35 years. It’s been 35 years since the folks at Can-Am have produced a motorcycle (and no, those adult-sized big-wheels don’t count). When they last left off in 1987, they were building some of the most terrifying two-stroke machines on the planet. This week, in a complete and utter 360-degree direction change, parent company BRP announced that the brand will make a triumphant return to two wheels in 2024 with four brand new Can-Am electric motorcycles.
Chances are you’ve never seen a Can-Am motorcycle, but believe it or not, they were building some pretty wild stuff back in the ’80s. Perhaps none so wild as the elusive 1987 Can-Am 500 MX, a 500cc two-stroke motocrosser from hell that sounds even better than it smells when kicked to life:
Needless to say, the company’s focus has fallen far from the motorcycling tree over the last few decades, which is why it’s exciting to see that Can-Am has not one or two but four new electric motorcycles in the works. This development follows last year’s announcement from BRP that they were investing over $300 million dollars into research, development, and even an all-new facility for the sole purpose of electrifying their entire portfolio of brands (which also includes Ski-Doo, Sea-Doo, Rotax, and Manitou).
Current Details On The New Can-Am Electric Motorcycles
Can-Am has yet to share any significant details on the lineup outside of the marketing video below, but from what little we can see, it looks like the new lineup should have something for everyone. Initial renderings appear to show a naked/standard bike, a tall mid-weight adventure machine, a cruiser/bobber, and possibly even a fully-faired sportbike. Additional comments from a recent Can-Am press release are also encouraging in that regard:
“Riders can expect these new state-of-the-art electric Can-Am motorcycles to be perfect for everyday commuting and, to stay true to the track & trail heritage of the brand, recreational on- and off-road riding.”
It’s definitely one of the vaguest teasers out there, which is saying a lot in the electric motorcycle industry, but it’s sending all the right signals: For one, there’s a heavy emphasis on Can-Am’s motocross/off-road history, and it’s also worth nothing that there’s not even a hint of an electric three-wheeler on the menu.
“With the motorcycle industry shifting to electric, we saw an opportunity to reclaim our motorcycle heritage and to re-enter the market. This new product category is extremely important to us, and we are thrilled that Can-Am motorcycles are the first EV models in BRP’s electric lineup to be confirmed to consumers. Many of us have very fond memories of riding the early dirt bike models, and now we look forward to building on the rich history of the Can-Am brand to inspire and impress a new generation of motorcyclists and electric vehicle enthusiasts”, said José Boisjoli, President and CEO of BRP.
Exactly what Can-Am’s electric future holds has yet to be seen, but regardless of what actually hits the showroom floor come 2024, this will be a windfall for the electric motorcycle scene. An off-road focused and street-legal motorcycle, produced by a big-budget company like BRP? Which also happened to buy the physical and intellectual assets of Alta Motorcycles when they went belly-up in 2018? That sounds like a win-win to us.