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

              
   
   
  1. #21
    Senior Member Ted Dillard's Avatar
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    I hear ya - I have a great memory, it's just short.

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

  2. #22
    Senior Member Stevo's Avatar
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    I know you are a history buff... the REAL winners of the gold rush were the suppliers to the miners... Levi and Strauss, and all the guys selling picks and shovels. Just sayin' LOL
    Current rides: '96 Honda Ohlins VFR, '03 Cannondale C440R, '03 Cannondale Cannibal, '06 Yamaha 450 Wolverine 4x4
    Current builds: WORX.VOR.v3.2

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  4. #23
    Senior Member Ted Dillard's Avatar
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    It's a little more convoluted than that, but yeah, mostly. I pulled this section out of Mark Twain's "Roughing It" - his account of his exploits in the Wild West around the late 1800s:

    So the thousand wild cat shafts burrowed deeper and deeper into the earth day
    by day, and all men were beside themselves with hope and happiness. How they
    labored, prophesied, exulted! Surely nothing like it was ever seen before since the
    world began.

    Every one of these wild cat mines -- not mines, but holes in the ground over
    imaginary mines -- was incorporated and had handsomely engraved "stock" and the
    stock was salable, too. It was bought and sold with a feverish avidity in the boards
    every day. You could go up on the mountain side, scratch around and find a ledge
    (there was no lack of them), put up a "notice" with a grandiloquent name in it, start
    a shaft, get your stock printed, and with nothing whatever to prove that your mine
    was worth a straw, you could put your stock on the market and sell out for
    hundreds and even thousands of dollars. To make money, and make it fast, was as
    easy as it was to eat your dinner.

    Every man owned "feet" in fifty different wild cat mines and considered his
    fortune made. Think of a city with not one solitary poor man in it! One would
    suppose that when month after month went by and still not a wild cat mine [by wild
    cat I mean, in general terms, any claim not located on the mother vein, i.e., the
    "Comstock") yielded a ton of rock worth crushing, the people would begin to
    wonder if they were not putting too much faith in their prospective riches; but there
    was not a thought of such a thing. They burrowed away, bought and sold, and were
    happy.

    There was nothing in the shape of a mining claim that was not salable. We
    received presents of "feet" every day. If we needed a hundred dollars or so, we sold
    some; if not, we hoarded it away, satisfied that it would ultimately be worth a
    thousand dollars a foot. I had a trunk about half full of "stock." When a claim made
    a stir in the market and went up to a high figure, I searched through my pile to see if
    I had any of its stock -- and generally found it.
    Power in Flux: The History of Electric Motorcycles
    www.powerinflux.com

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  6. #24
    Senior Member Ted Dillard's Avatar
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    Remind anybody of battery "breakthroughs"? ...or startup motorcycle companies, Richard?
    Power in Flux: The History of Electric Motorcycles
    www.powerinflux.com

  7. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Dillard View Post
    Remind anybody of battery "breakthroughs"? ...or startup motorcycle companies, Richard?
    It certainly does.

    Another subject that has been on my mind lately is what are the proposed tariffs on just about everything imported from China into the U.S. going to do to electric motor parts, batteries, controllers and the occasional California electric motorcycle company prices? My guess is nothing good. Electric motorcycles and their parts are already too expensive for most of the general market to bear right now. Jacking up prices by 10%, or likely 25% (since the Chinese are not likely to want to "loose face" by caving into "our" demands any time soon) is really going to depress the electric motorcycle market - and likely related markets, too.
    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.

  8. #26
    Senior Member Ted Dillard's Avatar
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    Wrapping it up for the weekend - (breaks added for clarity)

    Here’s where the story of Schless and his Blade gets interesting.
    Schless was deeply connected, and because of these connections was able to
    establish placement of his bikes in some fairly diverse worldwide markets.

    He had the bikes in a Scott Valley CA bike shop for a few months, a local
    haunt of Zero founder Neal Saiki, shortly before Saiki built the first
    Electricross Drift.

    Allensandro Tiburon was the Blade European distributor,
    and the cousin of one of Quantya’s founders: Claudio Dick. Dick,
    apparently with the help of Tiburon and Max Modina, from Cagiva, put
    together the first Quantya with very slight modification of the Blade design.

    Schless had a building in Ashland, OR he was renting to a small car
    fabrication start-up, and his former Denali frame designer, Brett Gober,
    commuted to the place on his Blade. Apparently the start-up’s owner was
    interested in the bike, and thought he could do better. The owner? Craig
    Bramscher, and the company: Brammo.

    One more. The Blade Austrian distributor, Georg Dernforffer, had a
    roommate. The roommate worked for KTM, in Austria. Apparently
    “…they (the roommate) took his Blade and played with it.” Years later, in
    2014, KTM launched the FreeRide E, becoming the first established gasoline
    motorcycle company to offer an electric powered bike, and a motocross bike
    at that.

    It’s obviously a stretch at best to claim the Denali and Blade had
    confirmed, direct influence on the start and development of these four
    companies with such circumstantial evidence. However, the fact that the
    Denali had been in production for several years, and the Blade was in full
    production for 4 years prior to the launch of Zero (2006), Brammo (2008),
    Quantya (2005) and the FreeRide E (2014), amounting to nearly a decade of
    successful production, performance and sales, it’s simply not reasonable to
    assume it had no impact at all.

    Schless undeniably set the stage for what would become a new paradigm
    for two-wheeled motorsports.

    rob.jpg

    Lest you fear Ely Schless has withdrawn from the electric motorcycle
    world, fear not. The photo above comes with this message: “I built this
    frame for Victory Brammo this past year for the Isle of Man where we
    finished second behind the Honda Mugen bike (119 versus 117 mph
    average).”

    See why I had to go back to the drawing board? Have a great weekend!
    Last edited by Ted Dillard; 4 Weeks Ago at 0310.
    Power in Flux: The History of Electric Motorcycles
    www.powerinflux.com

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  10. #27
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    That is really interesting, Ted. I love stories that have connections like that. In many cases, when you dig down into a story, you run into interesting connections illustrating that it is really a small world - especially when it comes to the development of the electric motorcycle.

    And since you mentioned KTM and the FreeRide E, I don't know about elsewhere, but here in California there is not exactly a big rush to buy that dual-sport electric motorcycle. The local KTM dealers don't seem to have any interest in selling the model. I guess I can understand that reluctance as this is a big place and the FreeRide E is not really up to traveling any distance on paved roads and in my area dirt roads are all privately or publicly owned and their use is restricted to hikers, bicyclists and hay-burners. Powered vehicles prohibited, even when they are bicycles that have an electric motor assist.
    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.

  11. #28
    Senior Member Stevo's Avatar
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    Look how far e-mountain bikes have come https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-YyKy8WWmo

    I'm impressed... I want one now! https://www.stealthelectricbikes.com/
    Last edited by Stevo; 3 Weeks Ago at 1035.
    Current rides: '96 Honda Ohlins VFR, '03 Cannondale C440R, '03 Cannondale Cannibal, '06 Yamaha 450 Wolverine 4x4
    Current builds: WORX.VOR.v3.2

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  13. #29
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    I can't believe that the Motor Parilla brand has returned. I remember their motorcycles that were being built for just a short while during the early 1960's - before the company went belly-up. But they sure didn't look like that "bicycle".
    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.

  14. #30
    Senior Member Stevo's Avatar
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    Right?!
    I first thought that they had designed an adjustable rake on the front end. I always thought that would be an awesome idea, and to one day automatically adjust the fork rake on the fly. That could help some of the geometry issues with telescopic forks.
    Last edited by Stevo; 3 Weeks Ago at 1611.
    Current rides: '96 Honda Ohlins VFR, '03 Cannondale C440R, '03 Cannondale Cannibal, '06 Yamaha 450 Wolverine 4x4
    Current builds: WORX.VOR.v3.2

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