It has occurred to me that motorcycle service technicians are not going to be too happy if electric motorcycles become too popular.
Right now motorcycle shops make relatively little money on vehicle sales, and sales of clothing and accessories (which have high profit margins) are no doubt declining due to the internet. That leaves the guys in the backroom (the service department) to bring home the bacon. If you own a European brand IC motorcycle, like a BMW, Ducati, KTM, Triumph, etc., you will typically be paying around $300 for a 6K minor service and as much as $1000 (or a lot more in the case of the new BMW K1600GT 6) for a 12K or 24K major service. A lot of that work involves checking and adjusting valve lash and balancing the throttle bodies and removing and reinstalling all of the bodywork to get to that stuff. Plus, there is a huge markup on all of the parts and chemicals (such as oil and coolant) needed to perform the work. Without the shop guys doing the heavy lifting (at $100 an hour around here), motorcycle shops would have a tough time staying in business.
Now along comes electric motorcycles. Assuming nothing breaks, what need to be done to keep them running for a long time? (Zero claims a battery life as much as 300,000 miles and what servicing does a brushless electric motor need?) About all that is left to do is to grease the swing arm, steering head and wheel bearings every 20K miles or so, replace brake pads, the occasional chain or belt at 20K or 30K miles, flush brake fluid every other year and replace the tires when needed. All of that stuff can be done in your garage and if you want it done at a shop, you can go to any small independent service technician to have this work performed for less than $100 an hour. You might never have to visit your original dealer, unless you just want to hang out.
And that brings up my question. Will dealers and their service departments wonder if selling electric motorcycles is such a great financial deal for them in the long run? I wonder.