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Okay, one request. Can we stop insisting that EV's "are the future of motorcycling"?
Depends on what your definition of "the future" is. I won't be around to see it, but I bet there'll be more EVs on the road 100 years from now than ICE-powered vehicles.
 

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It would be fun for someone with money to burn who owns say 2.5 acres of land in a residental area to set up a track, mount some knobbies and moto on a Zero. How could the most tree hugging of neighbors complain when it makes no noise at all?
We're pursuing such a story. Stay tuned.

As a dirt bike nut, I wonder about the characteristics of the electric motor in real no excuses hard core off road situations. How is the torque and "hook up" in techical terrain? Wondering if this bike would not be a great rock crawler. At least you don't have to worry about it getting hot and boiling over in such conditions.
Zero also has its MX model for dirtbiking. We'd like to test the latest version.

Scot Harden is a hard core dirt bike and former KTM guy. I think we have more to see in the future that will be of even greater interest. Very cool. Keep at it boys. Oh, and send me one of these with the big battery pack and I will ride the hell out of it and "field test" it for you on the rocky rough trails of Colorado and report back. I know it is a major hardship for me, but I am willing to do this :D
And no power loss at high elevations!
 

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In related news, GM has suspended production of the Chevy Volt due to low demand.

Kind of a shame since it's supposed to be a nice car and I think the plug-in hybrid concept is the most viable given the state of battery tech.

But at only 40 MPG (yes, the battery range is apparently exaggerated...again) and about $41K after the government tax incentive for the base model (and higher maintenance costs), it doesn't make much sense when you can buy a comparably equipped and performing car--that actually gets better gas mileage--for much, much less.

By the way, Kevin, I'll take your bet, mostly because both of us will be dusty bones by then, but also because, like Seruzawa, I think it's possible that we happen upon a better solution than EVs.

Frankly, I'm more interested in what we'll have in 20 years because planning/predicting the course for any industry 100 years out, especially at the current (and accelerating) rate of technological advancement, is impossible. And, again, I'll be dead.
I expect regular leaps in battery efficiencies, but here's another possible solution for EVs: Electric roadways would allow plug-in cars to charge on the go | SmartPlanet
 

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I got to demo ride a Zero "S" Thursday at a dealership in Eustis, FL. It was a pretty good ride too, we went about 20 miles through town and out on the highway, right around what passes for "rush hour."

It's a damn impressive bike. It snaps right off the line, accelerates like an average Ninja 500 would, and runs right up to 80 mph with more available. The bike feels very light, but not in a skittish way; you can toss it into corners and make it go wherever you want. The regenerative braking is neat as hell...the sounds it makes (and doesn't make) are cool, it's a complete package. IMO, Zero has a highly capable motorcycle that happens to be electric.

BUT...and this is not suprising I guess, it is EXPENSIVE. I had the dealer write up a sales order for the "9," which is the high-capacity, high-speed version. With tax, tag, blah, blah, and blah, it prices out the same as a brand-new Concours 14. Ahem. Well.

BUT...another but...my uncle was in Engineering school when the first HP pocket calculators came out. He paid $650 for one and was damn glad to get it. Two years later they were selling a better version for under $200. The same will happen with E-Bikes.

After riding the new ZX-1400 and the Zero S on the same day, I've come to the conclusion that gas-engined bikes are at their technical apogee. Horsepower has become almost irrelevant; they can produce more than enough in a small enough package that the real differentiator between G-Bikes now is their electronics packages (FI, TC, ABS, etc.). E-Bikes, on the other hand, are in exactly the opposite position in their life cycle; the early prototypes are done now, usable production versions are available (albeit at a price) and we're going to see some truly amazing products in the next few years.

I think the E-Bikes are so good, so compelling on their own merits, that no goverment subsidies or rationales like "saving the planet" will be needed to sell them. People are going to want them because they'll haul ass and generally be as much or more fun to own and ride than G-Bikes. This little dealership in Eustis has already sold 4 9's, 3 6's, and while I was there, sold one of the previous-gen bikes off the sales floor.
Thanks for being an early-adopter for the rest of us! So you've obviously given up on Brammo, eh?
 

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Not directly related, but the Electric TT will be very interesting this year. None other than John McGuinness will be racing in the event. The bike is from Mugen, a company started by Soichiro Honda's son. Mugen unveils electric superbike to contest 2012 TT Zero, announces John McGuinness as rider [w/video]
That's the cool thing about e-bike racing, is that it will continue to be interesting as developments continue. Developments to IC engines come at a relative crawl.
 

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Huh, wonder how I missed that? Was it in Dennis' blog? They filter the MO blogs at work for some reason.
Yep, it went up as a blog post, but all those entries are found in our News section. Lots of good stuff going up under that tab. I'm looking forward to seeing and riding the Empulse, even if it's nearly a year later than expected.
 
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