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Old 02-02-2013, 06:51 PM   #1
Designer Jake OP
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Thoughts on Electric Motorcycles?

Hey Everyone,

My name is Jake and I am pretty new to the motorcycle scene. I am researching Electric Motorcycles and I was curious what experienced motorcyclists thought about them. I would appreciate it if you could answer the questions below!

First off, what are the first three words come into your mind when I say "Electric Motorcycle"?

How do you expect Electric Motorcycles (EM) to feel, sound, handle, etc.? If you have ridden a EM please share your experience!

Which aesthetic is more appealing... Brammo's Empulse or Zero Motorycles' Zero S?

What top three things do you Like and Dislike about EMs?

Finally, if you were going to purchase an Electric Dual Sport/Adventure Motorcycle, what characteristics or features would you like to have on the motorcycle?

Again, I would really appreciate your help!

Thank You!
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:27 PM   #2
MotoMind
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One of my friends recently purchased new electric motorcycle.

I have been riding for 8 years and have owned 8 motorcycles of various types. My experience seeing it for the first time made me finally understand what people felt like when they first saw horseless carriages. It was uncanny to see the bike move without noise, without the operation of the clutch, without engine drag. I felt like there was witchcraft at work. I'm sure I would get over it, but it felt very wrong at first. I do not think it should be more like a motorcycle in sound or behavior, that would just make it awful instead of uncanny.

I like the lack of noise and lack of moving parts and lack of oil and other foul shit that otherwise spills on my garage floor.

It also started getting motor overspeed errors and killing all power on the highway. Something about that failure mode rubs me the wrong way. Standard motorcycles are perfectly happy to blow themselves up if you ask them to, and won't endanger you based on a bad sensor reading.

On the upside, we both had nerdgasms about having the factory diagnose it by reading the system logs he emailed over.

I hope that helps your market research.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:44 PM   #3
Designer Jake OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoMind View Post
One of my friends recently purchased new electric motorcycle.

I have been riding for 8 years and have owned 8 motorcycles of various types. My experience seeing it for the first time made me finally understand what people felt like when they first saw horseless carriages. It was uncanny to see the bike move without noise, without the operation of the clutch, without engine drag. I felt like there was witchcraft at work. I'm sure I would get over it, but it felt very wrong at first. I do not think it should be more like a motorcycle in sound or behavior, that would just make it awful instead of uncanny.

I like the lack of noise and lack of moving parts and lack of oil and other foul shit that otherwise spills on my garage floor.

It also started getting motor overspeed errors and killing all power on the highway. Something about that failure mode rubs me the wrong way. Standard motorcycles are perfectly happy to blow themselves up if you ask them to, and won't endanger you based on a bad sensor reading.

On the upside, we both had nerdgasms about having the factory diagnose it by reading the system logs he emailed over.

I hope that helps your market research.

Definitely! Thanks a lot! Much appreciated!
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:54 PM   #4
MotoMind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoMind View Post
It also started getting motor overspeed errors and killing all power on the highway. Something about that failure mode rubs me the wrong way. Standard motorcycles are perfectly happy to blow themselves up if you ask them to, and won't endanger you based on a bad sensor reading.

On the upside, we both had nerdgasms about having the factory diagnose it by reading the system logs he emailed over.
I wanted to follow up on this. The manufacturer flew an engineer out with a suitcase full of spares, and he replaced the motor. The issue was related to a function in the bike that's analogous to the rev limiter on a normal motorcycle. It is possible on a normal motorcycle for the revs to be picked up incorrectly, resulting in the same type of failure. So my comments on the failure mode above are unfair.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:39 AM   #5
John Smallberries
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Foci and Leaves?

The other think that may likely kill the electric motorcycle in the US is simply keeping the companies alive long enough for the market to develop. Nissan sold 10,000 Leafs in the US last year with dealerships in all 50 states. Ford sold only 687 Focuses, albeit limited to 3-4 states. These trivial sales make the engineering and marketing effort for these vehicles a massive financial drain on the companies. Luckily, Nissan and Ford can absorb it - I'm not sure about a tiny startup.

It is hard to guess how many EVs will continue to sell after all the Ed Begley Jr's get their and the state/federal tax incentives go away.

Tesla would be long gone if not for the combined factors of a true-believing billionaire owner and our generous tax dollars. Ditto with Fisker.

I am familiar with the engineering that went into the Focus. It is a very good electric vehicle. It is DOA in the marketplace.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:14 AM   #6
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tax incentives from the Brammo site

About The Federal Tax Incentives

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2010 (H.R.1) two new tax incentives were included for electric motorcycles:

First: is a tax credit in Section 1142 (H.R.1, pp. 214-217) which changes IRS Code Section 30 to allow for 2 wheeled electric vehicles to be included as a qualified plug-in electric vehicle in the overall plug-in vehicle tax credit.

These vehicles which need to be able to drive on public roads, streets, and highways, are eligible for a 10% Federal Tax Credit up to a maximum of $2,500. This is a Federal tax credit, which reduces your tax liability by the amount of the credit; eg: if you owe $5,000 to the IRS and purchase an $8,000 electric motorcycle package, you would receive an $800 credit and now owe $4,200. If you are owed a refund by the IRS, your refund is increased by the amount of the tax credit
Second: is a tax deduction for state sales taxes paid on motorcycles under Section 1008 (H.R.1, pp. 203-204).

This provides all taxpayers with a deduction for State and local sales and excise taxes paid on the purchase of new cars, light truck, recreational vehicles, and motorcycles through 2010. This deduction is subject to a phase-out for taxpayers with adjusted gross income in excess of $125,000 ($250,000 in the case of a joint return). In this case, since it is a Federal tax deduction, the amount comes off your adjusted gross income and reduces the amount of taxes paid based on your income tax bracket
As with all tax matters, this information does not constitute tax advice, please consult your tax advisor, attorney, or accountant for specific details on how to claim these tax benefits. The IRS will be providing final forms and instructions for these new tax incentives later in 2010.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:40 AM   #7
OlivierS
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VICsybYgMlc

I would love to own one of these.
Seems like a perfect toy to commute. But since I love above my shop that wont work, the handlebars are to wide for my staircase...
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:03 PM   #8
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Like all other EV's, they may be fine for limited use in urban environments, but not ready for prime time.
EV's do have some advantages within their limitations, the real question is what are your limitations.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:50 PM   #9
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I'd try one, but they don't have enough range yet. One way to work is 86 miles and they can't make it that far yet.

Range, must have, the rest of the bike is just simple details.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:50 AM   #10
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they do have the range

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryboy View Post
I'd try one, but they don't have enough range yet. One way to work is 86 miles and they can't make it that far yet.

Range, must have, the rest of the bike is just simple details.
Actually they do have the range. Almost all electric motorcycles can go 100+ miles on a single charge. A few guys I know commute to work, charge at work, and ride home.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windmill View Post
Like all other EV's, they may be fine for limited use in urban environments, but not ready for prime time.
EV's do have some advantages within their limitations, the real question is what are your limitations.
yup, great value for the short - medium trip commuter, especially if you can plug in on each end

Only 2 things I need to see before I go EV

#1 resupplying energy needs to be as quick as filling a tank of gasoline at the pump
could easily be done if EVs were designed to accept a standard auxillary energy pack, independent of your core batteries, swap out discharged energy packs for charged ones like you do with Blue Rhino propane tanks

#2 how they perform thru several days straight of -25°F
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:00 AM   #12
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the future

would buy one maybe for short trips into the bush near built up areas

for the lack of noise

cheers
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:14 AM   #13
willis 2000
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Originally Posted by fallingoff View Post
the future
no wheelies
no roost
too mundane
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:16 AM   #14
fallingoff
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no wheelies
no roost
too mundane

yeh i hope that comes with them in the future
with the flycar(pig)

cheers
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:31 AM   #15
willis 2000
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yeh i hope that comes with them in the future
with the flycar(pig)

cheers
What if it had massive off-idle torque
as any proper electric motor should
shredding the tire and belt drive
i'd at least test ride it
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