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Hub-Drive vs. Mid-Drive Electric Motorcycles... What you need to know


16 Jul Hub-Drive vs. Mid-Drive Electric Motorcycles... What you need to know

While Australia has languished behind the rest of the world in the uptake of electric vehicles, surveys show Australians do want to make the switch. Government policy and a slow introduction of incentives has held back our growth but the want is there. The good news is some states are now backing their communities (go ACT) with new policies introduced to support the uptake of electric motorcycles.


Besides the obvious environmental benefits, the huge benefit of electric motors is their simplicity. The beauty of the cleanliness. Compared to an engine, there is one moving part. This reduces maintenance compared to petrol motorbikes.  Basically, not a lot can go wrong! That's why service workshops don't love us ;)


The new support has grown interest in the electric motorcycle category and we are now evolving as a more serious player in the Australian motorcycle industry.

But along with this growth,  there is growing confusion by the specs, especially when it comes to the electric motor.


Not all electric motors are created equally.


Where should the motor be positioned?

For a hub-drive electric motorcycle, the motor is positioned in the rear wheel hub, propelling the rear wheel drive. That sounds handy, right! 

For a mid-drive electric motorcycle the motor is positioned directly in between behind the swing arm pivot points. They're belt driven, more like a petrol set up.

Fonz 2019 X1 Rear Hub Motor


Hub Motors

Hub motors are well suited to electric scooters. They utilise the limited space that a scooter has compared to a motorcycle.


The Fonzarelli X1 launched on the market in 2018. This Australian-made electric scooter won a Good Design Award for its handcrafted mono swing arm and striking rear wheel hub motor. It was a challenging build with such a significant unsprung mass. You can read this blog from Fonz owner, Guy Carpenter, who talks about the Fonzarelli X1 on his blog


I always get excited when I ride past another Fonz and I've often ridden to work behind an X1 owner who lives down my street. Each time I'm behind him I'm mesmerised riding behind that rear wheel. Its beautiful. Always gives me a thrill. I'm certainly biased, but there's not a lot thats uglier than the junk hanging under the trunk of a petrol scooter. I'm sure if you start to take a look you'll agree ;)




With mid drives, the motor positioning ensures a low and central centre of gravity. This plants you to the road and is particularly important as we fight to reduce every kilo when engineering electric motorcycles.


Mid drives also have greater efficiency than their hub counterparts and the torque is insane. Where on the hub motor the motor drives the wheel, which slows spinning on steeper hills. The climbability with the belt drive is worlds apart.

As the benefits stack up, there's no questioning that belt driven mid-drives are the superior technology when it comes to the electric motorcycle. whereas with electric scooters the space saving hub motor is a comparable contender. 


Whichever motor you go with one things for sure, when you move beyond the vibration and noise of a petrol engine, you'll get more thrills from riding, getting more connected to the road and the journey.


Discover features & design options of Australia's first electric motorcycle. Watch Video