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Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by nevada72, Mar 4, 2019.
Well, I hope they sell a squillion of them. Then maybe we can finally have a real-world data point on the plusses, minuses, reliability and overall workableness of a motorcycle-grade (35 kw = 47 hp) hub motor. Then maybe we can stop arguing about it. To my knowledge, this will be the first one to actually be offered to the public. I think there's a good reason it hasn't been done before. So personally, I'm not a fan.
In before Roadscum and TheProphet get a chance to berate Erik.
I would think unsprung weight would be a factor.
That's the big one. Urban settings can have plenty of bad pavement where unsprung weight becomes an issue.
Reliability is an issue too, since you have windings and at least some electronic components (Hall sensors) that are subjected to all the hammering that a road wheel sees. You can mitigate that to some extent, but it takes more work (and cost) and it's sort of unusual compared to normal motor assembly.
There is also the fact that your effective 'gearing' is much taller, which can make for very high current draw and heat build up climbing steep hills heavily loaded. (Heat is your enemy. San Francisco would not be the best environment). You can help that with a geared hub, but now you have another maintenance item (lube), possibly more weight (maybe), more noise, you should probably have drive cushions to protect the gears, etc.
So to make this workable you have a tough needle to thread. The challenging part of engineering is the compromises, and a hub motor makes those harder. The only advantage I see is that it frees up room for more batteries. But this is an urbo-bike, so that's not as big an advantage as it could be.
Also, passenger pegs on the swingarm are a little tacky, but presumably a passenger would be a rarity. I'm OK with those. The bigger problem for a passenger is the curve of the back end of the seat. Too strong a squirt with the throttle in a moment of passenger distraction could have him/her sliding off onto the little fenderlet or worse. I would re-do the whole seat, because that hump also means there's only one place for the rider to sit. (Been there, hate it.) It can do its job better and still be curvy. Sometimes you need to just say no to the stylists.
Regarding the Fluid e-bike, I don't understand why companies claim they want to create a useful means for urban transport and then have some stylist create a clean, crisp form that doesn't include fenders. If you're going to be an urban warrior, you're going to either have fenders on your bike or you'll show up at work sometimes with mud spattered on your pants. (And your cleanly, crisply styled bike too.) Rain is not required. Sprinkler run-off, sidewalk cleaning, water main break, gutters, all will suffice just fine. It's always something. Include fenders in the design, or you're not serious. Aftermarket fenders look like just that - aftermarket, and ruin your otherwise clean, crisp style.
^ agreed. But hey.. at least the name is cool
Upon close inspection, it does appear to have one of those tiny fender/license plate combos. I suppose the underside of the seat will suffice as the rest of the fender And ditto on the back of that seat. That passenger better be holding on the rider for dear life, especially with their foot pegs bouncin around!
Or any road in Wisconsin. This winter has destroyed the roads by me well out of the city. I was catching some sweet air in the Durango just driving to get dinner last night. As much as I'm looking forward to riding soon, the roads will really be a buzz kill.
And on the rest, yeah.........it's like a gorilla smashing that motor wheel on the ground about 10,000 times a day.
I'm unclear on what exactly Erik Buell brings to this project, besides the obvious association/cachet of his name and reputation for alternative/out-of-the-box design/engineering--as evidenced by their chosen name for the whole venture. Seems to me Vasseur (and his company/ies) could easily manage this solo; Terny is obviously the (bulk of the) money behind the venture; I guess Buell is there to provide camoflage for the fact that their "motorcycle" isn't really (even) a (low power) motorcycle, merely a high power electric bicycle sans pedals--it's a "motorcycle" only for lack of a better word. Don't get me wrong, nothing against Erik--I've got 3 Buells in the garage now and an inclination to add to that total--but an electric bicycle and a glorified electric bicycle don't really seem to particularly require his personal skillset/experience.
I do get a kick out of their whole "urban" target market PR: "let's see, how can we best sell underperforming, dated/simple technology electric vehicles? Oh, I know--we'll market them as "urban use" vehicles, since that gives us a built-in excuse/out/explanation for the fact that our products can't go fast, or far, or handle particularly well. I don't see why anyone would lay out $10K rather than just opt for a Segwey or any one of the bazillion other little electric balance-board type "personal mobility" devices for a fraction of the price. Likewise for the Fuell e-bicycle; surely there are other, more attractive options for an e-bicycle costing far less than $3K.
I think calling it urban transportation is just a way to defend/justify its limited range.
I thought that's what I just said.
Or because more than 80% of the US population lives in urban areas, there is a large market for lower cost, simpler EMs that do not require long range?
I like it and I think there is a viable market for something like this too.
More like a cross between a sport motorcycle and a classic scooter.
(to be fair, I've always liked Erik Buell's concepts)
Not necessarily. If the hub motor is as large as the rim (as the large cover suggests is possible) then you can have a very high torque, high pole count, ultra low Kv motor. External gear reduction not needed. Could even be an axial flux motor.
Perhaps, but axial flux is typically much more expensive, so not a good choice for a moderately-priced urbo-bike. Many poles means many windings, so more copper and more cost. I do get your point though, a big wheel could solve the potential heating issue. Maybe there's a happy medium.
A rim-size motor would put a lot of weight in magnets in the worst possible place in terms of overall weight and rotational inertia, both in terms of acceleration and gyroscopic effects. But then, we're maybe not shooting for the best dynamics here....
Shhhh, don’t talk so loud, Harley may hear and want to buy into the venture...
I brought this up in another thread.... and I'm not one that focuses or cares much how a moto looks.... but it's just plain fugly in my eyes...
Not to be argumentative, but I like it as an EM for looks. As an ICE, no. As time goes on, I’m more accepting of different styles of bikes individual to their respective genre. I hope to never see an electric Indian Chieftain even though I love my ICE Chieftain.
Not too ugly, but I'm wondering if the market seems to be urban environments, why don't the E-bikes I've seen take more of a scooter tack? Something with some carrying capacity would seem to be more appropriate for urban duty. A scooter design would seem to be more marketable, at least in countries other then the US.
Maybe they just have a death wish for thier company and EB has a proven record.
It's a good point, but it's probably more about style than function. Scooters are a different culture, and have been since the Mods & Rockers in the UK back in the '60s. Today there's some overlap between motorcyclists and scootists, but they're still primarily different demographics. I'm personally not a fan of the feet forward seating position. Pegs under your personal cg provide better control. Fix that and I'd be all over a scooter for urban use.