Denver commuter e-bike

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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Toshi   10 kW

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Re: Seattle commuter bike: Clyte 407, 48V LiFePO4, Nexus 7 hub

Post by Toshi » Apr 16 2009 5:03pm

a test-ride video that i whipped together today:

Electric Bike Test Ride (hosted on vimeo)

(i'm behind the camera, not on the bike or in the shot)

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Re: Seattle commuter bike: Clyte 407, 48V LiFePO4, Nexus 7 hub

Post by Toshi » Apr 21 2009 7:00pm

i bought it and took it home! its parking space is, uh, my living room. it fits through the front door just barely, but fit it does. (a door that opens to the street/alley is one of the reasons i chose my apartment.)

domesticated scooter - april 21, 2009

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Re: Seattle commuter bike: Clyte 407, 48V LiFePO4, Nexus 7 hub

Post by Toshi » Apr 21 2009 7:23pm

in addition to buying the MP3 above i also test rode a Vectrix electric maxiscooter. here are my thoughts on the MP3 and the Vectrix:

MP3 riding impressions:

- feels heavy but not ponderous, easy to catch from an angle
- sprightly off the line and to 30 mph, good response
- easy to maneuver on tight streets: I spent quite a while doing u turns
- tilt lock will require some practice, so I stopped all but one time by putting my left foot down
- the test bike (and my bike) had the short, stock windscreen, which was ok around town
- had plenty of grunt to climb a steep grade that was probably about 8%
- overall I quite like it. I was worried it would feel ponderous but it didn't
- with the mirrors it might not fit through my doorway...

Vectrix riding impressions:

- looks slick and comes stock with a mid-height windscreen
- no starter button! and electric reverse, ooh
- very quiet operation
- cool dashboard layout: realtome range estimate on left, speedo in center, and a bar graph of battery capacity in right. Separate right and left turn signal indicators, too
- feels very heavy underfoot, and I couldn't flatfoot it on both sides, either
- good zip off the line and great throttle modulation: doing figures of eight was ridiculously easy with the instant throttle response
- after the first 10 mph pulls more like a 150cc than a 250, and recall how much it weighs...
- struggled to maintain 30 mph flat out up that same 8ish% grade
- regenerative braking was awesome: down that same grade I could regen all the way to a stop, basically
- range would be an issue: with 2/10 battery I showed 11 km estimated to be remaining

Verdict: you don't see me buying a Vectrix, and that's before Vectrix's financial woes are even mentioned, and this from the biggest EV fanboi around.

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Re: Seattle commuter bike: Clyte 407, 48V LiFePO4, Nexus 7 hub

Post by swbluto » Apr 21 2009 7:26pm

Make sure to tell us how much you use the scooter versus the electric bike. :D

(If in the case you never post on this thread again, which I wouldn't find improbable, than I'd think your absence would provide enough information. :lol: )

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Re: Seattle commuter bike: Clyte 407, 48V LiFePO4, Nexus 7 hub

Post by Toshi » Apr 22 2009 12:43am

swbluto wrote:Make sure to tell us how much you use the scooter versus the electric bike. :D

(If in the case you never post on this thread again, which I wouldn't find improbable, than I'd think your absence would provide enough information. :lol: )
i'll still ride the e-bike, of course! it has the key advantage of being able to legally park for free at my hospitals. (motorcycle parking is about 75% the cost of car parking here—ridiculous!)

come this summer in new york it'll be interesting to see what i pick. the scooter is fast, comfortable with ample suspension travel, has good lighting, great disc brakes (dual discs up front, single disc at rear), and has quite a bit of under-seat storage. on the other hand i have to dress for battle when riding it: full-face helmet, armored jacket, leather gloves with armored knuckles, armored textile pants, and armored leather riding boots. even with all that gear i'd still probably die if i pitched it head on into the median barrier at highway speeds.

the bike, on the other hand, can be ridden in street shoes, shorts, a t-shirt, and a xc bike styrofoam lid with very lightweight gloves. it's a much more comfortable outfit, let me tell you, but would be absolute insanity were i to be going 65 mph rather than 25 mph. it has a moderate amount of storage in the pannier that's not mostly occupied by my battery pack, and it has just enough lighting to allow others to notice me but not enough to actually light up the road. it has no suspension whatsoever. on the other hand it's not nearly as threatening: it's a lot harder to drop a machine that weighs 75 lbs vs one that's 450 lbs (yes, that's what my MP3 weighs!), and the consequences are much less dire due to both the lack of mass and the lack of speed…

different strokes but fun machines each. i hope to not neglect either, although the e-bike will surely get short shrift as i'm in my honeymoon with the big machine.

8)

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Re: Seattle commuter bike: Clyte 407, 48V LiFePO4, Nexus 7 hub

Post by oatnet » Apr 22 2009 11:26pm

Nice review!

I am waiting on the 2010 release of the MP3 hybrid. I had been thinking about doing a conversion until I realized they were gonna do it for me!

-JD

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Re: Seattle commuter bike: Clyte 407, 48V LiFePO4, Nexus 7 hub

Post by voicecoils » Apr 23 2009 1:23am

Congrats on the purchase! I'm also looking forward to seeing how you go with it :D

And, your commitment to scooter safety is impressive! Sydney is a fairly scooter dense city (close to the central business district at least) and we rarely see kitted up riders.

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Re: Seattle commuter bike: Clyte 407, 48V LiFePO4, Nexus 7 hub

Post by The Stig » Apr 23 2009 2:17am

Looks good that domesticated MP3!

How hateful of them to make scooter parking 75% of car parking...

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Re: Seattle commuter bike: Clyte 407, 48V LiFePO4, Nexus 7 hub

Post by Toshi » Apr 23 2009 7:45am

oatnet wrote:Nice review!

I am waiting on the 2010 release of the MP3 hybrid. I had been thinking about doing a conversion until I realized they were gonna do it for me!

-JD
i initially was going to wait for the plug-in hybrid version as well, but i feared i might be waiting forever, or at least for a very long time. my local dealer claims january 2010. i think this is overly optimistic, unfortunately. furthermore, the hybrid loses one of the scooter's main draws, which is underseat storage space. i'll live with 65 mpg and Euro 3 compliant emissions for now.

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Re: Seattle commuter bike: Clyte 407, 48V LiFePO4, Nexus 7 hub

Post by Toshi » Apr 23 2009 7:49am

voicecoils wrote:Congrats on the purchase! I'm also looking forward to seeing how you go with it :D

And, your commitment to scooter safety is impressive! Sydney is a fairly scooter dense city (close to the central business district at least) and we rarely see kitted up riders.
seattle has a fair number of scooter riders and motorcyclists. most of the scooters around town are smaller ones, 125s if not 50s even, and those riders generally are not geared up, wearing a 3/4 helmet, maybe an armored jacket, jeans, and hiking boots. this is probably ok if they stick to the city, and their bikes kind of limit them to that. the MP3 is highway capable and i've been on the highway for most of my miles so far, actually, and i'd be daft to not wear all the gear as do the full-time motorcycle commuters around here. i've seen firsthand what going down at speed without gear does, as i've had to clean out the gravel and glass myself in the emergency room, so i'm more motivated than the average bear.

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Re: Seattle commuter bike: Clyte 407, 48V LiFePO4, Nexus 7 hub

Post by Toshi » Apr 23 2009 8:09am

The Stig wrote:Looks good that domesticated MP3!

How hateful of them to make scooter parking 75% of car parking...
bike parking is still free, of course :mrgreen: .

the ferry system is much more friendly to motorcyclists than the UW parking system:

UW's parking rate for a single day's parking paid at the gatehouse: $12 automobile, $5 motorcycle
UW's annual parking pass rate: $1180 automobile (includes free motorcycle permit as well and a bus pass), $380 motorcycle (includes bus pass)

from the above it doesn't look like UW's parking rates are that unfriendly to scooters, except that neither of the options above work for me. the daily rate is exorbitant (and i get to the hospital before the gatehouses open! :x ) and the annual and quarterly passes don't make sense since i switch between UW and Harborview, another hospital that is run by UW but doesn't share its parking permit system, monthly. "pay per use parking", which is yet another entity and works at both places, is the system that us residents use:

Pay per use parking rate for commuters without a bus pass: $5.50 per day regardless of vehicle, $4.75 per day if you have a bus pass

Washington State Ferry rates are much more sane. take the edmonds-kingston route for example, fares expressed as round trip costs at off-peak rates (important since walk-ons and bicyclists ride free one direction):

walk-on passenger fare: $6.70
bicyclist fare: $7.70
motorcyclist fare: $10
motorcyclist + pillion rider fare: $16.70
automobile fare, single occupancy: $23.10
automobile fare, driver + passenger: $29.80

one can see from these parking rates why i chose to be a bike commuter in the first place! paying over $5/day to park is insanity, in my opinion, at least when at my pay grade!

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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike (p1), ICE scooter (p19)

Post by Toshi » Apr 25 2009 1:47am

full gallery here for the curious: 177 miles by land and sea - april 24, 2009

i took my first real road trip on the scooter today, visiting my parents up in port angeles.

port angeles is on the olympic peninsula and is most easily accessed from seattle via the washington state ferry system. the ferries, in turn, are very friendly to motorcyclists (and scooter riders): riders may cut in front of the line of cars waiting to purchase tickets, pay less than half fare, queue up for loading in front of and independent of the cars, and embark and debark first.

me on the ferry bright and early:
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the scooter at the front of the lane on the mv puyallup. yes, i got to unload before that big work truck and everyone else, for that matter:
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riding to port angeles was notable for a few things. first, it was cold. very, very cold. just a few minutes before i snapped the below photo the indicated temperature was 39 degrees fahrenheit! although i brought enough layers i wasn't wearing enough of them at the start, and i was none too pleased about this. my hands, face, and torso were all freezing until i put on a balaclava, winter gloves, and an extra layer or two.

note the temperature! the orange icon shows that tilt-lock is engaged:
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second, i crossed the hood canal bridge. luckily, it wasn't closed to allow tall boats to pass through, and its metal gratings were entirely dry. i've yet to ride over wet gratings but do not relish the thought of them.

route map, showing the hood canal bridge and the olympic mountain range/national park:
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third, motorcyclists in small towns apparently aren't as friendly as the crowd around seattle: all of the people i passed on the road within 20 miles of port angeles were white men around age 40 on harley cruisers, in black leather, with a black beanie helmet and black sunglasses. it was as if they were in uniform! none of them returned my wave, whereas most everyone in my neck of the woods does so, even to a goofy-looking high-viz scooter rider.

one somewhat interesting part of this trip was my detour to olympic national park's boundary. not wanting to pay the entry fee and risk the frigid, possibly icy roads of deception ridge, i took a county road up into the mountains as far as i could go. the road turned into a dirt road and terminated at a gate right after crossing into the park, yielding both the photo below and a chance to practice braking on loose surfaces. feeling emboldened, i practiced locking up both the front wheels and the rear wheel in turn. it is a virtue of the MP3's design that locking up the front doesn't lead to immediate loss of stability.

as far as i could go:
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lessons learned from today's road trip:

1) dress warmly when the temperature dips into the 30s and 40s! bringing extra layers is always good, and the layers that i brought weren't always ideal for layering under my snug armored jacket.
2) don't neglect the face: even with closed vents one's face can get very cold just from the air being force through the vents and through the neck. a balaclava does the trick nicely.
3) most other motorcyclists are quite friendly, except possibly those in small towns. it's amusing but not surprising to me that hayabusa riders were much more curious about my bike than those on sportsters.
4) i need a taller, wider windscreen that provides protection for my torso, head, and especially my hands. now the question becomes to go mid, high, or ridiculously high in height…
5) finally, i do look like a goof, and now have photographic evidence. that's quite ok with me, however, as being noticed as a goofy looking rider is much better than not being noticed at all by an inattentive driver.

"my eyes, they burn!"
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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike (p1), ICE scooter (p19)

Post by ElectricEd » Apr 25 2009 3:20am

Toshi said:
5) finally, i do look like a goof, and now have photographic evidence. that's quite ok with me, however, as being noticed as a goofy looking rider is much better than not being noticed at all by an inattentive driver.
Another thing is that the plods aren't interested either. :twisted:

Don't worry. NERDS RULE! (Or will rule when the Wall St thieves get their come-uppance and when oil is a more scarce and dwindling commodity).
Smarts will always win in the end. 8) :D

And you don't look as daggy as you might think.
Bike: Giant ATX 990
Motor: Crystalyte 408 Rear
Controller: Crystalyte V2 40A
Battery: Ping 48V 15 AH LiFePO4. Charged by the Sun
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Daily Commute: 27 km to the salt mine, return 27 km to bliss

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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike (p1), ICE scooter (p19)

Post by swbluto » Apr 26 2009 10:43am

ElectricEd wrote:And you don't look as daggy as you might think.
I generally agree with that. It's different from the norm, but the difference is readily understandable to everyone but the most idiotic and I don't care much about their opinion, anyways.

Also, yeah, it seems that "The driver couldn't see the person" is one of the biggest reasons for crashes so making yourself as visible as practically possible is very wise, in my opinion. Recently, when I was buying a replacement helmet for the one I lost on the bus, I noticed that all of the dedicated bicycle helmets were dark-colored and stream-lined and then... I found a shell-shaped pure white colored helmet meant for skating. THAT was my kind of helmet!(It seems white helmets are among the most visible) I also adorned it with reflective yellow stickers to enhance its night-time visibility, but I also carry around a freakn' bright LED flash-light to flash drivers who seem like they possibly didn't notice me at night.

Also, I didn't know what a hayabusa was until I wikipedia'd it, and it seems I got http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzuki_Hayabusa . Given it has a 1340cc engine, wouldn't that make it ultra sporty?

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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike (p1), ICE scooter (p19)

Post by Toshi » Apr 26 2009 11:02am

swbluto wrote:I didn't know what a hayabusa was until I wikipedia'd it, and it seems I got http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzuki_Hayabusa . Given it has a 1340cc engine, wouldn't that make it ultra sporty?
it's actually one of if not the very fastest production streetbikes you can buy. something nutty like 190 mph flat out and 10 seconds flat in the 140s if not 150s in the quarter mile. ridiculously fast.

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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike (p1), ICE scooter (p19)

Post by Toshi » Apr 28 2009 12:49am

i've now had my scooter for a week. keep in mind that i spent the last year without a car, instead jetting around town on foot, on the bus, and on my electric bicycle. as you might guess, this meant that i didn't do much at all in the way of recreational driving. thus, once i got the scooter i was off and running, riding on curvy roads and in parking lots alike for fun: all in all i've put 377 miles on it in the first 7 days.

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let's start off with what i like about it:

- it's genuinely fun to ride even at "around town" speeds. it's much more fun to lean into turns around town than drive around in a car, and riding is sublime when the temperature is just right, the sun is out, and there's just a hint of fresh air across one's face from a slightly cracked-open faceshield.
- having a range of 150+ miles at freeway speeds with refueling only limited by my credit limit offers tremendously more freedom than the electric bike, which travels 15-25 miles at around 20 mph with a multi-hour recharging time. practically, this means that i can visit jessica during the week!
- it's just small enough to fit through my apartment's doorway with the mirrors folded inward
- the seating position is basically bolt upright, which is good for one's posture and is pretty comfortable around town
- i can legally take the express lanes and ride solo in HOV lanes
- filling it up usually takes less than $5 of gasoline
- lots of people from pedestrians to hayabusa riders come up to me and ask questions about it
- about half of the motorcyclists to whom i "biker wave" wave back

not all is perfect, however:

- temperature control is much more involved than cranking up the heat in a car. in particular, when the temperatures hit the upper 30s it's really unpleasant without the proper gear on, and getting the proper gear on once started involves changing clothes on the side of the frigid road.
- riding in the rain involves wiping mist off of my helmet's faceshield with a rubber mini-squeegee on the thumb of my gloves. this means that i periodically must ride one handed in the rain on the freeway, exactly the place where i wouldn't want to be doing that. windshield wipers far outclass this system!
- while it's zippy around town it's out of breath on hills on the freeway, with it only maintaining 60 mph up some grades when ridden flat out
- i think it might be too large and heavy at ~31" seat height and 450 lbs for jessica to manage comfortably on her own, or at least for her to desire to ride it on her own
- that bolt upright seating position leads to a ton of wind noise and buffeting at freeway speeds even with a full-face helmet with faceshield and -15 dB earplugs. i have already ordered a (much) larger windscreen that will hopefully alleviate this problem and make temperature regulation an easier task.
- it is mildly unnerving to zip by stopped traffic while going 45 mph in the HOV lane, checking every car for a signal, head turn, or angled front wheels that might indicate that it is going to pop out in front of me imminently
- fuel economy, while good in the grand sense at 52-65 mpg observed, is not so great when compared to a prius. for comparison i wrung 57.9 mpg out of a (zipcar-ed) prius today over 90 miles, and that's on regular fuel as opposed to the premium that the scooter drinks. when you consider the relative size, weight, and utility of each vehicle it makes the prius's feat even more incredible. (that said, this has its perks and is about a quarter of the price.)
- about half the motorcyclists to whom i "biker wave" ignore me, probably because i'm on a decidedly non-harley looking beastie and am wearing all high-viz gear instead of pseudo-bondage black leather

in an ideal world i'd commute in a prius on roads free of traffic, and would have enough free time and money to indulge in hobbies that would satisfy my need for fresh air and adrenaline independent of my commute. in this real world this isn't possible for many a reason, and zipping along on my scooter in the HOV lanes, on twisty roads, and to work will just have to do.

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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike (p1), ICE scooter (p19)

Post by Toshi » Apr 28 2009 11:33pm

today was my last day of vacation for this year. i took advantage of it by hunting down the windy roads of suburbia. my route of just over 100 miles including some side jaunts, starting and ending at point J (A is hidden), traveling clockwise:

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after crossing the SR-520 floating bridge i headed up through Kirkland. Kirkland (which you may recognize as the name of the Costco house brand as Costco started in Seattle) is suburban hell, in my opinion. it's a very image conscious neighborhood and the roads are filled with people in mercs, audis, and range rovers talking on their cell phones. i personally would love to see all those cars repossessed, but i suppose i'll have to wait at least a few more weeks for that. ;)

a random monument of sorts found along the shores of Lake Washington in Kirkland:
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next up was a cruise through the Juanita area, south of Kenmore between A and B on the map. Juanita has several parks with mountain bike trails, and the mildly curvy road would have been quite pleasant without the steady commuter traffic. point B is a store in Woodinville, an otherwise unremarkable place that happens to stock Brillianize, a plastic cleaner that i plan to use on the ginormous windshield that i have ordered.

looking downwards at my unshaven mug:
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point C is where things get fun: that's the Old High Bridge Road. it's well known to sports car and sportbike pilots alike, and i used to cruise down it in my car at 1 AM to clear my head. on a (slow) bike it's a different experience, with its twists and turns much more visceral and rewarding and the straights less important.

fast forward to E and we've reached Lake Sammamish. it's another sedate cruise that's favored by some local riders for a few miles of relaxation. unfortunately most of the good views of the water are on private property. i did manage to get to the beach, albeit only at that green segment on the map at the very southeast corner.

a glamour shot of the MP3 with Lake Sammamish peeking through the trees in the background:
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finally, G, H, and I map out the boundary of E and W Mercer Way on Mercer Island. Mercer Way is a fun, very twisty road that is much more suitable for a reasonably sedate cruise on two (er, three) wheels than four as it is densely populated with road bicyclists.

a shot of the I-90 bridge looking towards Seattle from Mercer Island at the end of my day:
Image

you all can breathe a sigh of relief now: there will be no more ride reports for a bit as i'm headed back to the daily grind then moving to new york at the end of june.

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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike (p1), ICE scooter (p19)

Post by vanilla ice » Apr 29 2009 6:08pm

I'd put some pilot sports on there and do a trackday. It'd be interesting finding the limits of that front end.

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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike (p1), ICE scooter (p19)

Post by Toshi » May 03 2009 6:14pm

vanilla ice wrote:I'd put some pilot sports on there and do a trackday. It'd be interesting finding the limits of that front end.
that'd be comical. it's no speed demon on the top end and i'd get blown away on the straights unless it was a 250 cc and under track day for scooters only! (and i don't think those exist! :o )

what i do plan to do is take the intermediate and/or advanced rider courses from the MSF in a few months. i used to race autocross and was pretty competitive so the cones + parking lot format is dear to my heart.

my old car (sold last may), my girlfriend (now wife), and my old racing #s. 1729, the hardy-ramanujan number... 8)

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in other news i'm riding the electric bike again! at least for the next 7.5 weeks: my final two rotations are at UW med center. although my hours are a bit later on neurosurgery and urology than on the ungodly early trauma surgery services i still have to be there earlier than is convenient on the bus.

parking for cars is horrible enough a proposition at UW, and parking a motorcycle or scooter is paradoxically more difficult (as on-campus full-sized spots are not kosher to park in, even with a permit!). thus i'll be riding in on the e-bike and locking up at one of the numerous bike racks placed around the hospital.

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Re: Seattle commuter bike: Clyte 407, 48V LiFePO4, Nexus 7 hub

Post by Toshi » May 03 2009 6:23pm

swbluto wrote:Make sure to tell us how much you use the scooter versus the electric bike. :D

(If in the case you never post on this thread again, which I wouldn't find improbable, than I'd think your absence would provide enough information. :lol: )
revisiting this earlier comment: i have noticed that my interest in upgrading the electric bike or building a second one for jessica to use has dropped to nil. why bother with eking out 100 more W from a nine continents hubmotor vs. my crystalyte 407 when the scooter has a reliable 16.4 kW at hand?

interestingly, my interest in electric motorcycles also has dropped off significantly. now that i have some saddle time and know what i like for commuting purposes i can see the shortcomings in several designs that were not readily apparent to me beforehand.

namely, the brammo enertia has no windshield, no storage, and no 2-up capability. add that together with a 10k+ price for the initial version, 45 mph speed, and a 45 mile range and it's just not attractive. the quantya strada has a really high seat hight, no windshield, no storage, and that same, limited range and speed. ditto for the Zero S albeit with a lower seat and more mph (60).

part of my flagging interest is the absolutely horrible aerodynamic properties of the rider + motorcycle (or rider + bicycle) unit. i get 52-70 mpg on the scooter. this is with 450 lbs of machine and a 244 cc gasoline engine running on premium, with the lower mpgs seen when running near-flat-out at higher speeds. contrast this with a new-gen prius that gets 50 mpg combined per the EPA, possibly more in my hands, with a relaxed powertrain, comfortable seating for 5 + luggage, 3000 lbs of bulk, and all manner of amenities.

when i can afford it i'm definitely getting a Prius. and an Aptera. heh. (and maybe a few more powered two-wheelers! even if they're not so wonderfully efficient given how small they are they're still great fun.)

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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike (p1), ICE scooter (p19)

Post by icecube57 » May 03 2009 10:54pm

Lets quit the bs and get a 4-5k wstt hub motor in one of those front wheels lol. Silent operation up to 35 mph on 48v 40ah lifepo4 lol. But hell kudos on the new ride. Not totally green but its the next best thing IMO, Happy riding.

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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike (p1), ICE scooter (p19)

Post by gogo » May 04 2009 12:38am

Ya, the aero drag on a motorcycle is as much or more than a car. When you get a taller windshield if it directs all of the air above/around you, it will tend to suck you forward too. That will seem strange at first but can be less fatiguing. I got a 2" taller than stock windshield for a windjammer on a 1973 BMW 750 and noticed the extra load the increased aero drag caused.

To keep the windshield from getting scratched by bug bodies, and for ease in cleaning, I used Saran Wrap. First I used a plastic polish that left a beneficially tacky film on the windshield. Then I applied two horizontal strips of wrap starting at the top so that the air pressure pushed the lower strip onto the upper where they overlapped in the middle of the windshield. I used a strip of electrical tape on the bottom of the lower piece of wrap to keep air from getting underneath. All the bug guts came off with a new application of Saran Wrap. It was quicker than trying to clean the bugs off and kept the windshield absolutely scratch free. If you have to look through the windshield, scratches can cause sun glare that is dangerous.

Ride safe.
"A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking." -Steven Wright

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Toshi   10 kW

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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike (p1), ICE scooter (p19)

Post by Toshi » May 04 2009 1:40am

interesting idea with the saran wrap, gogo. i hadn't heard of that one before. i have hope that the windshield will actually reduce aero drag. my upright torso + head presents quite the blocky obstacle to airflow as it is, and the "alien windshield" might smooth flow out. in theory. maybe. heh.

"alien windshield", you ask? yes. it is ridiculous, the biggest windshield i have ever seen. i dig it, and it's one of the things that drew me to the MP3.

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what i really want is this awesome roof that attaches to the giant windshield, and the trailer! but sadly they were just concepts that Piaggio made for a show. i wonder how difficult it would be to fab up such a roof... :o

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icecube57 wrote:Lets quit the bs and get a 4-5k wstt hub motor in one of those front wheels lol. Silent operation up to 35 mph on 48v 40ah lifepo4 lol. But hell kudos on the new ride. Not totally green but its the next best thing IMO, Happy riding.
you do know that Piaggio is planning their own plug-in hybrid version of the MP3, right? 141 mpg and 40 g CO2/km are their claims, with something like a 12 mile electric only range. google "piaggio mp3 hybrid" if you want to read more on it. i initially wanted that model but became tired of waiting for a unicorn. besides the hybrid will sacrifice one of the main calling cards of scooters in general, the underseat storage "trunk" as the batteries now live there.

with regard to "not totally green", well, electric vehicles aren't either. even if you are powering your EV off of solar panels from your off the grid house you're not in the clear, as those solar panels took a lot of energy and carbon expenditure to make and ship to your doorstep. if you're in west virginia, powering your e-bike off of their 98% coal-fed electricity then you might be doing the environment a disservice compared to the driver breezing by you in a Prius. i wrote a really long blog post on this topic a while back, and i think it was even cross-posted to this thread, no less...

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vanilla ice   100 MW

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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike (p1), ICE scooter (p19)

Post by vanilla ice » May 04 2009 1:53am

The prius makes more sense but the scooter is more fun.

I want to see what kind of corner speed a liter bike with that style front end would have.. relative to a stock one.

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Toshi   10 kW

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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike (p1), ICE scooter (p19)

Post by Toshi » May 04 2009 11:20am

vanilla ice wrote:The prius makes more sense but the scooter is more fun.

I want to see what kind of corner speed a liter bike with that style front end would have.. relative to a stock one.
the Prius makes more sense if one has the money for it. at this point in my life i have other things that my money would better go to, namely my six-figure student loans! a new scooter at a MSRP of $7200 and 65 mpg makes a lot of sense if one is inclined to ride a powered two-wheeler of any sort when compared to a new Prius loaded with options at $25k+ and 50 mpg. (i could have bought a used corolla or the like, like my wife's, but i like to be different and wanted to go riding.)

i don't know of any quantitative ways to test cornering performance but the layout is reputed to give 30% shorter braking distances as compared to a regular bike. that's quite something, no?

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