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Thread: Carlin Dunne interesting quote

              
   
   
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    Seņor Member podolefsky's Avatar
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    Carlin Dunne interesting quote

    Cycle World has a short "on the record" with Carlin Dunne this month (3 time Pikes Peak winner, last time on the Lightning electric superbike, and motorcycle record holder). One thing he said was kind of interesting:

    "When I first rode the Lightning, it felt odd. Everything you've been wired to know about a motorcycle doesn't really apply. At racetracks, you know that you can go through a particular turn in fourth gear at half throttle. On an electric bike [with no gears], it's easy to overcook it into turns. You don't know how fast you're going."
    - Noah Podolefsky -
    The GSX-E

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    Senior Member jonescg's Avatar
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    I have often wondered this. As electric bikes get more and more powerful, the speeds you can achieve with a small crack of the throttle are pretty substantial. If the motors are developing such that you can go from a 160 km/h top speed to 310 km/h, while throttles still only require 1/3 of a turn, you might have some rather twitchy speed control.

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    EVangelist electriKAT's Avatar
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    Mr. Dunne must have gotten used to the Lightning pretty quickly if he set a record on PP. I suspect it won't take long for people (racers, commuters, weekend warriors) to get used to the differences between the two and become very comfortable on electrics because they are much simpler. The adjustment is more a matter of UNlearning what you know about gas bikes, not learning something strange and new. If we had been racing and driving EVs for the last 100 years and someone came along with a gas bike, no one would be willing to ride one. Every time I drive a gas car now, it just feels clunky and awkward.

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    The thing is, though, can't you simply program the throttle to act any way you want?

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    teddillard
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazclrint View Post
    The thing is, though, can't you simply program the throttle to act any way you want?
    Not really. Not any way you want. (There is always a trade-off.) But I think that misses the point. You'd want to program it so the rider can make it go fastest, right? Not just mimic a gas bike. And sure, twitchy is probably not great with huge power, but as noted, he seems to have learned how to handle it pretty quickly.

    It's really great to start hearing really talented riders talking about how the electric ride is different. A drum I've been beating for a long time now.
    Last edited by teddillard; 09 September 2013 at 0734.

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    Seņor Member podolefsky's Avatar
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    Yup - in another quote he said that despite feeling different, it comes out of an apex like nothing he's ever ridden. And that they probably would have broken the old record if the course wan't "green" from rain earlier.

    The way I think about it is that in any vehicle, when you're going hard you never know how fast you're going. You don't look at the speedo. You're using the gear you're in, along with the pitch of the engine and other cues to gauge your speed. Say you're going flat out in 4th. You know you need to downshift into 3rd at that patch of grass, then brake at the crack in the pavement to have the right speed into the turn, shift into 2nd and ease into the throttle after the apex.

    Doing a fast lap is a series of using pieces of information to hit just the right speeds without actually knowing how fast you're going. With an electric bike, you have one less piece of information. Plus, what you do still have is going to seem weird - instead of the engine being half the pitch in 3rd, it's like 1/5 the pitch because there is no 3rd.

    As has been said, it's just a new thing to get used to. But I wonder - there is something to knowing that for turn 3 you should be in 2nd gear. I know it seems like *more* to think about, but the way human psychology works it's actually less. Once you become automatic at putting it in 2nd for that turn, you don't have to be as precise on the throttle to get the right speed.

    All that said, obviously people do adjust.
    - Noah Podolefsky -
    The GSX-E

  10. #7
    teddillard
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    That's a really interesting way to look at it, and I think pretty true. I've been hammering on the R5e this summer, and, where with the SRX I'm thinking about gears and RPM and placement on the road, it seems like on the R5e I'm simply hitting it as hard as I can and thinking about holding my line. How fast I'm going is much more about how the bike is feeling - which is easier to get, since there's little noise and vibration. All in all, it's a far more fluid experience.

    I rode up Mt Washington again on Saturday and this time I was able to do almost the whole road without running into traffic. I wasn't thinking about the bike at all, since I knew it had more than enough to make it. I can't even describe it - except that fluidity. I could certainly tell when I was too fast or could go faster by how I was pulling the line. I don't even remember hearing the bike - any part of it - this time.

    I'd love to hear more from the race riders on this.

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    I don't think racers are used to a lot of mid-range torque, being more used to high-rpm horsepower. I think that electric motor type of instant torque is the real surprise for an IC racer.
    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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    Member Jay64's Avatar
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    Dunne did not set a record on PP with the lightning. The first few posts seemed to miss the point of what Dunne was saying. podolefsky hit it on the head. It has nothing to do with twitchyness of the throttle it has to do with how fast you are entering a corner. On a street ride it doesn't make a difference, on a race track it makes a world of difference. I don't think electric race bikes would be considered twitchy. Driving out of a corner on them usually isn't a big deal. He was only talking about entering a corner. I had a chance to chat with him while we were sitting at the top after one of our practice runs and waiting to go back down. He definitely liked racing the bike, his statement in this regard was more of a "it is different" than "I don't like it." Just something to get used to.

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    Member Jay64's Avatar
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    As a racer, I don't think the torque is that big of a difference for us. There is a lot of torque, but it isn't multiplied by a transmission. 100 ft/lbs of torque on my single speed electric is nothing compared to the torque I get out of even my 600 in 1st gear.

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