Is there a Tesla motorcycle?
The short answer is no, and if you believe Elon Musk, there might never be one.
The entrepreneur has personal reasons why he doesn’t want Tesla to release an electric motorcycle. (More about that in a second.)
But Musk is known for changing his mind, so the mythical Tesla electric motorcycle might still become reality one day. Never say never, no?
In the meantime, Elon Musk’s aversion to electric motorcycles has left an opening for other companies to try and become the Tesla of motorcycles. The race is on to release a high-end, technologically revolutionary electric motorcycle that forever changes how we think about two-wheelers.
And it’s not just Tesla wannabes. There are several Tesla motorcycle concepts floating around, and some of them are incredibly attractive. They sure make us wish the Tesla Motorcycle were real.
Read more: The best electric motorcycles you can buy
Why is there no Tesla Motorcycle?
Tesla’s stated mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
Elon Musk’s company is already selling electric cars like the Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y. The futuristic Cybertruck electric pickup and the Roadster hypercar are both due in the next years.
Cars are important, but a large proportion of the world is actually using two-wheeled vehicles to get around.
So why isn’t there an electric motorcycle from Tesla? And how about a Tesla electric bicycle, for the matter?
The truth is, we don’t know the real answer with complete confidence. Tesla hasn’t officially commented on the matter beyond one brief comment from Musk.
It’s possible Tesla thinks developing an electric motorcycle is not worth the time and resources required. Perhaps the economics are not there right now. Or maybe Tesla simply wants to follow Elon Musk’s Master Plan to the letter, and that roadmap simply has no room for distractions.
Perhaps it’s a combination of factors. We just don’t know.
The closest we’ve come to getting an official reason as of why we haven’t seen a Tesla motorcycle is a brief comment from Elon Musk.
Back in 2018, Musk was asked by a Tesla shareholder about the prospect of a Tesla motorbike. This was his answer:
“I actually used to ride motorcycles when I was a kid. I was into dirt biking for like 8 years or something. Then I had a road bike until I was 17 when I was almost killed by a truck so we are not going to do motorcycles.”
In 2019, Musk doubled down on this justification for not releasing a Tesla motorcycle in a Twitter exchange.
The Tesla CEO said the company won’t do road bikes, as they are too dangerous.
However, Musk did leave the door open for an electric dirt bike. In fact, that’s not too far off from an electric ATV, which Tesla has already announced.
The Tesla Cyberquad is a battery-powered two-seat ATV announced in November 2019. It’s supposed to be a sidekick to the illusive Cybertruck, so it’s not officially on sale yet.
Seeing that the Tesla Cyberquad is already in the works, a Tesla electric dirt bike wouldn’t require a massive leap.
Then again, Elon Musk has a history of over-promising, so don’t hold your breath for this electric dirt bike from Tesla.
Getting back to electric road bikes – are they really so dangerous that Tesla wouldn’t want to get into the segment?
Tesla is no stranger of intimidatingly fast machines. The latest Plaid iteration of the Tesla Model S can hit 60 mph in just 2.28 seconds. That’s dangerously fast, no matter how you look at it.
Tesla is not afraid of complex engineering challenges either. Surely, if anyone can develop a fast-but-safe electric motorcycle that’s Elon Musk’s company.
And of course, there are plenty of electric motorcycles already on the roads, including some blazing-fast ones. They’re not the threat to public safety Musk painted them to be.
In the end, the fate of the Tesla motorcycle lays in Musk’s hands. It’s possible he simply thinks it’s a bad idea. It’s also possible he’ll change his mind in the future.
While we wait for that, let’s have a look at what could be.
Read more: Electric motorcycles: A buyer’s guide
Best Tesla Motorcycle concept
A number of designers have tried their hand at sketching what the mythical Tesla Motorcycle would look like.
The best of the lot is the “Tesla Model M,” from California-based industrial designer James Gawley.
The Tesla Model M’s design is inspired by the elegant lines of the Tesla Model S, adapted to fit into a sport-touring motorcycle silhouette.
The highlights of this Tesla Motorcycle concept include the user interface and touch screen, which take heavy cues from the UI of Tesla cars.
The minimalist design hides or reimagines functional elements like the foot pegs, the charge port door, or the rear-view mirrors.
On top of all this, the Model M looks bad-ass, which is the main expectation we have from any design that purports to imagine a Tesla-made motorcycle.
Who will be the Tesla of motorcycles?
Now that we’ve established that there is no official Tesla Motorcycle, let’s have a look at some of the companies vying for the honor of being dubbed “the Tesla of motorcycles.”
The legendary Harley-Davidson makes electric motorcycles – see the Livewire – but let’s face it, Harley is the incumbent, not the rising-star. If anything, it’s the Ford of motorbikes, not the Tesla. Same goes for other giants of the industry, like BMW, Honda, and Yamaha.
One company whose name has been associated with the “Tesla of motorcycles” moniker is Zero Motorcycles.
Zero Motorcycles claims to be #1 seller of electric motorcycles in the US. It makes high-end, high-performance electric two-wheelers, with the price tags to match. The 15-year-old company’s flagship Zero SF/R can hit 124 mph (200 km/h) and a range of up to 200 miles (320 km/h) and goes for a starting price of $21,500.
“We have been a brand that has helped define the category and be the protagonist for electrification in the same way Tesla does in the four-wheel space,” Zero Motorcycles CEO Sam Paschel told Yahoo Finance when asked about the flattering comparisons to Elon Musk’s company.
Another name that comes up is Damon Motorcycles. The Damon Hypersport is worthy of its name, being able to reach an incredible 200 mph (320 km/h). Like Tesla cars, the Hypersport is connected to the cloud and is packed with sensors and other high-tech wizardry.
Interestingly, Damon is focused on tackling the safety problems that come when you make very-fast electric-powered motorcycles. “We’re trying to change the industry by addressing the issues of safety and handling and comfort and the problems that have persisted with everyone in the industry, including all the e-moto companies today,” Damon CEO Jay Giroud told TechCrunch.
Like Tesla, Damon will sell its EVs straight to consumers, choosing to avoid the dealership model. Also similar to Tesla, the company is charging would-be customers a reservation fees, with deliveries of the Hypersport expected soon.
There you have it – our look at the latest things we know about Tesla’s motorcycle plans, the coolest Tesla Motorcycle concepts, and other companies’ ambition to become the Tesla of the two-wheel EV world.