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Author Topic: Should an electric motorcycle look like a gas bike?  (Read 346 times)

Alan Stewart

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Alan
2014 Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model 3 reservation

MrDude_1

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Re: Should an electric motorcycle look like a gas bike?
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2017, 12:12:48 AM »

ugh.
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clay.leihy

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Re: Should an electric motorcycle look like a gas bike?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2017, 12:35:38 AM »

ugh.
I'm with you. I think electric bikes could certainly be "non-traditional" looking, but that one is just ugly. (IMO)

Sent from my Z982 using Tapatalk

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Clay
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MrDude_1

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Re: Should an electric motorcycle look like a gas bike?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2017, 07:47:04 PM »

ugh.
I'm with you. I think electric bikes could certainly be "non-traditional" looking, but that one is just ugly. (IMO)

Sent from my Z982 using Tapatalk

I believe form should follow function.
Since I am looking at mostly on-road, higher speed motorcycles with good handling, I expect:
a seat set into the bike,
 a section of bike infront of the seat with some kind of scalloped area for locking my legs in,
pegs under me that I can weigh easily,
bars low enough that my body is not up in the air, and so that at speed the wind holds me in a neutral weighed position.
I expect a HIGH (yes, high) and about 70% forward center of gravity that lets the bike turn easily and keeps the front weighted down
I expect a short wheelbase and reasonable suspension geometry.

So... with that said.. you can go nuts, but STYLE wise, like all motorsports vehicles, organic lines are sexy. flat slabs are not. simple curves are not. having no concave shapes generally are not.
You can have it be "open" and look like parts are missing or fully covered. You can have it be direct with a line from steering head to swingarm pivot or a sweeping stylized curve... whatever looks good and works. It doesnt have to be a purebred racebike.  But if its not for function, it better be pretty.
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Richard230

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Re: Should an electric motorcycle look like a gas bike?
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2017, 09:23:43 PM »

ugh.
I'm with you. I think electric bikes could certainly be "non-traditional" looking, but that one is just ugly. (IMO)

Sent from my Z982 using Tapatalk

I believe form should follow function.
Since I am looking at mostly on-road, higher speed motorcycles with good handling, I expect:
a seat set into the bike,
 a section of bike infront of the seat with some kind of scalloped area for locking my legs in,
pegs under me that I can weigh easily,
bars low enough that my body is not up in the air, and so that at speed the wind holds me in a neutral weighed position.
I expect a HIGH (yes, high) and about 70% forward center of gravity that lets the bike turn easily and keeps the front weighted down
I expect a short wheelbase and reasonable suspension geometry.

So... with that said.. you can go nuts, but STYLE wise, like all motorsports vehicles, organic lines are sexy. flat slabs are not. simple curves are not. having no concave shapes generally are not.
You can have it be "open" and look like parts are missing or fully covered. You can have it be direct with a line from steering head to swingarm pivot or a sweeping stylized curve... whatever looks good and works. It doesnt have to be a purebred racebike.  But if its not for function, it better be pretty.

So what did you think of the Dan Gurney Alligator?  ;)
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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.

MrDude_1

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Re: Should an electric motorcycle look like a gas bike?
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2017, 10:24:33 PM »

ugh.
I'm with you. I think electric bikes could certainly be "non-traditional" looking, but that one is just ugly. (IMO)

Sent from my Z982 using Tapatalk

I believe form should follow function.
Since I am looking at mostly on-road, higher speed motorcycles with good handling, I expect:
a seat set into the bike,
 a section of bike infront of the seat with some kind of scalloped area for locking my legs in,
pegs under me that I can weigh easily,
bars low enough that my body is not up in the air, and so that at speed the wind holds me in a neutral weighed position.
I expect a HIGH (yes, high) and about 70% forward center of gravity that lets the bike turn easily and keeps the front weighted down
I expect a short wheelbase and reasonable suspension geometry.

So... with that said.. you can go nuts, but STYLE wise, like all motorsports vehicles, organic lines are sexy. flat slabs are not. simple curves are not. having no concave shapes generally are not.
You can have it be "open" and look like parts are missing or fully covered. You can have it be direct with a line from steering head to swingarm pivot or a sweeping stylized curve... whatever looks good and works. It doesnt have to be a purebred racebike.  But if its not for function, it better be pretty.

So what did you think of the Dan Gurney Alligator?  ;)

I didnt make nearly as many jokes about that as I made about the Delta Wing. lol
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clay.leihy

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Re: Should an electric motorcycle look like a gas bike?
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2017, 12:49:17 AM »

ugh.
I'm with you. I think electric bikes could certainly be "non-traditional" looking, but that one is just ugly. (IMO)

Sent from my Z982 using Tapatalk

I believe form should follow function.
Since I am looking at mostly on-road, higher speed motorcycles with good handling, I expect:
a seat set into the bike,
 a section of bike infront of the seat with some kind of scalloped area for locking my legs in,
pegs under me that I can weigh easily,
bars low enough that my body is not up in the air, and so that at speed the wind holds me in a neutral weighed position.
I expect a HIGH (yes, high) and about 70% forward center of gravity that lets the bike turn easily and keeps the front weighted down
I expect a short wheelbase and reasonable suspension geometry.

So... with that said.. you can go nuts, but STYLE wise, like all motorsports vehicles, organic lines are sexy. flat slabs are not. simple curves are not. having no concave shapes generally are not.
You can have it be "open" and look like parts are missing or fully covered. You can have it be direct with a line from steering head to swingarm pivot or a sweeping stylized curve... whatever looks good and works. It doesnt have to be a purebred racebike.  But if its not for function, it better be pretty.

So what did you think of the Dan Gurney Alligator?  ;)
Form certainly follows function there. I'd love to see a more aero-looking version, accentuating the purpose of the thing.

Sent from my Z982 using Tapatalk

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Clay
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KrazyEd

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Re: Should an electric motorcycle look like a gas bike?
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2017, 12:53:06 AM »

Nissan had a problem with people not liking the looks of the Leaf.
2nd generation looks more conventional. Volt was a little unconventional
with first generation, looks more mainstream today. Tesla has always
looked pretty much mainstream. Some people want something that looks
UFOish, others don't wish to draw attention to themselves.
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Richard230

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Re: Should an electric motorcycle look like a gas bike?
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2017, 05:00:44 AM »

Nissan had a problem with people not liking the looks of the Leaf.
2nd generation looks more conventional. Volt was a little unconventional
with first generation, looks more mainstream today. Tesla has always
looked pretty much mainstream. Some people want something that looks
UFOish, others don't wish to draw attention to themselves.

Like the Brammo Enertia?
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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.

Alan Stewart

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Re: Should an electric motorcycle look like a gas bike?
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2017, 08:13:22 AM »

I’m fine with the first gen Leaf’s front end, which seems to be what most folk hated, but don’t like its rear end. Too frumpy. The Renault Zoe, that is a nice looking car.

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Alan
2014 Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model 3 reservation

Alan Stewart

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Re: Should an electric motorcycle look like a gas bike?
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2017, 08:18:35 AM »

So far most electric motorcycles have been traditionally styled, even though there’s no reason for one tho have a gas tank. This is just a scooter, but it’s non-traditionally styled, and cool as hell IMHO.

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Alan
2014 Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model 3 reservation

Richard230

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Re: Should an electric motorcycle look like a gas bike?
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2017, 08:34:11 PM »

The question for a vehicle manufacturing company is: Do you want to make an unusual vehicle that takes advantage of a new technology, or do you want to make a vehicle that resembles one that your customers will recognize, feel comfortable with and sell?
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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.

Doug S

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Re: Should an electric motorcycle look like a gas bike?
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2017, 09:31:16 PM »

Ideally, I'd say a balance needs to be found. Here in San Diego, I very rarely get even a second glance on my 2014 SR -- people just assume it's like every other bike (though I will say when I was visiting Santa Cruz, I got questions pretty much every time we stopped). So I'd say enough of a visual difference to make people look twice, and realize there's something unique about this bike, would be a good thing. It would help with the evangelizing process.

But I do think the design shouldn't stray TOO far from the familiar. Otherwise you run the risk of looking like something someone cobbled together in their garage, rather than a production-built, fully competent machine...what IS that thing??

What exactly that balance looks like, I don't really have a clear picture in my head. Someone pointed out that the fake "gas tank" on the Zeros really just serves as a visual point of reference for people...but what would you do instead? I'm not much of a designer, but it does seem like there should be SOMETHING between the front of the seat and the handlebars. Storage, extra battery capacity or fast charging is great functionality to put in that space...but the housings all seem to wind up looking like a gas tank. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Even the old-school Gold Wing, which had the gas tank under the seat, put a housing there to imitate a conventional gas tank.

One thing that still looks like a bike but never fails to turn heads is a full streamliner. And since EVs benefit greatly from aerodynamics, I think if I were designing an electric motorcycle from scratch, I'd design it from the ground up to incorporate a large, full fairing, including a good tail. That should start conversations wherever you go and serve a very useful purpose, as well.
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Richard230

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Re: Should an electric motorcycle look like a gas bike?
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2017, 12:59:25 AM »

Ideally, I'd say a balance needs to be found. Here in San Diego, I very rarely get even a second glance on my 2014 SR -- people just assume it's like every other bike (though I will say when I was visiting Santa Cruz, I got questions pretty much every time we stopped). So I'd say enough of a visual difference to make people look twice, and realize there's something unique about this bike, would be a good thing. It would help with the evangelizing process.

But I do think the design shouldn't stray TOO far from the familiar. Otherwise you run the risk of looking like something someone cobbled together in their garage, rather than a production-built, fully competent machine...what IS that thing??

What exactly that balance looks like, I don't really have a clear picture in my head. Someone pointed out that the fake "gas tank" on the Zeros really just serves as a visual point of reference for people...but what would you do instead? I'm not much of a designer, but it does seem like there should be SOMETHING between the front of the seat and the handlebars. Storage, extra battery capacity or fast charging is great functionality to put in that space...but the housings all seem to wind up looking like a gas tank. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Even the old-school Gold Wing, which had the gas tank under the seat, put a housing there to imitate a conventional gas tank.

One thing that still looks like a bike but never fails to turn heads is a full streamliner. And since EVs benefit greatly from aerodynamics, I think if I were designing an electric motorcycle from scratch, I'd design it from the ground up to incorporate a large, full fairing, including a good tail. That should start conversations wherever you go and serve a very useful purpose, as well.

I agree, full streamlining would start conversations, OK, but it wouldn't sell very many "units", and therefore you won't see a major manufacturer market a "dustbin" any time soon.   ;)
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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.

MrDude_1

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Re: Should an electric motorcycle look like a gas bike?
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2018, 09:54:41 AM »

Ideally, I'd say a balance needs to be found. Here in San Diego, I very rarely get even a second glance on my 2014 SR -- people just assume it's like every other bike (though I will say when I was visiting Santa Cruz, I got questions pretty much every time we stopped). So I'd say enough of a visual difference to make people look twice, and realize there's something unique about this bike, would be a good thing. It would help with the evangelizing process.

But I do think the design shouldn't stray TOO far from the familiar. Otherwise you run the risk of looking like something someone cobbled together in their garage, rather than a production-built, fully competent machine...what IS that thing??

What exactly that balance looks like, I don't really have a clear picture in my head. Someone pointed out that the fake "gas tank" on the Zeros really just serves as a visual point of reference for people...but what would you do instead? I'm not much of a designer, but it does seem like there should be SOMETHING between the front of the seat and the handlebars. Storage, extra battery capacity or fast charging is great functionality to put in that space...but the housings all seem to wind up looking like a gas tank. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Even the old-school Gold Wing, which had the gas tank under the seat, put a housing there to imitate a conventional gas tank.

One thing that still looks like a bike but never fails to turn heads is a full streamliner. And since EVs benefit greatly from aerodynamics, I think if I were designing an electric motorcycle from scratch, I'd design it from the ground up to incorporate a large, full fairing, including a good tail. That should start conversations wherever you go and serve a very useful purpose, as well.

just for reference... the "gas tank" on modern sportbikes is actually the airbox. the fuel is usually lower, behind the motor on the I-4 motor bikes... in the case of my Buell, the fuel is in the frame and the entire "tank" is the airbox. In the case of my CBR, the whole "tank" airbox cover is often the one you see bolted onto the racing zeros. the real fuel tank is only the rear section of it, leading down to under the seat area.
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