Denver commuter e-bike

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike (p1), ICE scooter (p19)

Post by pwbset » Jul 27 2009 10:32pm

I really enjoyed following your shizzy toshi! Best of luck in all your future endeavors! :)

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

Post by gilnet » Jul 28 2009 1:07pm

I read and reread your thread while researching my stab at the ebike,along w/many others.The thought process on the electric conversion as time goes by is amazing.Yell hello to jersey city,my home town.And yes,if people think cage dwellers are rude in the friendly west,you haven't lived(or died) until you bike in nyc.have a good one.gilnet

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

Post by Toshi » Aug 05 2009 9:18pm

so no one bit on my eBay auction. however, my parents (!) decided that they'd like to ride it around their new digs out in wyoming (!!, yeah, they move a lot. they used to be down the street from me in seattle).

thus i'm going to be packing it up slowly, labeling which parts go with which, which cables plug into which, taking copious photos, then sending it in several boxes to wyoming. i'm also going to include an extra package of tools needed. i fear that if i don't do all of this then it'll end up languishing in the boxes forever.

the only changes i'm going to make are to jack the angle of the stem up to reduce reach and raise the bars, and to swap the trusty WTB SST saddle out for something more suitable for non-cyclist middle age rumps.

from:

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to:

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

Post by dnmun » Aug 05 2009 9:35pm

why can't you ride it there? is it because the ebikes are illegal in NY?

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

Post by Toshi » Aug 05 2009 9:37pm

dnmun wrote:why can't you ride it there? is it because the ebikes are illegal in NY?
i have no commute, and when i do need to go somewhere the scooter is a better tool for the (fast, dangerous) roads that we have around here. if i were on the e-bike i'd be on the sidewalk, which is not where i'd like to be.

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

Post by Toshi » Aug 20 2009 5:43pm

i made a few extremely boring videos for my parents to prepare them for the e-bike that'll shortly be on the way to their new digs in wyoming. total shipping weight: 93.3 lbs split over two normal sized bike boxes. yikes.

anyway, the vids:

using the lock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55lEML9uy9k

battery charging, connection, and riding the thing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Bwyovotn_Q

packing process: http://gallery.me.com/toshiclark#100000

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Toshi   10 kW

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

Post by Toshi » Dec 03 2009 7:18am

an update on my ICE scooter:

after owning my Piaggio MP3 for 7 months and 1 week someone stole it. i parked it outside my apartment on the hospital grounds on saturday night after going for a spin and it wasn't there sunday morning. thankfully i have comprehensive insurance but dealing with that isn't fun, and until the process is resolved i have no wheels. sucks.

if it doesn't show up unscathed, which is unlikely (5 days out from it being stolen now and its not at the impound lot), then i'm probably not going to replace it with another MP3 but instead will look at a full-fledged motorcycle for an equivalent price. this is assuming i'm still insurable…

Image

April 22, 2009 - November 29, 2009.

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

Post by The Stig » Dec 03 2009 9:23am

That sucks...

Someone stole my E-bike a month or so ago. I had built it over a year or so...

What kind of motorcycle you thinking of?

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

Post by Toshi » Dec 03 2009 10:25am

sucks. i'm thinking maybe a Suzuki Wee-Strom (V-Strom 650)...

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

Post by oatnet » Dec 03 2009 9:02pm

Sorry to hear that. :evil: Thieves suck.

Interesting that after 7 months you are looking for a motorcyle and not another MP3. I figure if it was just a power issue, you might go for the MP3-500. Are there things you would change on the MP3?

I keep thinking about the hybrid version allegedly coming out next year...

BTW, How did things go with your Dad and your old eBike?

-JD

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

Post by Toshi » Dec 03 2009 9:25pm

the e-bike is in wyoming with my parents and assembled but there's a lot of snow on the ground so it's sitting idle in their garage.

the MP3 was fine for what it is, but i want more power. a lot more.

the MP3 250 is $7.2k new, 22 hp and 450 lbs. the MP3 500 is ~$10k new, 40 hp and 538 lbs. the V-Strom 650 is $8k new, ~65 hp and 478 lbs, without a power-sapping CVT, too. (if you go pricey, then the $15k Ducati Multistrada is 150 hp and 417 lbs dry… or you could go naked and get a Speed Triple or maximize your price:power:weight combo by getting a 600 race rep and sacrificing your back.)

basically the power:weight ratio is what i'd change on the MP3. the tilt-lock worked great, the storage was sufficient, the seat was tolerable, and the wind protection passable with the stock shield, good with aftermarket or larger OEM windscreens. fuel economy was just fine.

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

Post by vanilla ice » Dec 04 2009 4:55pm

Fz6 would work too. Sucks about the thievery man.

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

Post by swbluto » Dec 04 2009 5:09pm

Just curious, what kind of security did you have on the bike? Just eager to know so I'll know what security to not to buy/pursue when I get a more tempting vehicle out there. I know that motorcycles have the unfortunate ability to be lifted into the back-end of a truck/van in a relatively quick manner, so I'd definitely be interested in security for something not-so-cheap.

Also, what part of the power/weight ratio of the MP3 did you dislike the most? Was it acceleration? Top speed on steep hills? Or was the power too low for the top speed you desire?

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Toshi   10 kW

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

Post by Toshi » Dec 04 2009 5:24pm

didn't have any supplemental security. no chain or the like. i figured that the 450 lb weight of the MP3 combined with its tilt-lock and its parking brake (that can be locked in the "on" position) were sufficient. apparently this wasn't true. i'm sure it didn't help that it was parked outside in the same position daily.

around-town zip was sufficient with 22 hp, but i had no excess power for passing while hill-climbing or passing at freeway speeds in general. i feel that a ~20 hp 250cc scooter or motorcycle is the bare minimum that one needs to be safe on the freeway, and any power above that can only help provided that the throttle response is predictable. having 150 hp as on the multistrada would be phenomenal but having "just" 65 hp would also be just fine, too. :D

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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike, scooter, motorcycle p1/19/23

Post by Toshi » Jan 25 2010 11:55pm

The insurance company reimbursed me quite well for my stolen MP3, and I used the proceeds to buy a replacement motorcycle. I picked a 2008 Kawasaki Versys. It's a 650 parallel twin "tall standard," with ~6" suspension travel at each end, 17" wheels and road-biased tires, 71 hp, a 6-speed gearbox, and not much bodywork. It is much more powerful and responsive than the MP3. Louder, too, even though it's quiet in the grand scheme of motorcycles. It also has much more fuel capacity than the MP3 at 5.0 gallons, and combined with 40+ mpg should make for long stretches between fuel stops.

Image

If curious one can read about it more here:

http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcycles ... ations.htm <-- specs
http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcycles ... ki-versys/ <-- general review page with links to subsections

I got it for quite a good price thanks to the weakness of the motorcycle sales market, quite a good price indeed. :mrgreen:

Relevant to the topic of this thread, I actually got to straddle a Zero Motorcycles Zero S on Saturday as the NY Motorcycle Show was in town. The Zero S's ergonomics were very strange: too little reach to the bars, which in turn were too low. Felt like a too-small mountain bike, in fact, kind of unnerving.

Here's me on the Zero S:

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Compare my arm and torso position to me on the Versys (note that the one here is a 2010 with less bodywork/wind protection):

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All the rest of the motorcycle show photos are in the first three links on the right at http://toshiclark.com/

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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike, scooter, motorcycle p1/19/23

Post by Toshi » Jan 28 2010 7:58pm

One relevant thought I had: on the motorcycle with heated jacket liner and gloves running at full blast I use 120W of electrical power just to keep me warm, while the remaining 53 kW of engine potential power goes towards locomotion. Contrast that to the 700W of locomotive power with my own 100-200W metabolic output keeping me from freezing (note that I didn't say "warm"!) on winter rides last year on the e-bike...

Orders of magnitude indeed. Electricity is cool but still has a long way to go to match even a run of the mill ICE machine...

Here's the actual motorcycle that I bought below, to supplant the stock photo above:

Image

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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike, scooter, motorcycle p1/19/23

Post by The Stig » Jan 29 2010 2:24am

Yeah e-motorcycles are still a ways behind ICE motorcycles, but they're catching up... slowly... :twisted: Killacycle Record Run :twisted: Listen to that tire squeal!

It's a bit unfair to compare e-bikes to motorcycles, they're very different classes of vehicle. Couldn't you have just dressed a little warmer during the winter? It's pretty cold up the road here in MA, almost subzero right now and still doing my small 1 mile commutes with ease! Studded tires all the way.

That beast has decent power though, is 40mpg really what you'd expect out of a motorcycle like that?

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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike, scooter, motorcycle p1/19/23

Post by Toshi » Feb 14 2010 11:47am

1 mile at bicycle speeds has an entirely different class of windchill than 100 miles at 70 mph! I find the electric gear absolutely necessary on the motorcycle. Most people simply don't ride once it gets below 45 or whatever their threshold is. I've been out in 16 degree weather with the limiting factor being my (unheated albeit in wool socks within waterproof, leather, armored motorcycle boots) feet.

People report getting anywhere from 35-60 mpg out of the Versys. I've been getting in the 35-45 mpg range, but I'm doing a lot of city riding, it's winter (both in terms of temperature and non-gasoline additives in the mix), and I like to wind the bike out a bit… The Versys is relatively frugal but there are bikes in its class that are more frugal yet such as the 800 cc parallel-twin BMWs (new-gen F 650 GS, F 800 GS, F 800 S, F 800 ST). Those regularly get 50-70+ mpg while putting out more power! That said, motorcycles in general have pretty piss-poor mileage compared to their size because an upright rider on a tall bike has the frontal area and Cd of a barn door.

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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike, scooter, motorcycle p1/19/23

Post by vanilla ice » Feb 16 2010 12:04pm

Nice!

Us Californians can even get the 2010 model..

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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike, scooter, motorcycle p1/19/23

Post by grindz145 » Feb 16 2010 12:51pm

your my kind of rider, I ride whenever possible, whatever possible:D I've ridden all the of the MP3s and I really like them but I know what you mean about the power. I lovee the F800 BMWs too. Soo many bikes so little time.

Piaggio is suppose to get a plug in hybrid MP3 to market someday...
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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike, scooter, motorcycle p1/1

Post by Toshi » Mar 23 2011 11:49am

An update to this long dormant thread:

1) I'm still riding the Versys. I bought it at 4,800 miles and now it has close to 11,000. I hope to hit 15,000 by the end of this summer. I've been working on my riding technique, both in slow-speed parking lot turns (see video below) and at higher speed through signing up for a Lee Parks Total Control class in April to supplement reading his eponymous book.



2) The e-bike, now living in Wyoming, wasn't working. My parents, despite two PhDs and an MD between them, are useless with electric stuff, so I ordered them a bunch of parts guessing that the rain-corroded Hall sensors on the hub motor or perhaps the always-balky Crystalyte controller had given out. The new loot: 2806 Nine Continents front hub motor; 35A Infineon controller with regen; e-brake lever to allow for said regen; brand-spanking new throttle just in case it was the weak link. Basically everything was replaced save for the battery and the Cycle Analyst.

I had all this shipped out to my parents ahead of my planned vacation visit last week. When I arrived there, however, I was dismayed to find the battery cranking out all of 1.0V... total. No, not per cell, but instead the output of the whole 15S LiFePO4 pack. Gah. I ordered a replacement 48V LiMn pack and charger for the parents to use and abuse in the meantime and took the battery home to try to revive at the advice of people on this very forum.

At home, lo and behold, it seems like the original, flat LiFePO4 pack may yet be salvageable! I busted the soldering iron out and bypassed the BMS, plugged in the charger, and then watched the voltage rise slowly and steadily! When it reached a nominal 48V (keeping in mind that it's normally 55V+ off the charger when fully charged in a normal state) I soldered in the BMS back into the circuit. It's currently on the charger in this state, and I'm hoping that it'll be as good as new afterwards.

Assuming the battery is indeed revived then the only thing my parents' garage will be missing for a second, complete e-bike powertrain is a Cycle Analyst! Of course, all this stuff (save for the battery that I'm trying to resuscitate) is in Wyoming whereas I'm in New York and don't really need an e-bike at the moment, anyway. I think it'll all just sit there as spare parts for the foreseeable future.

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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike, scooter, motorcycle

Post by vanilla ice » Mar 23 2011 1:20pm

Tired or dizzzy!?

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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike, scooter, motorcycle

Post by dnmun » Mar 23 2011 3:38pm

glad to hear the pack charged up for you. thought it might, but measure each cell if you can while it is charging through the BMS. if you have high ones, then use a resistor to drain charge off that cell so the others will catch up to it and the BMS won't shut off the charger if you drop the high one to within the HVC spec. keep doing it to each cell as it climbs up to 3.9 V and when they all are over 3.6 then you can try discharging it into a load like a space heater, through a ammeter to follow how much charge the pack will hold now. that's when you will know.

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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike, scooter, motorcycle

Post by Toshi » Mar 23 2011 3:45pm

dnmun wrote:glad to hear the pack charged up for you. thought it might, but measure each cell if you can while it is charging through the BMS. if you have high ones, then use a resistor to drain charge off that cell so the others will catch up to it and the BMS won't shut off the charger if you drop the high one to within the HVC spec. keep doing it to each cell as it climbs up to 3.9 V and when they all are over 3.6 then you can try discharging it into a load like a space heater, through a ammeter to follow how much charge the pack will hold now. that's when you will know.
I'm just going to let the BMS do its trick. It seems amply capable of discharging cells, after all... :x If it charges up to its expected 55ish volts through the BMS then I'll let it sit for a few days, top it off once more, and then stick it all in a Priority Mail box and send it back to Wyoming. I doubt my father will use more than a few Ah at a time in his commute, if he even rides the thing much at all.

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Re: Seattle commuter bikes: e-bike, scooter, motorcycle

Post by dnmun » Mar 23 2011 3:51pm

it may charge up to 55V but still have a dead cell. if you don't know for sure before you ship it then he will have the same problem, the BMS circuit current usually drains the first 4 cells and leaves the others completely full so you may need to drain all of the top end above the 4 down to their level too. i just hope the charging so far did not overvolt it and cook a few cells.

so double check before you ship it, and unplug the BMS sense wire plug too to prevent it from discharging in the event of a shipping accident.

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