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Do you think this is a smart move by Harley?

  • Yes

    Votes: 6 42.9%
  • No, gas is superior

    Votes: 8 57.1%

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Discussion Starter #1
Harley said that it will start production on the all-new fully electric bike next year. I don't care for the style of bike but I am all for fully electric bikes. Don't get me wrong, I will never prefer an electric bike over a gas, but if it gets more people riding and fewer cars/pollution, I love the idea. Would I buy one? Maybe if I drove it to work every day but I would have to have another gas powered bike. What are yall's thoughts???
Link to article: https://interestingengineering.com/harley-davidson-will-release-an-electric-motorcycle-next-year
 

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the problem is electric vehicles cannot compete with gas fueled vehicles on cost

so if you already have a MC then getting another electric MC just for commuting will never come close to paying for itself on fuel, maintenance, insurance.... over riding your original bike.

And if you get rid of the gas bike, then your range is down to maybe a couple hundred miles at best, which destroys the freedom of getting on your bike friday evening or saturday morning, and coming back two or three days later, after going wherever you felt like riding.

In fact, if you have a mid size or larger bike, it does not even pay to get a 250 Rebel, or a scooter for commuting - the economics just dont work out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
the problem is electric vehicles cannot compete with gas fueled vehicles on cost

so if you already have a MC then getting another electric MC just for commuting will never come close to paying for itself on fuel, maintenance, insurance.... over riding your original bike.

And if you get rid of the gas bike, then your range is down to maybe a couple hundred miles at best, which destroys the freedom of getting on your bike friday evening or saturday morning, and coming back two or three days later, after going wherever you felt like riding.

In fact, if you have a mid size or larger bike, it does not even pay to get a 250 Rebel, or a scooter for commuting - the economics just dont work out.
Completly agree. There is no reason for someone with a bike all ready to just buy an electric one to save on gas cost.

Although I would slightly have to disagree with you on the point about riding wherever you want and you cannot do that with an electric. This is assuming that they are going to charge on chargers that are also set up to charge cars. You would really be surprised to find out how many chargers are around you that you never notice. I have been doing lots of research on tesla because I am wanting to purchase one once I get out of college. This same point popped into my head, "What if there are no chargers around me??" Fact is there are lots, you can pull up maps in your area and see tons and tons of chargers everywhere.

Another point about electric bikes is that they are potentially and very easily be a lot faster acceleration wise than gas. Speed does not necessarily attract me, but for a lot of people, it does. I think electric bikes would be a way to get more riders and younger riders. This is something that Harley is really struggling with. Also, I think that more riders would mean fewer cars and less wreaks.
 

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I think electrical vehicles will replace those with internal combustion engines soon (I mean a couple of decades which is relatively soon). The charger network will expand and I bet scientists and researchers will discover a new technology of fast charging/higher capacity batteries, etc...

One thing for sure - Harley is loosing their customers because of baby-boomers getting old. New generation seems to have more interest in Iphones and virtual reality than riding. Perhaps, electrical bikes will put more younger people on 2 wheels because they are more like gadgets on wheels (I've test driven Tesla a couple of times and indeed it is a huge tablet with an option to ride it)

Electric Harley style... if you remove HD logo you will never guess it is a Harley.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think electrical vehicles will replace those with internal combustion engines soon (I mean a couple of decades which is relatively soon). The charger network will expand and I bet scientists and researchers will discover a new technology of fast charging/higher capacity batteries, etc...

One thing for sure - Harley is loosing their customers because of baby-boomers getting old. New generation seems to have more interest in Iphones and virtual reality than riding. Perhaps, electrical bikes will put more younger people on 2 wheels because they are more like gadgets on wheels (I've test driven Tesla a couple of times and indeed it is a huge tablet with an option to ride it)

Electric Harley style... if you remove HD logo you will never guess it is a Harley.
How did you enjoy the Tesla? Which model did you test? I think Harley is going to have to re-invent themselves if they want to continue to be in the top 3 selling motorcycle companies in a decade or more
 

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tesla likes to say their cars can go 300 miles on a charge, and go 60mph in 3 seconds

what they dont tell you is you cannot do both. You have to drive below 70mph and get an overnight charge to get 300 miles range. If you pull into a charger at best you are getting another 125 miles in half an hour.

and if you do the 3 second 60 mph stunt a few times, your range drops from 300 miles to about 30. Same if you drive it fast, like 120mph on the autobahn, your range at that speed is only 40 miles.

In a gas powered car thats not an issue - you can put a 30 gallon tank in a BMW and get 600 miles range driving normally, and 100 miles range going 150mph, and refuel in 5 minutes.

Cant have it both ways with an electric car or motorcycle. If you ride it fast you aint going very far.
 

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How did you enjoy the Tesla? Which model did you test? I think Harley is going to have to re-invent themselves if they want to continue to be in the top 3 selling motorcycle companies in a decade or more
Tesla was actually a lot of fun to drive - instant and flat curve torque was awesome! I've test ridden Model S P85 and P85D. P85D with dual motors was insanely fast in terms of acceleration, 0-60 in about 3.5 sec. But they are overpriced for sure, most of the price comes from the battery. I think P85D was over 100K when I test rode it. I'm really curious to test ride this
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Tesla was actually a lot of fun to drive - instant and flat curve torque was awesome! I've test ridden Model S P85 and P85D. P85D with dual motors was insanely fast in terms of acceleration, 0-60 in about 3.5 sec. But they are overpriced for sure, most of the price comes from the battery. I think P85D was over 100K when I test rode it. I'm really curious to test ride this
I am really looking forward to the model 3 tesla if they can get their production on track. There is a dealer near you for that bike you want to test out. It is located at 430 North Eugene Street
Greensboro, NC, USA
 

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tesla likes to say their cars can go 300 miles on a charge, and go 60mph in 3 seconds

what they dont tell you is you cannot do both. You have to drive below 70mph and get an overnight charge to get 300 miles range. If you pull into a charger at best you are getting another 125 miles in half an hour.

and if you do the 3 second 60 mph stunt a few times, your range drops from 300 miles to about 30. Same if you drive it fast, like 120mph on the autobahn, your range at that speed is only 40 miles.

In a gas powered car thats not an issue - you can put a 30 gallon tank in a BMW and get 600 miles range driving normally, and 100 miles range going 150mph, and refuel in 5 minutes.

Cant have it both ways with an electric car or motorcycle. If you ride it fast you aint going very far.
Well, this is simple energy conservation law :) applicable to gas vehicles as well, gas just has a better form of energy storage (energy "density" if you will) than the electricity, but I think technology will find its way out of this trap. China has already been testing a road pavement that can charge electric vehicles on the go. I'm not saying it is effective or very safe, but is is a beginning.

Of course, with all those gas stations and "speed of recharge" gas vehicles are going to be on the roads for a while. But they will be eventually replaced and I think it's gonna happen pretty soon.
 

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I am really looking forward to the model 3 tesla if they can get their production on track. There is a dealer near you for that bike you want to test out. It is located at 430 North Eugene Street
Greensboro, NC, USA
Yeah, one of our engineers pre-ordered the Model 3 a couple of years ago (when they started taking pre-orders) and he hasn't gotten it as of today :)

I talked to Zero bike dealer in Raleigh last year, but didn't make it. Hopefully this year... You should come down too!
 

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Charley is in trouble. Sales are down and the dealer here has had the same bikes for sale and not moving them. They even laid off 1500 people at their plant.
If it were me, zero is the way to go. They have it down pat in the electric market. Style and power.
 

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People do not realize that electric cars were in production before gasoline cars. Electric and steam cars were becoming popular when gasoline engines started becoming reliable.

The energy density of a gallon of gasoline by volume, cost and weight is far beyond even the best batteries. The 300 mile range battery in a tesla car is over 1000 pounds and still costs over $25,000. Batteries have been in development over the last 100 years, same as gas engines. There is not going to be a technology miracle.

300 miles of range in my Fusion is ten gallons of gas: it weighs 60 lbs + the plastic tank. The tank costs $100.

The other issue is with a gas powered car you are transferring a fuel, a liquid fuel. There is no restriction on how fast you can dump 20 gallons of fuel into a tank.

With an electric car you are transferring energy. The power from the grid is conducted through cables, where it is converted from electrical energy into chemical energy and stored in the battery. You simply cannot do that in seconds, or minutes. And to get the fastest energy transfer you lose half the energy in the transfer process (resistance in the wires, chemical conversion loss, heat....). To get the most cost effective battery charging on an electric car you have to do it overnight. If you tried to charge a 100kw-hr battery in an hour, you would have to spend 200 kw-hrs to get it from the power generation plant into your battery. Whatever energy efficiency you had is lost.

Putting wires over the highway like bumper cars is a viable option that would solve all the storage/battery problems. If the major roads had the wires then you would only need a little cheap battery to get you down the side streets and thru the parking lots.

Plug in hybrid electric vehicles, with a battery size optimized for your personal commuting is an excellent solution as well. If you drive 30 miles to work every day, you get a 30 mile battery, not a 300 mile battery. And for longer trips the gas engine kicks in.

Cars like the Chevy Volt have nailed it.
 

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You got good points, KCW. I have a couple of comments.

Yes, batteries have been developed for 100 years, but it does not mean some kind of breakthrough is impossible. First computer was invented in 1940s, but most of the progress in computer science has occurred in the last 15-20 years and now it advances exponentially.

Also, I believe in the "oil lobby". Oil industry has a lot of power and influence. Who knows how many patents for alternate energy sources they have buried.

I'm not saying that gas vehicles are bad or something. I love the sound and feel of power in my bike or truck. But IMO future belongs to alternative sources of energy. It is not limited to electricity only. Gas engines have way too low efficiency since they generate and dissipate a lot of heat and tendency is to conserve energy and resources since those are limited. That means we need high efficiency machines and devices.
 

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Strangely we do not seem to be focusing on highly efficient vehicles for some reason.

For commuting Im riding to work about 100 days a year on my VS650, and getting 59mpg (that last 1mpg bugs the hell out of me). I paid $3300 for my bike with 8k on the odo 5 years ago.

For my commute a 650 is overkill. A 250 and 90mpg would be fine. But it would cost me more to have two bikes than one general purpose 650 (or 1300...)

Electric bikes are well over $10k new.

An electric one passenger car would be great at a price of around $10k.

So what are companies like tesla making? A 5 to 7 passenger sedan that has a 700HP drive train and an average price of $120,000.

The $35,000 model 3 with a 200 mile range is currently only being made for $55,000 - it will be years until anyone gets a base model - model 3.


Its just not happening.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Tesla does have major production problems. Until they can get their new factory built, things are slow for the model 3. I think over 500,000 people have pre-ordered a model 3. Maybe I am wrong on the number but I know it is the highest most anticipated car ever. I think that kind of took Tesla off guard. As far as bikes are concerned, there is no way like you said KCW to justify spending money on an electric bike if you already have one. But, you do save quite a bit of money using electric vs gas. I did a conversion on a website and in NC driving the model 3 tesla conservatively to moderate aggressive and drove 1000 miles a month I would spend $16 per month on electric cost. The thing I like about electric anything is yes it may take 30 minutes to get half a battery charged, but most chargers are placed near shopping, restaurants, etc. So at least you can grab a bite to eat while you charge. Also, you can charge overnight and have a full battery in the morning. (Assuming you have a 220 outlet installed) There are plenty of kinks to work out with electric vehicles. Like what if you are at a charger and there is a 6 car line? I agree that the battery life is not awesome but I think that 250-300 miles is pretty dang good. That's a tank of gas for a non-hybrid car with way less cost (gas vs electricity wise) Let's also take into consideration that the maintenance for an electric vehicle is way less than a gas or hybrid. There is no transmission, no engine to break down, no oil changes, no spark plugs, no coils that need to be replaced, etc. There is a battery, Tesla reports that a brand new battery will cost $12,000. But, most people do not see any degradation in their battery until 200,000 miles and then it is 5% or less degradation. I believe that the suspension is different in the teslas and use a very high-quality bushing etc. = less repair. If we take this into bikes, is the repair bill for my gas bike so outrageous that I would sell it to buy an electric bike that has fewer repairs? No. But for someone who is new to bikes or does not care about working on a bike (most millennials), I think this could be a reason for them to want an electric bike even more. Does marginal cost always = marginal benefit? No, can it? Yes. I think that if you do long-term cost for gas vs tesla then Tesla is cheaper given that you can buy a base model at $35,000. Not to mention that they hold their value very well and in some states you get a $7000 annual tax credit for buying a new Tesla. The higher model teslas are priced I think accordingly. They are not an everyday car, they are a luxury car/luxury sports car. You are buying the most technologically advanced car ever produced, and getting an amazing car that is high quality. This has kinda gotten off topic of electric Harleys but I do think this is a great step forward for introducing motorcycles to people that would otherwise not be enticed or interested. Nurtaeff, we can meet up one day and go test drive one of those bad boys!
 

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brittct, I think some of your assumptions are a bit off.

A tesla with a 100 kw-hr battery would take about 120 kw-hr to fully charge overnight plugged in your garage. At the US national average price of 12 cents / kw-hr, that is $14.40 to charge the car and go 300 miles (if you drive it 'nice'). That is about 5 cents per mile to drive the tesla for the cost of the 'fuel'.

At $2.50 per gallon for gas a car that gets 40mpg costs 6.3 cents per mile for cost of fuel. If you add in the cost of the battery over the cost of a gas engine in a comparable car, I don't think you are saving any money.

Tesla cars are only comparable to BMWs or M-Benz by price. A $120,000 tesla has a $30,000 battery and $15,000 electric drive train. You are not paying for quality, you are paying for the battery and electric motors.

I would not call a tesla car a sports or performance vehicle. No one has yet driven one all the way around the Nurburgring test track in Europe and come anywhere close to setting any kind of speed record, because driven hard the car drains the battery rapidly and causes it to heat up to where the motor backs off to a reduced performance mode.

Same with driving on the autobahn or any other place where you can wind a car out to 120mph or more. The range of the tesla at 300 miles is already lower than any standard gas engine car (my Fusion will go 560 miles on 16 gallons at 75mph). To drive a tesla cross country from LA to NYC takes three days (72 hours) because you must stop and recharge every 150 to 200 miles, and each stop will be a half hour or more. In a gas car you could make the same trip in three days, but sleeping 8 hours a night, instead of having to drive straight thru, stopping only to recharge. If you drive a gas car from LA to NYC you can make it in 2 days.

To make it worse for the electric car, the faster you go the faster your battery drains, and if you go twice as fast the battery drains four times as fast, so you have to spend 4 times as long at the chargers. As a result, driving faster your average speed from A to B goes down - it takes you longer.

That is not a performance / sport / luxury car by any twisting of the imagination. If I'm spending $120,000 on a car, I better be able to drive it all day long at 100mph+ not averaging 45 mph on a road trip!

All the stuff you mentioned for maintenance and service does not work out. The tires on the tesla model S wear out before 20,000 miles, and they cost $2000 to replace, because the car is SO heavy. It just eats its tires. The batteries are immersed in antifreeze, the electric motors are oil cooled, and the brakes and ball joints and springs and heating and AC and all the rest of the components in the car are just like any other car - they wear out and need to be replaced just the same.

Like I said before, I would love to be able to buy a $10,000 single passenger electric car with a 30 mile range that I could drive to work and back for the next ten years on wall power. I don't see it happening.

I could get a used Nissan Leaf that is about 5 years old now for about $7,000. I don't know how long it would run before it would need new batteries - but that is a used car in a rapidly shifting EV market, so its not really a fair stake in the ground for where electric vehicles are. But I am thinking about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yes, driving fast will reduce miles you can drive. I would not buy this car to race or take on the track. In fact, they are a lot quicker off the line, but their top end speed is crap. You are not going to get the longevity as far as driving 100 miles or more on a battery vs on a gas engine. I think that with buying an electric car you have to think about what your objectives are and what you are going to do with the car.
Here is an article explains a lot about the gas cost: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/loans/cost-tesla/

Maintenance cost: https://medium.com/@SteveSasman/how-i-used-abused-my-tesla-what-a-tesla-looks-like-after-100-000-miles-a-48-state-road-trip-6b6ae66b3c10
https://teslanomics.co/tesla-model-s-vs-competitors-cost-of-maintenance-including-battery-replacement/

Tire cost differs between 21 inch and 19 inch. These are the two options for the teslas. The tire cost will be the same as any other car. You can go to Walmart or wherever to get your tires replaced and get whatever tire you want. Most Tesla owners get 30k-50k out of the 19 inch. This is dependent on which tire they went with whether they wanted grip or longevity, most bought grippy soft tires. This is what I have been consistently been reading off of the Tesla forums. The 21 inch was 15k to 25k.

I do agree there are plenty of options for a cheaper electric or hybrid car. Totally not saying that this is the most economical, but I do classify this as a luxury car, and if someone is in the market for one then I think this could be a cheaper option depending on your uses for the car. I think that once the model 3 becomes available for base price purchase and Tesla gets there production on track, this car will start to revolutionize the car market. Telsa needs to work out kinks, more charging stations, and as they grow and technology becomes better we will be able to charge faster and more efficiently. Like I said unless you have money just to blow on a Tesla or you are just really into their technology there are better options out there.

Just in case anyone is curious here are the plans by Tesla before 2020: Everything Tesla has planned before 2020 - Business Insider

Also here is their master plan:Elon Musk's 'Tesla Master Plan, Part Deux,' explained - Business Insider
This is basically where your Tesla acts as a self-taxi. So when you are at work, someone can "call" your car and the car will self-drive to them, pick them up, and take them to their destination and their card will be automatically charged. This will allow people to make money while at work or whatever.
 

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Nurtaeff, we can meet up one day and go test drive one of those bad boys!

We should. I have watched YouTube reviews on those, seems to be a lot of fun and strange feelings combo (no clutch, no engine sound)



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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the problem is electric vehicles cannot compete with gas fueled vehicles on cost

so if you already have a MC then getting another electric MC just for commuting will never come close to paying for itself on fuel, maintenance, insurance.... over riding your original bike.

And if you get rid of the gas bike, then your range is down to maybe a couple hundred miles at best, which destroys the freedom of getting on your bike friday evening or saturday morning, and coming back two or three days later, after going wherever you felt like riding.

In fact, if you have a mid size or larger bike, it does not even pay to get a 250 Rebel, or a scooter for commuting - the economics just dont work out.
not sure if you've looked at actual costs, but for a person looking to get a 'local', city, or commuter bike without the intent of long distance traveling, i don't see any economic downside to getting an electric bike. first off, the retail prices of the bikes are nearly identical between gas versus their electrical competitors. with electrical, you're not having to pay for normal maintenance items like oil changes, spark plugs, clutches, filters, primary drive adjustments or expensive tune-ups. it's cheaper to 'refill' a battery as opposed to a gas tank at less than $2 for a full electrical charge versus $10 for a tank of gas. and you can now fully charge an electric bike in less than 2 hours. plus, some states give grants or incentives to buyers for going full electric. i don't know the average lifespan or costs of the batteries, but Zero Motorcycles bikes come with a 5yr/unlimited mile warranty for theirs. so which economics "just don't work out"?

Zero S Electric Motorcycle || ZERO MOTORCYCLES
 

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Bevo,

New Zero bikes list on their website as MSRP of $11,000 to $15,000

A new Honda rebel 300 or 500 will cost you $4,000 to $5,500 - about a 3rd of the price.

Sure you can find motorcycles like the Zero with gas engines for $11k to $15k, but you wont get the utility out of an electric bike, the ranges are limited to 100 miles max on the highway, and that is if you spend an extra $3,000 for the extra big / heavy battery.

Its the same situation that tesla has with making cars. Electric vehicles are more expensive, so they went full tilt to the top end - their average sell price is $100,000, and the new "$35k" model 3 is only being made in a fully loaded maxed out $55,000 version.

GM is making the Bolt, but they are losing money on every car they sell. If tesla starts selling cars for $35,000 tomorrow they will also be losing money on each car.


Thats the point I was trying to make that we are not yet focusing on the most efficient EVs.. they are all maxed out for performance, they are all expensive - there is nothing comparable to a new 2018 $4k Honda Rebel 300 that you could ride to work and back everyday and actually save money over driving your car. The extended range battery in a zero bike costs $3,000 itself, and it still does not have the range of a tank of gas on the honda.
 
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