it comes to hybrid bikes:

  • Higher initial purchase price
  • Limited model selection
  • Complex hybrid system may lead to more maintenance and costly repairs
  • Heavier weight due to the battery pack

Should you buy a hybrid motorcycle?

Hybrid motorcycles represent a transitional solution between traditional and all-electric bikes. They can be a good motorcycle for commuters, who usually ride in the city but occasionally take longer trips since hybrid motorcycles can offer a compromise of fuel efficiency in town and refueling convenience when traveling.

There are few hybrid motorcycles on the market today, as the challenges of incorporating two motors into a vehicle the size of a motorcycle have made it difficult and expensive to achieve. Instead, manufacturers interested in green, renewable, or high-efficiency options have been more likely to explore all-electric motorcycles than hybrid electric motorcycles.

If you're interested in purchasing a hybrid motorcycle, FasterCapital lists Yamaha, Honda, Zero Motorcycles, Kawasaki, and Harley-Davidson as the leading manufacturers. According to Cycle World, Kawasaki’s Ninja 7 Hybrid is the first mass-production strong hybrid motorcycle.

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