4 Corners of the USA on a Zero SR

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Benswing, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. Benswing

    Benswing Adventurer

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    Well, here goes nothin'!

    My 2016 road trip to the 4 Corners of the USA began on June 16th! From NYC I am heading to Seattle, LA, Florida, then up to Maine using a Zero SR. This year I have a new charging system that should allow me to travel farther each day. We'll see how that works out.

    Updates will be posted at http://www.benswing.com/#!2016-road-trip-blog/o9zcc

    If you would like to follow along on social media, like or follow:

    Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/BenRidesElectric/
    Twitter - @Benswing
    Instagram - @Benswing

    Check it out to keep up to date with where I am and how the new motorcycle supercharger works! Lots of videos and photos! Please like and share. Cheers!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #1
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  2. Benswing

    Benswing Adventurer

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    Here are the videos showing what goes into planning a trip of this magnitude on an electric motorcycle.

    Motorcycle, charging, & gear:


    Planning the route for charging:
    #2
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  3. Benswing

    Benswing Adventurer

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    What an amazing day! Got to ride through Moshannon State Wildlife Area in central PA on my way from NJ to Cleveland, OH. Scattered rain throughout the day, but my gear kept me dry. The new charging system did it's thing and what took me 17 hours last year took 15 hours this year. I'm happy with the improvement.

    #3
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  4. Muscongus

    Muscongus Been here awhile Supporter

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    Oh, this will be really fun to follow. What a cool trip.
    I don't think I'd have the patience, but I love the idea that someone is trying it.
    #4
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  5. rusty james

    rusty james the road taken..

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    cool!!!1! an electrical trip :)
    I`m in...
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  6. Jetmech

    Jetmech Long timer

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    #6
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  7. Benswing

    Benswing Adventurer

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    I would love to do the Iron Butt/SCMA 4 corners challenge, but don't think I could make it in 21 days. Charging the motorcycle has gotten considerably faster in the past couple of years, but it isn't that fast. Would like to try as soon as it is possible, though!

    Muscongus, yep it still takes some patience. Now that my riding time is longer than charging time I'm able to fit in more interesting waypoints. However, it still takes a lot of planning (see the 2nd video) and I spend a decent amount of time in RV Parks. We're getting there. One of the main reasons I do these trips is to push the industry to make bikes that can do these trips!
    #7
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  8. mentalfloss

    mentalfloss Been here awhile

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    I am in....charge forward electric cowboy!
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  9. mentalfloss

    mentalfloss Been here awhile

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    What kind of range are you getting?
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  10. fastring

    fastring Been here awhile

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    Good for you, cool ev bike, I did a test ride and liked it. Looking fwd to the write up!
    #10
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  11. Benswing

    Benswing Adventurer

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    I can travel about 100 miles on the highway, and farther in mixed or countryside riding. Usually I plan for slightly less distance, or the charging stations are closer together so I'll often end up going about 75 miles at a time.

    For those who want to read the writeup for day 1, here it is. More photos and video found here: http://www.benswing.com/#!2016-road-trip-blog/o9zcc

    Day one was filled with rain, a visit from a friend, trying out a brand new supercharger, and going into limp mode twice

    Normally 7am is my preferred start time, but some rain was moving along at 7:20. I decided to be a gentleman, and let it go first. Once it stopped drizzling, I hit the road on my 2014 Zero SR with a lightning paint job at 7:30 headed for Seattle, via Cleveland.

    My first stop was about 75 miles away at the Pocono Vacation Park at 8:45 where they have 50 Amp outlets for RVs. I called the day before and they gave me permission to charge in exchange for a couple of bucks for the electricity. The digiNow Supercharger worked perfectly, firing up at 9kW about 30 seconds after it was plugged in. Had a little chat with a resident who noted how quiet my bike rides, then dropped $2 in the locked box and off I went.

    Next I headed to Indian Head RV Campground another 75 miles away and met Margie, who was super sweet. This time $3 did the trick and I even got the bonus of having a lovely chat with Margie plus there were restrooms. Had an early lunch, since it was about 11am, and headed out with 93% charge for a long 97mile leg.

    That was almost a mistake. On the highway I can get about 100 miles with 100% of my battery, but it depends on rain, headwinds, temperature, and mostly on speed. Since I was pushing my limits I kept the speed down and managed to limp into Black Moshannon State Forest with 6% remaining. The 2014 Zero SR motorcycles start to go into limp mode slightly before hitting 0%. The 2015-16 Zeros hit limp mode several miles after 0%. That would make a WORLD of difference to me! (but not to too many others.) The rain also causes greater friction with the road and slightly more air resistance (water resistance?) which saps a bit of range on long rides.

    Riding to Moshannon State Forest I got to hit some twisty roads which was a welcome ride after spending much of the day on Route 80. It’s really a beautiful park! Even though I was conserving energy (i.e. - couldn’t hit the turns as fast as I wanted) it was truly a joyous break in the monotony of highway riding. After charging, and donating $3, I headed for another 97 mile leg to Wolf’s Camping Resort near Pittsburgh.

    I lived in Pittsburgh straight out of college and my friend, Flash, from those days drove his Tesla Model S 90D up to meet me. I pulled at limp mode, this time it started at 11% (SURPRISE!!!), but I was almost there and made it to the parking lot. Again, the Supercharger worked it’s magic at 9kW while the onboard charger added another 1.3kW. This gets me going in about 45 minutes.
    We had dinner while it continued to rain outside at a local eatery that had almost no food in the all-you-can-eat buffet. it rained while I rode all day, but hadn’t rained while I charged until now. Once full, Flash led me to the next charger in Ohio.

    We stopped at Delphi (an electronics company), and Mike, working overtime, saw us charging outside (since the car alarm on a Volt I unplugged went off…). We had a nice chat as a storm approached while I used 2 Clipper Creek chargers to juice up at 10.5kW. This time I used both he Supercharger and my trusty dual Elcon 2.5kW chargers from Hollywood Electrics. They got me up and running while we talked then I parted ways with Flash as I headed to a friend’s house in Cleveland.

    Last year I traveled from this location in Cleveland to my home in NJ from 7am to 12pm, a whopping 17 hours of riding and charging! This time I traveled from 7:30am to 10:30pm, which reduced the 475 mile ride to 15 hours. What a difference 2 hours makes! Even though it rained most of the day, the ride through Moshannon State Forest and chatting with Flash were highlights that overwhelmed the memory of the rain.

    Now to spend a lovely weekend visiting friends and swing dancing in Cleveland before riding to Denver next week! Cheers!
    #11
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  12. mentalfloss

    mentalfloss Been here awhile

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    Man great post on range! I will own an EM electric motorcycle!
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  13. mentalfloss

    mentalfloss Been here awhile

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    So you could do over 500 miles a day if you want to push it.... There should be an iron butt for electric motorcycles of 500 miles!
    #13
  14. Uke

    Uke visualist Super Supporter

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    I admire your patience, perseverance and dedication. Your 475 mile leg in 15 hours was 31.67 mph average speed. Doing the 4 corners at that pace will take a while. I'm not clear how you have your bike configured, I'm guessing you are using the largest battery pack made for your bike. Any pix of your bike fully loaded for this trip?
    #14
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  15. Benswing

    Benswing Adventurer

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    Yes, I have the biggest battery, a 2014 Zero SR with Power Tank. 14.2kWh battery (the 2015 & 16 bikes have a bit more battery), and I have 2 external charging systems, each available to buy (I'm not a fancy engineer, just a guy who loves to ride).

    The clack box on top is the new DigiNow Supercharger. The thing where side cases usually are is an Elcon charger (I have 2).

    I made a video explaining more details linked above.

    Photo of the bike loaded up:
    [​IMG]


    Subscribe to Benswing on YouTube to follow my summer journeys.
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  16. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

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    So are you carrying your gear in a backpack or are those sidecars behind the chargers?
    #16
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  17. RsZk

    RsZk Been here awhile

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    Watching this with interest!
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  18. Benswing

    Benswing Adventurer

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    My gear is all stuffed in the top box. There are chargers on the side and a supercharger in he bag on he passenger seat. For this trip I have redundant charging systems but in the future I'll just use the one one on the passenger seat.

    It's a beautiful day to ride through Ohio today! Heading to Chicago.

    This is possibly the easiest leg of my trip since there are Arab hookups at service plazas along Rt 80 in Ohio. Photo is from 7:45 am at Middle Ridge Service Plaza.

    Go Cavs!

    [​IMG]


    Subscribe to Benswing on YouTube to follow my summer journeys.
    Like Ben Rich - Electric Biker on Facebook.
    #18
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  19. Uke

    Uke visualist Super Supporter

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    I think you already addressed this, but can you clarify, can you use multiple chargers simultaneously? Does your battery pack have multiple charge inputs or do you have multiple battery packs each with its own charge input?
    #19
  20. gullywasher

    gullywasher Vicarious Adventurer

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    This is really cool.

    It irritates me enough when I have to stop to fill up on gas every 160 miles or so on my preferred mount, so electric touring certainly isn't for me yet. But I can't wait for the day, if it even happens in my lifetime, I can get 170+ miles on an electric with some margin to spare and a fairly quick charge to get going again.

    Good luck. I'll be following your progress!
    #20