Why electric motorcycles are failing

RunForTheHills

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
So a derestricted EMMO can go 40mph? I can sympathize that someone with a suspended license still needs to get to work and go to the store, but you would think that they would want to be low profile an not attract police attention while doing so. The EMMO looks like a motorcycle and no cop is going to treat it like an ebike if you are riding it at 40mph on the road.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
This is a misleading visual comparison. You're bringing up a picture of what looks like a high speed motorcycle to say it shouldn't be classed like an e-bike, when it's actually a glorified slow moped.

That's not to say that they should or shouldn't be treated the same, but the photo comparison is extremely misleading. The Netherlands frequently allows slow gas mopeds (15 mph limit) to use the bike lanes, so it's not without precedent to class them the same.
I don't think it's misleading at all, because the reality is, people do get things mixed.

When people crash their "ebike" that look like motorcycle or Vespa type scooter, media will report it as how dangerous ebikes can be.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
So a derestricted EMMO can go 40mph? I can sympathize that someone with a suspended license still needs to get to work and go to the store, but you would think that they would want to be low profile an not attract police attention while doing so. The EMMO looks like a motorcycle and no cop is going to treat it like an ebike if you are riding it at 40mph on the road.
Does it come in "Arrest Me" Red?
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
So a derestricted EMMO can go 40mph? I can sympathize that someone with a suspended license still needs to get to work and go to the store, but you would think that they would want to be low profile an not attract police attention while doing so. The EMMO looks like a motorcycle and no cop is going to treat it like an ebike if you are riding it at 40mph on the road.
Yep, on the Zone GTS you just have to pull a single cable that connects to the speed limiter. Here's a video I came across last year. I kind of did a deep dive on these after my near-collision, to see what they were capable of.


The dude was going 65kph on the road, and is pulled over by the cops. He even calls it a "bicycle" when talking to the officer, and the cop says "Oh I can see your pedals on there"

EDIT to add: The reason I'm harping on this is that as long as e-scooters/e-motorcycles are classified as e-bikes, when people start getting killed by the former, the legislative crackdown will likely have the same effect on the latter because in the end, legislators are people too.
 
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RunForTheHills

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Yep, on the Zone GTS you just have to pull a single cable that connects to the speed limiter. Here's a video I came across last year. I kind of did a deep dive on these after my near-collision, to see what they were capable of.


The dude was going 65kph on the road, and is pulled over by the cops. He even calls it a "bicycle" when talking to the officer, and the cop says "Oh I can see your pedals on there"

EDIT to add: The reason I'm harping on this is that as long as e-scooters/e-motorcycles are classified as e-bikes, when people start getting killed by the former, the legislative crackdown will likely have the same effect on the latter because in the end, legislators are people too.
I didn't watch the whole video, but he mentioned that it was "only" the second time he had been pulled over since he bought it in March. He is a personable guy and can probably talk his way out of a ticket most of the time, but the odds are that eventually someone will write him up. He is certainly attracting police attention when he rides it.
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Yep, on the Zone GTS you just have to pull a single cable that connects to the speed limiter. Here's a video I came across last year. I kind of did a deep dive on these after my near-collision, to see what they were capable of.


The dude was going 65kph on the road, and is pulled over by the cops. He even calls it a "bicycle" when talking to the officer, and the cop says "Oh I can see your pedals on there"

EDIT to add: The reason I'm harping on this is that as long as e-scooters/e-motorcycles are classified as e-bikes, when people start getting killed by the former, the legislative crackdown will likely have the same effect on the latter because in the end, legislators are people too.
He was just lucky, that's a motorcycle with pedal, I don't know who would think that Kawasaki Ninja looking "ebike" as a bicycle.

According to the judge, “In my view, 'motor-assisted cycle' should not, without good reason, be interpreted to include a device where the motor can be used only as an alternative to human power, or a device where the use of human power is impractical,”

Looks like this person got pulled over for riding a 250 lb ebike, judging by the weight, I suspect the ebike was one of those motorcycle-looking ones.
Source: https://bc.ctvnews.ca/mobile/bc-cou...certain-e-bikes-1.5328131?cache=?clipId=89619
 

ElevenAD

Well-Known Member
just give them time, the Live Wire is incredible,right out of Starwars and its for sure cheaper than some other bikes in the Harley line up,30,000 aint that bad for this! :50 are you kidding me!
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
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Ken M

Well-Known Member
Why e-motorcycles are failing:
In my case: Legislation ! Endless permit requirement, expensive registration, insurance.
I agree and just watch what will eventually happen if the mind-less 3-class system eventually becomes the federal definition for ebikes - just like in Europe class 3 speed pedelecs will require registration, licensing, and insurance because the auto industry wants adoption rate to be neutered.

I do think there are over-lapping performance regions between ebikes/motor-driven cycles/motorcycles but I support the idea that "low speed electric bicycle" as originally defined in 2002 via HR727 needs to be protected here in the United States. It was drafted by a Phd Electrical engineer to provide plenty of power below 20mph for utility uses like cargo ebikes while limiting that power above 20mph (via the constraints of 170lb rider on a level surface) such that human and motor assist would provide some good commute utility speeds above 20mph but that speed does remain in the speed distribution of traditional bikes.

How many ebikes know that a Bosch executive (world's largest car parts producer) was in the room when People for Bikes was drafting the 3-class policy. If that doesn't wave a red flag to everyone nothing does. Why do so many of us ebike riders think is good legislation? It's NOT. The original federal definition is best - a LSEB should just be considered a bike for state use/traffic laws as was the clear intent of the 2002 legislation.
 
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Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
So, almost back on topic, are the 'missing' electric motorcycle buyers already out there riding 'outlaw' eBikes ? Irony.
 

K PierreR

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
This subject is all very frustrating to me. To me the difference between a motorcycle and an e bike is very clear. It became very clear to me when I started to design e bikes and pushing the limits. I discovered that the real problem with an e bike is that it is not a motorcycle. It's still a bicycle. Meaning that the e bike is still limited in carrying capacity and speed due to using bicycle components instead of motorcycle components. When you add a motor and electrics to a bicycle you end up with a bicycle that has used up much of its carrying capacity and cargo space to carry the electrics. Its like adding a bunch of stuff to an airplane. When you are done the useful load of the airplane is reduced. The same happens with e bikes.
The regs were written by someone very smart. The 750 watt max output is also just about the practical limit for using bicycle components to produce an e bike that will hold up and stay together. When you really get into design, you realize the genius of the original drafters. You also come quickly to the conclusion that the whole problem with an e bike is that its a damned bicycle and not a motorcycle.
From the design perspective, there is a world of difference between a e bicycle and a motorcycle. From my perspective, anyone pushing beyond the 750 watt motor output and using bicycle components is playing with building junk that will break down easily and have very limited capabilities and usefulness as well as tipping to the unnecessary increased risk side of things.
A moped uses motorcycle technology and does not ride or feel like a bicycle. In my opinion, if a bike uses motorcycle type wheels, drive components and suspension components then it is a motorcycle and can carry more power than 750 watts.
With my e bike I have pushed a bit over the edge on weight . As a result, I have suffered a bit of durability. I need to go back the other way and make it lighter cuz itls a damned bicycle, not a motorcycle. It's far easier to build and design a motorcycle. That is why e bikes seem so expensive in comparison to capability. For what I want to do, a motorcycle would be a far better choice but I don't want a damned motorcycle. I want to bash my head against the wall tying to take the e bike into new design territory.
This statement may seem odd until you start to design e bikes. "The whole damned problem with an e bike is that it is NOT a motorcycle. In the end, it's still a GD bicycle with limited capabilities"
For identification purposes its pretty clear. If it looks like a real bicycle and its powerful, it won't last long enough to worry about it. If it uses motorcycle components, then it likely looks like a motor cycle. Examples would be the Sur Ron and Stealth B-52. From a law enforcement angle, it would go something like this. " Ahhh---Son, that there's a dirt bike and you can't ride it on my bike path so get it the hell out of here so's I don't have to haul your ass off to the can and confiscate that there motorcycle. Now you got about ten seconds to decide."
 

K PierreR

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
The problem with making a real useful e motorcycle is the same problem with making a super capable e bike. power density and using up to much of the real estate and carrying capacity of the motor cycle just to carry the batteries. Power density is just not there to go 70+ mph for 100 plus miles. due to power requirements.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
This subject is all very frustrating to me. To me the difference between a motorcycle and an e bike is very clear. It became very clear to me when I started to design e bikes and pushing the limits. I discovered that the real problem with an e bike is that it is not a motorcycle. It's still a bicycle. Meaning that the e bike is still limited in carrying capacity and speed due to using bicycle components instead of motorcycle components. When you add a motor and electrics to a bicycle you end up with a bicycle that has used up much of its carrying capacity and cargo space to carry the electrics. Its like adding a bunch of stuff to an airplane. When you are done the useful load of the airplane is reduced. The same happens with e bikes.
The regs were written by someone very smart. The 750 watt max output is also just about the practical limit for using bicycle components to produce an e bike that will hold up and stay together. When you really get into design, you realize the genius of the original drafters. You also come quickly to the conclusion that the whole problem with an e bike is that its a damned bicycle and not a motorcycle.
From the design perspective, there is a world of difference between a e bicycle and a motorcycle. From my perspective, anyone pushing beyond the 750 watt motor output and using bicycle components is playing with building junk that will break down easily and have very limited capabilities and usefulness as well as tipping to the unnecessary increased risk side of things.
A moped uses motorcycle technology and does not ride or feel like a bicycle. In my opinion, if a bike uses motorcycle type wheels, drive components and suspension components then it is a motorcycle and can carry more power than 750 watts.
With my e bike I have pushed a bit over the edge on weight . As a result, I have suffered a bit of durability. I need to go back the other way and make it lighter cuz itls a damned bicycle, not a motorcycle. It's far easier to build and design a motorcycle. That is why e bikes seem so expensive in comparison to capability. For what I want to do, a motorcycle would be a far better choice but I don't want a damned motorcycle. I want to bash my head against the wall tying to take the e bike into new design territory.
This statement may seem odd until you start to design e bikes. "The whole damned problem with an e bike is that it is NOT a motorcycle. In the end, it's still a GD bicycle with limited capabilities"
For identification purposes its pretty clear. If it looks like a real bicycle and its powerful, it won't last long enough to worry about it. If it uses motorcycle components, then it likely looks like a motor cycle. Examples would be the Sur Ron and Stealth B-52. From a law enforcement angle, it would go something like this. " Ahhh---Son, that there's a dirt bike and you can't ride it on my bike path so get it the hell out of here so's I don't have to haul your ass off to the can and confiscate that there motorcycle. Now you got about ten seconds to decide."
Yep. I don't hit the Love button often but I agree. But that's why I bought eBikes. One motorcycle could carry my wife and I further and faster than two ebikes if going from point A to point B was the point. It wasn't.
This subject is all very frustrating to me. To me the difference between a motorcycle and an e bike is very clear. It became very clear to me when I started to design e bikes and pushing the limits. I discovered that the real problem with an e bike is that it is not a motorcycle. It's still a bicycle. Meaning that the e bike is still limited in carrying capacity and speed due to using bicycle components instead of motorcycle components. When you add a motor and electrics to a bicycle you end up with a bicycle that has used up much of its carrying capacity and cargo space to carry the electrics. Its like adding a bunch of stuff to an airplane. When you are done the useful load of the airplane is reduced. The same happens with e bikes.
The regs were written by someone very smart. The 750 watt max output is also just about the practical limit for using bicycle components to produce an e bike that will hold up and stay together. When you really get into design, you realize the genius of the original drafters. You also come quickly to the conclusion that the whole problem with an e bike is that its a damned bicycle and not a motorcycle.
From the design perspective, there is a world of difference between a e bicycle and a motorcycle. From my perspective, anyone pushing beyond the 750 watt motor output and using bicycle components is playing with building junk that will break down easily and have very limited capabilities and usefulness as well as tipping to the unnecessary increased risk side of things.
A moped uses motorcycle technology and does not ride or feel like a bicycle. In my opinion, if a bike uses motorcycle type wheels, drive components and suspension components then it is a motorcycle and can carry more power than 750 watts.
With my e bike I have pushed a bit over the edge on weight . As a result, I have suffered a bit of durability. I need to go back the other way and make it lighter cuz itls a damned bicycle, not a motorcycle. It's far easier to build and design a motorcycle. That is why e bikes seem so expensive in comparison to capability. For what I want to do, a motorcycle would be a far better choice but I don't want a damned motorcycle. I want to bash my head against the wall tying to take the e bike into new design territory.
This statement may seem odd until you start to design e bikes. "The whole damned problem with an e bike is that it is NOT a motorcycle. In the end, it's still a GD bicycle with limited capabilities"
For identification purposes its pretty clear. If it looks like a real bicycle and its powerful, it won't last long enough to worry about it. If it uses motorcycle components, then it likely looks like a motor cycle. Examples would be the Sur Ron and Stealth B-52. From a law enforcement angle, it would go something like this. " Ahhh---Son, that there's a dirt bike and you can't ride it on my bike path so get it the hell out of here so's I don't have to haul your ass off to the can and confiscate that there motorcycle. Now you got about ten seconds to decide."
"Son, Y'all in a whole lot of trouble here..."
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
The problem with making a real useful e motorcycle is the same problem with making a super capable e bike. power density and using up to much of the real estate and carrying capacity of the motor cycle just to carry the batteries. Power density is just not there to go 70+ mph for 100 plus miles. due to power requirements.
I agree with many of your points but a better ebike can have things like thicker "DOT like" tires, magnesium wheels (spok es are still a bit weak and fail too frequently to be "transportation grade"), etc. While I understand the merits of mid drives on mtn. bikes I do not think running the combined motor and human power thru a cassette that when commuting 80+ of the time you are on the smaller rear chain rings that wear out fast makes sense. Human and motor power can only be truly optimized if separated (this was somewhat done on the old Izip Express but not well executed given the rear differential hub seemed to slip).

Given that such a large percentage of our trips from home are less than say 10 miles ebikes can actually be the fastest mode of transportation for those trips and yet most people don't realize this or just can not give up the luxury of getting in a car for every trip.
 

fauconnier

Member
Region
Canada
The low power density of the actual e-bike batteries is enough for most users, taking into account human power contribution, speed restrictions and relatively short distance of the rides, the popularity of e-bikes is the proof. Most motorcyclists have expectations in term of speed and range that the actual batteries can't offer, but electric Moped and small city motorcycles like the Sondors Metacycle and the Zero are viable compromises when the initial cost is not the priority.
 
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TNC

Member
Region
USA
K Pierre, I think this is where the divergence of application and varied uses comes into play that may not fit your generalization of ebikes. I've mentioned before in another thread about how the wide array of bicycles and their venue of use as evidenced by threads on this and other ebike sites causes some confusion on the opinions and advice provided. I get your drift, but your assessment tends to suggest a somewhat "equal" level of component robustness and durability as applied to all bicycles.

When you have a Walmart bike on one end of the spectrum and a full-on DH bike on the other, you get the exaggerated span of what I'm talking about. Then, throw in the recumbents, trikes, cargo bikes, etc. into the discussions here, and the opinions and application goes out the window...almost.

But just staying with bicycles which seems to be the focus of your post, it's possible to obtain some really durable components that make these 1000-1500-??? possible and not be a constant and premature repair and service issue. Some component manufacturers have even been leaning toward a "qualification" of ebike compatible components. For example I have an 11-50 all steel 9-speed cassette with a stronger chain to match. The matching derailleur is a clutch style. Less chain "flailing" and less shifting due to the torque of something like a BBSHD, reduces drivetrain shock too. Tough, durable wheels set up in tubeless mode with DH level tires pretty well eliminates premature and catastrophic failure. Bike frames that verge on DH and/or AM/Enduro punishment are much more capable of outright abuse.

Nothing is unbreakable. I also do dirt motorcycles, and even at the highest levels of componentry and brands, things can and will die under the right circumstances. And I'm not arguing with you that ebikes are motorcycles...I should know...LOL! But I guess I'm just differing with you on the level of power a top drawer bicycle frameset and components can take with some reasonable durability and reliability.
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
This subject is all very frustrating to me. To me the difference between a motorcycle and an e bike is very clear. It became very clear to me when I started to design e bikes and pushing the limits. I discovered that the real problem with an e bike is that it is not a motorcycle. It's still a bicycle. Meaning that the e bike is still limited in carrying capacity and speed due to using bicycle components instead of motorcycle components. When you add a motor and electrics to a bicycle you end up with a bicycle that has used up much of its carrying capacity and cargo space to carry the electrics. Its like adding a bunch of stuff to an airplane. When you are done the useful load of the airplane is reduced. The same happens with e bikes.
The regs were written by someone very smart. The 750 watt max output is also just about the practical limit for using bicycle components to produce an e bike that will hold up and stay together. When you really get into design, you realize the genius of the original drafters. You also come quickly to the conclusion that the whole problem with an e bike is that its a damned bicycle and not a motorcycle.
From the design perspective, there is a world of difference between a e bicycle and a motorcycle. From my perspective, anyone pushing beyond the 750 watt motor output and using bicycle components is playing with building junk that will break down easily and have very limited capabilities and usefulness as well as tipping to the unnecessary increased risk side of things.
A moped uses motorcycle technology and does not ride or feel like a bicycle. In my opinion, if a bike uses motorcycle type wheels, drive components and suspension components then it is a motorcycle and can carry more power than 750 watts.
With my e bike I have pushed a bit over the edge on weight . As a result, I have suffered a bit of durability. I need to go back the other way and make it lighter cuz itls a damned bicycle, not a motorcycle. It's far easier to build and design a motorcycle. That is why e bikes seem so expensive in comparison to capability. For what I want to do, a motorcycle would be a far better choice but I don't want a damned motorcycle. I want to bash my head against the wall tying to take the e bike into new design territory.
This statement may seem odd until you start to design e bikes. "The whole damned problem with an e bike is that it is NOT a motorcycle. In the end, it's still a GD bicycle with limited capabilities"
For identification purposes its pretty clear. If it looks like a real bicycle and its powerful, it won't last long enough to worry about it. If it uses motorcycle components, then it likely looks like a motor cycle. Examples would be the Sur Ron and Stealth B-52. From a law enforcement angle, it would go something like this. " Ahhh---Son, that there's a dirt bike and you can't ride it on my bike path so get it the hell out of here so's I don't have to haul your ass off to the can and confiscate that there motorcycle. Now you got about ten seconds to decide."

What are you trying to do that makes an e-bike so inadequate? Ride it on a highway? A bike can easily accomodate typical cargo loads of 25-50 lbs for one person, plus cargo bikes can haul a lot more if needed (but aren't really necessary if your children have their own bikes or you shop for groceries more frequently as is often typical).

Most of the complaints like this about e/bikes stem from people complaining about suburbia designed around cars and high speed travel. Sorta like complaining you can't breathe underwater. Well, yeah Sherlock lol.
 

K PierreR

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
What are you trying to do that makes an e-bike so inadequate? Ride it on a highway? A bike can easily accomodate typical cargo loads of 25-50 lbs for one person, plus cargo bikes can haul a lot more if needed (but aren't really necessary if your children have their own bikes or you shop for groceries more frequently as is often typical).

Most of the complaints like this about e/bikes stem from people complaining about suburbia designed around cars and high speed travel. Sorta like complaining you can't breathe underwater. Well, yeah Sherlock lol.
I guess when you take a break from these forums and come back in you have to get reoriented because you come back in with you latest bias. Yeah I am one the outside of the curve. the components vary from XO to GX level and the weight is not within commuter range.
IMG_2120.JPG

425 lbs total, 2,538 watt hours of battery. Off pavement long distance use. 18-20 mph speeds. Many 20%+ grades.