- AuthorAndy Thomson
- Date 11 December 2017
- CategoryResearch Transportation
Transportation architecture is a thing. Vehicle designer is a thing. Vehicle Architect? Nope. But here I will try. My hobbies have always involved going fast on/in a vehicle of some sort. In winter this has been snowboards, skis, even kayaks downhill! On water, windsurfing. On asphalt, bikes, skateboards and electric cars. And soon … eBikes. But why are current eBikes so lame? Because they are not motorcycles. And why are electric motorcycles so massive and clunky? Because the forces involved are massive and require clunky (clunky = STRONG) to not fly apart.
A really powerful athlete can put about 400 Watts into a bike. A motor can ADD another 400Watts, or 800W, or 2500W – the limit is only a function of the motor’s ability to survive the heat spilled when passing that many electrons through it! Adding 5x the power to a system (bicycle) designed for only 500Watts means a lot of busted chains, spokes, bent frames and worse. So what I have learned from these two articles:
- https://www.electricbike.com/12-kit-power-levels-360w-to-8000w/ – is that motors go from weak to strong and
- https://electricbike-blog.com/2016/12/26/no-one-gives-a-rats-ass-about-your-street-legal-ebike-build-something-awesome/ – if ebikes are generally lame, what does awesome look like?
Here is a Pinterest board whereby I dream of a mashup between an eBike and a Motorcycle – taking cues from stylish bikes of yore, as well as cafe racers and board track racers – all new terms to me:
These are baby steps. Any eBike or Electric Motorcycle should strive for the goal of finding a balance between power, comfort, safety, good looks and fun. To date – ALL of the major manufacturers have teased us with amazing looking concept bikes but NONE of them (pathetically so) has put anything into production! Shame! The only serious contenders are niche companies selling bikes in the $40k+ range, or Zero Motorcycles that offer a solid, capable – if somewhat bland design in the $20k range.
Oh – and did I mention sustainability? All of the latter attributes already exist in fossil powered toys – but I’m looking to the future! Join me if you like! For the money – and the power and range, this bike tops my list:
image credits are found in the full pinterest gallery – watch this space!!