Cycle Santa Monica!: May 2022

The LA Times had two articles on electric bicycles on Wednesday(5/30/2007) within the “Highway” part.

Watch the accompanying video . In the video, the man say “burn rubber not gasoline” is what Michael “Hollywood” Raines mentioned in his show “The Shop” in regards to the electric bicycle he constructed. see promo video

One of the LA Times articles was titled: “Plug into the future”. And the other was titled: “Solar power to juice the motor bike? Panel up”

The tales are based round a bike retrofitting company based in Oakland named “Lightning Motors”, or “Electric Motorsports”. And although the creator hinted at past ventures into the realm of electric bikes, they did not embrace a number of the hybrid electric biofuel models.

After taking a closer look on the bike (see picture to the best, the bike “Lithium Lightning” has a big dangerous part. The batteries are being packed to low to the bottom. If the motorbike goes over a pothole and the entrance fork suspension springs down, may put the battery pack jamming into the bottom. This might trigger serious injury to the batteries and more importantly might cause the bike to lose management, endangering the riders.

Solar power to juice the motor bike? Panel up

By Susan Carpenter, Times Staff Writer

May 30, 2007

I’d been riding for years earlier than I discovered bikes’ soiled little secret. Mile per mile, some bikes really spew extra gunk into the air than automobiles, pickup trucks or SUVs, even in the event that they do use much less gasoline. It was a sickening realization, since I’d spent so much time believing the opposite was true.

That’s why the prospect of a performance-oriented electric bike is so appealing.Of course, an electric motorcycle is not the identical as a zero-emissions bike. An electric bike’s environmental friendliness depends, for essentially the most half, on the place it’s plugged in: What’s the power source that is powering the outlet?

Most of the electricity in this country is supplied by coal-fueled plants, so if you are plugging an electric bike into your outlet, you could possibly say your bike is mainly coal-powered. It’s utilizing less vitality, and therefore polluting less than a gasoline-powered bike, however it’s still using a fossil gas and it isn’t zero-emission.

The thought behind the Lightning Motors is to make a bike that is electric and zero-emission, courtesy of photo voltaic power.

Most Americans do not live “off the grid,” and putting in solar panels is not cheap. Add the cost of a photo voltaic energy installation to the price of a bike, and it begins to get somewhat outrageous. But that’s short-time period considering. In the long term, it’d make plenty of sense.

Say you’re a commuter, riding an actual Yamaha R1 about eighty miles round journey every day. You’re probably placing $eight price of gasoline in your tank day by day. Which means you are shelling out about $2,000 a year for fuel.

By photo voltaic skilled Richard Hatfield’s math, you are a quarter of the way toward the cost of a solar-panel set up that would help regular charging of a bike like his R1 conversion, which uses about 8 kilowatts of power to journey 80 miles at an average pace of 65 mph. Creating 8 kilowatts utilizing solar energy would require a 1.2-kilowatt setup, Hatfield says. That’s a solar panel roughly the size of two sheets of plywood with an set up price of about $8,000.

The batteries for the Lightning Lithium we tested (see accompanying article) are rated for 3,000 fees. For a day by day commuter, that interprets into about 10 years of life. With Hatfield’s solar power state of affairs, that means the last six years of the batteries’ life are principally free.

A minimum of, that’s the speculation. These batteries are so new that they haven’t been examined in the real world to confirm the math, however as fuel heads towards $four a gallon, it’s an fascinating idea to ponder.


Plug into the long run

A lithium-battery proto conversion exhibits how an electric bike can go quicker than a golf cart and have the range to be sensible.


May 30, 2007

Oakland – It’s “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” bike style.

Lightning Motors’ lithium-powered superbike appears like an R1. It even handles like the Yamaha liter bike. But its innards have been wrenched and yanked out.

Your complete engine is missing. So are the tailpipes, radiator, gasoline cap, transmission and clutch. Of their place: a wall of yellow batteries, an AC regenerative motor, an electric throttle and a 3-pronged plug, which pokes out from the frame and connects to a normal outlet.

Welcome to the world of electric motorbike conversions – a micro-phenom that is been percolating for a minimum of the final decade, primarily at independent motorbike outlets, just like the one I visited in Oakland. Less polluting and inexpensive to operate than their fuel-powered brethren, electric bikes appear like a terrific concept. But till recently they’ve had an Achilles’ heel: the large size. Low energy-to-weight ratio of the lead-acid batteries propelling them.

Using lead-acid, builders have had to decide on between the tortoise and the hare. Sure, they could scorching-rod an electric bike to go a hundred mph, but it might go only some miles, making it useless for anything but drag racing. To get even 25 miles of life from a cost, most builders have opted for a small-displacement chassis and restricted the ability output to a wimpy 50-ish mph, which is why electric bikes have a fame for lithium ion battery pack being as gradual as golf carts.

Enter lithium. Specifically, lithium iron phosphate. One of a number of types of lithium on the battery market, these LiFePO4, or LiFe, batteries, as they’re referred to as, have only recently turn out to be inexpensive for the typical Joe. If you have any inquiries pertaining to exactly where and how to use rechargeable battery pack – -, you can call us at our internet site. They’re nonetheless 4 times as costly as lead acid, however they weigh half as a lot, final 10 times as long and let a bike travel 3 times as far on a single cost.

Unlike the Tesla electric sport automobile, which is powered by 1000’s of tiny batteries, the R1 conversion makes use of simply 28. Each of them is 90 amp-hours at 3.2 volts and 6.6 pounds. Together, they weigh lower than every thing that was taken off the bike to make it electric. While the majority of the batteries are concentrated in a Mondrian-esque block where the engine used to be, they’re additionally tucked under the seat the place the exhaust was once positioned, to mimic the load distribution of a inventory R1.

That’s where the similarities begin to blur and separate. Turning on the bike, there isn’t any sound – a potential security subject. Riding it, the only noise I heard was the spinning of the chain and my own amazed laughter. Once i rolled on the throttle, torque peaked instantly and stayed there. There was no have to shift because it is a one-velocity; there wasn’t any clutch. The digital dash included amp, volt and battery discharge information, along with the standard tach and speedo.

The bike’s potential horsepower is 70. 1. The bike had only lately been built. Did not have its papers so as. The bike had only just lately been constructed. Did not have its papers so as.

2. I used to be riding in a closely policed a part of Oakland.

3. The only thing stopping the batteries from sliding into the entrance wheel was a makeshift strap.

If solely I’d visited one day later. That’s when the bike’s builders deliberate on installing the battery mounts. Because it was, after simply a few minutes of riding, I squeezed the brakes and one hundred twenty pounds of batteries bum-rushed the front fender, locking up my entrance finish as I rolled toward a stop signal.

The Lightning Lithium is, in spite of everything, just a prototype – an idealistic vision of what may very well be. Using a observe-overwhelmed 1999 Yamaha R1, the conversion value about $15,000 complete. It was the brainchild of Richard Hatfield, a motorcycle enthusiast and solar panel importer primarily based in Burlingame, and Todd Kollin, who’s been making electric bikes out of previous-their-prime fuel-powered ones for the final six years at his Oakland store, Electric Motorsport. Right now, the shop does custom conversions of aging internal-combustion bikes, with a turnaround time of about 30 days.

Within a couple years, the 2 hope to make a comparably priced production version of the bike using a custom chassis, in addition to a smaller, much less powerful $6,000 to $8,000 mannequin.

They won’t be the first to strive it. In recent times, various electric-motorbike manufacturers have unveiled exotic and promising prototypes with faraway launch dates, however they by no means seem to materialize for sale. As gas prices spiral upward and lithium prices proceed to fall, Hatfield and Kollin aren’t likely to be the final.