Electric Motorcycles


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Electric Motorcycles

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:06 pm



A few years ago, we saw the first electric motorcycle.

Now I'm talking about a true motorcycle here, not a scooter with a battery, or an electrically-assisted bicycle. In Toronto, there are tons of motorcycle-ish looking scooters that are 100% electric, but by law, in order to be considered bicycles (and thereby rideable by anyone, able to be parked on sidewalks, etc), they have to have pedals.

Zero Motorcycles was really the first that came to my attention, with their Zero S in 2009. While somewhat impractical with only a 50 mile range, it was a beginning.

Today, there are many players in the market, but no traditional big names...until now.

BMW, well known for their extremely popular and successful i3 and i8 cars, is entering the electric motorcycle market in the US with its C Evolution scooter. And yes, it's more of a maxi-scooter (a la Suzuki Burgman) than a motorcycle, but it's a serious contender.





It has a 48 peak horsepower electric motor, which is pretty serious torque for a scooter. Two versions are offered, one that allows 15 continuous horsepower with 62 miles of range and a 75 mph top speed, and one with a 26 continuous horsepower motor, offering 99 miles of range and a top speed of 80 mph. Obviously the difference between the two is more related to the battery pack than the motor.



A charging cable is included that does not take up much space, and a helmet fits under the seat, like most scooters.





Price and availability have not yet been announced. But I suspect this is just the beginning. With the energy density of modern lithium batteries steadily increasing, we'll soon be approaching performance and range of standard gasoline fueled motorcycles.






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Re: Electric Motorcycles

Postby minimac » Fri Sep 30, 2016 7:59 am

I can't see electrics gaining steam until there is the infrastructure to support them. Quick recharging is also an issue. Also, don't forget that the somewhat optimistic range @speed numbers are under ideal conditions,i.e., flat roads, warm temperature, not carrying any "stuff', etc.
It is a start, but unless there is a heavy subsidy(similar to electric/hybrid cars), I don't see many being sold-especially at suggested prices.

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Re: Electric Motorcycles

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:09 am

minimac wrote:I can't see electrics gaining steam until there is the infrastructure to support them. Quick recharging is also an issue. Also, don't forget that the somewhat optimistic range @speed numbers are under ideal conditions,i.e., flat roads, warm temperature, not carrying any "stuff', etc.
It is a start, but unless there is a heavy subsidy(similar to electric/hybrid cars), I don't see many being sold-especially at suggested prices.


As someone who owns a plug-in electric hybrid car, I echo your statement about infrastructure. Unless you live on the liberal coast (i.e. California), you aren't going to find a charging port on every corner. In the area where I live (Cleveland), there are NO public charging facilities to be found, of any kind, outside of the dealerships, which are mandated by the manufacturers to have one if they sell the cars.

I have a charging station in my garage, and while my car is supposed to have an all-electric range of 21 miles, I routinely get in excess of 28 miles - it's all about how you drive the vehicle. For 99% of the driving I do, that's more than enough. It's been weeks since the gasoline engine in my car started, and it's been months since I put gas in my car - and it's still at 3/4 tank.

That said, I tend to ride my motorcycle in a much more "spirited" way than I drive my car - and I actively seek out hills etc. which just munch through your battery charge. The other thing I use my bike for is long distance trips, and when I stop to refuel, I generally fill up my tank with gas, go inside and empty my own tank, then get on the bike and go. I don't want to be sitting for 45 minutes or an hour waiting for a charge to complete.

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Re: Electric Motorcycles

Postby spiralout » Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:19 am

Every time someone mentions electric motorcycles, for some reason, I think of this joker



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Re: Electric Motorcycles

Postby offcenter » Sat Oct 01, 2016 6:50 am

Even though it's totally impractical, if I had the money, I'd have
a Lightning Electric in a heartbeat. The Lightning claims a
range of 150 miles on the large battery pack IF DRIVEN REASONABLY.
But who can drive a lightning reasonably? It's the fastest
production bike in the world with a top speed of 218 mph! LOL!!!
There is something about a totally silent bike that goes like hell
that just grabs me!
I'd probably end up in the hospital, but I would still LOVE to own one!
George in Jersey.
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Re: Electric Motorcycles

Postby Solina Dave » Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:28 am

minimac wrote:I can't see electrics gaining steam until there is the infrastructure to support them.


I'm inclined to agree. Last year I took a trip to South Dakota. On my way back home I became semi-lost in the prairies north of The Badlands, and hopelessly low on fuel. I have always made it a habit to carry an extra gallon of gas with me on longer trips, but it was already in the tank. I finally, in desperation, pulled into a rural farm house and asked if they might help me out. Helping someone out was obviously a given for this South Dakota family, and I was given a gallon of gas, enough to make it to a station.
I'm not too familiar with the electrical connections available, but even if I could have plugged in my motor scooter (oops! did I say that?) I would have had to wait a considerable amount of time for the battery to re-charge.
I think that it will be quite a while, before long cross-country trips on an electric ???? is feasible.

And besides, what about the manliness factor? :lol:.....................Dave
"Assume Nothing"

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Re: Electric Motorcycles

Postby landisr » Sat Oct 01, 2016 12:28 pm

WA: Just curious, what do you use or do to prevent the "gas" from turning to Jello over time?

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Re: Electric Motorcycles

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Oct 01, 2016 12:48 pm

landisr wrote:WA: Just curious, what do you use or do to prevent the "gas" from turning to Jello over time?

Ron


Nothing. The car knows when it was last filled, and when it knows the age of the gas is getting too old, it will force the engine to run for each trip until you have burned through that tank of gas and refilled it. It will then switch back to electric. I have had this happen once.

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Re: Electric Motorcycles

Postby landisr » Sat Oct 01, 2016 1:20 pm

Wow. Now THAT's technology at work. I had no idea that was "part of the package". So my next question is: If your car has used so little gas over a period of months, was/is it pure gas or E10? If the latter, maybe we can rest a wee bit easier while having to use E10. No?
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Re: Electric Motorcycles

Postby brettchallenger » Sat Oct 01, 2016 2:12 pm

I generally fill up my tank with gas, go inside and empty my own tank, then get on the bike and go. I don't want to be sitting for 45 minutes or an hour waiting for a charge to complete.


An ideal vehicle for the constipated, it will give one something to do while waiting for the battery to charge.
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Re: Electric Motorcycles

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:40 pm

landisr wrote:Wow. Now THAT's technology at work. I had no idea that was "part of the package". So my next question is: If your car has used so little gas over a period of months, was/is it pure gas or E10? If the latter, maybe we can rest a wee bit easier while having to use E10. No?


Around here it's pretty difficult to find anyone selling anything other than E10. I do put top tier gas in it, however.

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Re: Electric Motorcycles

Postby Paulcf » Sat Oct 01, 2016 6:13 pm

That car must be a Chevrolet Volt. It has a computer that knows how 'old' the gas is in the tank and will burn it (turn on the engine) so you will have to replenish it with fresh gasoline.
MOBILIS IN MOBILI

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Re: Electric Motorcycles

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Oct 01, 2016 9:55 pm

Paulcf wrote:That car must be a Chevrolet Volt. It has a computer that knows how 'old' the gas is in the tank and will burn it (turn on the engine) so you will have to replenish it with fresh gasoline.


Nope. Ford C-Max Energi.

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Re: Electric Motorcycles

Postby Paulcf » Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:30 pm

I have been thinking about buying one of those, any good? What's your mileage like? Does it use regular gas or premium?
MOBILIS IN MOBILI

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Re: Electric Motorcycles

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:54 pm

Paulcf wrote:I have been thinking about buying one of those, any good? What's your mileage like? Does it use regular gas or premium?


I love it, I've had it for 3 1/2 years now. If I'm running in city/urban traffic, strictly electric, I get about 130-140 MPGe (which is the calculated equivalent to gasoline MPG - 33.7 kWH being equivalent to one gallon of gas). On highway, in electric mode, I get closer to about 100 MPGe. With the engine running on the highway, I get around 41 MPG. With the engine running (i.e. battery depleted, running in hybrid mode) in the city/urban driving I get around 47 MPG. It uses regular gas.




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