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Thoughts on Electric Motorcycles?

Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by Designer Jake, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. KungPaoDog

    KungPaoDog Been here awhile

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    I like zombie threads like this because they offer a nice snapshot of things from a year and a half ago. Unfortunately, we are still pining for the same improvements. Maybe another five years?
    #81
  2. Turtletownman

    Turtletownman Been here awhile

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    On a forum I read the report of an Iron Butt on an electric bike. The rider hit charging stations and at some was able to use multiple chargers to speed up the recharge. The ride was, I think, in California and the route was determined by the location of charging stations.
    Look at a 1950's internal combustion motorcycle and compare to at 2014 model. Same displacement, more power, longer life, less pollution. Sixty years from now the technology will make what we now see seem as primitive.
    Infrastructure improvements will be required. The grid today could not handle the increase demand of vehicles powered by electricity.
    Most of my rides today are no more than 500 miles in a day, simply because I don't travel a lot further between places I want to stop for a day or two. This does require at least two gas stops. If a motorcycle could recharge in under an hour and then run 200 or more miles, it would be practical. Ride 250 miles, eat lunch and recharge then continue to destination and recharge over night.
    I love my old airhead and probably am too old and set in my ways to want the new technology. I don't even like the computer controlled engine on my newer bikes.
    Bob
    #82
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  3. Ernest T

    Ernest T Long timer

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    With today's technology, swapping out a gasoline powered engine for coal fired power plant produced electricity causes more pollution, not less.

    Now, if you can charge those batteries with wind or solar, then you'd have a green machine.
    #83
  4. swaan

    swaan Adventurer

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    I'd say it's more about efficiency. Coal or not. Making electricity is not "green" even with solar because the production of pv panels and turbines is not "green". Crude oil needs to be pumped, transported and refined too. Is there anything "green" at all in that?
    Also, quality is important here - if it lasts, then you won't have to make as many. Because EVs are lower on maintenance they are also lower on resources.

    To be frank though, living off the grid sounds like a plan B. A healthy and green grid would be much better in civilized areas. At least in Europe you can choose what kind of electricity you buy. Even when it's technically the same - your money will be going to support green production. I hope one day we will have small mutually(county, parish) owned localized production, all connected to form a big worldwide grid.
    #84
  5. Organic Mechanic

    Organic Mechanic Awesome sauce taster

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    #85
  6. Mollygrubber

    Mollygrubber Eschew obfuscation

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    If you're going to have one bike for commuting and another one (or two) for touring or dirt, I think ebikes make ALL kinds of sense. If I could afford multilple bikes, I think I'd be looking REAL hard at an ebike right now.

    Maybe they're not ready for single bike prime-time yet, but I bet it won't be long. The technological advancements in the last 10 years are staggering.
    #86
  7. Renegade_Azzy

    Renegade_Azzy Kamen Rider

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    We could probably be about 5 years further into a fuel cell bike, if the feds hadn't declared that the battery / gas hybrid was the savior of the world, and shrugged off all the research and use that the H2 fueled vehicles were getting.

    I like the idea of an electric car, I look at the volt that I park next to every day and try to ignore the .gov presence in it, but always run my mental train into that energy storage wall.
    #87
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  8. HanShotFirst

    HanShotFirst Been here awhile

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    Like it or not, electric vehicles are the future...it may be more of a distant future, but it's coming and you won't be able to stop it.

    Most people have no concept of what peak oil is or it's inevitability; it has NOTHING to do with running out of oil.

    Electric bikes can make some sense in a very urban environment especially if you can hook your bike up to a solar system for re-charging; you could make it where you can ride back and forth to work for free.

    Where I really see electric motorcycles gaining a big market share is for law enforcement in large cities. Again, tie them into solar systems and between the "free" juice and the very low maintenance, they could start to make economic sense...again, it's still a ways off.

    For most of us though electric bikes for the foreseeable future doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Most of us are tourers, whether it be on the open road or the dirt and back roads. I don't see electric being a viable option for motorcycle tourers for at least a few decades.
    #88
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  9. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer

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    It's final. KTM is the first major motorcycle manufacturer in the world to sell an electric motorcycle to the public. (BMW's scooter is a scooter.) Unveiled at INTERMOT are the 2015 Freeride E-SM and E-XC. Both are street legal. What I like about the way KTM has designed these bikes is that they are not pretending to be your only motorcycle. Mostly designed for urban closed courses where the noise of an ICE would be prohibitive, either of these would make for a kick-ass commute and inner-city plaything.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #89
  10. CanadianRocky

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

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    If oil is an addiction, then it is the equivalent of Coffee, compared to our true addiction, which is Electricity. Which would be the equivalent of pure uncut heroin.

    If you could toss a magic switch that would convert all gas powered vehicles in North America to Electricity, you would have to throw another magic switch that would create about 150 Nuclear power plants, or their equivalent, to run those cars.

    Never mind tearing up the planet to create the copper and aluminum to create the grid we would need to move that electricity from the source to the user.

    There is no cheap power, or power that is green. It is all expensive and it is all filthy.

    Want to make a positive impact on our environment? Walk, take a bus or ride a bike every time you travel less than 5 miles.
    #90
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  11. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer

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    You seem to be confusing a forum for motorcycle enthusiasts with some kind of "green" environmental thing. Or maybe your referring to Team Green's latest motorcycle?

    Sorry, but e-bikes are all about massive, instantaneous torque and long black lines of rubber laid down without having to wait until all the reciprocating parts of an internal combustion engine have warmed up. They are about spending time riding and having fun instead of changing oil and filters, tweaking FI or swapping jets, adjusting valves, of wasting $$ on slip-on cans. They are the fastest production motorcycles on the planet providing you have the cash. Unplug and play baby!
    #91
  12. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    If I were going to use an EV as a commuter it'd be a bicycle, not a motorcycle.

    It's not just range, it's journey time.

    Brisbane->Sydney ~1000km, ~12 hours on a conventional bike 3-5 stops,

    STILL not viable on an electric bike of the same range even if there were rechargers available. 3-5 stops is 7.5 -> 12.5 hours extra. That's being optimistic, range isn't that good.

    I don't care what the top speed and acceleration are - it's half the speed judged by point-to-point times.

    So, some niche commutes they may work, but right now for everything else, just expensive toys.

    Pete
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  13. 81forest

    81forest ADDRider

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    Finally, someone who has a clue about what these things can do. Trust me, if you have not ridden one, or you have only ridden an off-the-shelf Zero, you're in for quite a surprise. So many comments about "not enough range", and this:
    Dude, willis, you have no idea what you're missing. Wheelies? It'll flip you onto your ass quicker than you can say "watt?" :eek1
    One gear, full power on one yank of the throttle... think about that. I rode a modified Zero motard around a track for a few hours and could not believe the torque. Silent wheelies coming out of every corner. Not enough range yet? Who cares. It's a couple of years away. It's about the performance on these things.
    #93
  14. CanadianRocky

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

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    Yup, just toys.
    #94
  15. TorontoBrit

    TorontoBrit TorontoBrit

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    I am the perfect candidate for an electric vehicle, either car or motorcycle: I live and work downtown, with my commute less than 10kms. The problem is that pretty much no condo building in Toronto has an electrical outlet in the underground, for obvious reasons. Let alone a proper e-charge station. Maybe a new build you could convince them to install one in your parking spot, but as of now there is no where for a downtown resident to recharge their vehicle.....
    #95
  16. HanShotFirst

    HanShotFirst Been here awhile

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    You're absolutely right; energy isn't pretty in most any form.

    But in the future when demand begins to out-strip our ability to get it out of the ground, then we will need to have a mix of energy sources. The middle class is growing rapidly in China, India, and the Middle East. When people become middle class, they want cars. That means every day demand is growing and production isn't growing nearly as fast as demand. Fortunately for now we have (worldwide) a good deal more production than demand, so we can cope with that for several years, but at some point production will have problems keeping pace with demand. When that happens, prices will skyrocket and that will drive a shift to other energy sources.

    I can see a time where oil will be reserved for the jobs that only oil can do; like large trucks, jets, ships, etc. And other vehicles will have to turn either to electric or some other energy source.

    Electricity offers advantages because there are just so many ways to make electricity. But you're right, none are truly "green" just messy vs. more messy.
    #96
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  17. Kubla

    Kubla Long timer

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    I drive a Nissan leaf, it is nice to just get in mad go with no noise and plug it in when you get home, my only compliant about most of the current electric bike is that they resemble professional dirt bikes with no real seat, the only one that looks like a cruiser my 6' 6" fat butt could sit on cost more than my leaf did, which puts it out of the picture for me
    #97
  18. 81forest

    81forest ADDRider

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    Really, really fun toys, that haul ass. When I want a commuter, I will ride my bicycle.
    #98
  19. CanadianRocky

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

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    I am waiting for Mr Fusion. After all, i need someway to get rid of my banana peels.

    mr-fusion.jpg
    #99
  20. 81forest

    81forest ADDRider

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    Have you tried smoking them? Decent body high for twenty minutes, followed by a mild euphoria.:bubba