What’s one thing that many motorbike and car enthusiasts have in common? That’s right, it’s a general sense of disdain for automatic transmissions. While it’s true that some automatics are dull, uninspiring, and suck any and all remaining joy out of your life while you operate vehicles that have them, they’re also not all bad. Additionally, it’s important to remember that just as people drive for different reasons, they might ride for different reasons—and who needs the added stress of gatekeeping? Not us, that’s for sure.
The truth is, there’s a lot of fun to be had on two wheels—no matter what bike you ride, and no matter what kind of transmission it has within. If a bike brings you joy, then in our opinion, it’s doing its primary job, and everything else after that is just gravy.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at a handful of automatic transmission bikes for sale in 2023. Prices listed are for the American market, but may vary in other markets, so check with your local dealers for the most accurate information. Additionally, manufacturer stats are provided where available, but some OEMs prefer not to list certain information publicly.
Indian eFTR Jr. and eFTR Mini
One evergreen motorcycle industry goal is getting new riders into the sport, and why wouldn’t it be? Everyone gets older, interests change, and you always want more people getting into your particular niche than are leaving it. Thus, we have Indian Motorcycle’s first two forays into the realm of electric bikes, and they’re both aimed squarely at kids aged 8 and up.
As we all know, miniature versions of things are almost universally cool, simply by virtue of their tiny size. We all know dirt bikes are rad, but who doesn’t love the idea of seeing the youth zoom around on tiny flat-trackers? That’s right, no one. Are there other electric motorbikes aimed at kids on the market today? Sure. Are they Indians? They are not.
|eFTR Junior: 15mph
|eFTR Mini: 14mph
|eFTR Junior: $849.99
|eFTR Mini: $529.99
Striking a balance between a small commuter motorbike and a scooter isn’t easy, but it makes a certain kind of sense. Scooters may be eminently practical, but plenty of people simply don’t care for a step-through design. A small-displacement, unintimidating, and downright friendly little motorbike sounds like a good way to get new riders into the saddle though, doesn’t it? Truly, what could be friendlier than giving it twist n’ go scooter simplicity paired with a more motorcycle-esque silhouette—especially when it’s also priced incredibly well?
While we’re pretty sure that Honda didn’t consult famed Canadian film director James Cameron about creating the Navi, we can say that we definitely spent more than two hours and 42 minutes riding it. It’s a simple and unpretentious little 109cc air-cooled, single-cylinder-engined runabout. Furthermore, the Navi has a single, tiny carburetor, drum brakes, a little storage box to stash a moderate amount of stuff, and an aesthetic that makes it awfully hard to have a bad day on it.
If you’re too old and cranky to appreciate this bike for what it is, then very simply, it’s probably not for you. For everyone else, you can choose to have fun with it as a basic transport device, or you can go to town customizing the plastic panels off this thing—much like Grom and Ruckus enthusiasts already do. At the almost ludicrously low new bike price of $1,807, chances are excellent that you’ll have more money in your pocket for all the bolt-on parts and custom graphics you’ve dreamed of experimenting with.
|Starting at $1,807
Since its introduction, Energica has constantly worked to improve both its motor and its battery technologies—and in 2023, the Experia represents the pinnacle of what it’s achieved so far. Dubbed the company’s first “Green Tourer,” the Experia comes loaded with hard side cases and a top box, and it’s totally ready to swallow up all your stuff as you go off on your next massive adventure.
As with all electrics, your range will depend on both the load the bike is carrying, as well as how (and where) you ride it. Estimated city range is approximately 261 miles, and combined city/highway range is 160 miles. The Experia can use Level 1, 2, and 3 chargers, and if you use a Level 3 DC fast charger, claimed charging time can go from zero to 80 percent of a full charge in just 40 minutes.
|Starting at $23,750
KTM Freeride E-XC
If you’re looking for a fun electric dirtbike that’s also perfectly happy on the road, then the KTM Freeride E-XC may just be the bike for you. It features a water-cooled, brushless electric motor that produces a claimed peak power output of 18 kilowatts, or just a hair over 24 horsepower at 5,000 rpm. Claimed torque is 42 newton-meters, or about 30.9 pound-feet.
This bike was crafted to be lightweight and nimble, as any rider of a modern dirtbike would expect. Front suspension travel is 250 millimeters, while rear is 260 mm. There’s a simple and uncluttered digital dash. Charging takes around 110 minutes for a full charge, or 75 minutes to get to 80 percent, and the KTM PowerPack battery unit is removable. So, you can either bring it inside to charge off the bike, and you can also have a second PowerPack charged and ready to go for a quick swap.
|Starting at $11,299
Hailing from Zero’s flagship SR lineup, the 2023 SR/S boasts an aerodynamic fairing that the firm says boosts its efficiency and range about 13 percent above its unfaired sibling, the SR/F. Although it seems like a chunky bike on paper, the feel is surprisingly easy to maneuver in the saddle, thanks to its low center of gravity. Available low seats for shorter riders also make this a more comfortable option for a wider range of riders than some other bikes.
Peak power is a claimed 110 horsepower at 5,600 rpm, with peak torque of 140 pound-feet. Top speed is 124 miles per hour. Claimed city riding range is 187 miles, and combined range (if riding 55 mph on the highway) is 142 miles. If riding 70 mph on the highway, combined range drops to 124 miles. Charge time varies based on whether or not you have the 6-kilowatt rapid charger for this bike. Without it, the SR/S charges to 95 percent of full in two hours. With the rapid charger, you can reach 95 percent of a full charge in half the time, costing you only an hour of stillness.
Honda Africa Twin DCT and Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES DCT
Honda’s stalwart adventure tourer puts a more rugged spin on the “touring” designation. Powered by a 1,084cc parallel twin, it combines the best of both worlds for on- and off-road types of touring. Want to do both? That’s cool, it has a long-travel suspension. Want to munch miles on the highway? That’s cool, too, because it has cruise control. The Adventure Sports ES DCT adds a Showa EERA electronic suspension, adjustable windscreen, larger fuel tank, aluminum rear carrier, and tubeless tires.
|Starting at $15,299 for the base Africa Twin DCT and $18,099 for the Adventure Sports ES DCT
LiveWire S2 Del Mar
When you talk to folks who already ride combustion bikes about electrics, two themes repeatedly rise to the surface. Impressive amounts of torque and zippiness are appealing, of course, but it’s more difficult to balance the comparatively steep price with the performance you get in return. Longer range typically means a higher price point, too—so what’s an OEM to do?
The Harley-Davidson LiveWire was relatively impressive to people who rode it, but the high price tag at launch put a lot of people off. Since that time, the LiveWire division has gone through a lot of changes, including reintroducing its first bike as the LiveWire One, with a much-improved price. Then came the introduction of the flat-track-styled S2 Del Mar, with more appealing aesthetics and an even better price. Sure, it’s an urban runabout, not a bike built for excessive mile-munching—but an awful lot of people could use a solid urban runabout in their lives.
|Starting at $16,999
MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso and RC SCS
If your fondest wish is to tour on an MV Agusta 798cc triple, then the Turismo Veloce is for you. For the redesign, MV went hard on making long hours in the saddle more comfortable, both for rider and passenger. Ergonomics are more conducive to spending tons of time astride your MV, and 34 liters of storage space inside each pannier also makes trip-planning easier.
The Euro 5-compliant revision makes a claimed 110 horsepower at 10,150 rpm, along with 62 lb-ft of torque at 7,100 rpm. The Turismo Veloce comes in three variants: the Rosso, the Lusso, and the RC, with the Lusso and RC models offering available SCS as an add-on. MV really leaned into the Rekluse-designed SCS unit as a beautiful feature, choosing to show it off proudly with a clear case. For 2021, it comes with a stronger machined billet hub, so you can literally tour for days.
The SCS unit is a semi-automatic one rather than fully automatic, but maybe that middle ground is what you’re looking for. The top-of-the-line Turismo Veloce RC SCS will run you about $28,400.
|192 kilograms or 423 pounds
|Starting at $25,498
Energica Eva Ribelle
With stunning streetfighter looks, the Eva Ribelle makes a claimed 145 horsepower and 159 lb-ft of torque. Top speed is limited to 125 mph, and claimed 0 to 60 time is 2.8 seconds, dropping to 2.6 seconds if you choose the RS version. Energica’s range testing resulted in a claimed 143-mile combined range rating, and its DC fast charge mode can supposedly get you to 80 percent of a full charge in just 40 minutes, which makes it perfect to charge during your lunch break. Base price starts at $23,800, but think of all the money you’ll save on gas while you’re out having ridiculous amounts of fun.
Prefer something faired? That’s cool, Energica does offer other options in a range of markets around the world, and they don’t require shifters, either.
|Starting at $23,800
Honda Gold Wing Automatic DCT
Some say the Gold Wing is the ultimate touring comfort standard-bearer, particularly if you like to do long journeys with a passenger on board. It’s powered by an 1,833cc liquid-cooled, flat six-cylinder engine, and has a shaft final drive for total ease of maintenance. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard, and other touring enticements like heated seats are available options.
If you want to make those long-haul trips even easier, you can add on Honda’s automatic dual-clutch transmission. The base GWADCT starts at $25,600, while the Tour will run you $29,600 and the Tour Airbag bumps the price up to $32,900.
|Starting at $25,600