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Old 01-02-2017, 05:09 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by gregsfc View Post
But the cheapest electric bike that can make my one-way commute is $17K and trips are out or would have to be modified. And so if my employer would let me recharge and double my pay, maybe I could buy one and commute on it. I'd love to be able to do that, but the FE challenges make me wonder if that $17K bike would make the 30 miles considering what they've got to do to make the trip.

Anyway, I'm absolutely not against what they're doing, but am somewhat put back and surprised by all the battery size and weight considering what Zero advertises on range.
I'll detail how mine is performing right now, in case the picture is helpful:

My Zero DSR is making a daily 85 mile round trip commute at highway speeds, mainly because of windscreen tuning. When you rack up miles that quickly, the Zero starts to pay off (it does take a few years, so yes this is when the early adopters with the spare budget get in and tinker like Erasmo and others).

My employer does let me charge using a standard outlet, but I could get by without it. The one-way range is about 100 miles stock at 60mph, or 10% more or at 65mph with the right windscreen. My improvement is roughly 15% when I'm using my throttle lock.

Trips are just within reach, with my DSR able to make 400 miles per day (using a $3,000 charger upgrade, admittedly; a DIY charger can get you there with more work for less than half that price). Beyond a high-powered charger, aerodynamics help increase the ride-to-charge ratio (hopefully from 1.5-to-1 to 2-to-1).

Regarding the cost and weight, it's the most dense automotive battery you can buy, and almost half of the bike's price is the battery. My prior Zero came with two invoices that spelled that out explicitly. So, that's why EVs have a high price barrier to entry, in a nutshell, for now.

While I can't argue about the list price, it can amortize over the long term (right now that's about 60,000 miles or so) considering the lack of gas, oil, and most maintenance.

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Old 01-03-2017, 07:50 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I'll concede that the 670 twin likely gives up around 15% to the 250 Honda single. That was right around my estimation for me and my riding and commute route, and that's only in a favorable scenario for the 670; comparing stock set-up machines to each other and only when comparing the 250 to the straight-shift-configured 670. I feel like, however, that the assumed 15% separates more when modifying and/or streamlining and for slower rides, i.e. 50 mph, just because the 670 is running so easy going with all that available torque at moderate highway speeds and such low RPM already in stock form, and so the potential for improvement is there, but likely not to the same extent. For instance, at 58 mph, I'm just barely breaking 3,000; and at 61, I'm still under the 3400 mark. Most likely, at those moderate steady highway speeds, the 670 is generating such low horsepower, that it's just sort of lugging along, but it's larger displacement means that it's already very near it's potential; whereas smaller-displacement machines can likely go way up in the same riding situation if measures are taken to lower the horsepower that they're generating at the same speed.

78 mpg (CTX) X 1.15 = 88.5 (CB250R)

CTX700 versus Rebel 300 ????

The figures above seems about what would happen for warm-weather commuting for my personal situation, but of course I'm only speculating and can't know without buying one and riding it, but it's still fun to speculate.

My intent is not to prove anything or to disparage any of these great Honda engines; only speculate and guess about things, because the Challenges don't have enough participation to bear these things out. I wish they would, because motorcycle fuel economy is something that interests me alot, and I find it fascinating yet frustrating that we don't know more.

I'm totally fine with not having the most economical gas bike on the market. The CTX700 is great for me; it's just my style with that low running RPM. And I think it's one of the most impressive for its size. I'd love to streamline either partially or fully and/or further modify it to improve mpg without making it unstable or unsafe, but I'm just not able financially or mechanically. Alternatively, I'd love it just about as much to see someone else do it and I'd love to see many others modify many other bikes as well; most-especially the new Rebel 300, since it'd make it an easier and cheaper project than ever before.

Stock bike comparisons also interest me. I'd love to see lots of different bikes with different power trains in stock form compete against each other, and at different levels of modification. I wish the electrics had more range where they could compete in stock form, because they interest me as well and they use just a fraction of the energy to do the same work, but I've been sort of taken aback by how much battery space and weight is being added just to make these not-so-long challenge rides. I would have thought that a stock Zero with it's biggest pack, when streamlinig to reduce drag, could have made it to the half-way point to charge, and then back considering their advertising. So that's a little disappointing to me, because it's not something I'd can consider even if I could afford it, and so it's not yet at the level of practicality for long commuters, but it is still very interesting to me to watch them progress!

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