Electric Scooters – A HOT and Growing Niche Industry

electric scooters

Have you heard about electric scooters?  Maybe you have or maybe you haven't.  Either way it seems that there are not only more electric car companies popping up but electric scooter companies are too.  This niche motoring industry is HOT right now like never before.

It doesn't take long if you are searching around on the internet to see all the mainstream companies and start-ups that are getting into the electric scooter business.  Here all the ones that I am aware of;

  •  BMW – BMW, more specifically BMW Motorrad, just introduced the BMW C Evolution which is the German company's foray into the electric scooter market.  They are touting it as an “urban mobility” vehicle and it looks slick.  Range for the BMW C Evolution is about 60 miles which should get you there and back no problem and it's electric motor pumps out 48 horsepower.  It has top speed of 75 mph.  Not so slick is the £13,500 British pounds it costs to buy one.  That's about $23,000 American dollars of course it is the most finished and well put together electric scooter I've seen.  
  • Terra Motors – A Japanese company that is aiming to build electric scooters.  Terra Motors A4000i looks like a promising entry into the scooter market but seems like it will only be available in Asian countries to start.  The company is also planning on building scooters aimed at the delivery market (newspapers, pizzas, etc.) as well.
  • ZAP – The well established electric vehicle maker has the Jonway line of motorcycles and scooters that are all electric.  Range and prices vary.
  • Mahindra – The Indian automaker is going to build it's GenZe electric scooter in Michigan.  The GenZe will have a range of 30 miles and a top speed of 30 mph.  It will use specialized storage compartments for carrying your gear and stuff.   You can put down a $250 deposit and the Genze scooter will cost you $3,000.
  • TianmAmerica – A Chinese based electric vehicle company that will ship you any of it's electric scooters for $200.  You can order them with lithium-ion batteries or lead-acid depending upon your budget.  Prices are $2,300-$4,000+.
  • Flux Mopeds – A small Wisconsin based company has only one scooter model, the EM1.  It has a removable battery so you can charge the electric scooter indoors.  Ideal for apartment dwellers and those who live in dorms.  The EM1's $2,000 price tag is quite attractive too.
  • Unu – This is a new electric scooter company that is based in Germany and aiming for the European market, where scooters are popular.  Like the other scooter companies mentioned above the Unu scoooter will have a removable lithium-ion battery.  What's cool about Unu is they will ship you an electric scooter model with insurance and license plates already installed and ready to go.  You don't have to worry about getting your electric scooter from the dealership back home.  Coupled with being able to get them serviced by Bosch throughout Germany, Unu looks like a promising entry into the market.
  • Cezata – This is an old Czech scooter brand that is being revived.  Based in the Czech Republic they are also going for the European scooter market with the Cezata Type 506, which retains the styling of the original Cezata 501 and 502 models.  The Cezata 506 comes with a 4.8kWh battery pack with power use management system, a 5kW electric hub motor, and an on-board 15 amp charger.

The advantages of a scooters compared to motorcycles are mainly that they are ideal for urban environments, since they take up less room and easier to maneuver.  Also you don't need a motorcycle license to operate an electric scooter.  (For some scooters you might depending on the power.)  This can be a hassle for some if all you need a scooter for is going a few miles in a city with limited parking space.

As you can tell from above pricing on most electric scooters isn't that much different from normal gas powered scooters. Still there are many advantages.  Chiefly the fact that you don't need to buy gas and “filling up” on electricity is much cheaper.  Even in cities where electricity rates are sky high you can expect to recharge for $1-$2 dollars possibly less than that.  This means a significant savings over the life of electric scooters compared to gas counterparts.  Also an electric scooter will require virtually no maintenance.  No changing oil, oil filters, dealing with gas, spark plugs, etc.  You still obviously need to make sure that your scooter is maintained to a degree.  Things like the brakes need to be replaced, brake fluid should be changed, and you need to keep the tires properly inflated.  Tires need to be changed out when as needed too.  However the bottom line is electric scooters will save you time, money, and hassle.  Who really likes maintaining their scooters, cars, or vehicles anyway?  This also saves a significant amount of money on repairs down the road.

Another advantage for urban commuters, the reduced noise.  Typically gas powered scooters can make a lot of noise and are not the most emission friendly.  The nice thing about electric scooters is the electric motor runs smoothly and quietly.  That means you can take off early in the morning without annoying neighbors and come back late at night from a party (don't party too hard.)  Why contribute to more noise pollution in urban environments when there are already so many other sounds?  (Some might consider this a con though as it might be hard for people to hear your electric scooter coming down the road.)

The road to electrification on two wheels hasn't been all smooth sailing.  Zero Motorcycles, a promising California start-up, pulled their bikes out of the UK market last year due to limited sales.  While the Isle of Man TT Zero racing category sparked interested in the electric motorcycle and scooter industry, it still seems to be growing at a slow pace.  (A great movie about the TT Zero is Charge available to watch on Netflix.)  Sales of electric motorcycles, not scooters, in 2013 were estimated to be only 500 bikes.  Sales numbers for this year are not looking much better.  While scooters and motorcycles do have fundamentally different transportation goals and appeal to different audiences, at least from a marketing and sales perspective the industries are intertwined.

Limited range and charging infrastructure can be an issue for some two-wheeled riders as well.  Of course let's not forgot Terry Hershner who rode his electric Zero motorcycle across the United States becoming the first person to ride an electric motorcycle across the country.  If Terry can do it on today's charging infrastructure, I don't see why others can't?

I personally believe electric scooters make sense and have a bright future ahead.  Even if it is a small niche industry it is a growing industry.  What are you thoughts about electric scooters?  Are they positive overall for the scooter and motorcycle market or something that will never really gain traction?

Editor's Note: This article is a sponsored post by GumTree South Africa.   This means the author was compensated for writing and including a link.  It still reflects the author's, Adam Yamada-Hanff's, honest opinions about electric scooters and the industry.  

Energica releases Commercial to Showcase it’s Ego [VIDEO]

 energica ego

Energica, an Italian electric motorcycle company, released a commercial online today to showcase it's Ego.  No not that type of Ego but it's Energica Ego electric motorcycle that can accelerate from 0-60 mph in under 3 seconds.  Sounds like a pretty slick bike to us.

The commercial and promotional video is meant to emphasize the technology and everything that the Energica Ego comes packed with.

  • 45 years of heritage
  • F1 technology
  • Aerospace technology
  • Together on One Motorcycle
  • Multiple ride modes
  • Internet ready
  • No Emissions
  • A New Italian Legend

The video has all the elements of a full fledged TV commercial.  A well thought out story with inspiration music in the background couple with nicely done shots in beautiful scenery, a nice looking electric motorcycle, and a gorgeous blonde Italian women at the end with an open back dress.  Check it out the Energica commercial below.

Energica Ego – Electric Satisfaction

Energica Ego, the first high performanced Italian electric motorcycle coming from the passion and experience of CRP Group.

At the heart of this thoroughbred is an electric motor which produces an astounding 195 Nm torque from 0 RPM to redline, an electronically limited 150 Mph (240 km/h) and a 0 — 100 time of under 3 seconds.

Top of the line racing components, onboard chargers, and a range of approximately 120 miles of real world riding, with a phase 4 DC charge to 85% in just 30 minutes.

The Energica Ego is being touted as a “superbike” but it has to be seen if riders of this variety will take to electric motorcycles.  (Harley-Davidson's LiveWire is a positive sign there is interest across the motorcycle spectrum.)  The company is currently touring the US to showcase Ego motorcycles in a tour they are calling “Where is my Ego?”

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Owning a Motorcycle

motorcycle

The Advantages to Owning a Motorcycle

Owning and riding a motorcycle is a thrilling and fun experience for those enjoy travelling the road on two wheels. While riding a motorcycle can be a fun way of getting around compared to taking a car, it presents distinct disadvantages and advantages compared to using a car as you everyday vehicle.

Being a part of a Community

Owning a bike gives you a different kind of membership of a ‘club’ than that of a car owner-whilst there are countless car clubs out there, the social aspect of biking is a different ball game, and has its own ins, outs and quirks-something a petrolhead would be well advised to check out at least once.

The Cost of Vehicles

While there are various conflicting statistics on the subject, in general a motorcycle costs approximately half of a car of equivalent age to maintain. You can use websites such as Lexmoto and other online classifieds to find a bike dealership with fair pricing, whether you decide to purchase a brand new model or quality used motorcycle.

Improved Fuel Efficiency

Motorcycles can offer drastically improved fuel economy and efficiency over a car. A mid-sized motorcycle will typically burn approximately 35 to 60mpg, depending on the size and weight of the bike. With gas prices going up, this is one pleasant benefit to riding a motorcycle which a lot of people don't realize.

Insurance

The majority of concerned mothers will baulk when their hear their child has a bought a motorcycle, since they imagine getting a call from an emergency room one day. While younger or inexperienced riders will of course be required to pay higher premiums initially, those who cultivate a good record can escape get by paying a lower amount in insurance for their motorcycle every year.

Parking

A small issue, but an importunate one nonetheless. How many times have you driven somewhere in a car only to find that parking is a nightmare?
Riding a motorcycle you can generally always find an ‘available space' even if where you park it isn't a parking lot. It is a bit easier to locate parking due to the smaller size and maneuverability of bikes. As long as you can find something sturdy to fix it to if you prefer and a it is safe place you shouldn’t have to worry about anything. security advice at the same time.

Disadvantages to owning a Motorcycle

Obviously, there are some disadvantages to owning a motorcycle, which you’d be wise to consider if you are thinking of getting a motorcycle or motorcycle license.

Safety

We might as well get it out of the way-riding a motorcycle is simply going to be more dangerous than driving in a car, even one with an imperfect safety rating. Aside from being smaller and much harder to see than a car, you’ve got no protection at all from impacts and will inevitably be sent flying from the bike in the event of a crash. Bikes are harder to control to learn how to control due to the 2-wheel configuration. You need to be able to balance well or you run the risk of falling and injuring yourself. This is especially an issue in tight turns.

In order to be safe, make sure that you use predictive thinking as much as possible, buy good quality leathers and a decent helmet, and only ride within the limits of your ability-it’s easy to get carried away and ride dangerously fast.
Limited usage?

Even supercars tend to have more storage space than motorbikes, which begs the question of how practical they can be for anything requiring you to lug a lot of stuff around. Not much of a problem if it’s an average day at the office or you’re out for a morning ride with the guys, but if you and a passenger are going out for the day is there really going to be room for all of your accouterments on the bike? Even with aftermaket storage compartments?

The Weather

When you’re in a car, the windows, chassis and the roof protect you from the elements-not so when you’re on a bike… not so much. Riding a bike in rain or with snow on the ground makes it about 100 times less safe than normal.  Other drivers are less likely to see you and your traction on 2-wheels is going to be a lot worse.

The Last Word

While some avid motorcycle enthusiasts might argue that the benefits of owning a motorbike outweigh the disadvantages, they still will never provide as much safety and practicality as a simple economy car. However, riding on a motorcycle is one of the best ways to travel the open countryside and enjoy the beauty of a specific region or landscape in ways you could never in a car. You get to see things in a totally new way and feel a deeper connection with the road. Even if some might not think it is practical, riding a motorcycle is a whole lot of fun.

For Sale: Gypsy Jack’s Yamaha R6 Champions Limited Edition

yamaha r6

Hey Everyone, I am listing Gypsy Jack's 2001 Yamaha R6 Champions Edition for sale.  This series of R6's were a Limited Edition run and this is the #175 model that was made.  This specific Yamaha R6 is heavily modded and contains numerous upgrades and special parts too.  Here is a breakdown of what is on the motorcycle;

  • Full Akrapovic exhaust system – $1,100
  • Top of the line Marchesini wheels made of lightweight magnesium-  $2,000
  • Ohlins rear shocks – $900
  • Brembro brakes (top of the line for racing) – $600
  • Yoyodyne slipper clutch – $800
  • Crg, lever – $200
  • Scotts steering dampener – $475
  • Zero gravity windscreen – $65
  • Gaifer steel brake lines
  • RK chain
  • Renthal sprockets

… and even more! 🙂

The bike has $10,000+ worth of parts installed on it, some of which I will list later.  On top of all these parts the body panels are made of carbon fiber.   There is also a Quarter Turn throttle meaning to get to full throttle on this R6 you only need to turn a quarter turn.  This Yamaha R6 only has 14,000 miles on the odometer and it was always garage kept.

Remember this is Jack Moschetto‘s (Gypsy Jack) R6, a friend of mine who I posted about on this blog a few times and he was well known amount the “gearhead” community in Baltimore and surrounding areas.  You can see in the pictures below that this R6 is in immaculate condition.  Jack would clean this bike anytime he took it out to ride.  Often he would use toothbrushes to clean it up and make sure there was no road or dirt grime on it.

The bike has won an award from Yamaha several years ago but I haven't had a chance to check to check with Yamaha.

Jack took incredible time to build rolling pieces of art and anyone who would want to buy this would be getting a great deal on a one-of-a-kind motorcycle that you won't find anywhere else.

If you are interested in the motorcycle you can email me – cool AT adamsautoadvice.com – with any questions.  Let me know if you'd like additional information and pictures and I will try to provide you with as much as I can, but should let you know upfront I will probably refer you to a friend of Jack's who is much more knowledgeable about motorcycles mods and this particular bike than I am.

Currently we are accepting reasonably offers on this bike but there is a reserve price set on the bike and it will not be sold any lower than that.

UPDATE: The asking price for the bike is $8,000.

 

yamaha r6 yamaha r6 yamaha r6 yamaha r6 yamaha r6 yamaha r6 yamaha r6 yamaha r6 yamaha r6 yamaha r6 yamaha r6 yamaha r6

 

Note: I will update this post with additional pictures and parts information as needed and requested.   

International Bikini Team Finals at the Timonium Motorcycle Show

I think what most guys enjoyed at the 2012 Timonium Motorcycle Show, besides all the amazing motorcycles of course, was the International Bikini Team contest, which had several events over the three day show. The best event by far was obviously the Bikini Round.  It was a definite highlight to see all those beautiful ladies walk around in minimal clothing. While the Bikini contest was taking place though someone several booths had some sort of medical emergency and the women hosting the contest ask, “Is there a Doctor here anywhere?” One of the Bikini contestants, Malissa, ran off the stage and through the crowd to help. She is a registered nurse. Additionally several of the other bikini contestants had similar training. I wasn't able to see what was going on, but it is nice to know beautiful Bikini clad ladies can help. When the Bikini contest resumed Hannah Baker was announced the winner. She will get a chance to compete in the International Bikini Team U.S. Finals in the Bahamas this coming August. What a lucky girl Hannah is! Second place was the Malissa Jayne and third place was Julia Tirenna.  All the girls deserved a prize in my opinion though.

Timonium Motorcycle Show brings Bikes & Bikers to MD

If you love motorcycles, chrome, leather, and hot babes, than the 2012 Timonium Motorcycle Show was the place for you to be.  The Timonium Motorcycle Show takes place at the Maryland State Fairgrounds every year in February and is one of the largest indoor bike shows up and down the Mid-Atlantic. The show covers around 750,000 square feet of floor space and features all sorts of exciting events and bikes over the three days it takes place.

This year's show, which took place February 10th-12th, was a cold weekend. A little cold never keeps bikers away as the parking lot was packed, as usual. Walking in from the parking lot you can always tell the enormity of the event by the all the out-of-state license plates, Virginia, Pennsylvania, even as far away as North Carolina. Luckily those people didn't drive all that way for nothing as this year's show was quite good.

Walking into the entrance you are greeted by a glorious display of Harley-Davidson motorcycles showcased by Harley-Davidson of Baltimore. My favorite Harley at the show? Honestly… it is too hard to decide.

Behind the Harley-Davidson display was Bob's BMW with their exciting BMW offerings, which included the special K-1300S HP package. Improving upon BMW's amazing K-1300 S, the K-1300 S HP package offers a 175-horsepower with carbon parts for the front wheel cover, battery cover and rear seat cowling, making the bike light. It also has a beautiful Akrapović sports silencer and a paddock stand. Only 750 of these amazing motorcycle will be made, which is disappointing, but at least I was able to see one.

Victory Motorcycles was also at the show. The bike everyone always seems to crowd I have noticed is the Victory Vision Tourer. It's striking lines and amazing shape really catch the eye and make a lot of people stop to take a closer look.  It screams, “Ride me!”

Some other brands I enjoyed seeing at Timonium Motorcycle Show were Triumph and Indian. There is something about the classic look of the Triumph Bonneville and Triumph Scramblers which is so hard not to love. It takes me back to a simpler time, when I wasn't even alive! I talked with the salesmen about how it has been selling motorcycles in this economy and it seems Triumph sales have endured. As the Bonneville is a popular among celebrities and Marlon Brando rode a Triumph in the famous movie “The Wild One.”

The beautiful Indian Chiefs on display form Indian Motorcycles of New Jersey were quite amazing too. Lots of people stopped and commented on how beautiful the bikes were.  Better save your money because the least expensive Chief model starts around $26,000.  Worth, probably.

There were also many custom bikes at the show.  Paul Teutal Jr.'s first he built after he split from Orange County Choppers was on display at the Geico Insurance booth.  The Geico Insurance bike is a cool looking bike, but it has fairly useless infrared sensor. One of my favorites at the show every year is a motorcycle dedicated to The Beatles. The gas tank is adorned with the famous Abbey Road album cover picture. Who doesn't love the Beatles? Most interesting vehicle of any kind would have to be the Monocycle. That thing must be hard to ride and control!  There were countless other amazing custom motorcycles at the show as well.

Every bike enthusiasts has a different style and taste, and most likely you will find something that will suit your style at the Timonium Motorcycle Show.  Since this year was the 10th Anniversary of the show, it felt particularly exciting experience. If you missed it this year, be sure to check it out next year.  See my pictures below and check out my International Bikini Team Contest coverage.

2012 ‘Best Of’ Award Winners

Judge’s Choice Best of Show:  #5702 Denny Ritchie / 2010 Roadkill Chopper

People’s Choice Best of Show:  #5715 Rick Levitan / 2002 Harley Davidson Dyna Wide Glide – ‘Beatles Themed Bike’

Best Display of Show:  #5505 Curtis Wolfe / 1966 Harley Davidson Sportster

Best Handcrafted Parts:  #5711 Troy Helmick  / 1974 Honda CL 360

Best Paint of Show:  #5207 Kevin Webb / 2007 Harley Davidson Nightrain

3rd Annual Beatris Landis Memorial Award for Best Antique

Best Antique of Show:   #5818 Brian Kehoe / 1939 Indian Jr. Scout

Publishers Choice Award – Presented By Born to Ride Magazine

#3010 John Nicklin / 1976 Honda Radical Trike

For pictures of the winners check Timonium Motorcycle Show's Website.

2012 Timonium Motorcycle Show – February 10th-12th

Timonium Motorcycle Show - Harley Davidson Iron 883

Some people might be excited about the Baltimore Auto Show that kicked off today.  Those who love motorcycles in the Baltimore area should be equally excited.  That is because the 2012 Timonium Motorcycle Show is this weekend and looks to be better than every.

The Timonium Motorcycle Show is the Mid-Atlantic regions largest motorcycle show and takes place at the Maryland State Fairgrounds.  New bikes from all the major manufacturers will be covering over 175,000 sq ft. of indoor floorspace.  There will also be custom bike galore as bikers car show off their motorcycles to win in the Bike Show in lots of different classes.  Exhibitors will be selling all sorts of motorcycle goods, accessories, and services.

As usual Michele Smith, the actress and model who hosts “Two Wheel Thunder on the Discover Channel, will be at the show all three days.  She will act as a host and master of ceremonies for several of the planned events.  Emilo Rivera, who plays Marcus Alvarez on the hit FX show “Sons of Anarchy,” will be at the show on Saturday and Sunday to meet the fans.  You can meet him up close and personal, but I hope he is nicer than his character on TV.  Ron Finch, the famous custom bike builder, will be in attendance too.  His motorcycles truly are works of art formed out of metal.

Something most guys will be looking forward to is the International Bikini Team competition taking place over the three days of the show.  The lovely contestants will vie for a chance to win a spot to go to the International Bikini Team U.S. Finals in the Bahamas in August.  I can imagine the competition will be strong and the girls will be pulling out all the stops to win.  I will be looking forward to this.

If you love motorcycles, the 2012 Timonium Motorcycle Show will be the place for you to be this weekend.  The show will be so jam packed with great events, motorcycles, and offerings it is hard to write about it all.  Visit the website for more information and the schedule of events.

What: 2012 Timonium Motorcycle Show

When: February 10th-12th (Friday-Sunday)

Where: Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Timonium, MD 21093

Admission: $15 for Adults ($10 with $5 off coupon via website), $5 for Children 10-15 years old, Free Children under 10