Musk Says Tesla Motorcycle Won’t Happen…Ever

JUN 11 2018 BY DOMENICK YONEY 51

Four wheels good, two wheels bad.

Tesla intends to make quite a range of vehicles. It already has a couple different sedans in the Model S and Model 3, along with the Model X SUV. A crossover, the Model Y, is now on the way for 2020, as is the Semi and its second sportscar, the Roadster. CEO Elon Musk has already said they would build a pickup truck as well. What it won’t be building, though, is a motorcycle like the Tesla Model M that was once lovingly rendered and featured on these pages.

This is a bit of a shame. Electric motorcycles are awesome and since Tesla also wears something of a hip halo, putting the two together successfully could create a unique situation. So much pull has the Tesla brand, and so effective is Musk at creating interest in products, that it’s quite possible many who had never previously contemplated the joy of riding on two wheels might find themselves suddenly interested. Consider for a moment that one of Musk’s side hustles, The Boring Company, just sold 20,000 flamethrowers Not-A-Flamethrowers (unboxing and demo video here) as something of a homage to the movie Spaceballs. Twenty thousand!

Tesla Model M Rendering

So, why won’t Musk extend some of that sales magic to motorcycles? We now have a definitive answer to that question. At the recent Tesla annual shareholder meeting, he was asked by an audience member, “Has Tesla ever thought about going into the motorcycle business?” The entrepreneur responded with an autobiographical anecdote. Apparently, Musk had enjoyed dirt biking for around eight years as a lad, and even had a roadbike. But, when he was 17 he was almost killed by a truck and, he explained, this apparently forever ended any fascination he might have had with riding motorized bikes.

It’s too bad, though. Two-wheeled vehicles are an efficient way of getting around and the Tesla brand could easily extend over an entire range of products — from street bikes to scooters to electric bicycles. And while there are certainly any number of other companies already creating terrific machines in this space, one can’t help but think the Silicon Valley outfit could really throw gas on that fire, so to speak.

Categories: Bikes, Tesla

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51 Comments on "Musk Says Tesla Motorcycle Won’t Happen…Ever"

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xcat

It takes that 1 moment in time when you’re driving down the road and someone perpendicular in front of you runs the red light. Been there, done that, can totally see his point of view. Still see a potential scooter or EV assisted bicycle as an option, however Ludicrous oriented super bikes? Nah…

eject

Such a sissy.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Such a persistent troll.

Ron Swanson's Mustache

Eject: “Elon, I think you’re a sissy.”

Elon: “I don’t think about you at all.”

najeeb Ullah

not even for emerging markets such as Indian, Philippine,Nigeria pak etc. In these countries more than 50pc of passenger commuter consist of motor bikes..come on elon. Then help me I will start sth

Rafael Sabatini

Yeah, like his dum-bass comments on mass transit, Musk reveals the real big0t-and-sn0b he actually is.

Viking79

I am thinking those crowds won’t pay a premium for an electric motorcycle, especially in areas with questionable grid stability.

There are plenty of others making electric motorcycles and e-bikes.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Yup. The market for e-bikes and electric motor scooters is already well established and growing; it certainly doesn’t need any help from Tesla!

Tesla is about pushing the EV revolution forward in new directions, not about being just one fish swimming in a school.

Rusty

But they would all want Tesla batteries – even Alta.

Chris Stork

Aside from BMW, not many car manufacturers get into motorcycles, do they?

Franky 4 Fingers

VW owns Ducati, so there’s 2 car manufacturers into motorcycles.

theBrandler

Honda anyone?

Rafael Sabatini

And, Yamaha-Toyota have jointly shared technologies a lot, so that’s at least 4

eject

Suzuki

Probably more I can’t think of.

najeeb Ullah

Honda and Suzuki are big names in motorbikes in most Asian countries.

Tom

Had a Suzuki 125cc 2 cycle dirt bike as a kid. Crazy fun. My cousin’s 4 cycle Honda was a slow dog comparatively. 2 cycle is the best. Well except it was crazy levels of dangerous, 2 cycle motors are difficult to keep running, and oh yeah that little bit about spewing oil out with the gasoline as a ‘feature’. But yeah my brother t-boned a car with that thing when the car ran a stop sign. Helmet saved his life but he flew a good 30 yards in the air.

wavelet

ROFL. Get your history straight. BMW made motorcycles before they ever made cars.

Chris O

I can see how it’s hard to rhyme enthusiasm for motorcycles with a firm believe in an autonomous future.

ClarksonCote

It seems short sighted for Musk to denounce a motorcycle simply because they’re dangerous. Yes, they are (we just had a fatality nearby the other night), and while I sold mine recently for similar reasons, Tesla could have a great and strong following on a few well-designed models.

Too bad. While I agree and can sympathize with his personal reasons, that shouldn’t really affect his business strategy.

stimpacker

I am an avid biker. Yet I see no business reason for Tesla to get into motorcycles.

For the mass consumer market, that is best left to the Indians and Chinese. They make good electric scooters, bikes and can easily make good electric motorcycles.

A Tesla motorcycle would compete in the luxury market and won’t do the public any good. Leave that market to the Harley Davidsons, BMWs and Yamahas of today.

Vexar

There is plenty of saturation in the motorcycle market, as you said.

Viking79

Elon is really bothered by traffic fatalities, motorcycles account for 14% of all traffic fatalities and represent only 0.7% of vehicle miles driven (NHTSA, 2013). Hugely disproportionate percentage and there is little you can do to make them safer. I totally respect his decision to stay out of that market.

Ben Pena

Will autopilot make riding a motorcycle safer or heck even walking down the street safer?

Ben Pena

I believe Elon cares about doing the right thing, safety has always been high on his list auto pilot will save more lives than any other technologies in the history of the automobile.

CIO

Business 101 – Never say never.

Dav8or

Exactly. There will come a day when Tesla no longer has Elon with them. Who knows what products they will decide to make?

mzs.112000

Zero Motorcycles aready makes some very nice motorcycles though. AFAIK they require an adapter to work with normal J1772 charging stations, IMO Zero should just put a J1772 port on by default, so you don’t need to ride around with an adapter to charge(lot’s of riders will ride 100’s of miles per day, just for the joy of it, would be nice if they could do it with an electric motorcycle).

Dan F.

Good call, motorcycles are very dangerous in principle (you art exposed) and cars (though not their increasingly distracted drivers) keep getting better at protecting their occupants in a crash.

David S.

The Sora, by Lito Green Motion, is the Tesla of motorcycles
http://soraelectricsuperbike.com/

Koenigsegg

South Park – People that ride motorcycles are F_ gs . Motorcycles are super lame and dangerous. Glad Elon agrees

Pushmi-Pullyu

I very seriously doubt that Elon would agree with your statement.

For some people, even when they’re right, they’re wrong.

Mikael

A quad bike or a Tesla beach buggy would be fun though. 😛

God/Bacardi

Makes sense, Musk certainly gets upset when the media criticizes autopilot deaths…

Vexar

I think he’s actually upset people are dying.

eject

One less customer

Get Real

And one more troll in the case of eject.

h3x6g0n

Too bad! A Tesla motorcycle would’ve been cool. Maybe it would even be possible to offer AP with the help of gyroscopes and such.

Rafael Sabatini

Even though, from an environmental perspective this would be a far better use of their time and capital.

I guess they couldn’t figure out how to make a motorcycle weigh 1000 pounds more than anything in its class- which is a Tesla hallmark.

Tesla4theWin

The Model 3 weighs about the same as the BMW 3 series idiot troll

Apexerman

As a huge fan of the three-wheeled Arcimoto, I think autocycles are a relatively untapped market for EV transportation. Various manufacturers have dabbled with the autocycle concept, but electric power could provide a tipping point going forward. Tesla has the resources to make it happen and the concept is forward-thinking enough to warrant the Tesla name. And with the proper enclosure, they’re safer too.

EVShopper

He should buy out Lit Motors to get their enclosed, self balanced two wheeler into production.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“Musk Says Tesla Motorcycle Won’t Happen…Ever”

Good. Tesla arguably has too many irons in the fire already, between the Model 3 and the 2020 Roadster and the Semi Truck and the Model Y, and a new Gigafactory in China and one in Europe and making solar roof tiles and building new Supercharger stations and commercial solar panels and PowerPacks and PowerWalls, and projects for installing the latter in Australia and Puerto Rico and other places…

Nice to see that Tesla isn’t going to create yet another path to dissipating the resources of its engineering staff and its revenue!

Rusty

Or could it just be that the Tesla founders have a motor cycle company Alta – recently partnered with Harley Davidson…

Nonbiker

I hate motorbikes.

Steven

Disappointed, but not surprised.

Don Zenga

No thanks.
Tesla believes in making vehicles with 4 or more wheels since these vehicles are more stable.

Tesla also believes in making 4 seaters, that’s why even a sport car like Roadster will seat 4. To put simply, car is a rectangular/prismatic shaped object that can take 2 rows of seat with 2 passengers in each row.

If they ever wish to make a motorcycle, I would rather advise them to make a 4 wheeled 1 seater vehicle.
Just 3 feet in width(around 1.0 meter), 8 feet in length (2.5 meter) and 5 feet in height (1.5 meter) will do. Being smaller than Smart car and lighter, it can go 200 MPGe. This type of vehicle can be purchased by many households as 2nd car for 1 person’s daily commute while the other primary vehicle can be a regular car to go with the whole family.

May be then can also think of Smart like car for 2 passengers with a slightly wider version that could seat 3 passengers. Eventually they will come up with a small 4 passenger car like Smart For-4 if VW launches its ID car at an affordable price tag.

Sébastien

So he had a close call while riding his bike with a truck… And later decided to build an EV truck (!) but no bike (?!)

Sure it may make sense, I just haven’t figured how 🙂

Fast charging bike is something we need, doesn’t have to be more than 200km range. But refill should take 15mn max.

anthony439202

Why doesn’t Musk bring out an autonomous driving motorcyle. Now that would make the covers of all the motorcycle magazines.

wavelet

I’ll repeat. There no reason to think Tesla has anything to contribute to electric motorcycles. The priorities of the vehicle types are very different, drivetrain included. Both Alta & Zero have more dense (pack level) batteries than Tesla.
Motorcycle design has pretty much nothing to do with car design.