Power in Flux
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Thread: Power in Flux excerpt: The Blade

              
   
   
  1. #11
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    Ted, I hope you are including a discussion about the Electric Motorsport company in your new book. As an early adopter of two of their half-baked electric motorcycles, I would sure like to know how they came to enter the DOT-approved, freeway-legal, production electric motorcycle business and how they managed to dig a grave full of Native GPR-S bikes and jump into it a few years later.

    And of course, trying to figure out what has been going on with Vectrix during the past 20 years has got my head spinning.

    How do so many of these small electric motorcycle manufacturers, which seem to have the basics of a decent product manage to let the business collapse once the vehicles get into customer's hands and their market share starts growing? How is it that many small electric motorcycle designers that seem to have come up with a good product have managed to fade away after just a few years? Are electrical engineers and dreamers just lousy businessmen?. (As you can see I actually find these business stories more interesting than the actual vehicles.)
    Richard - Current bikes: 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield 500, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Ted Dillard's Avatar
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    Chapter 4, p70 - "Looking for the Crux" - first subject is Electric Motorsport, second is Vectrix. (In which I quoted a "Richard Harmon"!)

    to wit:

    "Within a few years, Electric Motorsports
    would source frames from Tiger Motors, Inc., a Thailand based company
    that had a small array of 250cc motorcycles and scooters of its own,
    including the eBoxer, an electric motorcycle similar to the GPR-S. They
    (Tiger) had affiliations with some major manufacturers, including Sachs,
    Yoshimura, and others, and it appeared that Chinese motorcycle
    manufacturer Zongshen supplied much of their motorcycle chassis. This
    would give EMS instant access to a DOT certified, street-legal platform."
    Last edited by Ted Dillard; 4 Weeks Ago at 0636.
    Power in Flux: The History of Electric Motorcycles
    www.powerinflux.com

  3. #13
    Senior Member Stevo's Avatar
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    It almost looks like one of these: Oset

    I thought I read somewhere that GasGas was prototyping an e version trials bike. Electric torque x silence x trials riding=perfect marriage

    To take a stab at one of Richard's questions... Battery tech is what's keeping these small companies from going big. The tech just isn't there yet to make any of these truly marketable. Ely has it right when he's talking about gasoline equivalent. THAT phrase, "gasoline equivalence", is brilliant terminology!
    Last edited by Stevo; 4 Weeks Ago at 0927.
    Current rides: '96 Honda Ohlins VFR, '03 Cannondale C440R, '03 Cannondale Cannibal, '06 Yamaha 450 Wolverine 4x4
    Current builds: WORX.VOR.v3.2

  4. #14
    Senior Member Ted Dillard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo View Post
    It almost looks like one of these: Oset

    I thought I read somewhere that GasGas was prototyping an e version trials bike. Electric torque x silence x trials riding=perfect marriage
    ...more correctly, the Oset looks a lot like this.

    The Oset, though, is strictly a kid's bike AFAIK.
    Last edited by Ted Dillard; 4 Weeks Ago at 0927.
    Power in Flux: The History of Electric Motorcycles
    www.powerinflux.com

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  6. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Dillard View Post
    Chapter 4, p70 - "Looking for the Crux" - first subject is Electric Motorsport, second is Vectrix. (In which I quoted a "Richard Harmon"!)

    to wit:

    "Within a few years, Electric Motorsports
    would source frames from Tiger Motors, Inc., a Thailand based company
    that had a small array of 250cc motorcycles and scooters of its own,
    including the eBoxer, an electric motorcycle similar to the GPR-S. They
    (Tiger) had affiliations with some major manufacturers, including Sachs,
    Yoshimura, and others, and it appeared that Chinese motorcycle
    manufacturer Zongshen supplied much of their motorcycle chassis. This
    would give EMS instant access to a DOT certified, street-legal platform."
    I recall that. What I wondered was how did those characters manage to kill their goose and what ever became of them and their Native motorcycle operation? It seemed as though as soon as Brammo came out with the Enertia, they headed for the hills, never to be seen again - at least not by me.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield 500, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

  7. #16
    Senior Member Ted Dillard's Avatar
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    Well, I talk a little bit about that in that chapter. Ultimately, I feel it's a matter of timing. I'll maybe post some from that... but yeah, I do cover it.
    Power in Flux: The History of Electric Motorcycles
    www.powerinflux.com

  8. #17
    Senior Member Ted Dillard's Avatar
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    MOAR:

    The attention the bikes got in the mountain bike and motocross
    communities was no surprise. Schless had a long resume of work in those
    markets, as well as in electric vehicle circles:

    “… I won the Phoenix Solar and Electric 500 race, both the commuter
    and formula classes in '92 and 93 in cars sponsored by Trojan Batteries and
    Honda R&D. The formula car had quick change batteries and I did 8 pit
    stops in the 100 mile oval track race. The fastest swap was 12 seconds. The
    longest was 19. Also, I hold a world record for the most number of miles
    traveled in 24 hours in an electric car that I built for Delco Remy /
    Aerovironment back in 94. It used a quick swap battery system that I
    designed. I built 2 of these cars for them and used them to test batteries in
    for the impact because the battery swap was so easy; under 1 minute to
    swap a 1200 lb. battery with no tools required.”

    He’d also built a few cars working with AC Propulsion’s Alan Coconni
    back in the early 90's. The cars used 27 Optima lead-acid batteries in series:
    1200 pounds, 336 volts, ~12kWh. Coconni had a BMS of sorts, but it was to
    monitor degradation, not balance levels. Much of the system design is what
    Tesla’s current technology was built on, and, though he didn’t actually
    contribute in a hands-on way to the design and building of the fairly
    legendary tzero, (the car that Tesla founder Martin Eberhard was driving
    when he challenged Malcom Smith to “…try to touch the dashboard”), he
    did, at one point, offer some advice to Coconni while the car was being
    built:

    “I actually helped Alan a little when he built it. He had designed and
    was building the stainless steel frame from thin-wall 1" square tube, which I
    thought was stupid, and I still do to this day. But he was convinced that it
    had better crash test models than plain steel, so I gave him some TIG
    welding tips. I recall being in his shop in San Dimas, rolling my eyes, with
    Paul and Dave, his two partners nodding in silent agreement.”

    stay tuned...
    Power in Flux: The History of Electric Motorcycles
    www.powerinflux.com

  9. #18
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    You certainly are bringing up EV history that I never knew, Ted. Unfortunately my EV knowledge, such as it is, started in 2009 with my purchase of a 2008 GPR-S. That was when my frustration with electric motorcycles started and when I started to wonder how I ended up in that particular quagmire - that I only got out of when I bought my first Zero.

    On another subject, that has nothing to do with your book or the thread topic, I check out this site every morning to see what is new: https://electricmotorcycles.news/news/. And there is a lot of electric motorcycle/scooter/weird stuff news that has piled up in that site. It seems like almost every day there is a proposed new electric-powered two-wheel product that someone has dreamed up - and more often than not is trolling for investor dollars. Is the market really that large to make these ventures profitable? If not, what happens to that invested money and all of these people wandering around with more big ideas? Those are the kind of questions that wake me up (but do not put me to sleep) in the morning.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield 500, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

  10. #19
    Senior Member Ted Dillard's Avatar
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    Actually, what I like to call the PT Barnum Effect ("There's a sucker born every minute... you just happened along at the right time"*) is something I mention, though not specifically in the context of today's blossoming of funding prospecting, but certainly what started in around '07 and has continued today. See "Perspective and Context: The Gold Rush Phenomenon" starting on page 70. You may have missed it, because I talk about Mark Twain and stuff... y'know, not motorcycles.

    *Tom Waits' interpretation
    Power in Flux: The History of Electric Motorcycles
    www.powerinflux.com

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  12. #20
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    Thanks for reminding my Ted. I read every word in your book, but at my age my memory isn't what it used to be - and it was never very good to begin with.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield 500, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

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