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Posts Tagged ‘Electric’

Traditional thinking see a motorcycle have two wheels, three if it is a sidecar. By why limit yourself to traditional thinking? One company did just that and came up with a single wheel motorcycle (other have as well, but for this article we are concentrating on this one).

Ryno-1

Using more or less the innovation that the Segway brought to the masses, Ryno Motors uses a motion sensing computer to judge whether you are not riding straight up, in other words, about to topple over, and then automatically readjusts the vehicle. So it is the computer that enables you to ride on one wheel without continuously needed to do a balancing act.

You use your body to turn; shift your body mass a bit to the left, and the bike turns left, body to the right, and you bike turns right. It’s very much like riding a normal two wheel motorcycle, shifting your weight causes the bike to turn. Want to accelerate? Shift your weight forward. Slow down? Lean backwards. People who have ridden a Segway should be comfortable with this machine. The “bike” does have handlebars, so you can ride it like a motorcycle.

Ryno-3

Needless to say, the Ryno is an electric motorcycle. Its top speed is pretty low, about 10 mph, and you will not ride an endurance race with it; 10 miles before the battery goes flat (it takes 6 hours to recharge, but it does charge from your car’s 12V outlet). But if all you need is something that would replace a Segway, so short distances without the need for speed, this could be interesting. It requires very little space, and for the motorcycle-die-hard fans, it still feels like a motorcycle.

It costs $5,295.

Ryno-2

So would this be the future technology? Will it replace motorcycles? Have a look at the video below to give you an idea.

No, no way. Not at the price, nor at those speeds, nor at those ranges. But it can and will replace Segways. If I were to require a Segway, I would go for one of these.

Would this vehicle tickle your fancy?

Source: Ryno Motors

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Recently the Oregon based manufacturer of electric motorcycles, Brammo, launched their flagship motorcycle, the Brammo Empulse and the Empulse R.

The Empulse had already been teased to the media 2 years beforehand, when they unveiled their prototype. For the first time, an electric motorcycle looked like a traditional motorcycle. In fact, it looks a bit like a Ducati Monster.

Beginning May, at a big media bash in Hollywood, an excellent choice for announcing an electric motorcycle, the Empulse and Empulse R were released to the eager media.

But what makes the Empulse interesting compared to other models, including Brammo’s own Enertia, is that the bike has a 6-speed gearbox.

Electric motorcycles have no gearbox, since the engine revs turn the chain to the exact speed you require, often with an incredible torque. But bikers are already missing the sounds that motorcycles make; having them miss out on shifting through the gears may be one of the several reasons electric motorcycles aren’t catching on (plus range, performance and mostly cost).

Now you can buy an electric motorcycle that will give you a top speed of 100 mph, and range of 100 miles, AND shift through 6 gears, just like what you would now on your own traditional bike.

$16,995 will get you the Empulse, $18,995 gets you the Empulse R (the difference being the materials used: more carbon fiber instead of plastic). But for that money, you get a “real feel” bike and respectable performance and range. Will the gallon price of gasoline nowadays, the investment could start paying off real soon.

Source: Brammo

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Electric motorcycles are on the rise. Every month a new one springs up, either from an existing manufacturer, or from a brand new one. With exorbitant fuel prices and with rising CO2 levels, more and more people feel strongly that electric motorcycles will eventually overtake the gas-powered ones. It’s almost written in concrete. It’s just a matter of time and technology advances.

Currently, most electric motorcycles are very limited in their range. It’s changing, but it’s not sufficient. Add to the equation the fact that when you run “dry” you can not refuel at a gas station; you’ll need to recharge the batteries, and that takes a lot of time. Talks are underway in many countries around the globe to make batteries standardized, and therefore easier to swap when you arrive at a refueling station, most probably a gas station. You’d ride in, and in a few minutes the attendants will swap your battery for a fresh one, and off you go. But so far, it’s not happening. Getting different companies with different agendas to agree on a common format is not easy.

But let’s look at the manufacturers. There are two kinds of manufacturers; the existing motorcycle manufacturer, and the new one.

Existing manufacturers, like Honda, Yamaha or Suzuki, make small displacement-style motorcycles and scooters that are electrical. They don’t really have anything revolutionary, they are just small 50cc equivalent bikes, with a very limited range, but great for getting around town. Or look at KTM, who have recently announced an electric motocross, the Freeride. Off-road electric motorcycles are a perfect match, quite and maneuverable.

Brammo-Enertia

Brammo-Enertia

But new manufacturers may have the edge. The likes of US-based BrammoZero and Vectrix, or Quantya  and the modern Agility Saietta in Europe have an advantage over existing manufacturers; they have no legacy! Their designs are truly greenfield exercises, from the bottom up. Just look at the Brammo Enertia, it’s an electric motorcycle that doesn’t look like any motorcycle you can buy from any existing manufacturer. But it works very well, it’s reasonably fast and has a reasonable range.

Agility-Saietta

Agility-Saietta

This is an advantage. The new electric motorcycles have a design made for transporting batteries, not an existing motorcycle frame changed from a small fuel tank and bigger engine to carry big batteries and a smaller engine.

But on the downside, new manufacturers do not have the infrastructure needed to attack a global market. Virtually no money, no dealers and very small manufacturing facilities. Therefore, new manufacturers will not be selling many electric motorcycles, therefore the price will remain high, despite many government subsidies. Many face financial difficulties, and some have to close down. Just looking at their counter part in the automobile industry, you can see Teslar is facing problems selling an electric car. They do not sell many, and those that are sold are expensive.

So what will happen to the electric motorcycle? Will the new manufacturers disappear despite have better products, or will the existing manufacturers come out with proper designs?

The answer is probably in between. Existing manufacturers will acquire the new ones, injecting much-needed capital, and put in place a complete global infrastructure with dealers and sales & marketing. A Brammo with its novel designs could be purchased by a Ducati, Zero by KTM and Vectrix by Kawasaki.

That would bring stability to the market, proper designs at a more reasonable price and global availability.

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