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Thread: Spreading the Word

              
   
   
  1. #1
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    Spreading the Word

    This weekend I attended a BMW motorcycle rally that was held in Northern California. The last seminar held at the rally was a group discussion about motorcycles in general. It was chaired by Fred Rau, a prolific magazine article author, Gabe Ets-Hawkins, former City Bike magazine editor and a lady from So. CA who runs a motorcycle safety street riding school. After talking about BMW motorcycles and the state of the industry for an hour, I threw out the subject of electric motorcycles, along with commenting how much I liked my Zero and how it had replaced my BMW bikes for trips of under 100 miles - which is most of my riding.

    Now the odd thing was that only Gabe, who had authored several electric motorcycle articles in City Bike, seemed to have any thing to say about the new technology (he is quite supportive of electric power) on the panel. Fred Rau was beating the drum for the reverse-trike Cam Am Spyder, which he said was the fastest growing segment of the motorcycle sport, while the safety riding class lady had nothing to say. One person in the 30-member audience seemed to be aware of electric motorcycles and asked a couple of questions, but everyone else appeared to be either not interested or knew little or nothing about the technology. Naturally, I did my best to explain the advantages of riding electric and how useful an electric motorcycle can be for commuting and for local riding, which is what most of use do every day. It was hard to tell how my comments were received as there appeared to be little reaction from the audience.

    It sure seems to me that the word about electric motorcycles needs to be spread among the public better than what is currently happening right now. While there are many of us in the sport that are very familiar with their advantages, there are a great many other members of the public and even long-time riding enthusiasts, who seem to be quite uninformed regarding the advantages of electric motorcycles and recent improvements in performance and usable range.

    While we can always beat the drum at a personal level, I really think that the industry and the motorcycling press need to do a better job spreading the word. I think doing something that would get electric motorcycle riding into news articles and that would capture the interest of the popular press is the best way to gain the public's attention. While I appreciate what Terry had done riding his electric egg all over the country, I believe it would be more useful to perform such demonstrations with a stock vehicle that the public can recognize as something that they can buy off a showroom floor.

    Do you think electric vehicles will be appreciated in the State of Jefferson?
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    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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    Senior Member jonescg's Avatar
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    After another successful round of electric motorcycle racing at Wakefield Park, Mike, Danny and I were drinking beers in the hotel lobby waiting for the MotoGP to come on telly. This older, rotund fellow with a handlebar moustache waddled in and saw us talking about the day, and how well Voltron was going. He was part of the formula Ford crew setting up after the bikes for more testing. His shocked voice and barely intelligible words said it all:

    "Youse them ****s with them ****ing electric bikes?? **** ME they were ****ing fast!"

    He said if he hadn't have seen them, he flat out would not have believed it. He even called his mates over to stop unloading cars to watch the last race. It was a good one too - Danny just checked his GPS data and he's doing 226 km/h at the braking marker for turn one, which is a high speed kink as you set up for turn two. That's about 10 km/h faster than a superbike through there.

    We're still in the disbelief stage, but when there were spectators, the pit wall was full (mostly other riders) watching with dropped jaws at how fast we were going. Once we have the front end of Voltron sorted, we'll be going even faster.

    Demonstration is perhaps the best way, but getting bums on seats is even better.

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    Senior Member SplinterOz's Avatar
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    My Social Networking


    Visit SplinterOz's Youtube Channel
    Ok that is quick, but I did say I thought you were getting over 200km/h.
    SplinterOz
    From Australia'a Capital
    http://rgelectric.wordpress.com/

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    Speaking of spreading the word, Terry should be at ChargePoint headquarters in about an hour, having completed the Ironbutt 1000 miles in 24 hour challenge. I know Ted and David will be putting out the word on the EV-zines.

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    If Terry completed an Iron Butt 1000/24, I bet he gets a nice article in the Iron Butt magazine, especially since their last issue did such a thorough analysis of the usefulness of electric motorcycles being able to complete one of their challenges. I hope I can find one of their magazines again. I picked up the last one at a BMW rally last spring and I attended the last BMW rally for the year last weekend. So maybe I should visit my BMW dealer and see if they have an issue.

    Perhaps Terry will attend the Silicon Valley Electric Vehicle Club rally at De Anza College in Cupertino this Saturday, like he did last year. I plan to be there, but not for their parade at 7am. It is a 90-minute and I would have to leave home at O-dark 30. During the ride along the I-280 frontage roads at that time in the morning, you meet the nicest deer, cougars, racoons, and drunks along the road. All of which I prefer to avoid. So I will wait until sunup before taking off.
    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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    Senior Member jonescg's Avatar
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    http://speedweek.com.au/speedweek-ep...1-2014-part-2/

    Skip to 33 minutes to see a 2 minute highlights reel of the racing at Winton last August.

    We should get another one for Wakefield park in a month's time, but there was very little coverage at this round.

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    Speaking of spreading the word, the American Motorcyclist Association is doing a pretty good job. The October issue of their monthly magazine, American Motorcyclist , contains a very positive four page article on electric motorcycles starting on page 34. It covers the LiveWire, Zero, Brammo and many others, including a sidebar about DIY elmotos and bikes being made by universities. It includes quotes and interviews with various electric motorcycle company marketing VPs, along with Harlan Flagg of Hollywood Electrics. A really great article and well worth reading if you can find an issue. Plus, it goes out to tens of thousands of motorcycle owners and enthusiasts. Great exposure, and I would love to see that article in a more general publication, such as a major auto enthusiast magazine and maybe Popular Science, or the like.
    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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