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Motorcycles and EBikes

Started by mtblair, February 21, 2022, 09:27:48 AM

Previous topic - Next topic Rad E-Bike April 2024 Promotion

mtblair

I own a motorcycle and have just ordered a Rad Mini ST2. I'm curious if there are any other motorcycle riders here and what their thoughts are on when they ride one over the other. Right now I'm going car-less so these are my two primary forms of transportation (I can take the bus when needed). The plan is to use the Mini on errands, get me to work and back, and any other local jaunts including scenic outings to get some exercise. For longer rides and out of town adventures I use my motorcycle (Honda Shadow).

I'm also interested in how motorcycle riders have dealt with the differences in rules of the road for ebikes.

Thanks!
Owner of a Rad Power Mini Step-Through 2

SemperVee

#1
  Long time MC rider here.   Much easier to jump on the RAD for a run up to the store rather than my big touring bike with loads of storage!!   20mph on the RAD feels like 60 on the MC and just as much fun!    Yes we ride both in bike lanes and with traffic and on bike trails.  Great having throttle to take off when stopped in turn lane waiting with cars for light to turn green.    8)

Kmac66

I rode a motorcycle for years, but it's been a while. The thing I have had to get used to on my radrunner is reminding myself "you will not make it through that yellow light in time!".
Like on a motorcycle you gotta keep you head on a swivel and check your six.
And have a great time.  :)

MagnumPA

Not a full sized motorcycle, but this was my daily driver from 2009-21, front end is from a 1969 Suziki K10 Hillbilly, the rest is parts from several 1978-83 Honda PA50 Hobbits. The kid's in preschool now so the Rad Runner Plus seemed like a good way to get him there without having to pay for a second car + insurance.  Thank you child stimulus check.   I think I've only ridden the moped once since getting the ebike. I do feel naked without a full face helmet, especially on those rainy days.  Now that they passed the "stop signs are optional for bikes" law here, the ebike gets me to work just as fast as the gas bike, and I can park it inside at work.  I honestly keep thinking of selling the old moped, I just don't have those endless hours to tinker in the garage like I used to, and I sure don't miss the gas/carb cleaner/brake cleaner fumes. 

mtblair

That's quite the Frankenstein bike you have there, @MagnumPA!

I'm interested in seeing the differences in road rules, @SemperVee. Like signaling for turns, triggering the damn light sensors at intersections and right turns after red. Around here, bicycle riders blast through red lights and stop signs like they don't exist. I don't think I can get used to that.

I received my Mini last week, assembled and adjusted it, but haven't had the chance to ride much. Blame our Seattle rainy weather!

What I did discover is that it was easier to find large bags for the Mini than for my motorcycle.  That puts in a vote for the Mini being the best for local errands.

One factor that determines when I ride which "two wheel" is the gear I'll wear. I'm a firm believer in ATGATT (all the gear all the time), so there's about $800 worth of gear that I ride when on the Honda. The bulk of that is to protect me from the asphalt. Which brings up an interesting question that I'm researching... how much gear is necessary to protect one on an ebike doing 20 mph?

Road rash still happens at 20 mph!
Owner of a Rad Power Mini Step-Through 2

sc00ter

#5
My bikes keep getting smaller as I get older. Used to have a CBR900RR in the early 90's, various bikes afterwards and currently own a Piaggio Liberty 150. My wife has a Honda Silverwing scooter. So I got into ebikes to squeeze in some exercise for my commute to work at 14 miles each way. I now ride the scooter less and less and my wife is selling the Silverwing. Now here's a funny observation.

It seems everyone wants a ebike the goes fast, even if they have zero experience with motorcycles or even a conventional road bike. Then they get a ebike, unlock it and wonder why they crashed at 35mph and complain about their road rash. I've owned a few Class 3 ebikes and found 20mph fast enough for me and my use.

Finally, for reference. I'm 50 years old, no health issues and will still jump on a sport bike when given the chance. And 2 wheels (and 4 wheels for that matter) have never been about outright speed. I just enjoy getting out and enjoying fresh air and taking in the scenery, and stunts if it's a rocket bike! I heal slower now so falling off of ANYTHING isn't fun anymore. I've been tempted to get a Honda Monkey bike just for fun and something different.

Eric7

I had a 200 cc and a 535 cc bike and I really enjoy my Rad Mini Step Thru.  I've also owned and road bicycles all my life.

Ebikes are not about going fast - a motorcycle is better for that.   The legal speed limit on some roads are 70 mph and people drive 80 mph.  I can get all the kicks I want on the road just following the crowd and not even speeding. :)

I enjoy my ebike because it is carefree.  No insurance.  No license.  Just ride if you want, don't ride if you don't want.  Don't worry about eating up insurance and not driving.  My thought is that it is too much effort to try to turn a 1 horsepower bike into a 1.5 horsepower bike.  While the battery is expensive, I am not spending time trying to make it last twice as long by charging to 80% and discharging only to 40% or whatever.  That takes all the fun out of the bike. It is a hobby, it is going to burn some money and a battery is much cheaper than what I spend on a motor bike.

12 to 15 mph is good enough for me - I am trying also to get some exercise.  I try to bike a little daily.

As for traffic rules, I actually obey them all.  The motor helps.  I can stop at a stop sign going up hill and the motor can get me up to speed again.  I've decided to follow all the rules and just enjoy myself.

As for protection, I wear a helmet.  I am not going fast even at the speed limit of 20 mph relative to a motorcycle going 70 mph legally.  I have never crashed on a bike - mainly because I am not pushing the limit at all.  I am also just riding around the neighborhood and not really getting on the highway.  With a range of less than 50 miles, maybe less than 30 miles and a top speed of 20 mph, it is a different kind of ride.  It is for getting a cup of coffee, going to the library, checking out the neighborhood, waving at the neighbor.  Just to get some exercise and fresh air.  I drive defensively - motorcycling taught me that.

JimInPT

#7
Quote from: Eric7 on March 02, 2022, 05:21:02 AMMy thought is that it is too much effort to try to turn a 1 horsepower bike into a 1.5 horsepower bike.

With two motorcycles in the garage with the e-bike, I get what you're saying.  It's nice to go slower, enjoy the cows, woods, beach and sun and not have to heavily gear-up to do it if I'm in no hurry.

However, to increase top speed (other than by "fixing" the factory strangulation), you have to increase battery voltage, not just the controller amperage.  I can get close to 25 mph now with my liberated MiniST2, and that's fine.  Most of the time I set PAS and gearing to pedal hard enough for exercise without making my knees mad and meander around at 12-15 mph.  But now and then I get to whee! at 25 just for fun and have hit slightly over 30 downhill, pedaling like mad in 7th gear.

But I'm swapping out the 17A controller for Bolton's 35A model soon for improved torque, not top speed - I'd like to conquer those two pesky steep hills in town at long last without exhausting myself pedaling to assist the motor, and I'd appreciate more acceleration when merging, crossing or escaping traffic.  Having peak 1600w available vs. 750w will do the trick.

Shucks Ma'am, I'm no "Hero Member", I just like to wear this cape.

Joel52334

#8
I used to ride a '67 Honda CB77, aka 305cc, with a 4speed. The guy I bought it from said he had it bored and it's close to a 350.  My brother had a CL350 a 5 speed, another friend had the CB400, it is a classic like my CB77. Nothing is like my dad's 1937 Indian Scout!  A 3 leaf front spring with a 2/4 rubber block if you bottom out the springs.  On the backside, there is a shock in the seat post. Besides the 3 speed hand shift, with a 2-way clutch peddle.  I did have a 2cyl Yamaha 400 for a while.  It turned into a money pit.  I sold it.

I helped my kids build a 49cc 2 cycle engine on one of my own bikes.  In Iowa, 49cc is not obliged to have a license, an addon on your license, insurance etc.  One day a county Sherrif did stop my youngest son.  He instantly told the deputy it was a 49cc engine.  He was impressed my 13 yr old kid knew his stuff.  Then they looked it over and the deputy was very impressed.  It was not a screamer, but the boys had fun getting around town.

My RW4 is my "truck of choice" right now. I've added 1 extra battery, and think I'll and a second (aka 3 batteries) with the DATEx3 it should be sweet, with a range close to 100 miles. I'm looking into the "solar trailer" guys have built
I'm an RW4 owner. I'm not using any of these ancient forums. (ICQ, AIM, MSN, YIM). Instead look for @joelhuebner, joel.huebner, joel.huebner@gmail.com, joel52334.
That's where you will find me.
This forum uses UTC time. GMT-0.  I'm at GMT-5 CDT.

NaturallyRC

#9
Lots of great answers here, so I'll just echo that twisting the throttle (and waiting) is what I notice. Absent is the instant blip to get you as quickly out of trouble. That said, the boost that exists is a bonus compared to a pedal bike. I'm a strong stroker, but a well-timed 500w throttle snap gets me through a busy intersection in one piece faster than I can do with just legs. It's a safety feature I did not expect. Ditto to other comments about keeping your head on a swivel. If you think motorbikes are invisible to cars (and to pedestrians stepping off the curb, with headphones) e-bikes have it worse. IMHO you need to think like cyclists do, and be ready to be run off the road at any moment. Sharing the road is not something cars are ready to do.

Eric7

Quote from: JimInPT on March 02, 2022, 10:57:30 AM
But I'm swapping out the 17A controller for Bolton's 35A model soon for improved torque, not top speed - I'd like to conquer those two pesky steep hills in town at long last without exhausting myself pedaling to assist the motor, and I'd appreciate more acceleration when merging, crossing or escaping traffic.  Having peak 1600w available vs. 750w will do the trick.

I see what you are saying now.

On another point.  I enjoy the freedom from rules, insurance, license, dumb car tax and all of that.  I can enjoy fixing up something and taking it on the road without concern about safety checks, inspection stickers and all the regulations. That's something I appreciate even though I have not done it. I appreciate being able to do it if I want.

JimInPT

Quote from: Eric7 on March 03, 2022, 08:40:00 AMOn another point.  I enjoy the freedom from rules, insurance, license, dumb car tax and all of that.  I can enjoy fixing up something and taking it on the road without concern about safety checks, inspection stickers and all the regulations.

Gotcha.  I won't even consider living in a state with those ridiculous "safety check" shakedown scams, dumb stickers on the windshields etc.  And tollways are right out.  That stuff is just a tipoff about being in a corrupt environment.  Fortunately most of those things are back East, which was entirely ruled out after a couple of business trips, so hasn't impacted my life choices.  Another little annoyance is to never buy a vehicle from a dealer that either glues or (worse) drills and bolts on their logo to the rear of a new car - that's mutilation.  The most I'll tolerate is a license-plate frame with the dealer's name on it, but those are gone soon after it gets home.
Shucks Ma'am, I'm no "Hero Member", I just like to wear this cape.

mtblair

Good stuff here. There's another thread in this forum that has a lot of overlap ("Speed and Responsibility").

https://www.radowners.com/index.php?topic=1823.0

I appreciate my Mini more since I can just throw on a bike helmet and go for a ride. Compared to what is required to own and ride a motorcycle (in Washington state), my Mini fills an interesting niche. It will never replace my motorcycle. And hopefully, ebikes never become so regulated that they become as complex to own and ride as a motorcycle.
Owner of a Rad Power Mini Step-Through 2

mtblair

Here's my version of 4-wheel drive  :) :

Owner of a Rad Power Mini Step-Through 2

NaturallyRC

LOL. Love it. Thanks for sharing.

Quote from: mtblair on March 04, 2022, 08:26:18 PM
Here's my version of 4-wheel drive  :) :