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Thread: Zero electric motorcycles

  1. #21
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    hey why e bicycles??? i have plenty of power to pedal a bike i dont need a e bike For motorcycles its just fu... dangerous to have a bike with no sound.You will be long dead before the bikes battery finishes.I am no fan of electric on 2 wheels.Cars are enough

  2. #22
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    I've built two electric cars and one electric m/c, working on a second m/c now for a neighbor. All with cheaper lead-acid batteries.
    When I bought the NC it was between that and the Zero, but the NC won out. The Zero has comparable acceleration to the NC, will go 80 or a bit more on a fresh charge and they claim 100+ miles on a charge (at 70 mph). The Zero would fit my daily 23 mile one way commute nicely, but you will never go touring on one. 3-4 hours to recharge, unless you buy the fast charge option, which shortens battery life. The zero costs 2x the NC, and there is no body of actual use data to indicate how long the battery pack actually lasts. It costs $thousands to replace. The lead acid conversion I did on a Suzuki 600 is fun to ride around the neighborhood and sometimes out to bike night where it always draws a lot of comment about 50-50 favorable/unfavorable. About 50 mph top speed quickly dropping to 40-45 after partial discharge and gets around 40-50 miles on a charge. It uses golf cart motor and controller (36V system), no transmission - one speed only. It accelerates like, well - a golf cart. I scrounged all of the parts but the three deep cycle batteries and build cost not counting my time was under $600. I have considered putting a playing card in the spokes like we used to do with bicycles *L*

    A major problem with EVs in general is that you don't want to run out of juice unless you know someone with a tow truck, so all trips must be planned. I commuted for a year almost daily in the first electric car, using the gas car on the few days when I needed to take a side trip off my regular route, and it was very satisfactory. A real pleasure in stop and go traffic compared to a gas car. The cars go 60-65 for the first model - direct drive to the driveshaft (no transmission) and 90 plus for the second one which kept the original 5 speed. But at freeway speeds both get only about 30 miles on a charge. Few lead acid powered EVs do any better in range at freeway speed, but most can do twice that at 45 mph or less. I have NEVER noticed an increase in the electric bill over normal variation with any EV, even when I was running the car every day. And yes, careful analysis will show that electric can be dirtier than a modern gas vehicle if the juice comes from a coal plant, but at least the option exists to power it with clean solar or hydro power if the utility can provide it. I'm moving out west soon and my trip to the nearest town will exceed the range of any lead acid EV and lithium technology is too costly and immature technology for me, so for now I am out of the EV business. But I do believe that electric vehicles will have a significant place and high percentage of utilization in the near future and with that prices will come down and range will continue to improve.

    Oh yes, and there is the matter of reliability. When I convert a car to pure electric I remove a hundred or more moving parts that can fail and leave you a pedestrian and replace them with basically three moving parts: the motor armature and two motor bearings. No clutch, starter, $#%^ carburetor or fuel injectors, muffler, oil to change, water to freeze or leak, water pump, fuel pump, fan belt, engine bearings, rings, valves, etc. etc. Instead there are some electrical components that if properly designed will last for the life of the vehicle. Batteries do need to be watered weekly if they are flooded lead acids, and will need to be replaced every few years at ~$1000 (lithiums require no service and claim to last longer, but are MUCH more expensive and require a much more costly charging system. NOTE that this is NOT the case with a hybrid, which still has all of those gas car parts PLUS a more complex electrical system (no computer controls in my EVs), and few if any hybrids will get you home if either system fails. Hybrid is a poor idea and will not stand the test of time, in my opinion.

    E-bike is a nice toy, but for a person who can pedal it just makes you lazy. Find one that goes 80 mph and it would be horribly dangerous, but I might still be interested.
    Last edited by KGround; 5th April 2013 at 19:17.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Zero electric motorcycles Rocker66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dersan View Post
    hey why e bicycles??? i have plenty of power to pedal a bike i dont need a e bike For motorcycles its just fu... dangerous to have a bike with no sound.You will be long dead before the bikes battery finishes.I am no fan of electric on 2 wheels.Cars are enough
    There is a really old guy around here who has an electric bicycle and he gets all over town. I'm sure that at his age having to pedal would rule out most of his journeys. I don't see how it is more dangerous as bicycles don't make a noise anyway
    4 Wheels move the body 2 wheels move the soul
    Audere est Facere

  4. #24
    Senior Member Zero electric motorcycles happy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KGround View Post
    I've built two electric cars and one electric m/c, working on a second m/c now for a neighbor. All with cheaper lead-acid batteries.
    When I bought the NC it was between that and the Zero, but the NC won out. The Zero has comparable acceleration to the NC, will go 80 or a bit more on a fresh charge and they claim 100+ miles on a charge (at 70 mph). The Zero would fit my daily 23 mile one way commute nicely, but you will never go touring on one. 3-4 hours to recharge, unless you buy the fast charge option, which shortens battery life. The zero costs 2x the NC, and there is no body of actual use data to indicate how long the battery pack actually lasts. It costs $thousands to replace. The lead acid conversion I did on a Suzuki 600 is fun to ride around the neighborhood and sometimes out to bike night where it always draws a lot of comment about 50-50 favorable/unfavorable. About 50 mph top speed quickly dropping to 40-45 after partial discharge and gets around 40-50 miles on a charge. It uses golf cart motor and controller (36V system), no transmission - one speed only. It accelerates like, well - a golf cart. I scrounged all of the parts but the three deep cycle batteries and build cost not counting my time was under $600. I have considered putting a playing card in the spokes like we used to do with bicycles *L*

    A major problem with EVs in general is that you don't want to run out of juice unless you know someone with a tow truck, so all trips must be planned. I commuted for a year almost daily in the first electric car, using the gas car on the few days when I needed to take a side trip off my regular route, and it was very satisfactory. A real pleasure in stop and go traffic compared to a gas car. The cars go 60-65 for the first model - direct drive to the driveshaft (no transmission) and 90 plus for the second one which kept the original 5 speed. But at freeway speeds both get only about 30 miles on a charge. Few lead acid powered EVs do any better in range at freeway speed, but most can do twice that at 45 mph or less. I have NEVER noticed an increase in the electric bill over normal variation with any EV, even when I was running the car every day. And yes, careful analysis will show that electric can be dirtier than a modern gas vehicle if the juice comes from a coal plant, but at least the option exists to power it with clean solar or hydro power if the utility can provide it. I'm moving out west soon and my trip to the nearest town will exceed the range of any lead acid EV and lithium technology is too costly and immature technology for me, so for now I am out of the EV business. But I do believe that electric vehicles will have a significant place and high percentage of utilization in the near future and with that prices will come down and range will continue to improve.

    Oh yes, and there is the matter of reliability. When I convert a car to pure electric I remove a hundred or more moving parts that can fail and leave you a pedestrian and replace them with basically three moving parts: the motor armature and two motor bearings. No clutch, starter, $#%^ carburetor or fuel injectors, muffler, oil to change, water to freeze or leak, water pump, fuel pump, fan belt, engine bearings, rings, valves, etc. etc. Instead there are some electrical components that if properly designed will last for the life of the vehicle. Batteries do need to be watered weekly if they are flooded lead acids, and will need to be replaced every few years at ~$1000 (lithiums require no service and claim to last longer, but are MUCH more expensive and require a much more costly charging system. NOTE that this is NOT the case with a hybrid, which still has all of those gas car parts PLUS a more complex electrical system (no computer controls in my EVs), and few if any hybrids will get you home if either system fails. Hybrid is a poor idea and will not stand the test of time, in my opinion.

    E-bike is a nice toy, but for a person who can pedal it just makes you lazy. Find one that goes 80 mph and it would be horribly dangerous, but I might still be interested.
    Top 10 Fast Electric Bikes | ELECTRICBIKE.COM

    Such tech may not reach the common US consumer, because Big Is Better over there.
    Over here in Europe, there are many private e-bicycle builders and consumer producers who can produce high-speed bikes, but then they don't. Why? Because Big is NOT better over here.

    Cheers.
    ~Happy Joe
    LIfe's short, stop writing and start riding ...
    if everyone thinks like me, there is no need for a forum...

  5. #25
    Senior Member Zero electric motorcycles GsVs's Avatar
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    There's a great thread on the Zero over on ADVrider ...

    Going Electric !! 2012 Zero DS Long Term Rider Report - ADVrider

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by happy View Post
    Top 10 Fast Electric Bikes | ELECTRICBIKE.COM

    Such tech may not reach the common US consumer, because Big Is Better over there.
    Over here in Europe, there are many private e-bicycle builders and consumer producers who can produce high-speed bikes, but then they don't. Why? Because Big is NOT better over here. Cheers.
    For me the need to go 80 mph is not necessarily because I think 'bigger is better' (though, really, has there ever been a machine that was TOO fast ?). It's more becasue I ride the freeway and if I can't go 80 then the morons would roll over me. - Or is it the idiots ? I always forget which are the ones who are going faster than me and which are the ones going slower...

  7. #27
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    I actually studied e-solutions for my work commute for several weeks before finally giving up and looking at inefficient gas power choices.

    I love everything about the Zero S (ZF9) for my daily, 55-mile commute except for four things:

    (1) I don't like the fact that they have only two configuration choices; neither of which is my favorite: kind standard, sport naked, or a dual purpose. I do
    understand why. It's a start up industry; they have limited production capacity and must keep costs down as much as possible, and therefore, must limit
    their product choices to what they believe would be the most popular.

    (2) I can't afford the $15,999 price tag but everything else about the 2013 Zero S works for me (although still not crazy about the riding position choices; refer).
    back to number one.

    (3) The battery is designed to outlive the MC. I get that, but what about, in the rare chance that it don't. A life time warranty on the battery and the e-motor
    would go a long way for someone considering to put up those kind of bucks on a 650 cc comparable bike.

    (4) I understand all the focus on performance. The fact that Zero feels pressured by the MC industry to produce products that match gas-powered alternatives
    for performance. However, for me personally, I'd take a little more car-like performance, a little extra range, a little more weather protection, more relaxed
    seating, and give up the great 0-60 time.


    I also studied and studied the possibility for an e-bicycle. They just won't work for me. DOT puts a limit on the speed at under 30 mph. That's a bummer for someone needing to commute 55 miles per day. The price of the highest-performing ones are absolutely off the charts compared to a regular bicycle; even worse than the premium for an e-motorcycle over a gas powered one when looking at it as a percentage markup.

    Then I looked at the possibility of a diesel MC. I absolutely love a diesel car and can see the opportunities for a very high mileage diesel MC running on bioidesel as being very doable considering how the technologies have improved in this area with regards to weight reduction and horsepower equality versus gas cars, and yes there is one built and it makes great sense, but it's built only for NATO military units. It has some amazing numbers though. They've been able to squeeze out 31 horsepower and 35 peak foot lbs of torque @ 3000 RPM, 102 mph, and 96 mpg, 100% biodiesel compatible, in a naturally-aspired, mechanically-injected diesel. If you know anything about diesels, you'll know how important turbo-charging and direct injection is to their performance, yet Hayes Diversified Technologies was able to get decent, real-world performance out of a 670 cc thumper diesel without using these important components. That makes it more doable with respect to weight and cost. The only problem left would be to make it EPA compliant without advanced, computerized systems and selling them in California would be near impossible due to the fact that the only way they could do it is to get NOx down to the levels required by the CARB and that would require select catalyst reaction (SCR). SCR would probably cost as much as the power train and that makes it unmarketable.

  8. #28
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    I rode a Brammo Inertia at the local motorcycle shop. It was a blast! Like a Bicycle except faster. If you are looking something to Hooligan on, an electric motorcycle would be great. KTM is working on it.


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