God, I love internal combustion. Like, I REALLY love it. I love the smell of it. The hot engines that creak and tick as you kill the ignition and walk away from them. I love the flames and primeval brutality of exploding something that you get out of the ground. I love the fact that they drip oil and blow smoke and burn your fingers and wake up the neighbors at 7 am on a Sunday morning. I still remember with ridiculous clarity the moment I fired up my first engine sans exhaust header. The thing shot 12 inch blue flames out of the side of the engine as if Satan himself was battling to escape from inside the block. And the sound; like a squadron of Supermarine Spitfires had landed in my garage and were singing an incendiary opera at 180 dB just for my own childish amusement.
For me motorbikes and internal combustion go together like stink and poop, steak and red wine, or Charlie Sheen and bat shit. They are indivisible. I think about a world without exploding liquid dinosaurs and I’m genuinely sad. But with that said, I’m imaginative enough to see that an electric bike could also kick serious butt, albeit in an entirely different way. Instant power with maximum torque right across the rev range would be pretty incredible. And as cool and a loud pipe is, I can picture a long ride through a forrest with little more than a cool power station whine and the sound of the wind to keep me company as something that could be rather freakin’ sublime.
So what do you think? Could you ever replace hydrocarbons with electrons? That is to say, electric bikes – yes or no?