Gone are the days of manufacturers claiming a range of "about 60 miles." Instead, there is now a detailed process for determining range using a dynomometer and temperature controlled air. The short synopsis on The City Riding Range Test Procedure for Electric Motorcycles is: there are two tests, one for bikes that have a top speed over 56.7 mph and one for bikes that don't. The fast bikes are run on the dyno at an average speed of 19.6mph and a top speed of 56.7 mph. Slow bikes get an average of 17.7mph and a top speed of 36.5 mph. This simulates stop-and-go urban riding and should return reasonably accurate range numbers.
Photo: Grant Ray
When I say reasonably accurate, what I mean is that the accuracy doesn't really matter all that much. There are tons of variables that make it impossible to accurately predict everyone's range. The big deal here is that we'll be able to directly compare range numbers of electric bikes in the same way that we compare gas mileage numbers for cars. Now, you'll have a consistent, independent standard when cross shopping different models of electric bikes.