10 Electric Motorcycles Under $5,000 (and Which Are Really Worth It)

Sur-On X Light Bee 103 photos
Photo: Sur-On
Sur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X Youth MotorSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X Youth CockpitSur-Ron Light Bee X Youth ShockSur-Ron Light Bee X Youth Display and Speed SettingsSur-Ron Light Bee X Youth Key PortSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X Youth Charge PortSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthSur-Ron Light Bee X YouthCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaCAKE MakkaKandi Trail King e1500Kandi Trail King e1500Kandi Trail King e1500Kandi Trail King e1500Kandi Trail King e1500Greenger Powersports CRF-E2Greenger Powersports CRF-E2Greenger Powersports CRF-E2Greenger Powersports CRF-E2Greenger Powersports CRF-E2Ubco 2x2 AdventureUbco 2x2 AdventureUbco 2x2 AdventureUbco 2x2 AdventureRawrr MantisRawrr MantisRawrr MantisRawrr MantisSegway Dirt eBike X160Segway Dirt eBike X160Segway Dirt eBike X160Segway Dirt eBike X160Segway Dirt eBike X160Rumble Apex PredatorVolcon Grunt EvoVolcon Grunt EvoVolcon Grunt EvoVolcon Grunt EvoBeta ExplorerBeta ExplorerBeta Explorer
At the end of last week we had an intimate look into the world of super cheap motorcycles, the ones that are sold for under $5,000. I'm talking here, naturally, about the internal combustion ones, but still cheap enough to be both the perfect beginner bikes and also so affordable pretty much everyone on this planet can have them.
The story about the world's best ICE motorcycles to be had in 2024 for under $5k got us thinking about cheap electric motorcycles, and if there are enough of them in that category presently available in the U.S. It turns out there are plenty of them around, but as you might imagine, their cheapness does come with a price.

The motorcycle world is slower than the car industry in adopting electrification. With very few exceptions, established bike makers are still steering clear of going for motors and batteries instead of pistons and exhausts, for reasons that have not properly been explained.

The shortage of electric motorcycles wearing the badges of established companies could at least in part be explained by the price of these machines. Unlike their ICE counterparts, which can easily be had for low prices (think about anywhere from $5k to $15), EV bikes tend to be a lot more expensive, as demonstrated by the many startups in the business of making them.

There are, naturally, plenty of new businesses rolling out cheap electric two-wheelers like there is no tomorrow. Most of them operate in Asia, and some have gotten so good at it that they've started doing business elsewhere, the U.S. included, with equal success.

It is these small mostly non-American companies that are responsible for the flood of cheap electric bikes that are now engulfing the American market. But are they any good? I mean, sure, cheap ICE motorcycles usually have big names behind them, and that's a sort of quality guarantee, but the same cannot be said about cheap electric ones.

So in this story we'll try to give you a look at what a cheap electric motorcycle means on the American market in 2024. You can enjoy the entire list below.

Sur-On X Light Bee

Sur\-Ron Light Bee X Youth
Photo: Florin Profir for Autoevolution
Sur-Ron is the name of a Chinese company founded exactly a decade ago. The quality of its products, spearheaded by an initial two-wheeler called LBX, ensured its expansion into overseas markets, and an arrival in the U.S. shortly after.

The company's American presence presently includes a single bike, the X Light Bee. Meant for all-terrain riding, the machine has the flimsy looks of a bicycle but the capabilities of a motorized contraption.

At the core of the ride sits a forged alloy frame that can withstand climbs on slopes of up to 45 degrees. It gets the power to do that, but also to ride where it's needed, from a removable Panasonic lithium-ion battery pack that, when fully charged, gives it a range of anywhere between 20 and 60 miles (32 to 97 km). When depleted, the battery can be charged in three hours or so.

A permanent magnet synchronous motor moves the 19-inch spoked wheels at undisclosed top speeds, as they vary depending on load and gearing, but we know it to not go past 16 mph (26 kph).

Judging by all of the above, the Sur-On X Light Bee could be considered more of a bike than a motorcycle, but the lack of pedals, some of its attributes, and ultimately its sale price, which is $4,400, blurs the lines so greatly one could easily mistake one for the other.

That being said, the model is too expensive for a bike, so it's definitely not worth it if you consider it that. It's also not worth it if you consider it a motorcycle, but on account of different reasons. Just think of how, compared to some of the other machines on this list, this blend between a mountain bike and an ICE-powered pit bike has pretty poor capabilities (just look at the range and speeds).

But that doesn't mean it isn't incredibly fun, and that it will definitely turn some heads at the track and elsewhere.

Cake Makka

CAKE Makka
Photo: CAKE
Common sense would tell you that motorcycles this cheap will not necessarily look like true motorcycles. And although that's only partially true, the Cake Makka does help to drive the point home.

Cake is a company born in Sweden in 2016. Its main area of expertise is the production of electric motorcycles and mopeds, but styled in such a way they look more like Ikea furniture than anything else.

There are three main product lines in the company's portfolio at the time of writing, namely the Makka, Osa, and Kalk. It's the Makka we're interested in because it is among the few in the bike maker's portfolio to abide by the price cap we set for ourselves.

Looking more like a weird moped than a motorcycle, the Makka weighs only 66 kilos (145 pounds), battery included, and it does not require a motorcycle license to use – another argument for it being more of a moped.

The ride is capable of reaching speeds of 25 kph (16 mph) and can keep going on a single charge of the battery for as much as 60 km (37 miles).

We chose to include this two-wheeler on our list because of its wacky appearance, but if you ask me if it's worth the $4,170 Cake is asking for it, then the answer is definitely no. Except for the case when you're specifically looking for something like this, there are much more potent cheap motorcycles that can be had for that cash.

Kandi Trail King e1500

Kandi Trail King e1500
Photo: Kandi
Also coming from China-land is a company called Kandi. Established in 2002, thus a bit older than other companies on our list, Kandi has a solid presence in the U.S., where it is selling, first and foremost, UTVs, golf carts, and go-carts.

The company does have a range of electric dirt bikes for sale, the ones called the Trail King. There are three of them to be had, starting with the pedal-equipped MT750 and ending with the street-legal e1500.

It's the latter that is of interest to us today because we're talking about a sort of contraption that mixes cues from a mini bike with badass wheels that kind of remind one of Volcon machines, and such a bulky body it's even weirder than the Cake Makka we discussed earlier.

The ride is powered by a brushless electric hub motor with power levels rated at only 1,500 watts and a 25 Ah battery that can be recharged to capacity in six hours.

The powertrain installed in this thing allows the Kandi Trail King e1500 to reach a top speed of 20 mph (32 kph), moving its massive wheels over even or less so terrain with the help of dual hydraulic forks at the front and dual spring coilovers at the rear.

Technically speaking the e1500 is not a full-blown motorcycle, but the fact that it can only be ridden by people 16 years of age or older takes it away from a mini bike territory as well.

Although the specs on this thing are by far not at all impressive, the price tag makes it one of the most solid choices for people in the market for something on two wheels you don't see on the road every day. Kandi is asking just $1,399 for it, creating a pretty decent balance between what it asks of you and what it gives back.

Greenger Powersports CRF-E2

Greenger Powersports CRF\-E2
Photo: Greenger
The name Greenger Powersports may not sound all that familiar, but its connection with Japanese bike maker Honda might have you at least give it a second look. Headquartered in the U.S., this crew has only been around since 2018, but already brags about being the first to create the world's first electric CRF.

The off-road-oriented Japanese machine, or at least a version of it, is what makes it onto our list from the Greenger portfolio as well. It's the CRF-E2 I'm talking about, a machine described as "a Honda Official Licensed Product and the first electric motorcycle to have the famous Honda CRF name."

Built on an aluminum twin-spar frame, the bike relies on a swappable lithium-ion battery pack and a 48 V electric motor to get things going. The battery allows enough autonomy for just two hours of use and needs double that to get back to capacity. The electric motor, on the other hand, can only deliver 3.3 horsepower.

Why so poor specs, you ask? Well, because despite wearing the CRF name, this thing is no full-blown Honda meant for motocross and trial runs. The ride is mostly intended for very young riders, and for them, such meager power levels should be more than enough.

The Greenger Powersports CRF-E2 is priced at $2,299 (plus an extra $300 freight charge), and when judging it for what it is – a teaching bike for the young – that may prove quite right. For those wishing to feel the Honda CRF (which in a certain configuration was declared Best Motorcrosser for years in a row) in its genes, the E2 could however prove to be quite the disappointment.

Ubco 2x2 Adventure

Ubco 2x2 Adventure
Photo: Ubco
Another motorcycle maker name that probably rings few bells is Ubco. These guys are not Chinese or Europeans, but they were established back in 2014 in New Zealand with the goal of creating a "rugged all-wheel-drive electric utility bike." And by bike these guys mean more of a bicycle than a motorcycle.

In the ten years or so it has been on the market Ubco managed to evolve from a local business to a global one, and it is now present even in the U.S. There the crew sells four variants of what is basically the same two-wheeled machine, the 2x2. Of them, only one, the 2x2 Adventure, matches our price criteria.

The ride is a fairly utilitarian affair, with a design that reminds one of the Cake products but at the same time, and strangely, makes it rather unique. There's an impressively intricate frame that's right there in plain view, with racks extending front and rear, two flimsy handlebars up front, and a bicycle feel the rider will probably never be able to shake.

At the core of the machine lies an electric power system that gives the 2x2 a range of up to 120 km (75 miles) and a top speed of 50 kph (30 mph). The battery on the thing can be recharged in as much as six hours.

Ubco is selling the 2x2 Adventure for $4,999 and offers free shipping anywhere. So, if you're in the market for a workhorse machine to be used in remote areas, this thing might just be the right thing for you. Especially given how the performance levels are not bad at all for a motorcycle of this caliber.

Rawrr Mantis

Rawrr Mantis
Photo: Rawrr
Somewhere in California, a motorcycle company with a wacky name resides: Rawrr. It's a crew that's only two years old but seems to have a clear mission in mind: "do more than build yet another electric two-wheeler."

Yet somehow that's exactly what the company did when it presented the Mantis, an all-terrain electric motorcycle that looks capable of handling the worst terrain a rider can throw at it.

Built around an all-aluminum frame, the motorcycle most along the road or beyond it under the power supplied by a swappable 72V battery that gives it a range of 75 miles (121 km). The wheels are spun by an electric motor rated at 7500W peak power and 50 Nm of max torque.

The Rawrr Mantis wears a sticker reading $4,999, and one doesn't need to be a rocket scientist to do the math and realize that it's more than worth it. More than decent styling, capabilities above what others in this price range have to offer, and the chance of impressing your friends with a vehicle probably few of them have heard about are some of the things going for this machine.

Segway Dirt eBike X160

Segway Dirt eBike X160
Photo: Segway
Of all the companies included on this list, Segway is perhaps the best-known. Not because it makes electric or other kinds of motorcycles, but because it is largely responsible for the advent of a means of personal transportation unlike any other.

The name Segway has been around one way or another for more than two decades now. The company that sits behind the name is presently owned by a Chinese company called Ninebot and sells everything from the self-balancing machine that made it famous to scooters and go-carts.

Of interest for the purposes of our list is something called the Dirt eBike X160. Looking a lot like a beefed-up bicycle (with no pedals) or a toned-down motorcycle, the machine is both impressive and affordable.

Meant primarily for off-road riding, the Dirt is powered by a swappable battery that gives it a range of just 40 miles (64 km) and an electric motor that pushes it to top speeds of 31 mph (50 kph). The thing weighs just close to 106 pounds (48 kg), making it highly accessible for pretty much everyone.

Segway is selling the Dirt eBike X160 for $4,499, and even if it doesn't bring a lot of extras over what some other machines listed here bring, we found it to be worthy, not in small part thanks to the fact the company behind it has been around for a while and seems to know what it's doing.

Rumble Apex Predator

Rumble Apex Predator
Photo: Rumble
A motorcycle maker you probably know little about is Rumble Motors. A Swedish-American company by trade, it says it is in the business of making electric bikes, but the reality is, at the time of writing, there are less than a handful of products in its portfolio: the Air SS V2, the Henzo V5, and the Apex Predator.

The name chosen for the latter two-wheeler, the one we'll be focusing on today, is without a doubt impressive, and that's not only for show, as the specifications for the rather cheap machine kind of match the name.

The bike is described as the successor of the Mighty APEX, a model no longer offered. It is powered by a 12 kW motor fed by a 72V dual-battery setup that gives the ride rather impressive capabilities for a motorcycle in this price range.

Rumble says the Apex Predator is capable of reaching top speeds in excess of 75 mph (121 kph). Depending on the ride mode chosen (there are three of them, namely Eco, Normal, and Sport), the range can be anywhere between 30 and 130 miles (48 to 209 km).

All of the above certainly make this motorcycle the most potent of all the ones featured on our list, and the $4,900 asking price at the time of writing certainly makes it a worthwhile option. But there's a catch: the bike is not yet available.

Rumble is presently in the pre-order stage for the Apex Predator, but at the beginning of March 2024 it announced it is delaying the market launch of the bike for at least three months. The company also promised it would show the first lifesize model sometime by the end of April.

Volcon Grunt Evo

Volcon Grunt Evo
Photo: Volcon
The year 2020 saw the arrival of a company called Volcon ePowersports on the market. It's a crew that dedicated its time and resources to making two and four-wheel motorcycles but also side-by-sides without using any combustion engine whatsoever.

The company's present lineup includes the main products, namely the pedal-assisted Brat, the Stag UTV, and the Grunt Evo, perhaps the most aggressively-style electric motorcycle on our list. A separate Youth Line is also on the table.

An evolution of a previous model called Grunt, the bike is animated by a powertrain setup comprising a 2.3 kWh battery and an 11-horsepower electric motor. That's more than enough for the thing to give it a top speed of 40 mph (64 kph) and an undisclosed range (on the previous Grunt variant that number was 75 miles/121 km).

Given all that, the Grunt Evo seems to be worth the buy, and that's why we included it on our list despite its price tag being at the time of writing $5,999. Given how the ride is not here yet and, just like with the Rumble Apecx Predator, the company is in the pre-order stage, people will only be asked to pay the $100 reservation fee for now.

Beta Explorer

Beta Explorer
Photo: Beta
Just to give you an idea of how difficult it is to find worthwhile electric motorcycles that are selling for under $5,000 in this day and age, you only have to look at the aforementioned Grunt Evo, but also at this here Beta Explorer. We chose to make exceptions for them because both motorcycles are at the top of their game when it comes to making cheap and impressive bikes, so please forgive the transgression.

The Beta Explorer only jumps the $5,000 threshold, selling for $5,190. It hits the market as one of the most capable dirt bikes on the market and is styled in such a way you can barely tell the difference from a full-blown ICE-powered ride.

But instead of a combustion engine this Beta holds in its rather small chassis a 34 Ah hot-swappable battery pack and a 17 horsepower electric motor that can push it to speeds of 40 mph. The range of the model varies from 30 to 60 miles (48 km to 96 km) depending on the selected mode.

There are three of them, namely Casual, Medium, and Rocket, with the latter named so because it gives the bike a ten-second power burst. At low speeds, however, the motorcycle can keep going for as much as 100 miles (161 km).
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Daniel Patrascu
Daniel Patrascu profile photo

Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories