Flutterby™! : Lightweight electric motorcycles

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Lightweight electric motorcycles

2013-11-15 16:47:24.342035+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

Shadow forwarded along this fluff piece on some lightweight Yamaha electric motorcycles that may or may not be vaporware. But a 200lb scooter with a 60 mile range could be an immensely useful vehicle...

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2013-11-15 21:15:26.484693+00 by: meuon

I was just considering those while making a bumper mount on the RV, with the idea that they make more sense than towing a car. My other weird thought is this justifies an electric drive modification on my big recumbent bike. It's got disk brakes.. stable at speed.. But more importantly I want to make sure that whatever I do could be used for a small cycle/scooter. Something that could haul Nancy and myself 30-50 miles would be perfect.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-11-16 12:14:53.284347+00 by: DaveP

The Zero motorcycles (made in Santa Cruz) are getting good enough that I'm considering one as a daily driver in the next couple years. They're not small, but neither am I, and I'd like to have a range near 200 miles. That's long enough to visit mom on a weekend or take the long way home from work if it's a beautiful summer evening.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-11-17 00:05:10.963722+00 by: Mars Saxman

Back when I worked at Google, I got part way through a project to build an electric motorcycle based on the frame from a KZ1000 police cruiser. It would hardly have been light, carrying six deep-cycle batteries, but the six-mile commute involved no freeways, so it almost didn't matter - if it worked at all it'd be able to get me to work and back.

The project stalled when I lost that job. These days I'm working in Bellevue, so I have twelve miles to cover each way, and eight of it is freeway. My design might just be able to handle that, but it's right out at the edge of the envelope... I really ought to switch to lithium, but then I'm looking at something like $5000 in cells and charging hardware alone. And that's on top of all the other bits I still have to buy or build...

...suddenly the $12k Zero S seems like a pretty good deal. Twice the price for twice the bike, and someone else does all the engineering? Hmmm.

Mine would look cooler, though.

#Comment Re: made: 2013-11-17 15:15:27.231478+00 by: meuon

Mars: I fight this battle constantly, and am proud of the things I have built myself, often with a yardstick, a torch and a hammer. But sometimes paying for good engineering, someone else's learning experience and build quality has it's own rewards.

To make something I want, designed in my head the way I want, I'm currently fighting: buying some expensive TIG welding equipment, paying a good welder, cobbling it together differently (bolts), or buying what everyone else does and addressing it that way.

My way will be an engineering triumph.. with thousands of dollars worth of tinkering (but low materials cost) or I can spent about $600 and solve the problem like everyone else.

Sometimes, that expensive pride is worth every penny, and I've been on a roll lately with projects with good results. Unsure where it will end up, but it's going to be resolved next weekend.