6000+ Miles

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holmesjtg
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Last seen: 2 years 7 months ago
Joined: Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 08:15
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6000+ Miles

Hi all,

Just wanted to report in on a new milestone for my C124 test pilot bike. The odometer just ticked over 6000 miles this week so I've attached a couple of photos in celebration! The scooter has been running great and aside from a couple of minor issues, it's been an amazingly reliable mode of transportation to and from work. My commute is about 20 miles round trip and I try to use the scooter as much as possible year round. The best part is that I haven't noticed any change in battery capacity. Still seem to be able to go about 40 miles per charge (although I do tend to charge them up every night when they are about at half capacity).

Cheers,
Jeff

PJD
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Joined: Wednesday, November 22, 2006 - 05:44
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Re: 6000+ Miles

I now have a bit over 8800 "odometer units" - this is actually about 7550 miles (it reads 16.5% high.) Your odometer error is probably similar. My commute is only about 12 miles round trip so you will soon be catching up.

My C124 continues to operate reliably aside from some glitches - a sporadic malfunction in the regen and that annoying bppppbbbpppt motor sound and vibration (some kind of design flaw or malfunction in the Kelly controller. I really wish I could get rid of the handlebar wobble when ridden with a light grip or one-handed too. I suspect it is just due to the inadequate stiffness in the front of the frame in combination with the added low-slung weight from the battery pack. I'd like to upgrade the scooter to a new and and reportedly improved model Kelly controller (quiet operation, more starting torque), but doing so will be hard to justify unless the existing controller fails altogether becasue of the the cost ($750-$900).

I also find the scooter to be eminently practical, fun, low-carbon transportation, but I am beginning to consider my 8 years of trying to promote electric 2-wheel transportation to be a failure. On the rare instances that I get an inquiry, I am honest with them and tell them that unless that want to take it on as a hobby, I cannot honestly recommend anyone buying an electric motor scooter, due to the ridiculously high cost for what is essentially a cheap Chinese scooter and the fact that you are on your own with regard to service and parts support. Then there is the problem that the main urban demographic for such transportation live in apartments or condos without access to the means to charge the scooter. For only a third of the cost, one can get a Vespa.

This is all a terrible shame, becasue there is no reason that, with economies of scale, electric scooters would not be far less expensive, and far more reliable and durable than an IC scooter - they only have one moving drive train part (the rear wheel itself) for crying out loud! But nobody is willing to make the big capital investment to take electric 2-wheel transportation seriously.

LeftieBiker
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Joined: Saturday, July 9, 2011 - 04:36
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Re: 6000+ Miles

"I also find the scooter to be eminently practical, fun, low-carbon transportation, but I am beginning to consider my 8 years of trying to promote electric 2-wheel transportation to be a failure. On the rare instances that I get an inquiry, I am honest with them and tell them that unless that want to take it on as a hobby, I cannot honestly recommend anyone buying an electric motor scooter, due to the ridiculously high cost for what is essentially a cheap Chinese scooter and the fact that you are on your own with regard to service and parts support. Then there is the problem that the main urban demographic for such transportation live in apartments or condos without access to the means to charge the scooter. For only a third of the cost, one can get a Vespa.

This is all a terrible shame, becasue there is no reason that, with economies of scale, electric scooters would not be far less expensive, and far more reliable and durable than an IC scooter - they only have one moving drive train part (the rear wheel itself) for crying out loud! But nobody is willing to make the big capital investment to take electric 2-wheel transportation seriously."

I have to agree. In about 12 years' worth of two-wheeled EV riding, the only unsolicited question I remember getting was one about the ZEV - and they thought it was a gas-engined scooter. It doesn't stop with two-wheelers, though: I started driving a Leaf about 6 weeks ago, and have gotten zero questions about that as well -even though I work on a small weekend shift and we all park near each other. Primates are much better at reacting to change than at planning for it, so if the oil supply gets disrupted we can look forward to having our EVs stolen from us (possibly at gunpoint)...assuming any of the people with guns figure out what they are. Ah, America...

On the bright Side: they would probably burn out the controllers almost immediately, by applying throttle while rolling backwards. Or would get tossed off and killed by hitting the front brake while going fast...

MEroller
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Joined: Monday, September 26, 2011 - 09:24
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Re: 6000+ Miles

On the bright Side: they would probably burn out the controllers almost immediately, by applying throttle while rolling backwards. Or would get tossed off and killed by hitting the front brake while going fast...

Hmmm, my Kelly does not burn out when applying forward throttle while rolling backwards (though I try to avoid that if possible). And for the life of me I could never get my bike to throw me off forwards when hitting the front brake as hard as I could while barreling down the road at full speed - the center of gravity is so low that even in such emergency braking situations even the rear wheel still can absorb some braking power without locking up immediately.

As for regen dropouts, I am experiencing that as well, also with a Kelly controller and now about 3 year-old GBS cells. When applying regen at over about 60km/h it often just makes a short nudge of regen and then lets the scooter roll freely. After letting go of the brake handle and slightly reapplying it regen usually becomes operational again.
I somehow suspect that due to an ageing-related increase of internal resistence in my battery the high induced voltage of surely over -60V in the motor sends such a high inital current surge through the controller and battery that my set max voltage limit for regen cutoff of 90V is exceeded before the controller can reign in the regen current to a maximum of -60A, thus temporarily terminating regen. I will log my ride to work tomorrow at 0.2 Hz resolution and with no averaging set in the CA to see if I can catch that fleeting moment of high-speed regen termination and figure out why it is happening...

I bet regen will NOT conk out tomorrow morning :-)

My rides:
QvR vR one, erider Thunder 5kW

PJD
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Re: 6000+ Miles

I'm pretty sure it isn't an over voltage cut-out in my case. I know what that feels like because my street descends downhill in one direction upon leaving the house, so the regen cuts out as designed. At any rate, my regen problem has disappeared not no apparent reason. It will probably be back at some point.

I'm trying to get more information on the newer Kelly KHB series. They supposedly provide quiet vibration and growl free motor operation, and presumably better efficiency and starting torque.

If performance is any reflection, I have seen little evidence of degradation of my GBS cells which also have been in service about 3 years.

Regarding inquiries about my scooter, I get an unsolicited question perhaps every 1-3 weeks - increasingly more commonly lately. But the source of the inquiries has nothing to do with being "green" - the inquiries are mostly from not-so well-off people, who are looking for cheap transportation in the face declining income, unemployment and service cuts and fare hikes in public transportation. I suffer literal embarrassment if I have to tell them what Current is asking for the (outwardly a cheap-Chinese) scooter they are looking at.

LCJUTILA
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Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: Monday, May 21, 2012 - 07:23
Points: 113
Re: 6000+ Miles

I am at about 2300 miles.

My C130 works great and I take it on the freeway frequently. It tops out at around 70 MPH on the high setting and will cruise at about55-60 MPH on the low setting. The low setting gives me outstanding range.

I have a license plate holder that says "I make my own gasoline" and "Powered by Solar". (I have solar power at my house.) This generates quite a few comments. My bike replaces a '69 Mustang that uses gasoline with style. Now the car remains parked for months at a time. I use the Motor bike instead.

It is a unique experience driving a vehicle that is powered by concentrated sunlight. The solar panels capture and concentrate the sunlight and squish it down until it fits in these little boxes on the scooter that we call batteries. Then, with a twist of the throttle, I release the sunshine again and am propelled down the highway at 70 MPH by solar wind.

True witchcraft!

LCJUTILA

PJD
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Re: 6000+ Miles

A correction regarding the controller - The "improved" controller is an update of the existing controller. KBL72401E instead of KBL72401B. $550 from Kelly.

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