For the luddites in modern time

Kawasaki has built an electric motorcycle with a manual transmission

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Yippee… Oddly absent is the range. How far can you ride in a day without recharging? The electric Harley only has a 98 mile range.

Riders of sport bikes do like to get off often and stretch their legs allowing for recharge time. They also like to ride away from traffic so they can enjoy the twisty roads. Maybe a bit far from recharge stations. Until rechargers are plentiful, even in more remote areas, these bikes aren’t going to make much of a dent.

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Long range isn’t so important to city dwellers who just want to get around town without dealing with scarce parking.
Before Covid, electric rental scooters that look like Vespas were really taking off, here in Wash. DC.
A 25 mile range is all you need to get from one end of town to the other.

Instead of trying to compete with traditional petrol/diesel vehicles IMHO electric vehicles are better designed to fill niche applications.
Tesla, instead of developing a tractor-trailer with a huge battery to go 100s of miles, should aim for a 50 mile range to improve air quality in urban/suburban hauling.

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Not many people would want to ride a sport bike more than 100 miles without a break. At least, I wouldn’t. I used to ride a CB400 Honda, a cafe racer-style bike. It was fun, but a lot less fun on long rides. And that was in my early 20s. Apparently it will be aimed at a lot lower end of the market than HD’s offering. Maybe Kawasaki will offer a battery upgrade to extend the range.

I no longer am a motorcycle rider. I gave it up 34 years ago… period! However, I think this EV bike with a manual transmission will be popular with some open-minded motorcycle enthusiasts.

Although I don’t ride motorcycles, I am semi-patiently waiting in the wings for EV cars to evolve to the point where I’ll jump into the market for one. All I need is to see some decent range and I’m sure that day will come, sooner than later.

EVs are coming folks. Get ready to participate or get ready to be left behind.

I’m surprised. I made frequent 250 mile straight-through trips on my Honda 750 4-cylinder air cooled and had no problem doing so. I would have to believe others would share similar anecdotes and outcomes.
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

On rides with friends riding a range of bike types… the sportbike set the breaks. A Ducati with a small fuel tank and agressive riding position. The guys riding more upright sport touring bikes with big fuel tanks could ride farther but we never left a bike behind!

Our group rides were 250 to 500 miles in a day. Not too practical or even possible with a 100 mile range

OH NO… Dont tell me that we are going to re-invent the use of the letters “BC” again… As in 2018 BC

I’m going to get so confused.

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That’s not going to be nearly enough for a full day’s worth of deliveries in city settings

You can find the build on the show Vintage Voltage but it’s reportedly got a 80-100 mile range and recharges in about 90 minutes. Based on the frame of a later model Royal Enfield motorcycle.

The use of gearing will significantly increase the range. I use my bike mostly for commuting, so an electric motorcycle would suit me fine if I had a place to charge it at night.

I don’t know why this is so difficult a concept to explain but engines, engines. It must have an engine. And it must use gas, diesel or something similar. And you also need to have to change the oil once in a while. Not electric or atomic or sun powered, but an engine.

No joke! I think we should revive steam engines for motorcycles, not too hard to understand, wood and coal are both plentiful and inexpensive, eh?

Steam power is great because them needs to stop once in a while, fill up with water and oil the “rods”. How cool is that?

Wait! While my back was turned, what ever happened to horses, anyhow?
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

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In the “Before Times”…


This virus stuff is getting out of hand!

Please, no.

And I wish they’d never started this “social distance” talk. I hear it every 3 minutes and I refuse to say it!

That term is a misnomer. Most of the world calls adequate space between nervous people as physical distance! That is the correct term. Actually “social distance” should be discouraged and physical distance can be employed.

"A Misnomer"
"We believe the term ‘physical distancing’ should replace ‘social distancing’ in public communications. Moreover, where appropriate, physical distance guidelines need to be accompanied by equally specific recommendations for fostering social connectivity and interdependence. This two-fold change will increase the sustainability of the physical distancing required to ‘flatten the curve’. "
Thank you in advance for your cooperation!
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:


Why do you say that? If that is true, why wouldn’t Tesla have used a transmission?

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I was just about to ask the same question @Mustangman just did. In my gear laden brain I feel this is logical… but something tells me those who are much much better at communicating with those Electrical Pixies some call “Electrons” will say something like slowing an electric motor down is not what you would want from an energy conservation point of view.

The only example of this in my head I can come up with is the Ole Fashioned resistor pack on our car interior blower motors…where turning the Squirrel Cage at its slowest speed…is actually wasting the most energy in the form of heat.

Of course I could be way off here because those DC battery powered EV’s convert it over to AC…dont they? I am not too sharp with what is the better practice (in terms of saving power) after or during this conversion taking place in conjunction with electric motor rpm…etc. Anyone? Anyone? I know we have some people here who are very very sharp in this area.

If I were a Crow, I might know these things, but alas…I am but a lowly Blackbird.


Electric cars use polyphase AC induction motors with variable frequency drives. I am looking for the efficiency vs RPM curves. I’ll post when I find one.

Edit: Found one.

Seems to be the opposite effect. Higher speed gives greater efficiency. Higher speeds would take greater torque to oppose the aero drag. Having greater efficiency at a higher rpm would help range. Gearing down like a gasoline engine would seem to hurt that efficiency.


So there was some part of my brain that knew that slowing those motors down would be a bad thing in terms of energy… Hmmm…maybe I am learning slowly over time.

However…in terms of Mph for the vehicle… gearing could or would increase mph…while keeping said electric motor in its “sweet spot” perhaps? Now I’m sliding backward into ignorance again.

My life is a comedy of errors, but i do learn from them… so just ignore me

Might be needed if the designers chose a peanut motor, incapable of propelling the vehicle directly. But I’ll bet a cost-benefit exercise would reveal that the costs for using an underperforming motor and transmission exceed those of just using a properly sized motor in the first place. The transmission adds cost, has energy losses, reduces reliability due to more moving parts and adds weight.


Good question. First, I’ll admit my theory is based on theory, and not actual testing. Having said that:

  1. I’ve been watching the electric motorcycle market closely, and I’ve seen manufacturers list particular models with different ranges based on changes in sprocket sizes of the drive chain. That tells me they can be geared for maximum range or more power with shorter range.

  2. (I’m sure you know this already, but in order to follow my line of thinking…) The whole idea behind gearing is to let the motor operate in its optimal range at different vehicle speeds. How you define “optimal” is based on whether the engine is designed for power (like a farm tractor or semi), for speed (like a Tesla or a Miata), or for efficiency (like a Prius or an Insight).

  3. Lastly, I think Tesla doesn’t use gearing because it makes for a smoother acceleration curve and a more fun driving experience if it never has to shift gears. On a machine as complex as a Tesla, you can increase range by limiting power to the electric motor, leaving the driver with the experience of never having to shift gears or feel the gears shift.

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