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FAQ’s (and answers) about electric motorcycles.

Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by voltsxamps, Aug 29, 2020.

?

Have you rode an electric motorcycle?

  1. Yes, recently

    11 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. Yes, a long time ago

    2 vote(s)
    9.1%
  3. No, but interested

    8 vote(s)
    36.4%
  4. No, and not planning to

    1 vote(s)
    4.5%
  1. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

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    Fellow adventure motorcyclists, if you have a question or concern about electric motorcycles, please discuss.

    Common questions like:

    • How far can they go?
    • How do you charge it?
    • How long does it take to charge?

    • How much do they cost?
    • What kind of maintenance is required?
    • What’s the performance like?

    • What’s the environmental impact?
    • Where can you charge it?
    • How much does it cost to charge?

    • Are they worth it?
    • How long does the battery last?
    • How does it compare to a gas motorcycle?

    It is understandable that electric motorcycles may not be for everyone, or that it may not replace every bike in your garage, but they exist for the same reasons cruisers, thumpers, dirt bikes, dual sports, nakeds, supersports, and everything in between do. Yes, let’s include mopeds and scooters while we’re at it.

    Any question is welcome. As someone who transitioned from petrol to electrons, I have a decent amount of experience and knowledge to share but am still learning and open to criticism and skepticism. This thread is for all who’d like to participate as I think we can all agree, that electric vehicles are here to stay and will only increase in ownership and use.

    So it’s with positive intent that I wish to host a discussion of electric motorcycles, good or bad. If it’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that there’s nothing greater than having an adventure on two wheels. Let the conversation begin.
    :beer
    #1
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  2. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP . Supporter

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    Any news on what the people behind Alta are doing today? Of the many e-moto options, the Redshift was the one that most interested me.
    #2
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  3. Snake Oiler

    Snake Oiler If the world didn't suck, we would all fall off

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    Funny you posted. I was thinking about one myself and been beating the brush on another thread about a E-MTB. I'll definitely be paying attention here for answers that might have not come to my mind. Also I'd be interested in a good used one if that kind of stuff is allowed to be posted.
    #3
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  4. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP . Supporter

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    Since you mentioned one, I think there's an important distinction between EVs based on bicycles, and those derived from more traditional motorcycle designs. From what I've seen, motorcycle based EVs generally stronger, heavier, and may be subject to different regulations than the bicycle based vehicles. I'm not saying one is better than another, but the differences can be significant.
    #4
  5. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

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    C2F4BBF5-F76D-4BA0-878F-2A84A4B0B651.jpeg DEB44B0C-780C-46B3-A9A1-8329D55EDA97.jpeg 5C9AC929-16C1-4379-835B-70F1340A4E32.jpeg

    I too was very interested in the future of Alta and went to watch the Alta’s compete in their first straight rhythm Red Bull competition with Josh Hill taking third on its debut.

    As far as where they are today.. I found an article that gives a synopsis of the company’s sudden disappearance. Was partnering with HD the kiss of death? Were there non-competes or rights signed over with no intention to move forward in the partnership but rather absorb the talent and insights of a company that had an 11 year headstart in electrical bike engineering? The following article snippet highlights the time when HD approached Alta:
    https://www.rideapart.com/articles/289708/what-happened-to-alta-motors/
    #5
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  6. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

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    Answers to the first three commonly asked questions from the OP:

    How far can they go?

    A: Currently up to 400km/250mi with the 21.5kWh Enérgica’s urban use and about 250km/150mi with mixed urban/highway use.

    Every bike will vary in range per charge, based on battery capacity and efficiency.

    How do you charge it?

    A: Practically anywhere there’s an electrical outlet or charge station. Enérgica’s can charge at L3 DC fast charging stations, L2 stations, adapt to 220v RV sites, use 110/220v outlets found in just about every building on earth, and I guess you could include portable solar arrays as a charging source for the off the grid adventurer as long as you’ve got the right set up and time.

    Each manufacturer chooses what type of fast charging is on board and can vary between manufacturers.

    How long does it take to charge?

    As little as 18-20 minutes takes you from 0% to 80% in a 13.4kWh Enérgica using L3 DCFC. Practically no one roll ups to a charge station with 0%, so even less time to get back on the road.. 10 minute stops are more likely.

    80% is where the majority of electric vehicles are charged to as they are the quickest point to charge to, sufficient for most journeys, and help the battery last the longest.
    #6
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  7. Rider68

    Rider68 Been here awhile

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    I have a 2020 Zero FXS, so in the Zero lineup, it's much more limited than the higher offerings. For my local needs, it's fine.


    • How far can they go?
    50-100 miles depending on how fast.


    • How do you charge it?
    Depends on whether the weather looks like I should ride tomorrow. Not as often as most owners, but sometimes daily. Because of how slow my particular model charges, it's good for 1 or 2 round trips daily.


    • How long does it take to charge?
    5-9 hours depending on how depleted the battery is, but then the stock charger is only 650W


    • How much do they cost?
    Zero FXS was $11.5K


    • What kind of maintenance is required?
    I replaced a belt that broke prematurely, but nothing else so far.


    • What’s the performance like?
    0-60 is amazing, but I do top out at 85Mph on this model. Not a problem for me.


    • What’s the environmental impact?
    Uh...none that I'm aware of, except some burnt rubber on the street like everyone else.


    • Where can you charge it?
    Anywhere, but not a factor for this particular motorcycle.


    • How much does it cost to charge?
    Per Zero's web site, around 81 cents if it's at 0%, which it never is.


    • Are they worth it?
    I fully admit 100% it's a luxury item, so if you're looking for a ROI, then no. But the same can be true of Tesla (or many motorcycles for that reason).


    • How long does the battery last?
    Supposedly the life of the motorcycle barring any specific battery issues.


    • How does it compare to a gas motorcycle?
    It's different for sure. 'Too long to go into here, but everything in your imagination is probably correct. No clutch, quieter...different.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    All that being said, I don't have any romantic notion on its capabilities. It is not a touring motorcycle. It is not an Adventure bike. Anyone who tells you different is simply trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Can it be done? Sure. You could also travel the world on a skateboard if you were so inclined.
    #7
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  8. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

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    • What’s the environmental impact?

    Except the coal required to generate the electricity.
    #8
  9. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

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    I have 20 solar panels on my roof. I currently have a $277 credit. I charge my EV’s from home and still have excess energy I sell back to the grid and expect a refund check at the end of the year.

    When it comes to fueling my modes of transportation, I convert sun into fun. No coal required.

    As far as public power goes, each state generates electricity in different ways from different sources.
    #9
  10. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

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    It takes energy to make solar panels
    #10
  11. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

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    Agreed, however, the energy used to make them is given back in a short period of time (net zero), then gives back thousands of times more than it took to make them. (big net positive)

    As an example, my 20 panels have generated 4178 kWh in the last 3 months. Yes it’s summer which produces higher yields, so even if we subtract 20%, it still averages over 10,000 kWh annually. My panels are guaranteed to produce a minimum 10,000 kWh annually (or I receive a refund for any amounts generated under that) over the next 30 years.

    That’s 300,000 kWh’s guaranteed. At the .33/kWh high use rate for our area(I live in the SW US desert region), that equates just under $100,000 saved at today’s kWh rates. My panels cost 1/3 of that and add approximately $35,000-$40,000 in resale value to my home, so it’s a solid return of investment no matter how I look at it financially.

    ..in terms of coal, that’s the equivalent of nearly 400,000 pounds of coal not burned from my 20 panels, on one house. There’s approximately 15,000 homes with solar panels in my neighborhood alone. That’s nearly 6 billion pounds of coal not burned in my neighborhood alone over the next 30 years.

    F9160E96-5869-4B84-B83D-B296662CFC18.jpeg
    ^last 90 days

    Over 1,000,000 kWh (1 billion watts) over 100 years. Surely it takes a fraction of energy to create the panels compared to the lifetime of energy they give back.
    #11
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  12. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

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    I don't know how much energy it takes to produce them but it isn't nothing - and there's also the energy to produce all the materials, etc. to make them into panels... and there's also all the energy required to produce associated electrical hardware, the energy to ship them from overseas (usually powered by dirty bunker fuel) and for the installers to drive over and install them.... and for those with batteries... well that's a whole 'nother animal...

    Last I heard the vast majority are manufactured in china which still uses coal as it's primary fuel for power generation, so if you buy cells from china there are emissions associated with them and that's the only point I was trying to make - "No emissions" is almost certainly a fallacy...

    Your cells won't last 100years either... they age... in twenty they'll be producing significantly less than they do when new... it's worse in hot areas and where there's a lot of UV (like AZ)... over time some percentage will fail in ways that repair isn't economical too - also worse where temperatures are extreme and lots of UV

    Are they net positive? I'd think so, but admittedly I don't know, and it may not be as much as you think if you factor in the big picture... I'd guess if you search the nets you may find estimates all over the place so different people can likely find data that is more in line with their biases...
    #12
  13. Cam2ride

    Cam2ride God is great, beer is good & people are crazy... Supporter

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    I am significantly considering an E-bike/motorcycle within the next year. Would like to use it for a mix of commuting (11 miles in rural midwest one way) and also some single track trails.

    These are what I'm looking at so far. Being 6' 1" and a tad "fluffy" at 210lbs, it's going to have to have some torque to haul my rump up some hills.

    CZEM Drill One

    Electric Motion Escape

    Zero FX ZF7.2

    KTM Freeride

    Have watched a boat load of YouTube vids and trying to make the best informed decision I can. Not a replacement for my Beta 390RR-S, but another tool in the box for options. Options are good, right?
    #13
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  14. mousitsas

    mousitsas Long timer

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    For the sake of perspective, in order to generate the global energy needs from the sun, a square of 300km x 300km is needed to be covered with solar panels. That would cost about 10% of the global annual gdp. It never occured to me to do the calculation but I read it the other day and was gobsmacked.
    Its an idealized calculation, eg panels in the sahara etc, but you get the drift as well as the order of magnitude of the size and expense.
    #14
  15. mousitsas

    mousitsas Long timer

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    I am using solar panels (never been connected to the grid) since 1995. Also have a small wind turbine. I started replacing the panels in 2015 but they still had some juice left in them, hard to quantify but they were producing at least half their original amperage. Not bad for 25yr old tech.
    #15
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  16. MrBob

    MrBob Cisgendered Supporter

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    Each Zero purchased makes it possible for the industry to develop. This is the approach I've taken with ebikes. If ROI seems low, maybe it's just further down the road. Prices will come down, their utility will increase, their numbers will increase.
    And this blather about what it takes to make solar panels etc., these people don't understand that we need to engineer ourselves out of dying technologies and fossil fuels can help.
    #16
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  17. ZoomerP

    ZoomerP . Supporter

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    Concerns over whatever ills can be attributed to the production of alternative energy tech may ignore the other side of the ledger. Example: If someone hadn't been using solar since 1995, how much energy & pollution would have been created to support the same activities with traditional sources of power?
    #17
  18. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

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    Of the four, I’m only familiar with the KTM and the Zero. I’ve read about Electric Motion but know little else about it and have not heard of the CZEM before.

    Have you ridden any of these bikes yet? Zero may provide the best all around use, while the KTM would be a great bike to haul out to the hills from the bed of your truck.
    #18
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  19. Cam2ride

    Cam2ride God is great, beer is good & people are crazy... Supporter

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    Nope, unfortunately closest dealer who has any affiliation with electric cycles is more than 2 hours away. I have rode in electric vehicles before (cars and a souped up electric golf cart). The "whoosh" factor is significant and imagine it would only be more so on a cycle.

    But the proof is in the actual riding. The Zero FX appeals to me the most as I could use it as a commuter also. Bit on the heavier side for single track @ 289 lbs though. My Beta is 20lbs lighter full of fuel.

    Too bad Alta bit the dust, I think they were on the right path with their bikes.
    #19
  20. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

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    Agree. In hindsight, I think they would’ve better off staying independent or partnering with an existing electric motorcycle company.

    I thought the idea of partnering with HD in the beginning seemed odd and still have the feeling that HD had nefarious intent when approaching Alta under the guise of investing in them. They really were a great motorcycle company who may have been under some pressure to take a chance on funding but from my perspective, was signing a deal with the devil, and lost its soul as a result of a small drink of water. Now that Can-Am owns the rights to the remainder of Alta’s R&D, perhaps we’ll see Alta’s DNA reborn under a new badge. All things considered, I’d still very much like to see Redshift live on in one form or another.
    #20
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