Vespa Electtrica

Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by rider33, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. rider33

    rider33 Long timer

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    'not sure how I missed this coming out of the EIC-whatever show in November, my guess is it got lost in the details on the lastest mega cruiser an so-fast-your-eyes-will-bleed sport bike but Vespa is finally moving forward with the electric version hinted at last year:

    http://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer/vespa/first-look-2018-vespa-elettrica.html

    Personally, I like electric vehicles & always felt the best application would be in a city vehicle like a scooter. Unfortunately, most electric bikes seem to come from the Prius school of design (yes, I look goofy but that's so you know I'm saving the world an you're not). This thing looks like, a Vespa, and 50+ miles from a std. wall plug is just fine for 95% city trips. Not doubt it will cost about twice what you think it should (it is a Vespa after all) but its going to get a hard look once it shows up.
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  2. JerryH

    JerryH To Each Their Own Supporter

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    " Not doubt it will cost about twice what you think it should (it is a Vespa after all)"

    And therein lies the problem. Get a new Vespa with a 50 mile range, that will then have to be plugged in for a long time to get 50 more miles out of it, and it ONLY costs TWICE as much as a Vespa with unlimited range and likely a much higher top speed. Again it's a no win for electrics until they can duplicate the price and performance, including speed, range, and recharge time of ICE powered vehicles. I don't see that happening in the foreseeable future.
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  3. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scooter Pilot

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    Jerry, there are some draws for electric bikes, beyond the fact that they don't use gas. First on my list being: instant, 100% torque. Like it or not, it is coming. The look of a Vespa... smooth and quiet... no emissions... I think it is going to sway some people.
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  4. JerryH

    JerryH To Each Their Own Supporter

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    If it were the other way around, it might make sense. If you could get an electric vehicle with limited range, lower performance, and long recharge times for significantly LESS than an ICE vehicle, I can see people putting up with those limitations to save money. But when you have to put up with all that, and still pay way more for the vehicle, it just doesn't make sense. That of course excludes ICE enthusiasts like myself, to whom the appeal of scooters, motorcycles, cars, trucks, etc. IS the ICE. For shorter rides, I enjoy my Stella WAY more than the Vespa. Mostly because of it's primitive engine that smokes, buzzes, and sounds like a corn popper, and it's strictly mechanical clutch and manual shifter. With the Stella, the interaction between me and the machine is where the enjoyment comes from. With the Vespa, the scooter itself is less important, and the trip becomes the main source of enjoyment. I have considered putting a louder exhaust on the Vespa, to give me a more visceral riding experience, but that would sort of be the equivalent of putting a loud exhaust on a luxury car. They just don't go together. Remember that most people who buy a new scooter or motorcycle immediately put an aftermarket exhaust on it. The reason is so it makes more noise. Some engines sound better quieter. They sound like a lawn mower with a loud exhaust. My 1200 Sportster came with loud aftermarket slip ons, and it sounds beautiful. It also shakes all over. You are not going to get that out of an electric bike, and that's what most people ride bikes for. As far as torque, I could pull trees out of the ground with that thing if I could get traction.

    I went to a large car show last Saturday night. (Scottsdale Pavillions) there were a lot of muscle cars, hot rods, and Harleys with loud exhausts. So it's not just me that likes that kind of thing.
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  5. Wentwest

    Wentwest How's that work?

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    I see what you are saying Jerry, but I suspect most people buy scooters to go from here to there cheaply and with a bit of fun. Electric scooters are not cheap (yet!) but they are quick and they start and run with no fuss. You and me and most of the people on these forums like scooters for lots of reasons, but most scooter users are interested in a reliable appliance. The rent by the hour electric scooters are all over the place in San Francisco, and that looks like the future to me. China wants no ICE transit in the near future, and I can imagine Europe saying the same thing. I hope we can have our fun, but we are the dinosaurs our fuel comes from.
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  6. MrBob

    MrBob Long timer Supporter

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    The way that electric cars and motorcycles will eventually duplicate and then surpass IC is partly by people buying the products. Support the industry by buying well made units and use them. My Electra Townie Go is an absolute blast to ride and simple to own. I paid dearly for it but have never regretted the cost and in return got a sweet bike that is perfect for my needs.
    The prices will go down and performance will rise, but we need to support the industry, too.
    Waiting is foolish, these electric vehicles are fun and useful right now. I spent two weeks in Holland recently and saw what a society looks like with a deeply integrated bicycle culture and there were tons of eBikes of all different configurations. We Americans still have our heads up our asses in this regard.
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  7. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scooter Pilot

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    I think Bob is right on: the folks on these forums are the enthusiasts - many of us ride for the sheer joy of riding. Some of us can imagine that others can enjoy their riding experience in ways different from our own, and it doesn't make their experience any less than our choice. And THAT is what some of us find as narrow-minded: it isn't that you enjoy your old school experience, Jerry, it is that you can't see how anyone could enjoy their choice as much as you enjoy yours. The derogatory way you refer to any modern conveyance as "an appliance" is your opinion. Contrary to what you might think, I am happy for you that you get to enjoy that old school stuff for fun, but still have reliable conveyances when you need to actually get somewhere. Some people, by choice, circumstances, space, or budget, need to have one conveyance that will get them where they want to go. Reliably. And without getting to their destination smelling like 2-stroke fumes (yes, I get it: your cologne of choice).

    You are absolutely entitled to your opinion of electrics, fuel-injection, smooth-running engines, etc, etc. But understand that your opinion doesn't carry any weight with those who enjoy the modern stuff. It won't stop electric bikes, scooters, or cars from happening. Your opinion won't stop people from buying new technology. I would guess the average mission for the average scooter rider is less than 50 miles per day. With that in mind, the Vespa electrics are relevant. It may be "a toy" in your eyes, but you have told us MANY, MANY times that your bikes are strictly for recreation. The fact that you find something "too expensive" doesn't mean others might not find it comfortably within their discretionary income.

    Without having to dig through old posts, I recall a time when I was first scooter shopping that you considered Harley riders as "posers" with loud pipes for no reason; and how your Japanese cruiser was a better bike. Tastes change. Over the years, I have had loud Harleys, reasonably quiet Harleys, quiet BMWs, Goldwings, sport touring bikes, and a slew of other bikes... during that ownership, I could still see how others might enjoy something that wasn't for me. Open your mind and heart, Jerry. Wave at the guy on the electric scooter. It doesn't cost you one damn cent or an ounce of worry to appreciate that some folks simply like new technology. It won't affect the old school stuff you like, and you might find no one is out to take your carburetor away from you.

    I, for one, am looking forward to seeing these electric scoots.
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  8. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

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    I too recently got an ebike. While it does offer a different experience than a traditional bike, it has opened up some bicycling opportunities Im unwilling/unable/unready for without the assistance of electrons.

    Electric mobility will be to direct fossil-fueled engines what fossil fueled engines were to steam.

    The world is a changing place; contemporary methods of accomplishing things (technology) is a reflection of that and that will never change.
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  9. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    As this thread heads for the future our politicians are dealing with where's the highway $$$ gonna come from? Electric doesn't ease that problem which comes from higher MPG vehicles on the roads that also go less miles with urbanization. How will pavement, bridges and road building get financed after this electric thing is done?
    In my area where most folks have not even a dream of buying into electric stuff the people who now drive beaters in rural USA, how will they move to work, medical care & shop. Not a tiny per cent of people in my area have S California, up east incomes to play with. $15 minimum wage? that's what skilled gets around here.
    Take much more than new battery designs to make electric take over ICE's IMO.
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  10. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

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    Sounds like a problem that isnt any different than that involving scoots and m/c from the minimal revenues generated by their minimal gas ourchases and comparably next to nothing registration fees.

    In other words its probably a continuation of the same conundrum your region faces now.

    Here in the US, at least the not-so-metropolitan parts of it, bicycles and e bikes are a recreational apparatus, and will likely remain that way....I dont see ebikes “taking over” anywhere, same as motorcycles and scooters have never taken over in these United States.

    In other words unless youre in one of many densely packed cities like NY or Boston, simply cant get there from here by bike. The infrastructure doesnt support that, in fact just the opposite. That relegates them to toy status, not transportation status.
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  11. rider33

    rider33 Long timer

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    well that took a philosophical bent pretty quick. I come at it from a different perspective: electric bikes are fun! The torq hits RIGHT NOW unless potted down, they are quiet, require next to no maintenance and cost very little to run. I have a variety of internal combustion engines with which to get my kicks. I see an electric Vespa as a real scooter with a twist that happens to be ideally suited for the city. If it winds up being 20 grand I'd pass but priced like a normal Vespa plus say 10-20% premium I just might do it. I like bikes in all their forms, hell, my first bike was a Solex and my latest a V7iii.
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  12. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

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    Hell yes theyre fun....but realistically they aren’t “transportation” for most of us here stateside and probably wont be in the forseeable future.

    Which is unfortunate. Very.

    I also see ebikes bringing certain demographics “back to” cycling after long years away from it. Which is good. Many older types 50’s, 60’s + are rediscovering the simple joy of bicycling made easier, if not “better”by being electrified (although some of the simplicity factor goes away with electric). I’m in that age demographic btw.

    “Better” vs. traditional is up for debate, depending on whom you ask and frankly I still havent settled that score for myself but I definitely enjoy my ebike. And my traditional bike.

    For me I see ebikes as a natural evolution of the species, a good one at that but like traditional bikes, scooters, escooters, and motorcycles arent going to push most Americans outta their cages for day to day transportation duties.
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  13. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scooter Pilot

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    The true test comes when the IC Vespa and the electric Vespa are sitting side-by-side on the showroom floor. Which one will consumers choose? While I agree that many people (most?) will be looking at the price to determine which way to buy. Here in south Texas, few people give our scooters a second glance. Just not part of the culture. There are places on South Padre Island that rent scooters and the souped up golf cart looking things... and rent FAR more of the carts. Just not that much interest in scooters.

    When we are in the Phoenix area, we get a lot more comments and questions about the scoots. Even though there is an exhaust pipe showing, many people ask if they are electric; even sitting at a stop light, where the sound of their quiet car is still louder than our idling scoots. There are some places where there are enough people who "get it." In an urban area, as long as they can keep up with traffic, I think an electric scooter would be a good way to go.

    Our gas prices have gone up 25¢ per gallon in the past two weeks; still not enough to make people notice. I read that crude oil prices are at their highest level in two years... and still cheap. When oil prices go back up, there will be a surge of people looking at fuel-efficient transportation again - I think electric conveyances will get more public notice this next time around.
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  14. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scooter Pilot

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    Since Gordy brought up e-bikes (as in bicycles vs scoots/motorcycles), I have to relate an experience from yesterday. After riding my e-bike around for some exercise and fresh air, I stopped (at our central mailboxes) to pick up mail. A guy saw me getting on my bike and said, "Oh, a cheater."

    "A cheater?" I asked.

    "Yeah, your bike uses an electric motor to get you around." Then, he got into his electric golf cart to get back to his house. :-)
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  15. rider33

    rider33 Long timer

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    some buy scooters for cheap transportation which they surely can be. I'm guessing most Vespa buyers are not of that mind set, there are less expensive options and parts and service are more than most. Buying a Vespa is sort of like buying a set of Snap-on tools vs the mega-mart alternative: you know it's more expensive, you also know it's well built, well designed, and will last. My scooter gets occasional use in the city for relatively short distances. In that application electric would be great, I also like the minimal maintence, no shortage issues, and minimal environmental impact in cites which clearly could use some help in that regard. Scooters alone are a giant step in that direction, going to electric would simply be the next step. I have no illusions that these are going to sell in huge numbers, they are apt to be expensive and the application is more limited due to the range. But electric is coming and this I think is the best use of it I've seen. While there are Iron Butt scooter riders, my guess is that most see less than 20-30 miles a day. For a shorter distance, occasional use vehicle, this could make some sense, we'll know more once they are actually here. In the mean time I'm just happy that the options are growing.

    By the way, my neighbor has an electric-assist bike, 'let's him go farther w/o worrying about it (he's in his 70's). Personally, I think they are cool as hell but you likely could have guessed that from my comments...:)
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  16. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer Supporter

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    I've considered an ebike for Breckenridge because my knees can't take climbing the mountain from our house and the bus isn't always available. Bonus would be the ease of attaching a bike trailer to it so my dog could come along but I'd have to make certain it could climb the 1,000' sometimes 11% grade pulling a trailer without running out of juice before I'd bite. Then the only fly would be that unlike most of the state of Colorado you can't ride an e-bike on the bike trails and the road to the next town is too damned fast with no room for a bike since they expect al cyclists to be on the dedicated bike trail. Grrr! Damned city council/county commissioners used the "local" option to ban them. For an area that survives/thrives on tourists they make some IMHO stupid moves including banning the give away of bags at all shops in town. You are required to sell only "reusable" bags and can't even include them with a purchase. Just how many tourists travel with their own shopping bags? Even the thin plastic ones at the grocery store count as "reusable" and sell for the mandated minimum.
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  17. JerryH

    JerryH To Each Their Own Supporter

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    I have mentioned many times that I would be interested in an electric bicycle, if I could find one that met my requirements for range and load capacity and still be within my price range. So far that has not happened. But a bicycle is inherently different from a scooter or motorcycle. They never had engines. I used to be a mountain biker until I was no longer physically able to do it. Now I can't ride a bicycle at all because of serious knee problems. Yes, I could afford to build a gas powered bicycle, and I would, except that it can't be ridden the one place I still want to ride a bicycle. For comparison, I got a brand new made in Japan Honda Rebel 250 OTD, from a dealer, for about the same price that a high end long range electric bicycle would cost. While I have the money to buy one, I just can't justify it in my mind. There are also concerns about how long it would last, how much a replacement battery would cost, etc.

    And yes, I do "sort of" understand that people can have fun in many different ways. My 26 year old daughter, for example, seems to want nothing to do with anything I consider "real" or "tangible" Her only hobby seems to be playing video games, and she spends every dime she can get her hands on buying or renting them. No, I don't get it completely, because it is not something I can relate to. I just know she enjoys it. Even an electric scooter or bicycle is a "real" object. I do not relate to the "virtual" world at all, which is one of the issues I have with electronics. I at least want my vehicles to be "real", with "real" parts.
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  18. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

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    In the words of the late, great Rodney Dangerfield...
    “I tell you, I get no respect!”
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  19. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

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    As pounded out on your computer, and posted on the internet!

    Oh the irony
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  20. JerryH

    JerryH To Each Their Own Supporter

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    I have no idea how a computer works, very few if anyone actually understands how they work. All I know is you type and hit post. But computers are not my hobby. If it were not for internet forums related to my hobbies, I probably wouldn't even have one. For me it is nothing but a communications device. As I mentioned in another post, I am an amateur radio operator, and have been since my mid 20s. I understand how older tube type radios and even TVs work, and can diagnose and repair them. Modern "digital" radios cannot be worked on, even by the manufacturers that made them. Warranty repairs means a new radio. Out of warranty repairs means SOL. They've taken the "amateur" out of amateur radio.
    #20