SAN DIEGO — Electric motorcycle rider Gabe Pinto likes how his bike makes a light whizzing noise instead of the loud rumble of traditional gas-powered motorcycles.
"When you rev it up, it makes a cool sound,” said Pinto from Riverside.
Pinto, who is now 27 years old, says years ago, he first got an electric bike since he couldn't afford a car to get to college. Now, he’s in love with his new Energica Ego Plus RS that costs about $34,000.
"It's probably the fastest sport electric motorcycle in the world,” said Pinto.
There's no clutch, no gear, and obviously, no gas tank.
"This is actually the brain of the bike, most of your components like your controller are sitting in here,” said Pinto.
Pinto joined several dozen riders in San Diego Sunday for the end of the "Bridge the Bays 3rd Annual Electric Motorcycle Rally" that went from the Golden Gate bridge to the Coronado Bridge with a stop in Julian for apple pie and a charging station.
"Every time we pull up into a charger, you know we get 1,000 questions from everyone around us saying, what is this, I've never seen this what do they do, I bet they can’t go far?” said Pinto.
Pinto says people are stunned that an electric bike can go 200 miles before needing a charge. Pinto said his riding group set the record at 203 miles over the weekend.
He's been to Vegas, Disneyland and San Francisco on his bike and can charge up to 60 miles in 30 minutes at a rest stop.
"It's barely enough time to get a burger, and you're back on the road,” said Pinto.
There is a wide variety on gas powered motorcycles at Triumph San Diego, which is also the only dealership in town to get a Zero brand electric bike, and all the electric bikes are water resistant.
Triumph salesman Jeff says electric motorcycles are popular among college students, tech-enthusiasts and those who are in the military and law enforcement.
New riders interested can check out the handful of electric motorcycle brands, including Harley Davidson's Live Wire, Zero, Energica and Lightning.
The charging port is in a different spot for each bike. One Zero motorcycle has a port that can plug right into any outlet.
"Each year, they get better. Just think of it as an electric vehicle on two wheels. I've ridden to Florida on this bike, and there is nothing to stop you from taking these across the country now. You can go 0 to 60 in 2.6 seconds, which is incredibly fast for any motorcycle,” said Daren Sorenson, organizer of the Cannon Ball Run.
A quiet and energy efficient motorcycle, electric riders say come with a lot of advantages.
"You're not paying for gas or not doing oil changes, you never have to change your brake pads ever in your life, which is insane. Give it a try as soon as people sit on it when they get that smile on their face, they'll never go back,” said Pinto.
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