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Monday, November 28, 2022

Can-Am teases new line of electric motorcycles

Can-Am began life 50 years ago making two-wheelers — specifically, enduro and motocross bikes that captured their first national trophies just a year after going into serial production. In 1987, parent company Bombardier took Can-Am motos off the market, the brand itself out of action until 2006 when BRP dusted it off for the BRP line of ATVs. Now we know Can-Am as a maker of ATVs as well as three-wheelers like the Ryker and Spyder, and side-by-sides. It will be back in the two-wheeled game in a couple of years, a teaser video announcing a new line of four Can-Am electric motorcycles launching in 2024.

We don’t have much to go on other than silhouettes of the bikes and a trail of commercial moves BRP has made in the past few years. BRP bought some of the assets and intellectual property of electric dirt bike startup Alta Motors in 2019. Observers suspected BRP would turn Alta Motors’ work into powertrains for recreational vehicles like snowmobiles or jet skis. It revealed three electric concepts later the same year, one of them an electric Ryker three-wheeler. The following year saw a BRP patent application for a “method for assembling motorcycles of a family of motorcycles and corresponding motorcycles.” The paperwork described models sharing a common frame, battery, and electric motor in the swingarm, with artwork showing how a several types of bike could be built around that core.

The naked street bike in the teaser video that we get the best view of has clear ties to the patent drawing in the upright bars, single seat, single-sided swingarm, and multi-spoke wheels. There’s at least one new feature — its tablet-like cockpit display. Based on the less fulsome views of the other models, we’re suspecting a range that includes an enduro, a bobber, and perhaps some sort of meaty tourer. We’re two years away from any retail offering, but with Can-Am considering this the 50th anniversary year of its first bikes, we think more announcements are likely soon.

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