Thoughts on Electric Motorcycles?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Designer Jake, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. Designer Jake

    Designer Jake n00b

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    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!
    #1
  2. MotoMind

    MotoMind Long timer

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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.
    #2
  3. Designer Jake

    Designer Jake n00b

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    Definitely! Thanks a lot! Much appreciated!
    #3
  4. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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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.
    #4
  5. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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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.
    #5
  6. fallingoff

    fallingoff Banned

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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
    #6
  7. willis 2000

    willis 2000 neo-quixote

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    no wheelies
    no roost
    too mundane
    #7
  8. fallingoff

    fallingoff Banned

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

    cheers
    #8
    silrakj likes this.
  9. willis 2000

    willis 2000 neo-quixote

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    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
    #9
  10. fallingoff

    fallingoff Banned

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    sounds like fun
    #10
  11. willis 2000

    willis 2000 neo-quixote

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    featherbed frame
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    watch out
    the dreamliner catches fire
    #11
  12. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    The only word that comes into my mind is silence. I'm not interested in them at all, and the EM road races at a few events in recent years are publicity stunts.

    If there was a way for these things to function like a hybrid they might be practical for urban use, but then why not just ride a bicycle?
    #12
  13. CharlesLathe

    CharlesLathe Been here awhile

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    First three words: Not a motorcycle.

    It's a commuter vehicle. They don't make much sense for those who ride for adventure because of their limited range.

    If electric vehicles ever become really popular, they will drive up the cost of electricity and people will spend their winters in colder apartments and houses. I say, stick with energy dense fossil fuels for motor vehicles.

    Regards, Chuck
    #13
  14. Wraith Rider

    Wraith Rider Banned

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    Engine: Great.
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    Solution: Develop air breathing batteries.
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  15. vortexau

    vortexau Outside the Pod-bay

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    "Are we there yet?"

    "Just about - - - - - -"

    [​IMG]
    Tryton MM2 electric motorcycle concept is for speed-loving riders




    But, to set outright speed records is a different story:

    [​IMG]
    KillaJoule electric sidecar motorcycle tops 216 mph


    #15
  16. Dave.0

    Dave.0 Been here awhile

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    I like the idea for an around town commuter type bike

    The range is a bit of an issue, but for most commuting it would be adequate

    The real issue is the price - new zero S msrp 13995

    2013 ktm duke 690 - msrp around 9000

    So, 5000 dollars more for less bike is tough to swallow, unless your going to ride it mostly indoors, then it makes total sense

    At half the current prices, the zero's would sell.
    #16
  17. fallingoff

    fallingoff Banned

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    Nice

    Cheers
    #17
  18. Snarky

    Snarky Vodka Infused.

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    The whole idea of electric vehicles is that they eliminate the need to police 300 million individual points of pollution generation and slim it down to a few hundred power plants that don't move around. Coal and Natural Gas is going to be cheaper than distilled petroleum for the foreseeable future. The nice thing about electricity, is that as the fossil fuels become more expensive due to their finite nature, more solar and wind farms are built to step in and help. Still though, the gear head in me isn't ready to switch, or even really experiment yet.

    I hope it'll be like Back to the Future. In Back to the Future you had retrofit centers that would convert ground vehicles into flying vehicles for the new air express ways. Well, along that line: I hope that while the technology improves as electric motors and batteries get better: we'll be able to retrofit our vehicles to keep up and repower them in the same way. There is a precedence for that: When they eliminated lead in fuels, the solution to fix the wear on the valves was to install hardened valve seats. Where's damn my microfusion powered flying motorcycle? Science has 2 more years to get it done.

    I will say that as far as electric progression: electric motors and batteries have pretty much replaced the small nitro/diesel engines in RC vehicles. LiPo batteries and brushless motors -imo- destroy the Nitro vehicles in performance, simplicity, and cost. I don't know many people who miss the nitro engines except for the hardcore old timers. That said, tiny 4-stoke gas engines (not nitro) and the jet turbines are still bad ass in comparison.

    LiPo batteries are going to start being more popular in full sized electric and hybrid cars, and it's going to be interesting as they progress and get cheaper. Especially the accidents. Right now the 787 is having some issues with them, for example. In RC vehicles, if you discharge or recharge them too quickly, they can catch fire.

    That said:
    [​IMG]
    Something that looks like this, is obviously a god damn motorcycle, no matter what it's range may be. It is a two wheeled vehicle with a power source. It's a motorcycle.
    #18
  19. dillon

    dillon Low Speed, High Drag

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    I normally ride a Kawasaki KLX 250 SM and I have ridden a hand full of modern and vintage sport bikes. I recently got he chance to ride a ZERO dual sport. Honestly it was weird at first, no clutch no gear selector and no noise, it just went, and went really well. From a rolling start it would probably be faster than most 1Kcc vintage bikes, and was certainly quicker than my KLX. I did a little dirt on it as well and it performed well enough, the suspension could have been a touch better as it bottomed when I jumped it off a burm. Only real complaint I had was the steering, the stops dont allow you to steer as sharp as my KLX so low speed maneuvering would be tougher. Honestly if I had the money I would buy one in a heart beat. Also the batteries on this one lasted right about 60miles, so it would be perfect for short to medium length commutes.
    #19
  20. TALLGUY

    TALLGUY Been here awhile

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    I think they are exciting in theory and hopefully are environmentally friendly.

    My problem right now is Range/Price. I might spend 15 large on one if it could go 200 miles into a headwind. That day will come but not right now. To clarify- I live in rural Iowa so there is distance and wind to deal with.

    I do wish they would work out a deal with Law Enforcement to get some of these bikes on the street. It would make a great patrol vehicle in a city!! Harley had the dollar a year lease, and that is a great way to get the product into the public eye.

    As an agile, silent, quick, efficient and cool patrol vehicle I think it would be excellent.


    TG
    #20