Mecatecno & The Electric Breakthrough in 2017

Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by motobene, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 49 years Supporter

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    Electric bikes have had promise, but none have really broken through the barriers keeping them from unseating a significant percentage of liquid fuels bikes.

    Electric bikes have their problems, not the least of which is an energy source that is not constant until it hits reserve. Liquid fuels are king in this regard, for energy density and consistent power output. And with a liquid-fuel bike you buy fuel. You don't buy batteries. You don 't have to charge liquid fuels. You don't have to buy replacement or the latest-greatest batteries - though I'm sure that could be fun.

    There will be a time when electric bikes vie for prominence in the market. Certain factors will come together such that top local riders and even world competitors will have to think hard about which way to go. It is possible we may be getting close to that point - or be there - in a bike that is coming out in 2016. I've known about it quite a while, but I could not talk about it until Dale Malasec made it public (he will be the importer).

    The bike is a new adult model from Mecatecno of Spain. Yes, those folks who gave us the colorful Dragonfly trials bike with Cagiva engine and strut wheels back in the `80s. The bike will sport top suspension components. It will be unique in that the motor will spin up a flywheel and have a GasGas-type clutch so you can meter out power to the ground same as you now do with a fuel burner. Instead of the usual whiskey throttle nature of direct-drive electric bikes, the rider will be able to ride three ways, 'throttle' only, directly hooked up. Using little 'throttle' with deft use of clutch for tight stuff, and balls-out spinning up the flywheel (which I have been told creates a unique banshee-like noise) and dumping the clutch to surmount the huge stuff.

    The bike is reported to be significantly lighter than the fuel burners, depending on which batteries you use, which of course affects range. Imagine a 110-pound trials bike (with the 1-hour battery). Even with the bigger battery pack it will be lighter than any fuel burner today, or so it has been said.

    Batteries and range will still be an issue, especially if one does a lot of motor spinning up and clutch dumping, which results in some electrical energy shunted to heat. But as we all know batteries are getting better and that won't stop. How a rider manages the energy will be key. Good for one full loop? Extras stashed in a backpack, taken pack taken off to ride sections? Batteries stashed around the loop or perhaps at a 'fuel stop' on longer loops? We shall see. For most events in my region, just getting around one loop and swapping out back at the truck makes the bike valid. Solar panel recharge? Again, we shall see.

    I plan to get one of these as soon as I can, to test and maybe be involved in a technical and rider-based article on it.

    This upcoming bike could have the potential to change things, really. Or It may disappoint. I wish to find out as one of my biggest objections to electric bikes has been lack of a flywheel and clutch.
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    Fallacy, sideup and LSMick like this.
  2. Bikedude987

    Bikedude987 Been here awhile

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    Extremely interesting! I'm glad they kept a clutch and flywheel instead of the direct drive most ebikes go to. I can't wait to see it!
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  3. sideup

    sideup Been here awhile

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    With Dale Malasac's experience and he believes it could be a viable option in the future, that says something to me.
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  4. ramz

    ramz Professional Trail Rider Supporter

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  5. 2whlrcr

    2whlrcr gooligan

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    Mecatechno. Now there's a name I haven't heard for awhile. I hope they keep the bright colors and mag wheels!
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  6. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 49 years Supporter

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    The Bultaco electric bike is more bicycle than motorcycle. Being more bicycle is certainly one way to go about it, as that means much less weight, and that translates to less need for Amp-hour capacity, which then means less weight to achieve the same range. To have the Tech forks and maybe a Reiger shock too, the Mecatecno will be a trials motorcycle-based vehicle, as it will have the currently motorcycle component set consisting of standard tires, rims, brakes, and so on. It thus cannot get to below a certain weight without compromising itself too much.

    A Trials Electric Vehicle (TEV). Hmm. Perhaps a new acronym with a nice ring to it!

    I have wondered if a future TEV would evolve toward a scaled down component set? Say ~75% the current bulk? But that means a commitment by suppliers to develop a new set of standard components. For now, a TEV in an adult size will mean about 130 pounds +/-, lighter than a liquid fuel bike because no transmission is required with these EVs. Flywheel mass and a clutch adds to weight, but still, you have less to deal with. Then you have the batteries. More Ah (Amp-hour) capacity means more weight, so it's a trade-off.

    And what is the right bulk and mass for a great TEV? At what point does a vehicle get too light and feel more like a bicycle than a trials motorcycle? Traction is a function of the friction characteristics of tires and ground, and the force being applied into the ground. Bike and body weighting are critical to traction, and thus forward propulsion force. Less vehicle mass means less need for power, but in the balance of all things considered, I wonder if a vehicle ever loses something by being too light? I have experienced better rolling traction on snow and ice with some older, heavier bikes.
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  7. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 49 years Supporter

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    Mecatecno has a color theme as seen on their web site. It jumps out at you right away as yellowish avocado something.

    http://mecatecno.es/homei.html

    It think the coming adult-size electric bike may resemble the T14 model in general form. As for color scheme, who knows?
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  8. motomofo

    motomofo Been here awhile

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    It was reported on the TC forum a few weeks ago that it'll weigh about 120lbs and have a seat height much lower than a traditional trials bike. Can't wait to see how it turns out.
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  9. ridenm

    ridenm Missing my emotional support squirrel Supporter

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    I've been wondering for some time about incorporating a clutch to facilitate flywheel energy storage on an electric trials machine. I will be watching closely.
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  10. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

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    :thumbup Great thread to start Bene! Having a clutch with some flywheel effect would be awesome. I think the electric bikes might change how we format trials itself. Right now we let the little guys ride one loop, but each section three times. Maybe back to self scoring, with a morning loop followed by a long lunch break for recharging and then an afternoon loop. The future is interesting. Having no sound or exhaust fumes might keep us from losing what land we have left. These new bikes might bring some new blood into our sport. Thoughts?
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  11. slicktop

    slicktop Been here awhile

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    As long as it doesn't flame like hoverboards, I could get onboard.
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  12. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

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    We have had several electrics catch fire!
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  13. slicktop

    slicktop Been here awhile

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    That would be the biggest bummer.
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  14. 2whlrcr

    2whlrcr gooligan

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    I've seen Husky's catch fire too.
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  15. slicktop

    slicktop Been here awhile

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    Race gas vs. Lithium Ion
    Don't know which would be the worst fire.
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  16. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 49 years Supporter

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    How to manage batteries will be a big learning experience for me. Lineaway, you are right. The electrics might change things. The technology will move around. Maybe the only concession would be avoidance of long loops without a 'fuel stop' like we had at the Roswell event this year?

    All sorts of change could happen, like seeing riders unload solar panels and set up an array instead of a generator. Kind of silly to be giving up the benefits of liquid fuel only to charge batteries with a liquid-fuel generator! Then again, imagine one rent-a-charge vehicle with a quiet generator, instead of everyone buzzing away all day. Feeling good being green sometimes is all feel-good instead of being real :-) You know, like electrics power by a distant dirty-coal plant, with all the losses between here and there yet the city types think its so clean because it's not dirty at the electric socket.

    I've been hoping for batteries that just click into slots. One standard format, load and go. Then you'd have the choice of how many batteries to load for how far you can go and howl light you are. A series wiring somehow that would give one the choice of how much Ah capacity we want with the trade-off of weight.

    I really know so little about this machine! What I see is a first production effort that will get refined. I need something technical to chew on, so I want to be part of that. What may happen is I get the bike and find the small crew of engineers at Mecatecno are far smarter than me and I'm catching up to them on practical things, like how batteries are loaded.

    With these things it's batteries batteries batteries! The practicality of the technology lives or dies on batteries! Also the cost of batteries.

    I have a number of Makita 18V tools I've been thrashing for years. The batteries are about $100 each to replace, so I have fewer batteries than tools. They do charge quite fast and contain an amazing amount of energy, however. One thing I notice about batteries and tools is battery life is a function of torque. Heavier loading at low rpm is a battery life killer. So spinning a flywheel up with a smaller motor running at higher rpm may extend battery life over direct drive only? I'm out of my expertise here.

    Ideally batteries would be cheap enough to afford multiples of charged packs. A good thing about NiMH and Li-ion batteries is the voltage decline curve with % charge loss tends to be fairly flat most of the way to discharge, so if you have enough batteries around you can ride in the sweet zone and swap before you hit 'reserve.' We'd be able to start out with a '300' and swap when the pack is yielding '280' performance rather than '125.' If the batteries are really expensive, however, you'd see people eking out everything they can, deep cycling the batteries and limping back to the pit area creeping on a '60.' Then the re charge time goes up. Mentally disturbing is trying to do well in an event on a machine that does not have a constant power output, like inconsistent carburetor problems on a liquid fuel machine.
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  17. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

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  18. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 49 years Supporter

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    Damned music! I want to hear the bike.

    That's a direct-drive TEV.
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  19. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 49 years Supporter

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    Oh yes, fire risk. Those hover boards are made cheaply and get pounded by youth, so I understand some battery meltdowns there. Thing will settle, but I'm sure there will be learning experiences along the way.

    Here is an example of a lithium-polymer battery fire:



    The EM is a pretty slick bike. Neat to hear the staccato of pulses of the brushless motor when it is going really slow. Oh to test all of them in one session, including the upcoming Mecatecno! The EM uses the current established thinking for electric bikes, that of direct drive and throttle by wire. That is certainly simpler than adding a flywheel and clutch back in. Which one will be superior overall is as of yet unknown.
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  20. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

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