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The best rebuttal to EM skeptics

Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by ctromley, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. ctromley

    ctromley Long timer

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    I'm so behind the times. I just now stumbled on a 2015 review of an Energica Ego on motorcyclistonline written by Jack Lewis, one of my all-time favorite writers. He loved the bike, but also gave the best pep talk to EM skeptics and haters I've ever seen.

    From https://www.motorcyclistonline.com/...ike-motorcyclist-magazine-electric-sportbikes

    ... We cling to seeping, backfiring, brass-bound examples of the steeds on which Uncle Harold wooed flappers. We insist eBikes have “no soul,” as though soul consists of an old pickup truck to fetch your broken-down wheezer. Note to bikers now composing furious retorts: Before mailing that letter, stop by for a beer and let’s kickstart our bikes together.

    Technology is good, speed is addictive, and piston count is irrelevant. eHaters wittering on about soullessness are confessing inchoate fears: that our hard-won skills are obsolete, our freedoms are threatened, and our self-sorted cool is slipping away.

    Well, what if it is? Your mammalian heritage calls you to evermore sophisticated tools and toys, and your Ego demands you train. Uncle Harold had to learn new tricks. Now we do too.

    Motorcycling might be recreation and transportation, but it’s also a sport. Trade your jetting kit for Dick Tracy’s Apple Watch, brake 4 feet deeper, and refine your lines. Ride excellently or learn that the Ego strips away excuses with relentless, digital accountability. Everyone knows you never really “had to lay ’er down.”

    As always, today’s early adopters pay designer prices to finance tomorrow’s “Everybike.” Anyway, “cheap” applies to precisely zero interesting Italian vehicles. Go test it when it comes to town, but do not buy an Energica Ego unless you feel it for what it is: the Desmosedici of battery bikes.

    Buy it only if it makes you yearn to hack software—if your favorite stories headline tomorrow’s news sites and if your very first roll-on makes you whoop like veteran racer Nicolulis. “You know it’s great,” he said. “You know it’s the future. You know it’s gonna change everything.”

    Seems to me that anyone who doesn't get that will be an ICE rider forever.
    #1
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  2. johngault

    johngault Leaning into it Supporter

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    No hate, just the facts. Short range and long charge times = less fun. When that gets sorted out I’ll add one to the herd.
    #2
  3. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

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    Some have figured out that the range issue is better addressed with a quick change battery or better yet two on-board with a quick change backup... The problem is the cost of the batteries and while it gets better it's not doing it fast and there are limits...

    Frankly I think if the electric vehicle guys can figure out how to infrastructure an electric vehicle quick battery exchange to replace a fill up they'll get much better traction...
    #3
  4. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

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    I remember an interesting article from CycleWorld. Either Cameron or Egan I can't remember.

    But it talked about technology and racing. People have ALWAYS grumbled about new technologies on motorcycles. However racers have always taken whatever works to win races. Rear suspension, radial tires, electronic rider controls, etc...

    I was looking forward to seeing Alta dominate at MX tracks. :doh
    #4
  5. ctromley

    ctromley Long timer

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    Tesla demonstrated pack swapping. Nobody cared, so it went nowhere. The only place you see it today is on a few Asian scooters, which, ironically, are operating in a fairly urban environment where range is less of an issue. About the only real advantage those offer, and a significant one, is being able to schlep your battery modules upstairs to your apartment (or your cubicle at work) to charge them, which is the only practical option for many urban dwellers. (Depending on how many swap stations there are and where, I'm thinking home charging will still be the preferred choice.)

    There are plenty of disadvantages. What's the standard battery module to use and who gets to define it? Not having a standard is like having an ICE bike that will only accept Shell gasoline. I've seen only one scooter battery format that serves more than one manufacturer, and it only serves two.

    Motorcycles and scooters are small vehicles. Space is at a premium. If you make your battery pack easily removable, you necessarily have to give up space to make that happen. Less space, less battery, either less power or range, maybe both. It's probably not a big hit, but it's a step in the wrong direction.

    There is also the fact that batteries are a pretty hot technology. I guarantee that when the Next Big Thing comes, it will demand a different module format, and perhaps different electrics on the vehicle to support it. From the manufacturer's viewpoint it's a risk not knowing how long your standard will last, and extra cost to support old and new standards. When risks and costs go up, consumers always pay for it.

    Mostly, with the recent and ever-improving ranges we've seen it's less of an issue. People who mostly ride to commute or take light day rides are OK with range as it is or as it will be soon. Motorcyclists who travel long distances and have a need for fast fueling are left out of the EM segment, but I have to wonder how big a proportion of the market they are. (Real ADVers, who are a tiny minority, will be stuck with gas for the foreseeable future, unless they want to prove a point.) The road-burner/mile-muncher demographic will probably not be satisfied even if they get 300 mile range and can get fast charges at Supercharger stations. The tech isn't there yet and probably won't be for awhile. (Though it will be very interesting to see what solid state batteries get us.)
    #5
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  6. batoutoflahonda

    batoutoflahonda Long timer

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    Having recently moved to China, the electric scooter is king. They are everywhere. Mine would go about 30 miles if not pinned @ about 40 mph. That’s double the speed limit for them in the designated scooter/bicycle lane here in Zhoushan. And that’s two up. The lanes have their own traffic lights, or you cross at the crosswalks with the light. I get asked if they are popular in the US and explain that no, the speeds and distance are too great. We built an infrastructure around the car. Most places in the world have not.

    The scooter is very practical in large cities, for obvious reasons. There are charging stations everywhere. Mine is 72v and has six batteries, so you won’t be carting them up to the apartment. This is pretty standard. You can get smaller scooters or bicycles with detachable batteries, but they are pretty slow with poor range.

    All the guys I came over with are trying to figure out how to ship them back to the states. At $600.00 for a new one like the sportster I have, it would be great for running errands around town on.

    Check out “alibaba” search “electric bikes”. I’m willing to bet more are sold here than the entire motorcycle market in the US. Now if I can get the thing to pull the front end up!
    拿着我的啤酒瓶子
    (hold my beer) I think.
    #6
  7. Oilhed

    Oilhed MarkF Supporter

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    Can’t wait for the all electric classes in American Flattrack.
    #7
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  8. CanadianRocky

    CanadianRocky No Bucket List... a Bucket full of Lists

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    Like every ICE vehicle I have ever owned... I will buy an EV when it fits my specific requirements... so far, none are there yet... and that seems to be the most common answer I get in discussions on Electric Vehicles... make them desirable to the masses, not just a small percentage... and that is still a way down the road.
    #8
  9. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

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    #9
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  10. Shaolin

    Shaolin Been here awhile

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    D30B61C2-3D8C-4C75-929D-ABAD12952285.jpeg Guess which BMW has not been taken out in a long while. The big plush K1600GTL has not been ridden since July, when the C Evolution arrived. Oh, I’ve ridden the K16 a lot (78k miles so far). The combination of ride quality, lower running and maintenance and repair costs and just plain fun has me hopping on the scooter every time I suit up for a ride.
    #10
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  11. Shaolin

    Shaolin Been here awhile

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    I've mentioned this in other discussions: even if you buy an electric vehicle (car or bike) as a second one or as a backup, most people end up not using the gas vehicle as much as they thought they would. Slowly, anything gas (mowers, cars, chainsaws, snowblowers, leaf blowers...) get replaced by battery powered replacements. Maybe motorcyclists tend to be more nostalgic of bikes past so the transition to EM is a lot slower. Yep, EMs are not as aesthetically pleasing as a handsome motorcycle but buying a EM is more a cerebral process than the emotional process usually attached to buying a bike. The performance is just so much better. Anyway, for those of us who have a honey do list to accomplish, riding for a couple of hours in quiet solitude except for hooting and hollering every time you wick it up on an EM, the therapy is more intense and packed into a shorter time period. An EM can give you both peace and quiet and thrills (think Hayabusa without the top speed). I've put more than 200k miles on various EVs. My gas vehicles were fun too but they just don't stack up.
    #11
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  12. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    I find it interesting that one of the key elements of "adventure riding" is overcoming the challenges of the unfamiliar, yet it's the very reason some dislike EMs. Rather than seeing it as a new challenge, it's seen as the inability to do things in a familiar way.
    It seems odd that there's so little pioneer spirit in the "adventure riding" community.
    #12
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  13. CanadianRocky

    CanadianRocky No Bucket List... a Bucket full of Lists

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    I went for a ride on Monday... about 60 miles... it was about 25 degrees F... the stated range on a Livewire on the Hwy is about 70 miles... and the estimate with battery loss below Freezing is about 30/40 percent... it was cold, so I had on the heated grips and my eVest... no way I would have made it home... my ElectaGlide barely came off the full mark on the gas gauge.
    #13
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  14. Cataract2

    Cataract2 Where to?

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    Got my Bolt (EV) and anytime we need to do anything it gets used. The hybrid that the spouse uses to go to work is only used for that. Otherwise we're in the EV. I love driving the EV.
    #14
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  15. Crilly

    Crilly Long timer Super Supporter

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    My Livewire gets about 80 miles in 25 degree weather. And yes I have full electric gear and heated grips. A 60 mile ride is do able.
    #15
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  16. Shaolin

    Shaolin Been here awhile

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    You gotta be a bit of a masochist if you want to ride more than 100 miles in really cold weather. I ride all the time but winter rides are short and sweet (even on my K1600). Luckily, I have enough nice roads in my vicinity that I don't need to travel far.
    #16
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  17. tallpaul63

    tallpaul63 Long timer

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    Maybe part of this is that there is whole skillset, and associated pride in understanding how to work on ICE motorcycles, plus the memories of our youth and the smells of two strokes, and the grins from a nice exhaust note. I get all of that. But I'm fascinated with the next steps in transportation, and it seems time to reconsider all the complexity, inefficiency, noise and pollution associated with internal combustion engines. I do see a sort of political divide in some of these conversations, with some right leaning folks resenting the push for cleaner tech. Rather than engaging on that level, I think it's better to focus on this: electric vehicles, both two and four wheel types, will be very attractive because they are simply better. They will cost less to manufacture and operate, accelerate better, handle better, and just provide a better driving experience.

    In a similar vein, coal will play a smaller role in our energy future, not solely because of pollution, but because other energy options like wind and solar and natural gas are getting cheaper, and will continue to do so. Environmental concerns are relevant, but market forces are inexorable.
    #17
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  18. johngault

    johngault Leaning into it Supporter

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    Range, cost and recharge times. This is what is repeated over and over about a lack of enthusiasm for ebikes. Yet, you have to make up your own reasons for why people aren't fanboys...sheesh
    #18
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  19. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    Interesting that you would choose to interpret what I said it in that way.
    #19
  20. woodsrider-boyd

    woodsrider-boyd Wow, these guys are fast

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    I would add: insufficient charging network, incompatible charging systems, and weight.

    Fortunately all of these issues are being addressed, some more quickly then others.

    And notice performance is no longer mentioned as a negative? E-bikes and e-vehicles are proving that they can perform as well as ICE vehicles.

    Still loving my Atla lecky dirt bike btw.
    #20