Bikers are pack animals by nature.
They like to ride in groups and enjoy the open road with a few friends. Biker gangs are well known to ride together wearing the same leathers. Group rides for charity are common in the summer and fall riding seasons. Clubs form around brand names and styles of bikes alike.
Are there now groups of electric motorcycle riders tearing up the streets? Is it possible to have a group ride?
If you live in Los Angeles, the answer is yes.
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Hollywood Electrics has been running group rides through the canyons north of LA every month for a while now. They generally have more than 10 electric motorcycles along for the ride, touring nearby scenic roads and then ending up at a restaurant that uses an electric motorcycle for deliveries.
What's it like riding with a dozen or so electric motorcycles?
Gathering of electric motorcycle riders [photo via author Ben Rich]
Well, you can have a conversation at any stoplight.
You get to see wild animals on the side of the road that normally would have fled due to the noise of loud pipes.
You don't smell any fumes from the bikes in front of you.
You get smiles and stares (and sometimes questions) from people nearby whose ears aren't offended by your engine noise.
You get to enjoy riding with all of the benefits of riding a powerful motorcycle safely in a group without any of the smell or noise associated with gasoline-powered bikes.
That isn't to say that gasoline bikes aren't allowed. Friends of people who ride electric motorcycles sometimes still ride them. And they're welcome to join the ride and tag along--but their riders had better be prepared for some good-natured ribbing about the fumes they make and the noise that stifles conversation.
But bikers are bikers, regardless of electric or gas power; if you can ride, you're welcome to join a group of people enjoying a two-wheeled ride through the canyons.
If you're familiar with electric vehicles, you already know that range is limited and recharging time can be considerable.
Electric motorcycles have these limitations too, so long-distance journeys are still rare.
The top three long-distance electric motorcycle riders are Terry Hershner, Ben Rich (your author), and Stephane Melancon.
Terry has gone over 70,000 miles on his 2012 Zero S, which is now highly modified, and he has crossed the US five times. I rode my 2012 Zero S across the country in 2013, and also went on a 6,000-mile excursion in the summer of 2014. Stephane went on a 1,600-mile trip in 2014 on a 2012 Zero S with extra batteries.