Back in the glory days of the 1980s, Can-Am was as hot as it gets, scooping up championships left and right on the track and trails. But just because the sun once set on this storied brand doesn’t mean it can’t rise again. And the unveiling of two new Can-Am electric motorcycles is trying to do just that.
Say hello to the Can-Am Origin and the Can-Am Pulse.
They won’t be available until 2024, but their debut will mark the first two-wheelers to bear the Can-Am badge in over three decades.
The company is pitching the two new models for both on and off-road riding, saying they’ll be perfect for beginner and experienced riders seeking either a commuter-spec electric motorcycle or something ideal for recreational trail rides.
The two models offer two different styles of riding yet share the same Rotex E-Power drivetrain.
BRP is certainly excited about a return to form for the Can-Am brand, as BRP’s president and CEO José Boisjoli explained in a statement provided to Electrek.
Today, our story of innovation reaches new heights. We have set out to reclaim our motorcycle heritage and are very proud to re-enter the market with the introduction of the first two models of our all-electric Can-Am motorcycle family. Half a century ago, Can-Am roared to victory on the track and the trail, and today, a legacy is reborn. In true BRP fashion, we are bringing our very own electric powerpack to our motorcycles, and crafting thrilling riding experiences for a whole new generation.
If you were hoping to hear some details about that powerpack, then you’re going to be disappointed. We don’t have any hard specs for you today, and Can-Am says they likely won’t spill the beans on the full specs until August 2023.
I guess the feeling is that if people could wait three decades for a new Can-Am bike, what’s one more year?
But we can at least glean some details from the images of the Can-Am Origin and Can-Am Pulse bikes.
The Can-Am Origin looks like a dual-sport bike that could likely compete in a similar class to the Zero FX. The Can-Am Pulse, on the other hand, looks more like a commuter-level electric motorcycle. BRP mentioned “highway-speeds” during its unveiling, so we’d expect the bike to hit at least 70 mph (120 km/h) or so, and perhaps faster. That could put it in closer competition with bikes like the Zero FXE.
Unlike the two Zero models that will likely compete with these Can-Am bikes, BRP’s entries will apparently feature on-board chargers that allow them to recharge at Level 2 charging stations. With rather small batteries (compared to electric cars), many electric motorcycles can recharge nearly completely in an hour or two at a Level 2 public charging station, depending on the size of the on-board charger.
Can-Am won’t only be competing against Zero though. The light electric motorcycle market in the US has begun heating up significantly lately.
The Kollter ES1 has already been on the road for over a year, offering speeds of around 70 mph (112 km/h) with an 11 kW (15 hp) motor.
The SONDORS Metacycle just started making deliveries this month, offering 80 mph (130 km/h) top speeds from its 8 kW (11 hp) nominal and 14.5 kW (19.4 kW) peak rear hub motor. The removable 4,000 Wh battery is rated for a range of 80 miles (130 km).
The Ryvid Anthem was recently announced, claiming a 75 mph (121 km/h) top speed. It comes with a motor power rating of 7.5 kW (10 hp) continuous and 13.5 kW (18 hp) peak.
Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire electric motorcycle sub-brand debuted a lower-power model known as the Del Mar, though the bike is considerably more powerful with a 60 kW (80 hp) motor. The Del Mar is also more expensive, priced at closer to $16,000. That puts it at over twice the price of the Kollter ES1, Ryvid Anthem, and SONDORS Metacycle.
Even Kawasaki is expected to unveil a pair of lower-cost and commuter-spec electric motorcycles soon.
If Can-Am wants to ensure it there will be a slice of the pie left for the storied brand, it better deliver – and quickly.
If you want to see a bit more dramatic of a reveal, check out Can-Am’s Origin and Pulse unveiling video below.
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