Motorcycle Forums banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,444 Posts
I've made arrangements with a new Zero dealer in Central Florida to demo the new "S." I'm really interested in seeing how far the bikes have come since I rode one two years ago. Back then they were really just mountain bikes with batteries and motors.

The new dealer is pretty excited about having these bikes to sell. The saleslady I spoke with is riding a DS to work every day and raves about it. But...take that for what it's worth....she IS a sales lady!

It's great to be here for the beginning of this new transport paradigm. In some ways, it reminds me of when I was unboxing some of the very first IBM PC's back in 1981. We didn't know where it would all end up, many people thought it was stupid or a fad, but we knew things were going to change in a big way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,444 Posts
If you Zero owners want, I could sell you an ap of my Moto Guzzi Le Man's track only, titanium exhaust note. 0-130 mph, 15 second clip; for only 200.00 dollars! You could wire it to an amp mounted on the swing arm. Should have plenty of juice.
Great idea! But....

Audi's Electric-Vehicle Sound Effects May Stem From Will Smith's 'I, Robot' Film - AutoObserver

Nissan add sound effect to LEAF electric vehicle | LEAF-Age

Now, how about installing a paint shaker like they use in Home Depot? Turn it on at the stoplight and you've got a Harley!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,444 Posts
pdad, I agree completely that EVs are not a replacement for ICE, but an alternative. I.e.: Cars and horses shared the same roads until the 1940's in parts of the US.

As for battery tech, the rate of improvement on range, battery life, and performance is astonishing. See my post "Senor Zawa: Never say Never" for just one example of how Envia Inc. has quadrupled E-car battery performance while lowering cost.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,444 Posts
And it is expected to be on the market in (wait for it)... three to five years.
Since GM is already testing them, that time-frame sounds wrong. But, say it was right: should we not build the Keystone pipeline because it won't produce usable oil for the US for...(wait for it)...three to five years from the start of construction?

Short-term thinking produces short-term results. We've had too much that thinking in the US here of late; which is almost inevitable when quarterly profits are the key driver behind decisions. You make a good case for government funded research and development, because the government is one entity that take on long-term projects; be they building the Panama Canal or going to the Moon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,444 Posts
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.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,444 Posts
Kevin, I'm not an early adopter. My price point for an E-Bike is about $10k; that's what Brammo promised for the Empulse, and (my mistake, obviously) I expected to be looking at for the Zero. The sales order is still lying here on my desk staring at me...

Shizuke, E-Bikes (and cars) are already demonstrating some of the characteristics of Uncle Gordo's "law." Obviously there won't be the same 18-month doubling of capability that chipsets experienced. However, consider that less than a year ago, one of the "barriers" to E-Bikes was the cost and environmental impact of replacing batteries. The bike I rode has a 300,000 mile battery. Likewise, the previous generation of Zero, the one the lady bought while I was in the dealership, has a usable range of about 20 miles at fairly low speeds. I rode the "S" over 30 miles, whipping the snot out it, and the "fuel gauge" still showed over 1/2 full. The calculator reference was an analogy, not a direct comparison. Analogy | What is the Definition of Analogy? | Dictionary.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,444 Posts
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]

There are rumors that Mugen is funded by Honda, who are close to putting their own electric sportbike (the RC-E) into production.

http://www.asphaltandrubber.com/bikes/honda-rce-concept-debut-tokyo-motor-show/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,444 Posts
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.
I'm sure it's just a coincidence, but Honda's RC-E sure looks a like a "beefier" version of the Brammo Empulse.

Motoczysz will be back this year and should easily break the 100 mph average speed record, which they missed by a few tenths last year. Probably several bikes will be in that speed range.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,444 Posts
Huh, wonder how I missed that? Was it in Dennis' blog? They filter the MO blogs at work for some reason.

Here's the letter:

From: Brammo Inc. [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Friday, April 13, 2012 4:31 PM
To: Moore, Kenneth CCS
Subject: March 2012 Empulse Announcement

Dear Kenneth Moore,

As you may have already heard, we are proud to announce that we will be revealing the production version of the much anticipated Brammo Empulse on May 8th, 2012. The launch event for the media will take place in Los Angeles and will be webcast live to all pre-order customers. Since the Empulse concept was first revealed, a vast amount of development and testing has taken place and we are confident that you will be delighted with the ground-breaking electric motorcycle we are about to reveal.

Electric motorcycle racing is an integral part of our lives here at Brammo and our experience and championship record on the track has played a critical role in the evolution of the Empulse from concept to production. Professional racers have had a hand in the development of the Empulse and they will be sharing their Empulse riding experiences and impressions at the reveal on May 8th.

Follow this link and learn more about theEmpulse and its roots in Brammo's racing heritage.

If you have questions about the Brammo Empulse simply email [email protected] for an answer.

The Brammo Team
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top