On my way back from the track at the recent AHRMA races I was riding my Zero S (the lower performance version of the bike in the video) and my friend was on his FXRS Low Rider Sport. At a traffic light he asked me how come my bike didn't launch from a stop like the eMoto bikes we had just seen.
When the light turned green, instead of just progressively rolling on the throttle as I had been doing I just whacked it WFO and quickly disappeared down the road. At the next light when he finally caught up to me he looked at the bike and said: "Point taken."
They are deceptively fast. Sometimes you just don't realize how hard they're accelerating because you don't hear the engine revving, you don't have the vibration, and you don't have the sensation of shifting up through gears. It does take a little getting used to.
On the Electric Motorcycle Forum there were several posts on how short tire life was on these bikes, with several reporting snapped belts as well. I've come to the conclusion that those riders just LOVE whacking the throttle at every opportunity because at nearly 13,000 miles my tires look hardly worn at all. My belt is also in good condition as well. Another culprit for short belt life involves riding WFO over bumps. When the rear wheel hits a bump hard enough and leaves the ground the motor will spin it to maximum RPM IMMEDIATELY. Upon hitting the ground again it is forced to stop spinning very quickly and that shock is very hard on the belt. A gas engine bike's wheel won't accelerate that quickly due to flywheel effect. There IS no "Flywheel Effect" with an electric motor.
I have the standard "S" bike, which is a bright yellow. I also wear a day-glo yellow helmet. I don't feel any more visible or invisible than I do on my other two bikes BUT I am also a LOT more aware of what is going on around me. Maybe they can't hear me but I can certainly hear THEM now.
It really isn't any different from my bicycle riding days either. If you think you're invisible on a motorcycle burning a headlight or high beam all the time, try riding around New York City/Long Island traffic on a bicycle sometime.
I attribute my "survival instincts" to those years and miles I rode around here on two wheels under my own power. It's served me well.
Oh! I have noticed one difference when (cough cough) lane splitting. Unless they're looking in their mirrors, they don't know I'm coming so I actually have FEWER drivers maneuvering around to block my passage between lanes. They don't know I'm there until I'm past them.
Interesting points, Jaime--especially the one about being able to hear your surroundings better.
I think bright colors/helmet is critical as well. Cagers generally won't pull out in front of us if they can see us. I was rocking a day glo mesh jacket until I found out they don't slide so well upon contact with asphalt (directly all the energy that would be dissipated by sliding into my body). I couldn't for the life of me find a day-glo leather jacket, so now I ride with a white leather jacket and a day glo vest. If you ever see another rider with day glo on, it's amazing how far you can pick them up visually and how much easier they are to see.
I had not heard that about mesh not sliding and not dissipating crash energy. It makes common sense, though. Do you know if it's been tested and reported somewhere, or just learned through hard earned personal experience?
Very sorry to hear that. I agree that leather can't be beat, and I sincerely appreciate you sharing your hard earned wisdom. Here in L.A. (lower Alabama), the summer temps stay in the upper 90s with humidity in the upper 90s as well. So for many riders, the choice is between wearing leather and risking loss of mental sharpness due to overheating, mesh with its risks (which I just learned are worse than suspected), or no gear. I've also tried perforated leather and found it really provided no cooling in the summer heat.
I understand the mental sharpness issue. There have been times that I have had to unsuit and tie it up behind me due to almost passing out.
Long ago, Iowa damn near killed me. I was on my X1 and blasting along on the highway with my suit on. It was just about 100F and nothing to see but corn. I drained my kamelback and refilled it every time I saw anywhere that sold water but I was past that slippery slope to dehydration/overheating.
I had to check into a hotel in the mid afternoon and hide for a day and a half in order to fix myself.
I recently bought a cooling vest for working in the yard. It has four pouches that contain a phase change liquid. Turns solid at 58 degrees. They stay solid for about two hours while I'm working out in the south 40 (the empty lot next to me) in the Texas heat, and as they start to melt, I get about another hour out of them. I haven't tried it under riding gear yet, but I'll bet it works great. The cooling packs will freeze solid again in about 30 minutes in the refrigerator, faster in a freezer or a cooler of ice. On a long trip, I'll bet I could stash the extra set of cooling packs in a small cooler, and be good for 6 hours of riding...maybe more, since sitting on ass riding down the road doesn't generate a lot of body heat.
Bought them off amazon...I'll post links if anyone is interested.
The vest comes with a set of inserts, but I wanted an extra set so I could have a set standing by.
I should note that I got the extra inserts open box (amazon warehouse deals) for $75. They currently want more for the extra inserts than they want for the vest, which includes the inserts. Uh...buy two vests and save money...duh. I don't understand amazon pricing.
Also note...it has a left handed zipper. I feel a bit of a girl putting it on, but then the comforting cooling begins and I forget all about it (I wonder if wearing a dress on a hot day would elicit the same response? ...think I'll buy a kilt).
On my first trip to Germany I was going to get some of that good German riding gear. Since Hein Gericke stores were fairly common, I had my sights set on a jacket. That is, until I tried one on at a Hein Gericke store in Berlin. WTF?!?! The zippers on the 'wrong side'!
On a later trip I went to the InterMOT show in Munich and saw some interesting jackets. Upon further inspection, I was reminded that the zippers are on the 'wrong side'.
It actually kept me from buying one - on multiple occasions...