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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
...and it reconfigured how I think about acceleration and speed. It's not just how incredibly quick the thing is, or how it accelerates you down the road with an endless tidal wave of torque, or how composed it stays during this blistering acceleration, it's how smoothly and quietly it does it. With no drama, no noise, no screaming engine note drawing attention to your speed, no maintenance and no hint of vibration or roughness. It was in a word, incredible.

I've owned and ridden a lot of bikes, a lot of fast bikes, and nothing, i mean nothing, goes like this thing. I can't imagine anyone with an extra twenty grand lying around test riding one of these and not buying it, it was that good. The throttle is like your own personal hurricane generator. A little twist and a few seconds later, your entire torso and head are pressing against 110 mph winds. And wind is all you hear.

It also made me realize something else. Petrol is going extinct.
 

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Acme Super Moderator The Enforcer
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...and it reconfigured how I think about acceleration and speed. It's not just how incredibly quick the thing is, or how it accelerates you down the road with an endless tidal wave of torque, or how composed it stays during this blistering acceleration, it's how smoothly and quietly it does it. With no drama, no noise, no screaming engine note drawing attention to your speed, no maintenance and no hint of vibration or roughness. It was in a word, incredible.

I've owned and ridden a lot of bikes, a lot of fast bikes, and nothing, i mean nothing, goes like this thing. I can't imagine anyone with an extra twenty grand lying around test riding one of these and not buying it, it was that good. The throttle is like you own personal hurricane generator. A little twist and a few seconds later, your entire torso and head and pressing against 110 mph winds. And wind is all you hear.

It also made me realize something else. Petrol is dead.
Do you mean a Zero SR/F? 485/495 lbs., 124mph top speed, 110mph sustained. That's second gear on any bike I own. It's also substantially heavier. 82 mile range at 70mph, which is crawling. 99 mile range at 55mph, but who ever goes 55?

San
 

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Yeah, the price and the range turned me off as with the Harley Livewire. That's a lot of money for a bike that won't even get me up to Newcomb's Ranch and back home.

It's the same problem I have with electric cars. Sometimes I need to just pump in a full tank and be ready to go another 300+ miles. I don't have time to plan every stop at a supercharger and wait 30 minutes for a "half tank" of electricity.

However, I can see applications for college or university or other fixed location security or police which Zero is marketing to.

...and it reconfigured how I think about acceleration and speed. It's not just how incredibly quick the thing is, or how it accelerates you down the road with an endless tidal wave of torque, or how composed it stays during this blistering acceleration, it's how smoothly and quietly it does it. With no drama, no noise, no screaming engine note drawing attention to your speed, no maintenance and no hint of vibration or roughness. It was in a word, incredible.

I've owned and ridden a lot of bikes, a lot of fast bikes, and nothing, i mean nothing, goes like this thing. I can't imagine anyone with an extra twenty grand lying around test riding one of these and not buying it, it was that good. The throttle is like you own personal hurricane generator. A little twist and a few seconds later, your entire torso and head and pressing against 110 mph winds. And wind is all you hear.

It also made me realize something else. Petrol is dead.
Do you mean a Zero SR/F? 485/495 lbs., 124mph top speed, 110mph sustained. That's second gear on any bike I own. It's also substantially heavier. 82 mile range at 70mph, which is crawling. 99 mile range at 55mph, but who ever goes 55?

San
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Do you mean a Zero SR/F? 485/495 lbs., 124mph top speed, 110mph sustained. That's second gear on any bike I own.
Yeah, the SR/F, mistyped that in the original title. I guess what impressed me was how effortlessly and seamlessly the thing accelerated. Typically on a bike, by the time you get to triple digit speeds, the engine is just screaming.

It's all relative. I came away impressed, but I live in a city, so I view range and distance through that lens.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sometimes I need to just pump in a full tank and be ready to go another 300+ miles. I don't have time to plan every stop at a supercharger and wait 30 minutes for a "half tank" of electricity.
Totally. I guess it made me realize that the performance sacrifice is non-existent and the range sacrifice is being reduced with every new model.

So maybe petrol isn't dead, just yet. But what was clear as I was climbing off the thing is where it's all headed.

I see a lot fewer Jiffy Lubes in 20 years.
 

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Acme Super Moderator The Enforcer
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I think the electric motorcycles are like the electric cars, they're fast up to ~90mph, but that's pretty much where they cease to hold their own. With some significant battery technology breakthrough, lighter weight and longer range will likely be achieved.

Without a rotating crankshaft, the gyroscopic effect of electric motorcycles will only come from the wheels, which aids in faster steering. Modern motorcycles are already using reverse rotating crankshafts to do the same thing, and be even faster with regards to steering. My Ducati V4S has a reverse rotating crankshaft. It's MotoGP technology that's trickled down.

I didn't post that petrol is still relevant, as I was trying to be polite. I think I'll still be biased even when petrol is in a coma, or even when it's dead. Even then we'll be obligated to use petrol for our "ancient" Lotus models.

It is impressive that you feel like it's the best thing since sliced bread. I guess I'll have to go test one myself. It has enough range to be a commuter for my current job.

San
 

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Used to own a Ducati 1098. Part of the ownership of that bike, for me, was just the beautiful sound that v-twin engine made. It sounded better than some cars. It was a visceral experience. Electric is still missing that.

Ever watch the electric cars climb pikes peak? Are they fast? Heck yeah they are, but they also blaze up the hill with a siren blaring so people know they're coming. Compare that to some heavily modified V8 you can hear screaming up the hill toward you....getting louder and louder then passing with a sound so deafening you have to cover your ears. Formula E is the same way.

I think it will be hard for electrics to ever bridge that gap. At least for us who appreciate the ambience of turning dinosaurs into speed. Probably be some vintage petrol class in the future with everyone mad at you for polluting the environment but oh well.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My Ducati V4S
Okay, that is an incredible motorcycle.

I would definitely take a demo ride on the SR/F, if only to experience where the cutting edge of production electric bikes is at this moment. You may find all the usual electric vehicle limitations still apply, but if you love bikes (which I know you do), I think you'd find something to appreciate about the package. It's top speed is limited to 124, and I felt that it pulled consistently up to ~ 110 before I ran out of tarmac.

I've owned a bunch of street bikes, mostly sportbikes, and currently ride a Zero FXS supermoto for city commuting, so I've already transitioned from ICE to electric, maybe that's why I was so impressed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Used to own a Ducati 1098. Part of the ownership of that bike, for me, was just the beautiful sound that v-twin engine made. It sounded better than some cars. It was a visceral experience. Electric is still missing that.
I would have to agree with you. I think the 848, 1098, 1198 are among the best-looking, best-sounding motorcycles of the last fifty years.

Electric is a different experience, no doubt about it.
 

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It also made me realize something else. Petrol is dead.
Not until the energy density of battery packs goes up some more. You're down to simple physics there.

That's not to say that it won't happen, and isn't already happening for some use cases. But the simple fact is that 45 MJ/kg is hard to beat with any current ion transfer system (current production Lipo batteries are around 0.9 MJ/kg). Yes, you save some on conversion equipment mass and efficiencies, but not enough to get you there for many uses cases.

I've wondered for a long time why I can't just buy an electric Vespa (I'd prefer an electric Super Cub, actually). While the power/weight and range numbers are pretty terrible for a sport, sport touring, or touring bike, they're quite acceptable for a scooter. The big problem for an electric motorcycle is the crappy aerodynamics that all motorcycles have. Cruise at 70+ MPH is proportionately much more costly than for a car with an efficient body design. If you start off assuming cruise at 45 with bursts to 70 MPH instead of blasting along the slab at 85 MPH, suddenly the use case gets a lot more acceptable. Further, traditional scooter designs tend to have volumes that would hold battery packs well...
 

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Kinda off-topic, but also on-topic. I have a little Fiat 500e that I picked up off-lease. It was about $9000 out the door. It gets about 110 miles of range on a full charge in the summer. About 85 miles in the winter. I use it for my daily commute and running errands. Which covers about 95% of the driving I do. I have an old Subaru Impreza Outback Sport that is my trail/roadtrip car. So that means I've been driving an EV around a lot and I gotta say, it's really nice. It's so refined! Even for ****ty FCA quality standards, it's So nice to drive around. It's silent. Torque-y. Quick.

But the best thing is I never have to go the gas station and there is nearly no routine maintenance. Perfect for a daily!

The EV motorcycle is an interesting breed. This second generation of bikes is certainly intriguing. The lack of a firing combustion engine must really let you feel what the suspension is doing, and it must feel so liberating to be able to focus on setting up your line without the bandwidth need to dedicate to choosing a gear, shifting, etc. That stuff is fun for sure, but man, the electric propulsion must feel nice.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So nice to drive around. It's silent. Torque-y. Quick.But the best thing is I never have to go the gas station and there is nearly no routine maintenance. Perfect for a daily!

The lack of a firing combustion engine must really let you feel what the suspension is doing, and it must feel so liberating to be able to focus on setting up your line without the bandwidth need to dedicate to choosing a gear, shifting, etc.
I think anything electric is just so easy to own and operate. Not having to fill it with gas every week, never having to do oil changes, or coolant changes or chain maintenance, or anything really but just ride and enjoy. There's not even any need to winterize it, really. Just park it, and in the spring, charge it and go. It's amazing how much it makes my old bikes feel as messy and complicated as old steam-powered locomotives. And on a motorcycle, there are even more benefits...no engine heat roasting your ass or legs, it doesn't overheat in stop-and-go-traffic. It doesn't eve require a special charging station or anything, I just plug into a standard outlet.

And to your second point, I thought I would miss changing gears, the and the noise of the engine. I haven't really. The first few hundred miles were interesting, because it's so quiet underway that you can hear all these other sounds motorcycles make but that you can't hear over an engine. The tires biting into the road, for example. There was some getting used to the difference. I've always ridden like I was invisible, but now I ride like I'm invisible and silent.
 

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Okay, that is an incredible motorcycle.
I respect my R1M and S1000RR. I'm slightly afraid of the V4S, especially anywhere above ~7Krpms. Above 10Krpms it's stupid fast. ~12Krpms is all I've ever revved it to. Feels like a big two-stroke up top. I don't dare crack the throttle, as I've already tested the wheelie control (accidentally).

San
 

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I have been riding since 1990 so am a nut for bikes. I've had the chance to ride a couple of EV bikes (Brammo and Alta). Both impressed tremendously. I did some design work on the first Brammo EV during the early days. I have two EV cars at home so am a believer. A 2 wheel EV is on my short list and would make a perfect commuter for me. That Zero is quite nice!

I compare EVs (2 or 4 wheel) to sailing. You get the sensation of speed without the noise of an engine. The electric motor makes torque now and is certainly addictive! The aero drag at highway speeds kills range so currently EV bikes are better in the city.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
A 2 wheel EV is on my short list and would make a perfect commuter for me. That Zero is quite nice!
Shinoo, just from our brief chat, I think you would really appreciate the SR/F. Unless your commute is especially long, it's worth a strong look, just for the level of refinement alone.

And I dig the comparison to sailing. EVs do give a similar sensation of just being silently pushed along.
 
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