Thoughts on electric motorcycles?

Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by itnithand, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    Part of me always wants a 1290 Super Adventure S. It seems like a sweet bike with lots of power and good tech, but I hear people talk about the heat being too much to handle. I rode my VFR1200X yesterday in humid 85 degree temps and it was heating up my right leg a bit. Then I get on the Zero and nada. Couple that with KTM's supposedly reliability issues and I've been hesitant to jump on one. Wish Zero made a DS/ADV type bike with the same kind of pull the 1290 SAS has, I guess the DSR is as close as they get.
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  2. ctromley

    ctromley Long timer

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    Stated as if to suggest that you've been shot down, that your ideas aren't welcome here, that you're being bullied, that only the 'party line' is acceptable in terms of talking points, whatever. All of which is absolutely false. You also didn't even attempt to defend your claim that someone, anyone here, or any pro-sustainability talking head anywhere has implied that "EV technology is a zero contamination option", which seems to be the basis of your original tirade. THAT'S the issue.

    Let's take politics, culture wars, etc. out of this and view it from a distance. If you pick a fight over a claim nobody made, that's pretty much the textbook definition of a troll. As all mods know there are degrees of trollishness, and sometimes it's hard to know if the suspect is intentionally trolling or just ignorant. Trollishness, or the appearance of it, is something you want to avoid.

    Opinions apply to the person who holds the opinion. If you want to influence others, facts are a much better choice if you want to avoid conflict, because facts stand on their own much better. (Though they can be manipulated, which makes discourse harder, but they're still generally better than opinion.) Most of us here on the sustainability side do a very good job of backing up what we believe with hard facts, to the extent that we are critical of the sources of those facts. It's a much higher level of rigor than what you'll typically find out in the wild. We've done more mythbusting and conspiracy theory debunking than most. That's why this is a tough room.

    Anyone is welcome here. But sustainability seems to threaten some people (which is an intriguing topic on its own), so it's controversial. That makes backing up your claims imperative, or you just get chaos. If chaos is what you want, you're doing a fine job. Expect to be ignored by many. If you want to actually engage and change some minds, all you need is reliable, verifiable facts. And avoid trying to create conflict where none exists. It really is that simple.
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  3. ctromley

    ctromley Long timer

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    On a properly designed EV operating under normal conditions, there should be nothing so hot you can't comfortably lay a hand on it. It's just another illustration of how much more efficient electric power is compared to an ICE.
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  4. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

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    What is a reliable source anyway? Is the Bible a better source on evolution of life than Origin of the species, by Darwin?
    The problem is that people tend to tear down even reliable sources.
    A. By claiming that they are incorrect.
    B. By claiming that parts of the source are incorrect, thereby casting the whole source in doubt.
    C. By looking at parts of them out of context, and as such, claim that they are incorrect.
    D. By misunderstanding.
    E. By misquoting.
    F. By not believing the source, because they don't agree with it, and calling it incorrect, even if it is correct. Without having quoting source themselves.

    Edit. I forgot.
    G. Mistranslation.
    #44
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  5. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

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    My thoughts on electric motorcycles:

    • clean
    • quiet
    • easy to maintain
    • plug and play
    • that torque!

    The moment I twisted the accelerator on an electric bike, it was love at first ride. It’s been nearly 6 years since then and I’ve only grown to love them more :gyro
    #45
  6. Bigeyedfish

    Bigeyedfish Adventurer

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    What is this supposed to mean? Industrial electric motors frequently get too hot to touch with bare hands. Additionally, some electric motorcycles have liquid cooling systems, so heat is obviously a factor.

    I will own an electric motorcycle when performance, range, and price intersect in a place that is right for me (hopefully sooner than later), but let's be honest. It's not magic. Don't pretend that energy conversion doesn't result in heat. I understand being excited about electric motorcycles and the progress being made in their realm, but making unsupportable claims isn't helpful.
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  7. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

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    At least if a source is quoted a reader can determine on their own the reliability of the source

    If no source, or worse yet bristling when asked for one.... then my garbage filter goes on high alert
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  8. tokyo

    tokyo Been here awhile

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    Just a few from the non-MSM, right wing echo chambers of CNN and RollingStone...

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/04/health/climate-change-existential-threat-report-intl/index.html
    https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/04/health/climate-change-threatening-human-health-scli-intl/index.html
    https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/23/opin...e-climate-change-opinion-mountford/index.html
    https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/federal-climate-change-report-759793/

    Both sides, left and right, are guilty of amping up charges and whipping up their gullible readers into a frenzy. Unfortunately the useful idiots on both sides only read what reinforces their currently held opinion.

    For those on the right try reading Huffpo now and again for those on the left take a look at Wattsupwiththat for a different take. Please don't use MSM as your only source for information.

    You'll find that the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle or is just plain unknown. Look at motive of the media you read.. the more scared and upset you are the more you will come back each day giving them eyeballs to sell advertising to. They have lots of reason to stretch truths and foment discord.

    Wonderfully here at least we can all agree that electric bikes are awesome! No matter the reason you love and ride them! Lets focus on the common ground.

    I apologize for my original derogatory comment towards eco-terrorists. It was written in haste and propagates the exact name-calling and off track discussion I wish we would avoid.

    I'm sorry.
    #48
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  9. ctromley

    ctromley Long timer

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    [sigh]

    No one said EVs generate no heat.

    Generally speaking, industrial motors run that hot only when designers have no choice. I've been there myself, and had to design systems that run close to the motor's maximum allowable temp. But you pay for that with durability. Sometimes it's an acceptable trade-off.

    In EVs with very long powertrain warranties and consumer intolerance for failure, it's not acceptable. There are going to be areas that are really hot sometimes, but they tend to be well inside exposed surfaces so the heat has spread and equalized somewhat by the time it reaches an exterior surface. If that's not the case, it's probably a candidate for focused cooling anyway. (Like liquid cooling, ducted fans, etc.) BTW, liquid cooling is just air cooling moved to a different location.

    ICEs shed 1000s of BTUs, much of it from the radiator, so I wouldn't recommend laying a hand on one. EVs don't. I'm betting you can touch an EV radiator without issue. Perhaps it gets more uncomfortable if you're flogging your EV in he middle of Death Valley.

    Bottom line, EVs waste only a fraction of the energy that an ICE does. So much less that you need to adjust your expectations. My expectations got adjusted long ago. 20 years ago when hobbyists converted their own cars, if you couldn't hold a hand on any particular component, you had a problem you needed to fix. On my conversion I had a small radiator (small trans cooler) on a controller that was managing peak power of ~130 hp (dragging ~3200 lbs. around) and it never even got warm. The motor got a little toasty, but it was a 48V motor (air cooled) that I was running at 96V. I could still (just barely) lay a hand on it.

    I think I just supported my "unsupportable" claim. I'd appreciate it if someone could take their Tesla out (highest power output carrying highest weight of current EVs) and drive it like a hooligan, then climb under it and check the motor, controller and radiator(s?) for heat - carefully at first, then see if you can lay a hand on them. I'm betting you can. We have owners of Zeroes and Energicas here, the same test and reporting here would be helpful. (Zeroes had a problem with going into thermal cutback a few years ago. Did they fix it? How well?)

    Any takers? Inquiring minds want to know.
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  10. ctromley

    ctromley Long timer

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    Thanks for that, but I'm a little confused. All of those links are making dire predictions, but if you read the words at face value none of those articles seems the least bit polarizing, inflammatory or even controversial on their own. Any "frenzy" is in the mind of the reader and their particular fears/agenda/alliance. All the conclusions seem pretty reasonable. The people sounding the alarm are basing it on an astounding amount of data and analysis. Just one example:

    "Earlier this month atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations hit 415 parts per million for the first time in human history; the last time levels were that high was during the Pliocene Epoch when there were trees at the South Pole and sea levels were 20 meters higher than they are now."

    Seems pretty scary, but all the facts stated there are easily verifiable. Anyone with the slightest understanding of science would understand that doesn't mean we're headed for another Pliocene, but it certainly drives home that we're experiencing Really Big changes in an extremely short time - many of us were around when the climate crisis was on no one's radar. This is change that isn't happening steadily, it's accelerating.

    Much of the discussion is about projections, which are always suspect, but many different sources seem to be converging on the same bad news. How is that not reason for serious concern? What we know right now also strongly suggests there's no way we're going to avoid some heavy damage from the climate crisis because there's no way we can act fast enough. At this point it's all about minimizing damage. (Hmmm - maybe learning the hard way will teach us the lesson we refuse to learn any other way.) Will we be smart enough to learn the lesson, or will there still be people refusing to admit they're wrong while the proof of it just keeps piling up and more people are harmed every day? That's a culture war that will be interesting (frightening?) to see, and I will likely be alive to see the beginnings of it.

    One other point: This is about projections. There will be some error. There is nothing standing in the way of things turning out worse than the projections. We've already seen some degradation that's happening quicker than model projections, like North Pole ice decrease and coral reef bleaching.
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  11. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

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    I simply do not understand that kind of thinking. My garbage filter goes on alert if what people state does not make sense. If someone states something that I'm not familiar with, I always search for sources myself. I do not want to be fed sources. If people ask for sources for a statement I've made, I simply assume that they do not know how to search themselves. So I give them link to the Internet Explainer. Like this http://bfy.tw/JgWW.
    If teaching people how to search the internet is bristling, then I guess I bristle. :-)
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  12. IndigoSwann

    IndigoSwann Pirate

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    Morning all,

    For the last few months I ahve started to look into Electric Motorcycles and ebikes as a new potential switch for a daily commuter. The more I learn the more I like, why wouldn't you want a clean, quiet motorcycle than has incredible torque that's practically maintenance free? I've gone through and researched a bunch of kits and electric motors with the idea of converting a moped/light motorcycle into a daily commuter. Everything is awesome - except batteries..From what I can figure out full size motorcycles traveling around 50-60 mph are burning something like 150-200 watt hours per mile. To get a usable commute range with the current issues with charging you need a ridiculous battery.

    Even to get a 30 mile range you're talking 3,000 kwh min that weighs 30+ lbs and costs thousands to buy or make (18650 cells) - not great for a little moped. I really want to jump into this, but until graphene batteries, gold nano wire batteries etc comes out manufactured mass scale and cheaply enough to be viable I am shying away from electric. Give me a fun Honda CT110 full electric trail bike with the torque of a tank, very quiet, 200 mile range and you can keep all of your ICE lol

    For people who've done conversions, what battery set ups did you use? What real life ranges were you getting?
    #52
  13. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

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    Inconsistent units

    Watts are power - the rate of energy use not an amount of energy (like watt-hours or joules=watt-seconds)

    Typically battery energy is measured in watt-hours and 150-200watt-hours per mile sounds too high
    #53
  14. IndigoSwann

    IndigoSwann Pirate

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    Thanks for the heads up I've changed it - I came up with that looking into the claimed specs of the Zero FX based off kwh of the standard battery and range at speed - what do you think the consumption is more like? Maybe if my figures are way off I could use a smaller battery system
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  15. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

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    I don't know with motos - my direct experience is with e-bikes and that's in-depth. I don't think 150-200watt-hours is over the top - just on the high side of things - it might be closer than I was giving it credit for...
    #55
  16. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

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    I read somewhere that for 100 km/h, for an hour, you'll need 10 kwh.
    I have looked into this repeatedly over the years. Unless you can get donor bike and batteries cheaply I would recommend against building your own. Scooter like Niu or small bikes like SCS CitySlicker will give you range of 30 miles, at 45 mph, from 2000 wh batteries. That is 67 wh per mile. These are good electric city runners at remarkably low price.
    There is no one size fits all answer for batteries vs. range. Range is dependant on speed, wind, hills, temperature, road surface, riding position, riding style, weight. Speed is probably the biggest factor. You need 4 times the power to double the speed. Riding Wide Open Throttle all the time wastes energy. Good battery management system will be able to recover some of the energy when braking and increase your range 10-20%. Ride like your girlfriend has just told you her parents are out, and invited your over for "special activity" and your range drops. Ride like you're driving Miss Daisy, and you can double your range.
    #56
  17. IndigoSwann

    IndigoSwann Pirate

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    I do keep coming back to the City Slicker as the benchmark of a budget electric motorcycle (is there any real competition??) - you're right after pricing up the components vs just buying this it seems to be a done deal. Although a part of me wants to convert a bike as a learning experience/project.
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  18. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

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    I agree, I've wanted to do this as a challenge, and because I cannot find any 15 kw size bikes or scooters at fair price. The baby Zero is closest but it costs like 5 City Slickers. The last time I looked at this I was thinking of converting Honda Helix to electric. It would have been 1K for the bike. 1.5 K for the motor (you can get these amazing 15 kw "in wheel electric car" motors cheaply from China) BMS, ESC, and all electronic equipment. 2 K for 5 kwh of LiFePo4 batteries (20 kg). 0-5 K for equipment and time, depending on how you want to measure it. There would've been space to nearly double the batteries if I needed more range.
    #58
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  19. IndigoSwann

    IndigoSwann Pirate

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    15KW's a lot for a bike - but you're right, most ebikes are $10K+ which is a lot considering the range issues. But wouldn't the electric car hub motor be far too large to fit onto a motorcycle? I like the idea of dual hubs to do away with the chain and sprocket and spreading the work across two motors instead of one. I also have the issue with my house doesn't have a garage only street parking so I would need to have an easily removable battery to regularly remove to charge at night.

    Which brand of motors are you looking at? Something like Golden Motors?
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  20. ultrarnr

    ultrarnr Been here awhile

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    If you are looking at doing an electric conversion you might want to check out this forum: http://www.elmoto.net/
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