Electric bikes


Going to a presentation tonight, which will include a chance for questions.

Anyone got any sensible questions? Looking at the web site, they seem to have decent acceleration and improving battery distance, speed of charging.


They always give the figures for best weather, have always been put off because in winter the figures would nose dive as would they after a year of owning the battery, if you own the battery


charging points is probably a useful one as well! seemingly more and more car charging points…


One of my friends is an energy trader, oil and gas mostly. He noted the National Grid was not designer for nor can it support charging electric vehicles on any sort of scale. Might be worth asking about that.

They always give the figures for best weather, have always been put off because in winter the figures would nose dive as would they after a year of owning the battery, if you own the battery Curtis
Yep bang on. What's the range for a 2 year old bike, in January temperatures of 0C-5C, with heated grips/gloves/etc plugged in and whilst lugging a top box with chain/lock/lunch/laptop in it?


How many mainstrem manufacturers are actually developing electric bikes? Or hybrids?


How will the ‘loud pipes saves lives’ philosophy translate to electric bikes? After nearly being hit by an electric scooter in Palermo, I think this is a serious negative attached to electric vehicles…

How many mainstrem manufacturers are actually developing electric bikes? Or hybrids? silveR6
KTM, Yamaha, Harley Davidson. 


Missed your questions, but as it happens they were all asked. Will do a proper write up tomorrow.


Honda & BMW certainly are - you can buy an electric BMW scooter already.

I’d be very surprised if the other major manufacturers don’t also have research & development depts working on them too.



The guy was open about battery performance dropping as temperatures shift. The optimum is 20 degrees and anything higher / lower means a fall. He said winter could mean up to 15% less range. Also, anything zero degrees and the charging struggles.

Art a
Yeah, range is the big issue for most of us. But they are improving (claimed up to 200 miles, probably closer to 100 in real world) as is the charging time. FAst charger can do it in 35 mins.

Great minds, I asked that. Suzuki are looking at Hydrogen apparently. And Harley D have just taken a 25% share in a company that do battery stuff. Others keep their cards close to their chest, though Ducati and BMW defo do research apparently.

The sleeper:
There is a link of charging points map on the website (will link) and they are increasing all the time.

Apparently the issue is around peak times. I know this too, from my year as an Electricity analyst in 1991. The peaks were seasonal but are basically when everyone gets up and when everyone gets home. The fact that you charge and store the power means this isn’t a huge issue, especially as use age is so low. Might be different if everyone rode one, but that’s some way off.

I thought the guy was in denial here, stating it didnt make that much difference not having noise. I challenged him on this and suggested they develop artificial noise, on call, for the very purpose. Although a traffic plod Sat next to me, suggested using your horn :slight_smile:

All in, I came away thinking they will become more attractive as they fully nail the charging, range issues. The reduced servicing and fuelling are massive pluses. Give it a few years, and I reckon there will be significant numbers riding them.

I thought the guy was in denial here
I know this is a controversial stance on a motorbike forum but I'm all in favour of silent electrical vehicles. EVs don't solve all the problems: they still use massive CO2 to manufacture, the still pollute with tyre and brake particles, and they still consume space (look at the size of a Tesla), they remove tailpipe emissions but unless we move to a renewables grid they are only moving that emission from the street to the dirty power generating station.

The one big advantage for city dwellers like me is they are a lot quieter.

I don’t subscribe to the ‘loud pipes saves lives’ mantra. I cycle my pedal bike more often than my motorbike, I am familiar with riding a silent bike, I am familiar with looking ahead to check if any pedestrians are crossing without looking. I’ve been doing this in the city for five decades without ever coming close to hitting anyone. I’m happy to ride a silent EV bike tomorrow.

I actually think this is made out to be a bigger problem than it is. As pedal cycle use increases (and it is), and EV use increases, and it is too, pedestrians will become attuned to checking for silent vehicles. Simple Darwinism will see to that.


Something in that, but in the meantime, it might be you that the pedestrian walks out in front of. The other issue is when you are approaching 2 cars and about to go for a double overtake. You really really want car no 2 to know you are there before you go.

If you are happy to ride in silence, that’s cool. But for me, I’d love to have some ability to make a bike like noise when I think I need to. :slight_smile:


I’m pretty confident in my forward observation too but some people aren’t. That mixed with a silent vehicle could be even more dangerous. We all ride or have ridden in London and are aware of the largely appalling riding and driving standards. That mixed with no audible early warning system will prove fatal to some people. I’d almost guarantee if we all switched to electric vehicles tomorrow road traffic accidents would increase significantly. At least until, as Michael748 says, people get used to it. But how long and how many lives will that take?

But yeah you could use your horn. Doesn’t sound quite as cool as the overrun from a straight through system but it would serve a purpose.

Maybe I’m just a bit of a ludite as I love the sound and smell of bikes as much as riding and looking at them. It’s all part of it for me. But I appreciate things need to move on and electric vehicles are the next logical step.


When I ride with my loud exhaust I can see cars in front react to my presence. I know loud pipes save lives.

Motorcycles can be faster than pedal bikes. I don’t think they make for a fair comparison.

Motorcycles can be faster than pedal bikes
Can be, but shouldn't be when around pedestrians. I live in a 20 mph area, soon all of London will be 20 mph. Notwithstanding the limit, I try to ride to the conditions, if the footway is busy with people I slow down. Around town I'm probably quicker on my pedal cycle, I see it as a fair comparison and would happily ride a silent EV tomorrow.


And I was talking about the A4.


I’m not sure I agree with ‘loud pipes save lives’ but they definitely do add another aspect to peoples’ ability to notice you (both in cars and peds). I wouldn’t ever rely on riding a loud bike to keep me safe or something (riding style and speed is what matters there).

I ride a bicycle into work daily and honestly I think my bicycle / motorbike riding style is quite similar - but I definitely notice a lot more peds and cars stepping out or pulling out in front of me and incorrectly judging my speed on a bicycle (going the same speed as on the husky), and I think the sound has something to do with it (visible-profile probably another part of it but harder to quantify).

I’d still happily ride an electric motorbike tomorrow but would definitely be aware that there’s one less thing for people to notice me with.


“… but would definitely be aware that there’s one less thing for people to notice me with.”

And that’s the basis behind the general saying ‘loud pipes save lives’; it’s an additional safety factor.

No sensible rider would only rely on his loud noise for safety. There are many other factors as you say. Forgive me, I thought that was obvious.

I want as many safety factors working in my favour as possible so if I have the choice of a noisy bike or a quiet one I’ll go with the loud one every time. This would be in addition to an extra loud horn.


On my commute I have noticed filtering is much easier (last 8yrs) since I got a v loud can (MIVV). I also wear a high vis waist-coat and use high beam when conditions warrant it. So I’d want an electric bike blaring Ride of the Valkyries or similar :-)  I usually put the baffle back in when touring, trips to the countryside, etc.