Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: A Green Machine that's not a Kawasaki

  1. #1
    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ballston Spa, NY; South of the Adirondacks, North of the Catskills and West of The Berkshires and Green Mountains
    Posts
    6,822

    A Green Machine that's not a Kawasaki

    A friend from Australia sent me this link. I always like a story that's current.
    The original story is here.



    Electric Motorcycles: Cool and Green
    There's nothing wrong with "cool", and we have to admit that few vehicles are cooler than motorcycles (at least in theory - not all of us would ride one). You're basically sitting on an engine with wheels. Can't get much simpler than that. They're not always practical, but the people who love their bikes really love them.

    But cool is not enough. The vast majority of motorcycles are still running on fossil fuels, and that's a problem. As battery technology improves, we're starting to see more electric motorcycles: Some are commercially available, many are DIY custom jobs. Today we look at some of the coolest ones.

    Electric Motorcycle No Need for Gasoline
    Photo: evahakansson.se


    The bike in the first photo at the top is Electrocat, and the rider is Eva H?Ñkansson. We're starting with her because she is a true pioneer in the world of electric motorcycles (she describes herself as a "hardcore 'EV geek' with a green heart and passion for power and speed.").

    She has built Electrocat with her father, Sven H?Ñkansson, and it is probably the first street-legal electric motorcycle in Sweden. It is based on a Cagiva Freccia C12R model year 1990, but the insides are pure electric goodness.


    Electric Motorcycle Batteries and electric motor photo
    Photo: evahakansson.se


    In the picture above you can see the Electrocat's "Thunder Sky litihum-iron-phosphate cells and the original Briggs & Stratton Etek motor". The blue box is the Alltrax AXE7245 controller. Charging takes half an hour on a powerful garage charger (longer with the smaller onboard charger - about 7 hours) and range is 80 km (50 miles) per charge at 70 km/h (44 mph).

    You can learn more about the Electrocat on Eva's great website.
    Paul Bachorz - F Twins Moderator
    RA Rallymeister - Pownal, Vermont
    Click here.

  2. #2
    Registered User john1691's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Lancaster County, PA
    Posts
    1,529
    50 miles and then a 7 hour charge? So how long would an Iron Butt take? .......let's see, carry the 7.........divided by..........5.3 days. Yeah, keep working on it. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for "Green" products, whether you buy into the man made global warming or not, polution is a bad thing, no way around it. But until somebody comes up with better battery technology, I can't see it being a big seller.
    john1691
    2006 KTM 950 Super Moto

  3. #3
    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ballston Spa, NY; South of the Adirondacks, North of the Catskills and West of The Berkshires and Green Mountains
    Posts
    6,822
    I remember when the first hand help calculators cost over $100. Picked up one in the dollar store the other day for ... $1.00.

    You are right. The range for the green machine is not impressive. I can do better on a bicycle and a good ham sandwich.

    Hope springs eternal.
    Paul Bachorz - F Twins Moderator
    RA Rallymeister - Pownal, Vermont
    Click here.

  4. #4
    Bob 108625's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Big Sky country (Montana)
    Posts
    1,166
    Quote Originally Posted by john1691 View Post
    50 miles and then a 7 hour charge? So how long would an Iron Butt take? .......let's see, carry the 7.........divided by..........5.3 days. Yeah, keep working on it. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for "Green" products, whether you buy into the man made global warming or not, polution is a bad thing, no way around it. But until somebody comes up with better battery technology, I can't see it being a big seller.
    All this and 44mph too?

  5. #5
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Clovis,CA
    Posts
    4,192

    Hmmmm?

    Good, BUT? How much gas, oil, nuclear or coal energy does it take to "charge" that thing everytime?. I wonder how green it really is, when you figure we need to refuel the batteries. Of course I did not mention Solar, wind and water sources, which I should not leave out. Today, we still require all the above for all of our electricty, so keep working at it. I want a 500+ mile range, at the very least and maybe a mini nuclear powered bike will come about someday, with unlimited miles, speed. Cold fusion would be nice to invent! I'm working on it. Randy

  6. #6
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Fly Over Land
    Posts
    10,499
    Thanks for posting the article Paul. I am glad to see someone is ÔÇÿpurposefully wonderingÔÇÖ about the internet for bike stories.


    The cottage development of alternative motorcycles has centered on electrics for a variety of reasons. The problems have been detailed fairly well here. Hydrogen may find its way into bikes first because of them.

    I stumbled across a research article on the development of storage tanks for hydrogen cars. The studies goal was to find lighter metals with the structural integrity to do the job. I am not an engineer or metallurgist so the details were lost on me; however, the research sounded promising. The article suggested the result in application was a storage tank that was substantially lighter than current tanks or a battery pack required to propel a vehicle and offered substantially more range between fills (~80-90% of the range of a similar gas tank of the same size). Sorry, I did not save the link - ?Reuters, MIT Journal or something else?

    Hydrogen seems to be beyond the development capabilities of the current cottage motorcycle developers and lacks the ubiquitous infrastructure that gasoline and electric alternatives currently enjoy.


  7. #7
    Happy to be here! :) The_Veg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Atlanta 'burbs
    Posts
    5,303
    One big problem with hydrogen: at present, there is only one way to get it that does not require a greater input of energy than the hydrogen will yield. That method is to extract it from petroleum. No surprise that the Shrub was so big on hydrogen.
    Bikeless for now...but not forever!

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  8. #8
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Fly Over Land
    Posts
    10,499
    Some friends and I were speculating on what things would look like today if the development of electric power supplies had been further developed when cars started hitting the trail. It is ubiquitous now but limited then and so the early electric cars lost out because gasoline powered cars were easier to feed. Seems we are in the same sort of option/supply paradigm situation now.

    Then we ran out of beer and called it a night.

  9. #9
    Republic of Texas
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    League City (Houston), Texas
    Posts
    2,355
    Quote Originally Posted by The_Veg View Post
    One big problem with hydrogen: at present, there is only one way to get it that does not require a greater input of energy than the hydrogen will yield. That method is to extract it from petroleum. No surprise that the Shrub was so big on hydrogen.
    Yeah, we would not want to be the wrong shade of "green".

    BTW, that whole more energy to produce than it contains problem did not slow ethanol in gasoline down much.
    Mike White
    MOA Life Time Member #57882
    '95 R1100RS, '88 K75S, '75 R90S, '97 Ducati 916, '95 Ducati 900SS CR, '09 Aprilia SR50 Factory

  10. #10
    Happy to be here! :) The_Veg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Atlanta 'burbs
    Posts
    5,303
    Quote Originally Posted by BeemerMike View Post
    Yeah, we would not want to be the wrong shade of "green".
    Money gets what money wants.

    BTW, that whole more energy to produce than it contains problem did not slow ethanol in gasoline down much.
    Ethanol wasn't about energy or efficiency- it was about reducng pollution. The sad part is that some science suggests that all it really did is trade one type for another, and that's NOT considering the effects of its own production.
    Bikeless for now...but not forever!

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  11. #11
    Republic of Texas
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    League City (Houston), Texas
    Posts
    2,355
    Quote Originally Posted by The_Veg View Post
    Money gets what money wants.
    Uh . . . not really sure what that means, but OK.

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Veg View Post
    Ethanol wasn't about energy or efficiency- it was about reducng pollution. The sad part is that some science suggests that all it really did is trade one type for another, and that's NOT considering the effects of its own production.
    Sorry, but ethanol was "sold" to us on two bases:

    1. Promote "energy independence". Kind of hard to do if it takes more energy to make than it contains, but nevermind.

    2. Reducing air pollution, primarily ozone. As you correctly point out, that one is not really working out either.

    "Ethanol . . . the WMDs for liberals and greens!"
    Mike White
    MOA Life Time Member #57882
    '95 R1100RS, '88 K75S, '75 R90S, '97 Ducati 916, '95 Ducati 900SS CR, '09 Aprilia SR50 Factory

  12. #12
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Fly Over Land
    Posts
    10,499
    Third basis ÔÇô price stabilization/support for corn growers.

    May of the mandates are state based. Ethenol production plants are coop based operations owned by farmers in many cases. In one Minnesota case it was an alternate use for an old brewery that failed because it could not meet emission standards ÔÇô stopped in its tracks by liberals that lived down wind of it.

    Questionable and bad policy can be championed by any philosophy.
    As they found out in St. Paul it just stinks

  13. #13
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    3,308
    Quote Originally Posted by BeemerMike View Post
    Sorry, but ethanol was "sold" to us on two bases:

    1. Promote "energy independence". Kind of hard to do if it takes more energy to make than it contains, but nevermind.
    Fallacy. I'm no fan of ethanol, but if the energy needed to make it comes from local resources instead of imported oil then it helps. I don't know if that is currently the situation. It certainly could be the situation.

    If you convert 100 BTUs of local coal, for example, into 80 BTUs of ethanol, that's 80 BTUs of oil that need not be imported. That's good from an energy independence point of view. It may be good or bad from a green point of view depending upon how the conversion is done. I don't know if it is good or bad from an economic point of view, either.

    // marc

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •