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Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by motobene, Dec 31, 2015.
I'd like to know too.
It went silent...
I was told of recent testing prototypes at Mecatecno. Working out bugs and details before production version. I was told the production line has been prepared. I have still yet to see one :-(
Interesting news and discussion, thanks. (If this bike is actually going to be much lighter than ICE bikes, I will take back everything I have said about TEVs.)
Re traction on TBs...
Kevin Cameron has explained the "virtual powerbands" used on Moto GP bikes in Cycle World (very sophisticated, incorporating gps derived, corner position/lean angle/demand for torque, etc.-specific programming of the ECU to provide optimum torque and hence traction and drive), but those systems are still constrained by the type of ICE, i.e., number of cylinders and firing order.
An electric motor could be controlled to provide the characteristics of a big twin or a triple or cross-plane four or any of the above with whatever firing order is optimum at any time, no? I'm not interested in having any active systems like traction control on a TB of course. But I would like a "Mud" mode and a "Tired, Last Loop" mode. Maybe instead of a few selectable modes there could be a dial controlling a PWM and then programming could further alter that setting based on demand/throttle position.
If the "type of" or manner of delivery of the force is different for a 2T vs. 4T for ICEs, i.e., the 4T providing better hook up due to the delayed power pulses compared to a 2T, can the power delivery be programmed to offer "normal electric," "2T-like," and "4T-like" modes? Maybe long-stroke and short-stroke versions of each, depending on what the rider prefers? (If that whole 4T vs. 2T traction argument is invalid, please inform.)
I'm thinking the TEV presents an opportunity I don't think I've heard discussed, as programming could (theoretically) provide any gap/delay in power pulses (the "type of" force) desired, independent of throttle position/demand for torque, i.e., the powerband could have larger pulse gaps at lower torque demand (when the rider identifies a low traction situation) and then lesser/no gap as speed/momentum increased and traction was obtained (up on the granite now with 100% traction) and demand for torque was greatest.
And the FW puts another spin on it. If one spins up the flywheel, closes the throttle, and meters that force out with a true friction plate clutch like on an ICE bike, the type of force would not be influenced by said programming, unless there was some kinda chip-controlled modulator after the clutch to put the desired characteristic back into the force. Of course that would marginalize clutch-modulating skills like TC does to throttle-control skills-so maybe I'm not for that. (and I know the closed-throttle FW technique is to eliminate the breaking of traction caused by ICE power pulses, but maybe there is even a better powerband/force delivery than a FW and a friction clutch, some kinda virtual trials powerband)
No, not smoking anything. Just pondering things over my head.
All good issues. For TEVs, a big step forward would be having 'throttle' response be as predictable as a typical fuel burner. The TEVs are typically indirect responding and very difficult to learn to ride precisely, so I'd be happy with pick one type of fuel burner to emulate, and do it well.
Yes. And if they emulate a 4T they could program in some random stumbles or even an occasional flame-out to ease the transition.
Have only ridden our club member's homebuilt. He has worked on the programming/controller for years and seems to have a competitive bike (for the mid-level lines anyway). Range and weight are still issues unfortunately.
I'd want that clutch and a throttle that is as direct and predictable as we have now in the fuel burners. I'd also want to be able to ride in the 100 to 30% of charge range for a whole loop, then be able to swap batteries. Otherwise even with a predictable throttle, the power will change as a result of voltage drop, introducing just the kind of variability I don't like. And that may mean more weight to get the Amp-hour capacity up.
I don't mind, say, going to ride at high altitude and having a change in power and throttle response as long as after a brief reprogramming time the power is consistent for a whole event. In fact, I've rather enjoyed the super mellow power of my engine when it is air density starved
I'm not sure it would be better to make electric power feel like a gas engine than riders learning to ride with electric power. Seeing Raga hopping his bike through a section with his engine off certainly illustrates that there is more than one way to move a bike and rider around.
I've only had a brief ride on an electric Trials bike, an EM, but it was an eye opener, not really what I expected. It was clear to me that I could learn to ride it and it would have some advantages over gas bikes, but it would take a while to learn and the ability to jump back and forth between the two types of bikes is not realistic, at least for me.
I'm curious about the EM. Did you feel disconnected from the 'throttle' response at all? My guess would be that yes, it was an issue (please confirm or deny).
The electrics need to work more like a properly working front end on a car. And that means working more like a fuel burner. Fuel burners have had a century to work this issue out, and they are amenable to outputting very precisely what the user inputs tot he throttle. That is more of a challenge for electric powered vehicles, especially light ones.
The go-forward control scheme of light electric vehicles presently is more like the steering of car with poor design or worn out components. Poor design is take your eyes off the road and you go off your line but can't feel it (think: 1970s floating potato cars). Poor control scheme is like any car with a worn out front end. You drive it and are over compensating for wander, continuously. You can see this watching kids riding sections on small electric bikes. Just count the number of stops and whiskey throttle incidents and wide eyes.
Anyone can learn to keep a sloppy car somewhat in between the lines, but onus should be on the design and its condition, and should not be a burden for the user to bear. The electric bike maker that figures this out will accomplish something quite significant. Having a clutch will help, but the throttle needs to be more direct, like a fuel burner, to really appeal to riders.
I would say I felt more connected to the throttle response, largely because there is no clutch. There is a switch on the left side of handlebar that can be sort of used like a clutch, but I never figured it out in my short time on the bike. I didn't ride any large obstacles on the borrowed bike, but being able to stop and start smoothly with just the throttle made lower class sections easier. With zero idle rpm the bike would slow to a stop with little or no brakes and then take off and/or crawl with nearly 100% traction, it was kind of eerie.
A bike with a conventional clutch and flywheel will likely be a completely different animal.
I recommend getting a ride on an electric, it was a real eye opener for me.
Well cool. The EM may be well sorted out. You can hear the individual pulses of the motor at near zero. I could tell that part was metering out nicely... on the output side, but how the throttle by wire works is impossible to perceive from video, as the human super computer can compensate heavily for sloppiness.
Thanks for the review. I've been LUSTING for one of these for a while. Couldn't find one around here to test ride.
I have a deposit on the 1st 2016 EM Escape to come stateside. Ryan sez they are due in March/April.
Wanting to get back into trials training again. Still have my old 1976 Honda TL-250 (364cc, Powroll XL-250 bore & stroker kits).
Also want something QUIET for poaching local hiking trails at night. shhh... ;-)
The EM looks like it's gotten refined. It will definitely be a great 'poaching' weapon. The Mecatecno is still an abstraction. Given this will be year one, assuming it comes out, the design will be less refined by production experience than the EM.
So now the Mecatecno adult-size electric bike with clutch has been shown in competition in France and maybe other places, June of 2017.
I just saw a video on Facebook where I could hear the bike spool up to do a clutch-dump splatter! Exactly what has been missing in these bikes to make them top-rider worthy.
The sound is high pitched, like a liquid-fuel bike on helium and sped up.
The chassis is made from Ossa parts minus radiator and engine. The motor/clutch/transmission? is sucked up tight against the frame. Very light bike at 50kg, but I don't know if that includes batteries.
We need some video. I haven't been as to figure out how to re post from Facebook.
Really enjoying this thread. As both a rider and R/C airplane flier I see many parallels to the transition from, as fliers call them, gassers and electrics. All of us older pilots (I am 81) started with gas motors that had spark plugs,points, coil and Dcell battery. Hell to get started but it was manageable. Then came the glow plug which eliminated all except battery. Then batteries changed from dry cell to nicad. Wohoo, lighter yet as weight of the airplane is as critical as the weight of a bike. When electric motors were first used we had brushed DC motors adapted from auto remote mirrors, power seats, etc. Now motors are 3 phase ac powered by lithium -ion batteries. Power is instantaneous and this is where the big challenge arises. Power without noise requires a different use of senses and this is where older pilots have so much trouble with the switch to electric. But the challenge is being met and maneuvers we thought were impossible with a gas motor are now common. We now fly using eyes to determine speed, stability, stalling attitudes. Before, it was mostly about listening to the engine, throttle position is now determined by eyes not ears.
Long diatribe but I see great similarities. We switched to electric to save the sport by increasing flying locations, not being restricted because of noise. Young pilots spend there time flying, not trying to get the motor running properly. Lastly, the folks who really like the foibles and nuances of gas engines and the challenges presented are growing fewer. Electric Trials ****** Bring it ON.
Very interesting perspective, ridenfly!
I'm 2 decades behind you, but as kids we flew those noisy, open exhaust port 2 stroke model planes. The smell of the fuel and exhaust are still easy memories.
Three-phase AC motors in the planes now, wow.
I look forward to the day when a battery-powered trials bike is as yummy an experience as my 2017 liquid-fuel bike. That day could be a long way off, right around the corner, or never.