Electric Motorcycles,

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Electric Motorcycles,

Postby Hillwalker » Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:56 pm

A programme this week on the box saw an India Enfield converted to run on batteries.
Originally the owner of a 1940's Norton asked for the conversion but that bike was not considered suitable.
The reasonably new Enfield was skilfully converted and the owner was delighted with the result with the bike handling and on the road performance excellent.
It was also a very good looker.
However,price and battery range was not mentioned.
Can't help feeling that this may well be the future for our sport and all the better if some British manufacturer became involved.

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Re: Electric Motorcycles,

Postby Eamonn » Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:54 pm

I also saw that program and found it interesting.

A couple of points I noted:

1) When designing m/cycles, one desire is to reduce the unsprung weight of the wheels to a minimum, however on this conversion the engine was part of the rear hub thus increasing the unsprung weight. I would have expected this to have an adverse effect on the handling. It did however mean there was no drive chain/belt and so there would be no loss of power in the transmission.

2) There was no mention of the actual weight of the final bike compared to the original. Even the experienced rider who took it for a ride wasn't clear about the before/after comparison.

3) I don't recall hearing the cost of the conversion - I suspect it was expensive!!


I would agree that it looks like the future for everyday riding will be electric, but I think the bikes that are designed to be electric from the start will be a better bet that one that has been converted from a petrol engine. I hope that our classics will continue to be road legal in the future, but suspect there may be some limitations in their use put upon us.

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Re: Electric Motorcycles,

Postby 39speedtwin » Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:28 pm

I watched the conversion of a Fiat 500 on Vintage Voltage on Quest (Thursdays), the cost was £18,000, to my mind the woman owner had more money than sense!

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Re: Electric Motorcycles,

Postby ajscomboman » Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:44 pm

I was more impressed with the 3D printing than anything else. The bike was simply plain ugly with too much bulk!

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Re: Electric Motorcycles,

Postby spookefoote1956 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:49 pm

Do they put a playing card on the forks to rattle through the spokes to make it sound right?

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Re: Electric Motorcycles,

Postby Stan Palmer » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:56 pm

We are so lucky to have lived through the petrol age. Nobody is ever going to have as much fun, even if the world lasts hundreds more years.
Incidentally, there was a news report that McDonald’s have a means of 3D printing chicken legs including the bone. So it’s not just the petrol age we had the best of.
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Re: Electric Motorcycles,

Postby Andy51 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:01 pm

I agree with Stan. Our generation (I'm 68) had modern and fairly reliable (i.e. Tele forks, rear suspension, etc) bikes all our biking careers, but easy access to older (vintage/veteran) at very low prices, even if we did not take advantage at the time. As time went on, we could have state of the art Japanese strokers, fours, Italian bikes, then retro stuff like Enfields, now electric bikes - a veritable smorgasbord of machines! And many of us picked up our classics and lots of spares at reasonable prices, before prices went skywards. We also had access to some of the great riders and races (think Hailwood) and could partake of competition riding on our road bikes (think Gold Star) or something similar and easy to work on (think G80CS or G3LC). Can today's younger Bikers say this? Outrageous insurance costs, ultra high tech bikes that need dealer servicing, super specialised comp machines - all the modern Bikers I know are in their 50s, no driving an A10 combo at 16! Andy

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Re: Electric Motorcycles,

Postby ChrisTheChippy » Sun Aug 02, 2020 12:08 am

Saw the program . I own a bullet and just thought what the point of having a bullet without the lovely thump ?

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Re: Electric Motorcycles,

Postby GOLDSTAR » Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:11 am

I recall the card in the wheel of a pedal cycle but I also recall if you put the thing In on the wrong side it unscrewed the damn valve retaining collar thus a flat tyre and lost valve.
An aside, when we have all these 'lectric vehicles with no road fund licence [a tax] and no purchasing of fossil fuels, more no tax or vat, where is the money coming from to run the country?
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Re: Electric Motorcycles,

Postby megga » Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:57 am

I also watched it, the Norton was never going to be a donor, it was clearly just for TV, as the owner was a mate of one of theirs to advise them what bike to use.
They said they got the weight the same as the original bike weight.
The final cost was not mentioned, although the budget was £20,000 and that was to include the bike. A bit expensive, but when you see these chopper builds, OCC charge $70,000 - $80,000 for one of their production machines, I suppose it wasn't bad, and the electric one was able to be ridden.
Personally I'm not a big fan of electric, I love the noise and smell of a combustion engine. I did like how neat the motor in the wheel looked, but I would question the longevity of the wiring that comes from it, with constant removal of the wheel for brake and tyre maintenance.
One thing I did think was poor was the sub frame they made, rattle can??? how long would that last?? they could have powder coated it.

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