Any guesses on when it will be possible to take an Electric motorcycle on adventure travel?

Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by ridego, May 28, 2018.

  1. ex250mike

    ex250mike Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,067
    You have to keep in mind VOLTAGE also. A wall outlet is 110v 15amp. A 300watt solar panel is around 18v and 16amp peak, unless you buy a 36v panel which is twice as large and cost twice as much.

    If you're trying to charge something that pulls alot of amps at 110 you need a higher voltage setup than a typical 12v camper. Off the grid houses usually use a 48v array for better efficiency when converting to AC. This however is very expensive to do.

    If you wanted to setup charging stations in remote areas it would be much cheaper to use a generator than solar panels. It would also be harder to meth heads to steal.
    #21
    kojack06 likes this.
  2. Happy Snapper

    Happy Snapper GOMOB.

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,607
    Location:
    Brisbane, almost heaven!
    Energy density is the issue it seems to me.

    How much would the bike's battery weigh... and how far will that take you?

    How far could you go on gasoline that weighed the same amount?

    A lot further it seems to me.. and with a gas bike you can "recharge" (fill up) in about say.. 5 minutes?
    #22
  3. longslowdistance

    longslowdistance Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,646
    Location:
    Virginia
    Untitled.jpeg
    #23
  4. BrianTRice

    BrianTRice Nerdy adventurer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Damn! Not a single person who's actually ridden an electric motorcycle is on this thread. Y'all are all making armchair assessments with not enough grounding.

    Here's my experience:
    - I own a 2016 Zero DSR with a (recently added) Power Tank. It has 31,000 miles on it and I can take trips of about 450 miles per day recharging from 220VAC (RV parks, Tesla destination chargers, and J1772 EV charging stations).
    - I mostly travel up and down the Pacific Coast, but I'm planning some trips further afield this year.
    - I can charge my 16.3kWh of batteries in about 1.5 hours at 9.9kW. I'll be upgrading soon to a 1 hour charge (already paid for it; waiting on the vendor to have the new version ready and a way to mount that much hardware securely).
    - Range per charge for my bike is about 135 miles on the highway. Range OFF highway is more like 200 miles, which is closer to an actual adventure ride. Range drops off dramatically with speed, which is why I've been looking into fairings.

    Regarding adventure trips by others.
    - At least a few Zero owners have crossed the continental US before.
    - One owner traveled from The Netherlands to Turkey and back, only using slow charging on 220V household outlets. This required a great deal of patience at ~200 miles per day, but it's easy with even the simplest charging upgrade to cover 300-350 miles per day at highway speeds.
    - There is currently one owner attempting a ride around Iceland.

    [​IMG]
    #24
    ACR, Bloodmouse, Bar None and 4 others like this.
  5. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,680
    Location:
    +positively grounded-
    :gun1I’ve rode an EM for a year and a half.

    The OP’s question specified: “Long distances between charges through remote areas possibly (likely, for now) without charging stations. Is charging in the wild/while camping possible at all?”
    #25
  6. ridego

    ridego Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2017
    Oddometer:
    39
    Yes, I was curious about EV possibilities in off-road adventure travel through remote areas, but I would say all data/experience from the field is valuable at this stage for determining viability.
    #26
  7. sebwiers

    sebwiers  

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2016
    Oddometer:
    116
    Location:
    Saint Paul, MN, USA
    How so? The total amount of light falling on a space the size of a motorcycle per day only has so much power in it, and that's FAR less power than a motorcycle uses in 4+ hours or riding, even not accounting for efficiency of conversion, partial obscurement from clouds / dirt, etc.

    You MAYBE could rig up some sort of portable array of thin light panels that deploys from luggage, charge during the brightest hours of the day, and ride in the dawn / dusk hours (or at night with lights, but then you burn more charge... though maybe less than the extra charging time would gain you). Which is pretty much what all current EV's do - by plugging in to the grid!

    The question is, is the extra weight of that charging system worth it compared to extra batteries? Better batteries will probably push range up to more "adventure" like levels faster than we can build a useful portable solar changing system, though you might use something like that to extend range a bit, or limp along in case of emergency.
    #27
  8. TS888

    TS888 Deer dodger Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    778
    Location:
    Dukes Valley, OR
    In the near term, a small, light dino-fuel generator could be a reasonable choice for off-grid charging. Might not get you 1,000 miles, but a couple liters of fuel and a small generator could give you enough charge to allow an overnight or two before needing another grid charge point. I'll bet a well-engineered, mostly alloy generator could be built at under 15 lbs.

    I think long term, battery tech will give electric motorcycles equal or greater range than gasoline. My R1150GSA, even with the relatively large 7 gallon tank will only make it about 300 miles between fills. And it really sucks to have a full tank when off pavement, it really affects the COG, makes riding very challenging at low speed. I'd love the torque of electric, with the packaging efficiency to get all the weight down by the pegs. And, the potential for a hub motor to allow the front wheel to provide power when needed. THAT would be an awesome off pavement tourer.
    #28
    kojack06 likes this.
  9. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,680
    Location:
    +positively grounded-
    ^Agreed. A few years ago, I had contemplated buying an earthquake generator or one just like it from Home Depot for under $300 weighing between 19-21 lbs that have 700w running/800w peak output and strapping it on the back of my electric motorcycle while camping on extended excursions. Both are pretty quiet (as far as generators go) at 58db. They've gotten less expensive and quieter over the years. For example, Walmart has a bargain price on a 1000w unit right now for under $200

    [​IMG]

    Until solar efficiency can take a large leap forward, a couple Rotax gas packs and a generator might just be the best thing for getting an EM juiced up when out in the boonies.
    #29
  10. longslowdistance

    longslowdistance Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,646
    Location:
    Virginia
    Just for the record, another Zero rider here. And like many Zero owners, also have an ICE moto for longer trips. I wish the Zero could do it all as easily, because it's so quiet and smooth, but the range issue is what it is.
    #30
  11. longslowdistance

    longslowdistance Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,646
    Location:
    Virginia
    I think you'd need a more powerful generator as the current draw to charge a zero is 1.2 - 1.5kw.
    The 45 lb. $1k Honda 2000/2200 inverter would work well, with clean electricity and fairly quiet as generators go. It would go through 2 or 3 tanks of gas (2-3 gallons, with refill each 3-4 hours) to fully recharge a standard Zero battery.
    Even if solar was 100% efficient and you rode only at night, solar charging would still require and array of several square meters and several hours. Sunlight just doesn't have that much energy.
    An extraordinary, not currently on the radar battery improvement is what we need. Or a flux capacitor.
    Untitled.jpg
    #31
  12. BrianTRice

    BrianTRice Nerdy adventurer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Thanks for speaking up, EV riders. This thread looked like a ton of speculative handwaving.

    I also own a 2012 V-Strom 650 which can achieve 300 miles of range with a little easy throttle usage.

    No, I would not recommend a diesel generator of any kind yet for EV motorcycle travel extension - the range reduction by hauling the mass of a generator and its fuel supply on wheels with drag would exceed what you could put back into the bike, especially considering the expense.

    The trick will be getting the base range high enough (150 miles or more, something I intend to achieve this year by aerodynamic improvements on my 135 mile highway range) between RV parks with 50A plugs or similar worldwide 220V AC outlets. The slower the charging rate at your destination, the better it is to travel more slowly (above 45mph) until you reach it.
    #32
    MJSfoto1956 and longslowdistance like this.
  13. ex250mike

    ex250mike Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,067
    The Flux Capacitor was the device that made time travel possible. It didn't propel the car. It was the "Mr. Fusion" that powered the car and made it able to fly. Get your facts straight man! :lol3

    I agree on the generator though. Any solar panels or generator you try to haul will LOWER your range due to weight and drag. Generators have a bunch of copper and magnets in them, that stuff is heavy. There isn't enough energy in a sqft of sunlight to get a useful charge with any panel you could possibly carry either.

    People don't think physics be like it is but it do.
    #33
    TavisB and longslowdistance like this.
  14. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,876
    Because you otherwise need conventional panels of solar chargers. Those are bulky and something you have to afix to the bike or carry around and setup when taking a break. If the bike were painted with solar recharging paint, then nothing needs to be added.

    Now I'm not talking about charging capacity. That's still the weakest link by far. But when it does catch up with the newer batteries and motors, it could make an electric vehicle far more range and adventure capable.

    Would it be wonderful on a motorcycle with its rather limited surface for painting? Well, not nearly as wonderful as it could be on a car with its larger surfaces. But even if it only extended range say 50%, that's a 50% increase in range. At least on sunny days.
    #34
  15. Luc1f3r1s

    Luc1f3r1s n00b

    Joined:
    May 19, 2014
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Franklin, OH
    Would a small wind generator work? The wind picks up at night so you could charge at night. I am not sure about specs but since it has not been brought up, I figured why not?
    #35
  16. TS888

    TS888 Deer dodger Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    778
    Location:
    Dukes Valley, OR
    Remember the story a few years back about the guy in China who put a wind generator on his battery powered car and claimed perpetual motion? :lol3

    All joking aside, maybe a small wind-powered generator mounted on the bike could be a range extender? Probably not -- anything that wouldn't drag the bike down to 10 mph would likely have the output of a trickle charger.
    #36
  17. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,680
    Location:
    +positively grounded-
    While smaller than your average motorcycle, Daymak’s beast has a built in solar panel that can be used to recharge the batteries when off the grid or between rides.



    Not saying solar charging is fast or practical. Just possible when nothing else is available.
    #37
  18. Luc1f3r1s

    Luc1f3r1s n00b

    Joined:
    May 19, 2014
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Franklin, OH
    I was thinking of hanging one while at camp, like overnight. I know it's not going to generate a lot but would it be enough for say 10 miles to get back to a plug? I know wind generally charges faster than solar for short periods of time, and well at night works when solar will not.
    #38
  19. ex250mike

    ex250mike Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,067
    you guys are going about this ALL wrong!

    Just hook an alternator to the rear wheel and you can ride forever!



    If you don't hear from me for a while its because the oil companies had me killed. Not because my bike ran out of juice in the middle of the desert.
    #39
  20. Teckel

    Teckel Seriously?

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    17,704
    Reading thru this thread I had the same thought. Why not utilize the two turning wheels and have an alternator or two generating electricity while in motion. Even a small amount of current generated by this should be able to resupply the battery slightly or charge up a capacitor to provide extended range. Highway riding would seem to be the most efficient use of this type of setup.

    Someone here can explain why this wouldn’t work?
    #40