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Old 04-13-2012, 02:55 PM   #1
doggrell3000 OP
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ebikes

they say it is the future . ebikes - electric powered bikes . some riders hate the thought of electric powered bikes . but they are coming whether people like the idea or not . so here is a thread for discussion of what is now on the market and rumors about what is being developed . i am interested in ebike technology . i have a few old gas powered motos in my garage ( only my bonneville still works well ) . i imagine i will get an ebike some day to sit along side my fossil fuel relics . the two major offers that i know about are from brammo and zero . and honda has supposedly made a proto . the limited range before a charge is required and low equivalent power and high price of ebikes are their biggest drawbacks at this time . these factors will no doubt improve but gas power fans will surely miss the thrill of the exhaust note from the internal combustion engine that has been with us for seventy years . what have you guys heard or seen about ebikes ? some links are as follows :

brammo

2012 Zero DS

zero

honda rc-e

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Old 04-13-2012, 04:49 PM   #2
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I'm still waiting for the 100 mph capable, 200 mi. range per charge, 30 minute charge time, enough underseat storage for 2 fullface helmets, all under 450 lb. & $5k.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:55 PM   #3
Vertical C
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Originally Posted by Cat0020 View Post
I'm still waiting for the 100 mph capable, 200 mi. range per charge, 30 minute charge time, enough underseat storage for 2 fullface helmets, all under 450 lb. & $5k.
Im still waiting for ice to do that
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:41 PM   #4
Quedok
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Don't hold your breath

The day "may" come when the electric motorcycle will become common place, but the ability to do 100, travel 200 miles and then recharge in 30 minutes or less is at least 20 years down the road, if at all. As for being under 5k, I think more like 30k + is a realistic target
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:37 PM   #5
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Don't hold your breath... for another reason:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/23/bu...1&ref=business
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:44 PM   #6
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KTM Freeride

New KTM looks rad.

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Old 04-13-2012, 08:53 PM   #7
Ray R
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I've been looking at the electrics too. The Brammo and Zero top my list. Brammo just announced a 100mph (not sustained) and 100 mile range bike that looks pretty good. But the Zero DS also has a pretty respectable speed and range, and uses belt drive. With the DS, there's really no maintenace left to do on the bike from what I can tell. And both are boasting 200-300k+ mile battery life. Yeah, they're not cheap. But they are getting MUCH closer at $10-$14k with financing plans to boot. And that price is before the feds give you a 10% (of purchase price) credit on your taxes. I think I see one in my future in the next couple years or sooner.

Brammo has a pretty active owners forum at brammoforum.com.

I've also read where BMW is looking at electrics. But that's about all I've heard....no specifics.
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:58 PM   #8
Alton
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I keep thinking about doing an electric bike conversion project. Get a salvage title Ninja 500 or something, rip the guts out and build an electric. I have a 3 mile commute to work so it would work out well for that. If it were cheap, I'd buy one outright. But I wouldn't be ditching the gas bike either. It would just be a fun project for a commuter/town bike.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:19 PM   #9
sargev55
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why?

i have no idea how much $$ it takes to recharge one of these bikes, but damn, on the range it gets, and how often you have to recharge, it just makes no sense.

suppose these bikes, or full electric cars become commonplace, there is no infrastructure to support it, and i dont mean charging stations, i mean the network. most would be charged using fossil fuel powerplants (whether its coal, natural gas, or oil), so we would need more of those, and most of the entire electrical grid would have to be upgraded to support it.

nuke power would solve a lot of the issues, but very few states will allow it. solar and wind power is not cost effective and cannot support even a mid size city, much less a city that would have a lot of electric vehicles.

electric vehicles date back to the early 1900's, its not new technology, it just has a new marketing twist.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:54 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by sargev55 View Post
why?

i have no idea how much $$ it takes to recharge one of these bikes, but damn, on the range it gets, and how often you have to recharge, it just makes no sense.

suppose these bikes, or full electric cars become commonplace, there is no infrastructure to support it, and i dont mean charging stations, i mean the network. most would be charged using fossil fuel powerplants (whether its coal, natural gas, or oil), so we would need more of those, and most of the entire electrical grid would have to be upgraded to support it.

nuke power would solve a lot of the issues, but very few states will allow it. solar and wind power is not cost effective and cannot support even a mid size city, much less a city that would have a lot of electric vehicles.

electric vehicles date back to the early 1900's, its not new technology, it just has a new marketing twist.

Coal fired motorcycle?
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:47 AM   #11
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I just took a test ride on the zero S a few days ago. It's a quick and fun city bike with plenty of get up and go. It easily gets up to freeway speed and topped out at around 80. As far as I can tell Zero is the only company that is really doing it as of now, but I'm sure more will follow. Brammo may produce something but Zero has been doing this for about 5 years now and just this year revised the product with regenerative charging capability If I was to buy one I would get the zero ds which is basically an electric supermoto rather than an actual dual sport, but they do make mx bikes if that's what you want. The zero bikes are available with two battery sizes - with two different ranges and prices. The larger battery allows around 100 miles of city driving or 70 miles of freeway use - which would be enough for me for commuting and weekend jaunts. Its a long way from being a touring bike with the range and infrastructure currently available. They will recharge overnight on a normal plug or in about 3 hours with a rapid charging set up. Its supposed to cost less than a dollar of electricity to charge it. Everyone knows that electricity comes from somewhere, be it coal, wind, nuclear... But from an environmental perspective it's better than running a gas motor. At the current price for the bike and gas prices, it certainly does not make sense from a purely economic perspective. For me it would function great as a commuter and city bike. The beauty would be in never having to stop at a gas station, never change the oil or worry about a chain or valves, as far as I can tell the first thing that would be necessary would be replacing a tire. I see it as a niche product for those that enjoy motorcycles, have a few and want to add something different to the stable. I might have just talked myself into one.
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:36 AM   #12
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I think the electric grid concern won't be an issue as most folks will charge their vehicles overnight when usage is normally down, and in some instances, rates are lower.

Dave - Did you get a chance to sit on a Zero DS? If so, how were the ergos? I'm 6'4", and that's my only concern. 80mph and 100mi range is more than adequate for my commuting needs.
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:28 PM   #13
Dave.0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray R View Post
I think the electric grid concern won't be an issue as most folks will charge their vehicles overnight when usage is normally down, and in some instances, rates are lower.

Dave - Did you get a chance to sit on a Zero DS? If so, how were the ergos? I'm 6'4", and that's my only concern. 80mph and 100mi range is more than adequate for my commuting needs.

Yeah, I sat on the DS. That's the one I would get. It has basically the same ergos as my wr250. It's pretty tall for a street bike. I'm 5'11 and sitting on the bike was on the balls of my feet. I think it would be a nice high perch for city driving. It should fit you fine at 6'4" - probably feel like a normal bike.
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Old 04-14-2012, 04:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray R View Post
I think the electric grid concern won't be an issue as most folks will charge their vehicles overnight when usage is normally down, and in some instances, rates are lower.

Dave - Did you get a chance to sit on a Zero DS? If so, how were the ergos? I'm 6'4", and that's my only concern. 80mph and 100mi range is more than adequate for my commuting needs.
http://cycle-ergo.com/

There is a Zero DS for you to plug your measurements into. This is a great site, done by an ADV inmate CGameProgrammer, IIRC.

Enjoy!
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:10 PM   #15
Ray R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HapHazard View Post
http://cycle-ergo.com/

There is a Zero DS for you to plug your measurements into. This is a great site, done by an ADV inmate CGameProgrammer, IIRC.

Enjoy!
Very cool site indeed! Thanks!

I spoke with "she who must be obeyed" today about adding an electric bike to the stable. Her reply was "You just sold three bikes. What are you waiting for?". I have the best wife in the world!!!

Now I'm trying to decide between the Brammo Empulse and Zero DS. Both have the range and speed I'm looking for.

Brammo pluses: Looks like better components (suspension, wheels, brakes, etc). They are also located in my home state of Oregon. A little faster top speed, a little longer range. Has a radiator to regulate heat.

Zero pluses: Nothing to maintain (Brammo has radiator, chain, transmission). Quiet belt drive. Better ergonomics for my older/taller/larger frame. Lighter curb weight.

Neither has a dealer near me, which probably doesn't matter since there's really not much I can't do on my own. I guess, like any other bike purchase, the trick is to ride both and see which one speaks to me. Any other pluses you all can think of for either bike? Any other brands with solid backing/reputations I should consider?
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