Indian Working on an Electric Motorcycle?

03/01/2017 @ 11:09 am, by Jensen Beeler17 COMMENTS

Polaris Industries says it is working on a new electric motorcycle, to replace the now discontinued Victory Empulse TT model that was scrapped when the Minnesota company closed the doors to the Victory brand earlier this year.

According to a report from Reuters, the new electric motorcycle will be released under the Indian Motorcycle brand name, and will be focused towards riders who ride for pleasure, rather than those who commute or do long-distance trips.

The report says that Polaris is targeting a 120 to 140 mile range – almost double of what was available from the Empulse TT – from this new electric motorcycle model, when ridden at an aggressive pace.

“The characteristics of the new powertrain are going to be more applicable to be able to ride a bike for pleasure and in twisties, and kind of how you would use today a pleasure bikes,” said Steve Menneto, Polaris President of Motorcycles, while speaking to Reuters.

The Indian electric bike is seemingly still in its early days of development, with the report indicating that the model is still four to five years away from production.

Undoubtedly, Polaris is hoping that the energy density for lithium based batteries will evolve by that time period, and thus be able to meet such lofty range goals.

Of course by that point in time, the current crop of electric vehicle players will have also updated their products to have similar range claims.

Still, it should be interesting to have another OEM in the electric mix, especially if it means Indian will take on Harley-Davidson’s Livewire project, head-on.

Source: Reuters

  • Matt Woolley

    January 9th Polaris shutters Victory. February 2nd Trump meets with Harley Davidson. March 1st Polaris announces they’ll have an electric Indian Motorcycle in four or so years… What a time to be alive.

  • Sam Miller

    What Livewire project? I thought they killed that off after Mission filed for bankruptcy?

  • Brett Lewis

    At least they should have a bike that’s ready for prime-time. Range is the biggest deal-breaker now, hopefully the long charge times and scarcity of charging stations won’t be as much of an issue then either.

  • durandal1

    If you’re a motorcycle manufacturer and you’re not working on an electric motorcycle…you better get started soon.

  • MrDefo

    Too late, Indian. Quentin works at Alta now, I’m getting a Redshift Supermoto.

    Seriously though, is Indian just going to follow the Harley playbook from here on out? Are we looking at the same thing with a different badge?

  • chris

    remember when the honda superhawk only got 150 miles/tank, and no one had range anxiety?

  • Michael Howard

    Getting a 120-140 mile range shouldn’t be much of a problem. With the Indian name, they could probably get away with 900 lbs of batteries. ;)

  • NortNad

    I dont know about the pleasure riding market. They need to be more aggressive like ktm or ducati

  • A tom

    Yes, ICE bikes had short ranges at one point in time. However, with the ability to refill / recharge in a matter of minutes, any range anxiety disappears quite quickly…

  • Doctor Jelly

    They announced last year that it would be a production model in the next 5 years. Not sure who is replacing Mission’s part in the design…

  • paulus

    agreed.. but KTM’s electric efforts have been an on/off affair too.

  • Jake F.

    In 4 to 5 years Indian will have an electric bike with the range of a 2017 Zero SR. As John Oliver would say, “Cool.”

  • Lane Pratt

    What’s going to happen to the Empulse model now? Does Polaris retain the rights to the design as part of the Brammo deal? It seems like a lot of work to just scrap. I know that Brian Wissmann has gone to Zero, so where does that leave the project, team, and intellectual property?

  • Armando Aj Marini

    The Empulse drivetrain was good. I liked it. The rest of the bike needed work thought. I could totally see that drivetrain in a cruiser. It made riding super easy. It only makes sense that Polaris would re-purpose the tech.

  • PeteN95

    “The characteristics of the new powertrain are going to be more applicable to be able to ride a bike for pleasure and in twisties”

    I like that statement!

  • Polaris bought all of Brammo’s motorcycle business, so they own the Empulse. With Wismann at Zero, I wouldn’t expect to see Brammo doing too much with motorcycles now, beyond being a technical partner to an OEM for EV powertrains.

  • MikeD

    LOL, my SV1000N lights up at 140ish before reserve. One day i’m going to run it dry and see what it does range wise.