Fully Electric / Hybrid Goldwing


Anything goes - doesn't fit any other category!
  • Sponsored Links
Post Reply
User avatar
Sadanorakman
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:42 pm
Location: Leicester, ENGLAND
Motorcycle: 1991 GL1500 SE

Fully Electric / Hybrid Goldwing

Post by Sadanorakman » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:47 am



So I read this week that Harley has unveiled a new range of Electric Motorcycles (Yukkk):

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/0 ... -electric/

When the 2018 GL1800 was first rumoured (sorry guys that's how we spell it in the UK), there was talk of a potential four cylinder hybrid, where the space taken by the front two cylinders had been replaced by an electric hybrid system (motor/generator and batteries.). Not sure how well such a concept would sell, as for thirty years now the name 'Goldwing' has been synonymous with a Flat 6, and giving up those two extra cylinders of smoothness might go against the grain. Imagine what such a system could do for the bike though... potentially double fuel economy around town, and bring the possibility of even greater torque and HP on tap for those moments when you need it. Imagine what that could do for the ride-ability of the bike.

Take the beautiful robust platform of any Goldwing; surely it shouts out for either a full electric or a hybrid conversion. Is anyone aware of a home-brew full electric conversion to a Goldwing? I'd love to see it done. I know Tesla is getting good mileage range out of using thousands of 18650 cells, but I wonder what kind of range could be achieved in a Goldwing using similar tech. Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree, and the answer to electric motorcycles is in much lower all-up weights, and smaller frontal areas for less drag.


There are two types of people in this world, those that can extrapolate from incomplete data,

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 19422
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Fully Electric / Hybrid Goldwing

Post by WingAdmin » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:36 am

They actually announced five different bikes:

A heavy "adventure bike":

Harley Pan America
Harley Pan America

A new "Custom":

Harley Custom
Harley Custom

What they aim as a competitor to the crotch rockets:

Harley Streetfighter
Harley Streetfighter

And the new electric bike:

Harley Livewire
Harley Livewire

You have to give it to them - despite years of declining sales and an aging buyer, Harley is not going down without a fight.

They have been showcasing the Livewire at motorcycle shows for quite a while, sitting it on a dyno and letting people "ride" it.

The problem with it, and with all pure electric bikes, is their limited range. Battery technology only lets you store so much energy. It takes 100 pounds of batteries to store the same amount of energy as is stored in ONE pound of gasoline. In a car, which is bigger and can carry more batteries that's less of an issue. But when it's a bike, that you have to hold up with your legs, and where the batteries have to fit somewhere between your legs, it's a big issue.

The problem with a hybrid powertrain on a bike is weight. A traction motor, plus the gearbox required to mate it to the engine and transmission to allow it to provide traction power as well as recover regenerative energy, a big, heavy battery to store the energy, a big, heavy inverter to transform the DC of the battery to AC for the traction motor, plus more computers and wiring to control it all...you're talking a LOT of weight added, for what benefit? Likely whatever additional MPG you might eke out from the hybrid powertrain, would be eaten up by the extra weight being hauled around.

I'm a fan of electric vehicles - I've owned a plug-in hybrid for five years now, and I rarely (i.e. once ever few months) have to put gas in it. It's saved me a fortune on commuting costs. It's the best of both worlds, where I can commute to work and do errands around town without ever using a drop of gasoline, yet I have the range of a regular engine that can take me on 600 mile trips without having to recharge.

But for motorcycles, I just wouldn't consider it - not with today's technology.

DaveO430
Posts: 934
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:28 pm
Location: Amity. Ar
Motorcycle: 2010 GL1800
2004 Suzuki DR200

Re: Fully Electric / Hybrid Goldwing

Post by DaveO430 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:05 am

If it was a small plug in electric commuter bike maybe but a touring bike, a big fat NO. It just adds too much weight and you would probably never recover the extra cost in fuel savings. I did the math a few years back on a hybrid accord and a regular 4 cyl accord similarly equipped. It would take 13 years for the average driver to break even & that does not include the extra costs of maintaining a hybrid.

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 19422
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Fully Electric / Hybrid Goldwing

Post by WingAdmin » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:32 pm

DaveO430 wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:05 am
If it was a small plug in electric commuter bike maybe but a touring bike, a big fat NO. It just adds too much weight and you would probably never recover the extra cost in fuel savings. I did the math a few years back on a hybrid accord and a regular 4 cyl accord similarly equipped. It would take 13 years for the average driver to break even & that does not include the extra costs of maintaining a hybrid.
I couldn't just a hybrid for the same reason.

But with a $7500 subsidy for my plug-in hybrid the numbers worked. I went from $300/month in gas to $28/month in electricity for the same commute. In the 5 years I've had it, that's saved me just over $16,000. The car was nowhere near $16,000 more expensive than a non-hybrid car, so it's more than paid for itself.

As for extra maintenance costs - there is no extra hybrid maintenance.

DaveO430
Posts: 934
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:28 pm
Location: Amity. Ar
Motorcycle: 2010 GL1800
2004 Suzuki DR200

Re: Fully Electric / Hybrid Goldwing

Post by DaveO430 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:32 am

WingAdmin wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:32 pm


As for extra maintenance costs - there is no extra hybrid maintenance.
No but everything costs more for a hybrid, special tires and nearly anything else. Plus if you have to replace the battery out of warranty, ouch.

User avatar
Sadanorakman
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:42 pm
Location: Leicester, ENGLAND
Motorcycle: 1991 GL1500 SE

Re: Fully Electric / Hybrid Goldwing

Post by Sadanorakman » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:36 am

I don't think weight or installation volume of a hybrid system in a Goldwing is a problem at all:

-Because the batteries are only used for slow-speed travel over short distances, or temporarily assisting acceleration, then the battery mass for a Hybrid is a fraction of that for a fully electric vehicle. (Circa 20 kg / 44 lb would probably be plenty for a Goldwing). The Toyota Prius battery pack is only 100 lbs as a complete assembly, containing 28 smaller battery packs which can be individually replaced.
The battery-pack weight could probably be negated by shaving a third of the original engine off (two cylinders, 1/3rd crank length, 2 x pistons, con rods, injectors, inlet and exhaust manifolds, 4 valves less, and shorter cams, shorter engine casing etc,and the new motor/generator could act as a flywheel-mass... The GL1800 engine for example I believe comes in at around 240 lb with its 6 cylinders.

-A new hybrid motor/generator would probably come in at a similar weight to the existing starter motor and alternator combined, and would replace both of these items.

-The electronics could also be very compact indeed, as the key is in higher voltages, and efficient switching. The higher the operating voltage of the battery/multi-phase motor, the lower the current switching required for the same given wattage/horsepower.

Many cities are now introducing clean air schemes, and banning vehicles with particular levels of discharge (nox, co, co2), or at least charging penalty fees on a daily basis for you bringing your polluting vehicle into that environment (like London). A hybrid Goldwing actually makes a lot of sense on a number of levels. Batteries last longer than in a pure electric vehicle, as they are not typically cycled to a very low charge state; the battery pack is also smaller so has much less cost than one for a fully electric vehicle, and servicing costs are no higher than a regular vehicle.

The UK has announced that all new cars sold by 2040 must not be pure petrol or diesel (e.g. must be at least hybrid), and by 2050 must all be zero emission (e.g. fully electric). Other countries are moving the same way too.

Admittedly in the UK I only see Goldwings at weekends, and mainly ridden by more mature riders. Seems over here people use smaller bikes to commute on.

So whilst a Hybrid Goldwing I think is eminently doable, I guess it would have a reasonably small market appeal at the moment, although Honda does seem to be targeting the 2018 GL1800 at a younger demographic, who are arguably a more environmentally aware generation.

I guess a full-electric Goldwing might still be a non starter right now due to battery cost, and if a country doesn't have the infrastructure to recharge it every 200-300 miles across great swathes (US). There's the charge time too of course. I'd still like to see it done though!!!
There are two types of people in this world, those that can extrapolate from incomplete data,

DaveO430
Posts: 934
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:28 pm
Location: Amity. Ar
Motorcycle: 2010 GL1800
2004 Suzuki DR200

Re: Fully Electric / Hybrid Goldwing

Post by DaveO430 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:17 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:32 pm


But with a $7500 subsidy for my plug-in hybrid the numbers worked.
So the rest of us helped pay for your car?

User avatar
redial
Posts: 2099
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:17 am
Location: Kapunda, SouthAustralia
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500 Spectre Red Aspencade

Re: Fully Electric / Hybrid Goldwing

Post by redial » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:34 am

For those living in/near a major city, they sound okay. But for folk that live in the country of Oz, the distances are too great to have the downs of electric thrust upon us because of distance. There is one highway I have travelled, which is 600 Km between fuel stops. For that matter, it is void of housing of any type.

Unless there is a breakthrough on efficiency, and maybe I am not thinking about it the right way, there is no way that electric vehicles will become popular in Oz. This is a country about the same size as the 48 continental States of the USA, but inhabited by 25 million (about 10% of the USA), so we are one of world's largest quarry/mine. Most of the country is without water in realistic quantities, which explains the population, but it does not explain the distance between the fueling places. As for electricity, they would have to start the generator to charge an electric vehicle. There are a number of places that do not have reticulated power, so charging would be done as an expensive necessity. A hot-dog stand would do a roaring business at the 300 point, or whatever the end-point of charge would occur.
Len in Kapunda

The world is not going to finish today, as it is already tomorrow in Australia and New Zealand, and other islands of foreign nations such as Guam and Samoa.

User avatar
Sadanorakman
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:42 pm
Location: Leicester, ENGLAND
Motorcycle: 1991 GL1500 SE

Re: Fully Electric / Hybrid Goldwing

Post by Sadanorakman » Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:30 am

The time will come Len. Eventually the economics balance with technology, but that is normally driven by manufacturing quantity in turn driven by demand.

If we're both still here in 20 years, we will see a massive increase in electric vehicles by then, my guess is even in Oz. For most people, a 300 mile range would do fine, and charging infrastructure will follow the demand for it. That 600km motorway you talk of. Surely Australia has such an abundance of sun, that a solar charging plant at the half way point would eventually become viable.

For those that need 600 miles, there will be options to spend more to get increased capabilities... If I want a city car then that's what I buy. If I want a massively capable 4wd ute to hit the outback then similarly so be it.

Governments currently need to use carrots and sticks to urge the consumer to adopt electric. It will be this consumer demand that drives development through competition between manufacturers. It's already happening. Batteries will become cheaper to produce, and storage density will improve, along with reduced charging times. This demand will drive provision of charging points, and further green energy generation... Solar is an area where panel efficiencies continue to rise, and prices continue to drop. Increased electricity demand by electric vehicles will only accelerate that trend.

As internal combustion engines vehicles started to become prevalent 100 years ago, a massive swathe of supporting industries grew. We're just at a point where pistons and valves are going to become less important, and batteries and motors more so. Every technology has its age, and a demand curve. That curve will typically grow, it will then peak, and it will then diminish, as the next technology experiences the growth of its own curve.

I'm sure some could argue about my 100 year statement, but ironically 100 years ago, there were electric, internal combustion, and steam-driven road vehicles. Just turns out that it mostly the I.C. ones that won out for a century or so.

Look at flat-screened TVs: In 2000 I bought a 42" rear projection TV for £1200, because I couldn't afford £5000 for a plasma.
By 2008, my first 42" plasma TV was £1200, and that was full HD.
By 2012, £1200 bought me a 60" LCD TV that draws a fifth of the energy that the plasma did.
Now in 2018, I can get a 4K 60" with similar quality image for half that spend; just £600.
Sure the next big thing seems (for now) to be OLED, and they are currently five times more expensive, but I bet you that my £1200 will get me a 60"OLED in another five years time if that becomes the prevailing technology.


There are two types of people in this world, those that can extrapolate from incomplete data,

Post Reply