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Author Topic: Cold weather riding  (Read 395 times)

Emtkopan

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Cold weather riding
« on: November 12, 2017, 07:39:59 AM »

I've noticed that since it has been getting colder my range has dropped quite a bit. Usually I can ride the 36 miles to work at an average hwy speed of 80mph and have 30-40% battery life left over. Today with temps in the low to mid 60's I'm getting to work with about 25% battery life left over. In the morning when it is in the low 30's I got home with only 4% left. Wow, what a difference! I knew the cold weather would affect it some but not that much. I'm worried that if it gets into the 20's I may not make it completely to work. I haven't been running any heated gear either. I have heated grips but haven't turn them on yet. Anyone else seeing this drastic a variance?
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Richard230

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Re: Cold weather riding
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2017, 08:07:52 AM »

On my 2014 Zero, I have seen about a 20% drop in range between when the ambient temperature is 35 degrees and when it is 70 degrees. F.
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Richard's motorcycle collection:  2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

Burton

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Re: Cold weather riding
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2017, 08:09:40 AM »

Block the wind from hitting the front of your battery if you can ... it will help a bit.

If this is your first winter then I could see where this might be a surprise but the cold weather does not play well with EV batteries and you will loose about 20% range so prepare ahead.

Charge at work. Keep the bike warm if you can before departing. Block wind where you can block it. And slow down ... I have had my bike down to -16F so far at highway speeds and even in several snow storms ... I have always got home. (27m highway commute with speeds up to 75/80 and I charge at work)

No charging equipment you plug in will make a big difference on your range as the w/hr used is ridiculously lower than what you use in 1 mile at 55mph so don't worry about that! ;)
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hubert

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Re: Cold weather riding
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2017, 03:51:23 PM »

Slowing down is the best way getting safely home, or to work.

The other reason for the range drop is a matter of physics. The colder air is more dense, therefore increasing the drag, all other parameters remaining same.

Maybe you can improve the windscreen, and adopt a more "horizontal" riding position behind it!
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Emtkopan

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Re: Cold weather riding
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2017, 08:41:53 AM »

I’ll try that. Thanks.
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BrianTRice

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Re: Cold weather riding
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2017, 07:00:50 AM »

FYI, I am working with a designer to resolve the battery cooling effects which in my testing are the majority of the problem compared to drag issues from air density. That does mean we intend to sell a product, but it's primarily the designer's efforts that I am managing.

Related: http://electricmotorcycleforum.com/boards/index.php?topic=7517
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Emtkopan

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Re: Cold weather riding
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2017, 12:19:05 AM »

Yesterday it was in the low 40's when I rode to work my usual way average speed of 80mph. Again, 36 mi with 16% battery life left. Today it was in the low 30's. I averaged 75mph and tried to tuck as much as possible. But the time I got to work, 36% left on my battery. Amazing difference. Of course I had to stay behind a lot of slow cars as everybody was passing me. Now what do I do about my freezing finger tips? I wear thick gloves with Freeze Out glove liners. It's just my left finger tips. Any suggestions?
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Doug S

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Re: Cold weather riding
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2017, 01:27:11 AM »

Now what do I do about my freezing finger tips? I wear thick gloves with Freeze Out glove liners. It's just my left finger tips. Any suggestions?

In one word, Thinsulate. I don't ride in the kind of weather you're dealing with, but we do get into the 30s on occasion. I got a new pair of winter gloves this year, and so far (mid-40s is the coldest it's gotten so far) my hands are still sweating. They're thinner than my previous winter gloves but insulate far better.
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evdjerome

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Re: Cold weather riding
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2017, 05:00:05 AM »

I've used VentureHeat SG40 Battery Heated Gloves to ride through winter for the last 8 years. This year I'm going to replace them as the heating elements in some of the fingers have worn out. Not sure what I'll replace them with. I tried the Fly Ignitor Pro Gloves but found the heating to be tepid. I might go with the Venture Heat Epic 2.0 gloves.

Yesterday it was in the low 40's when I rode to work my usual way average speed of 80mph. Again, 36 mi with 16% battery life left. Today it was in the low 30's. I averaged 75mph and tried to tuck as much as possible. But the time I got to work, 36% left on my battery. Amazing difference. Of course I had to stay behind a lot of slow cars as everybody was passing me. Now what do I do about my freezing finger tips? I wear thick gloves with Freeze Out glove liners. It's just my left finger tips. Any suggestions?
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evdjerome

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Re: Cold weather riding
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2017, 05:09:51 AM »

Oh, and I have the Zero Handguards too which help block the wind.
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nevetsyad

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Re: Cold weather riding
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2017, 06:10:52 AM »

Anyone else get slowed when it's in the 40s? Like, 60 or 50% output, from a full battery (90% or so)? My bike didn't used to be like this, now, I merge on the highway and I can't even get up to speed with the slow lane in the morning.

Normal?
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2015 Zero SR (4+ months in the shop), 2016 Zero S (Random freeway shutdown, heading to shop soon)

Zee

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Re: Cold weather riding
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2017, 07:20:35 AM »

Think of a battery like a human once you get cold you do not preform well you get very week, And when your warmed up you are powerful and fast. My recommendation is charge the bike in a warm spot even using extra charger to heat up the battery before you ride and try to block the front wind from hitting the battery when ridding. Also the best way to have warm hands in the winter is to have hand gards on the bike and then order snowmobile handle bar muffs and enjoy the warm hands.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 07:25:55 AM by Zee »
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nevetsyad

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Re: Cold weather riding
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2017, 07:57:55 AM »

Here’s the thing, it was 10F colder the next day and I did the same ride, same SOCs, no slow downs.

Insulated garage overnight. Charged until ride time. Voltage sagged to 94v while at about full, in 45 degree weather. I used to ride it in almost 32 degrees without problems, two years ago...
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2015 Zero SR (4+ months in the shop), 2016 Zero S (Random freeway shutdown, heading to shop soon)

Erasmo

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Re: Cold weather riding
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2017, 03:47:06 PM »

If the charger is plugged in but is finished half way the night you still have a cold battery at the start.
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nevetsyad

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Re: Cold weather riding
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2017, 05:47:53 PM »

45 degrees outside, 60 or so in my garage. And again, 35 degrees the next day, and no problems. I’m baffled. Has to be a bug. My pack size is 8kWh most days and my range and SOC drop accordingly. But hell, before the pack size bug in firmware 51 and 52, my bike would randomly slow down in the 50s and 60s. 2015 SR battery especially sensitive or flawed?

My question is, I don’t hear anyone else being throttled by cold, unless it’s below freezing and the battery is left outside overnight. When does everyone, if ever, experience performance issues in the cold?
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2015 Zero SR (4+ months in the shop), 2016 Zero S (Random freeway shutdown, heading to shop soon)
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