Many people are thinking about alternative energy. There can be alternatives to gasoline. That’s the purpose of the electric dirt bike.
One company that produces these is Zero Motorcycles. Zero electric dirt bike is quiet, and performs well. As of August of 2008 they were already back ordered. Of course only 45 had been produced by that time. Their goal is to produce 2000 in 2009. They will also introduce an electric street bike.
An electric dirt bike is ideal for people who want to ride off-road in barren areas near cities. This could include wilderness trails in suburban developments. Normal bikes would draw the anger of neighbors. They’re very loud. But the electric version hums along quietly. That’s why it’s becoming popular.
One issue with an electric dirt bike is the price. They’re generally more expensive than comparable gasoline powered dirt bikes. They also have limited range. This is about 40 miles per charge. That turns out to be about two hours of use on the trail. One problem with this is people like to ride for an entire day. They won’t find a socket out in the wild.
Some veteran off-road riders see the electric dirt bike as a novelty. They don’t think it will last. One rider, also an editor of a motorcycle magazine, said “this is a good second bike, but not something most enthusiasts would want to own as an only bike.” But other people call them sexy and fun.
Zero’s founder became interested in the electric dirt bike in 2002. He was formerly an aerospace engineer, but later became a motorcycle designer. He disagreed with people who think electric cycles are slow and boring. All of the parts of the Zero are custom made.
The big problem with an electric dirt bike is the battery. Lithium ion batteries can last a long time but they’re hard to cool. Zero had to develop a quick cooling material to surround the batteries. The pack that they came up with costs nearly $4,000 to replace. It lasts for six years. The battery takes about two hours to fully recharge. That’s not bad. The motor has 23 hp and can go from zero to 30 in under two seconds. Zero says that experienced riders are blown away by the performance.
Speaking of costs, the zero is about $7,000, this electric dirt bike also costs $300 to ship. They’re only sold online. The overall goal for the company is to become big.
Expect to see an electric dirt bike very soon somewhere in your town.
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