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The False Neutral Episode #67: Electric Avenue

The False Neutral Episode #67

Garrett and Eric are on the same episode!!  We catch up with what’s been going on, we talk a little about full dresser motorcycles like the Goldwing, Indian Roadmaster Classic, and the Harley Road Glide.  We also talk at length about the Zero SR that Zack Courts just tested for Motorcyclist.com and the future of electric motorcycles.

We’d also like to hear from you.  Post questions for us below or on our Facebook page so that we can do a questions episode in the near future.  Also, do you think it’s worth the time and effort to set up a Patreon account for the show?  Let us know.

Bikes discussed on the show can be found after the break.

Please rate and review our podcast on iTunes.

False Neutral – Electric Avenue

Original Zero electric motorcycle

KTM Freeride

1992 Honda Goldwing

Indian Roadmaster Classic

Harley Davidson Road Glide

Zero SR

1988 Yamaha TZR 250

1988 Yamaha TZR 250

1994 Honda CBR 900RR

1994 Honda CBR 900RR

Electric dirt bike from Red Bull Straight Rhythm

  • dukeisduke

    I know, off-topic, but can Last Call please come back? I miss the open thread at the end of each day.

    In other news, we’re still looking for a replacement vehicle for the 17yo daughter that totaled her 5-speed manual Kia Forte Koup. I’ll be glad when this is over. I could use a Xanax. 🙁

    • What ever year Honda Civic you feel like paying for is the correct answer for your daughter.

    • Alff

      Ford Taurus. The nicest one available is still cheap, they are solid cockroach cars and the step down may help her think twice.

      • Wayward David

        Insurance should be dirt cheap on a Taurus as well, which may turn out to be important under the circumstances. Oh, and I want Last Call to come back as well.

  • RobbieVT

    I thoroughly enjoy the podcast. I don’t expect complete accuracy about cars on a motorcycle podcast, so it is not a big deal the BMW was mischaracterized a bit. The Range Extender model is rated to go 180 miles, though your real world mileage can differ. Also, the gasoline engine is a joke only because it is purely an electric generator making it a series hybrid meaning at no time does it directly powers the wheels. Conceivably, you can continue to fill up the gas tank and drive cross-country, though the gas tank is minuscule and, as you mentioned, it is narrowly designed as a city car. There are also two pure electric models with 22kWHr and 33kWhr battery packs. They have the benefit of moderately better 0-60 times not having to accelerate the extra mass of an on-board generator along with being $4k and $6k cheaper respectively.

    The i3 Extended Range, along with the Fisker Karma, are rare examples of series hybrids. The more common parallel hybrid come in different forms such as various designs of mild hybrid where the electric motor assists the Internal Combustion engine to full hyrbrids, such as the Chevy Bolt, which can be moved by the IC engine, electric motor, or a combination of the two.

    I definitely agree the BMW i3 has a very narrow window of appeal to people considering its high price and design specifically for city use. It is much like BMW’s own C 650 scooters, which at sportbike prices, you are paying for the luxury and prestige over much cheaper alternatives.

    • Wayward David

      I think you’re referring to the Chevy Volt-with-a-V, however I believe it is a series hybrid. The Bolt-with-a-B gets it’s 238 mile EPA range rating solely from its 60 kilowatt-hour battery pack. There is no internal combustion engine in the Bolt.

      • RobbieVT

        You are partly correct on the Volt and completely correct on the Bolt. The Volt in both generations can operate as a series hybrid, but also as a parallel hybrid, hence calling it a parallel hybrid. Anything that can run on pure electric or IC, regardless of whether it is plug-in or not, is a full parallel hybrid. Other hybrids that operate primarily off an IC engine with an electric assist, such as Honda’s IMA system, would be a mild parallel hybrid. A series hybrid will always be propelled by an electric motor powered by batteries that are, if needed, recharged by an on-board electric generator, such as the BMW i3 Extended Range. There are even more delineations, such as through-the-road hybrids, like some Volvos and the Ferrari FF that make vehicles confusing to classify.

        The belief that the Volt is a series hybrid is perpetuated by some reporting and GM’s own marketing. There is opinion that a series hybrid is better, which doesn’t make sense from an engineering standpoint. Electric motors and internal combustion engines have their own strengths and weaknesses and a parallel hybrid can rely on each strength for any given situation. To do this the Volt has two different electric motors along with the IC engine operating in five modes with different configurations in each mode. It is advanced enough that one motor may be driving the car while the other motor is recharging batteries if that is what is called for to keep the IC engine in optimal operation. It is a brilliant design, the programming needed to keep all these parts seamless and unobtrusive to the driver is commendable.

        To put it in simpler terms, if you floor the throttle in any Volt you are going to be using the internal combustion engine to help drive the car regardless of the battery level. Same goes for driving at 100mph. If pure electric is vegan, series hybrid is vegetarian, and parallel hybrid is omnivorous, then the Volt is a person who prefers to be vegan, but will eat a steak at the highway diner when driving 300 miles from home. They might consider themselves vegan or vegetarian, but their smug Tesla friends will not.

        • kogashiwa

          The only advantage of the series hybrid is that it’s better suited to plug-in hybrid applications; which, is a fairly big advantage.