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Old 07-18-2010, 07:02 PM   #41
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Good intentions count, not good results.
If you want something to be true then it must be true. Anyone who denies this desired truth is a bad person. See? Pretty simple to get through life these days.
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Old 07-18-2010, 11:04 PM   #42
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Current internal combustion tech still has room for considerable improvement too. I am fascinated by direct injection and the power/efficiency gains it brings to cars. Seems to be we will see this tech on motorcycles at some point.

Brammo strives for greater power and range. The auto industry is too. Motorcycle engines used to make cars look primitive. Now it is the other way around. Seems to me we can have 150 hp and 50 mpg in a motorcycle. Rules limit how much fuel GP bikes can carry. Instead of reducing power or turning off traction control late in the race, it would be better if the engine had better efficiency so it could go the distance at full performance on the fuel allotted. Smart and well funded people are working on improving engine efficiency. Given enough resources and brainpower to bear, it will happen.
This is very true.

I suspect we are being held back by the reluctance of motorcycle buyers to embrace simple aerodynamic principles - and in this case racing does not improve the breed. The FIM have specific requirements about the use of aerodynamic bodywork, thankfully something that TTXGP have recognised and specifically allow.

We need to design bikes that are more aerodynamic - and I don't mean slap a faring on bicycle frame and hope for the best. Have a look at what Craig Vetter is doing these days to get an idea of which way things will have to go to get greater mileage (whether oil or electric powered)
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As for $20 a gallon gas, that would really suck. My investments in oil companies and oil itself would prosper mightily though. I do think commodities in general are going to be very expensive down the road due to population growth, emerging markets competing for resources and devalued currencies due to money printing stimulus, but that is a whole different discussion.
When fuel is $20 a gallon the cost will be reflected in the difficulty to extract - and as it won't be profit driven I doubt your 'investments' will not be benefiting that much.

But get used to it - in the UK (and the price is broadly similar across the rest of Europe) we are currently playing @£1.14 a litre which (I think) converts to @$6.60/US gallon - this is slightly down from its peak a year or so ago thanks to the £/$ exchange rate and the drop in the spot price of crude.

But there is no indication that prices are likely to drop back again is there?
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We are in the sunset of the salad days for relatively affordable high performance sporting motorcycles as we know them. The mid term (20 years from now) future could and most likely will suck. Brammo to the rescue!
I've read this before and I can remember, as a kid, the fuel shock in '74 when OPEC effectively quadrupled the price of crude overnight and people said 'the party's over' back then. But that was an economic issue and the market corrected itself and the party carried on. There was another,smaller, crisis in the early '80's when the Shah was deposed and the Iranian regime raised oil prices dramatically. After both these crisis production was ramped up elsewhere and prices fell. This can't continue forever. At some point there will be no surplice to extract and we will have to live with the ever higher cost of oil.

It is that certainty that needs to be addressed by all of us - and the sooner the better.
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Old 07-18-2010, 11:16 PM   #43
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Let's say someone uses one of the e-bikes to commute. You are talking about 300 charge/recharge cycles per year. How many batteries can handle that? Phone batteries and other lithium batteries only provide 300-500 cycles. Seems like a battery will have to be replace each year. Full discharges shorten life. The lithium ions deteriorate and you only have about a two year life anyhow.
There are developments in Li-pol cells that apparently allow 10,000 cycles, with proper battery management, before a drop-off in capacity. But again we need to be very careful not to fall for the claims made by those who look to benefit from selling these things (or from those who would rather that people didn't sell them....!)

This takes us back to the need for independent strict (and repeatable) tests that can be carried out on vehicles or, in this case, to the batteries to assess the value of the claims being made for them. Then we'll have some real ground for basing judgements on.

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Old 07-19-2010, 05:06 AM   #44
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There are developments in Li-pol cells that apparently allow 10,000 cycles, with proper battery management, before a drop-off in capacity. But again we need to be very careful not to fall for the claims made by those who look to benefit from selling these things (or from those who would rather that people didn't sell them....!)

This takes us back to the need for independent strict (and repeatable) tests that can be carried out on vehicles or, in this case, to the batteries to assess the value of the claims being made for them. Then we'll have some real ground for basing judgements on.
Can these new types survive heavy depletion? Batteries used in vehicles are liable to be thoroughly drained. Ni-cads are supposed to be discharged completely, but not lithiums.
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:09 AM   #45
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At some point we will find that burning oil for personal transportation is too expensive and sometime after that we'll not be able to. It will be reserved for more important uses. - Jeff Cobb

Thanks for making that point Jeff. It's one I've made several times here in the past.

Even if oil had were no serious issues with pollution, cost, foreign governments, etc., using it for fuel is just dumb. There is no other substance known to man at this time that can match petroleum for the creation of thousands of vital commodities ranging from asphalt to plastics. Most of the food grown in the US is fertilized with petroleum based products. It's astounding how useful the stuff is. Burning it for fuel is like throwing textbooks and fine furniture into the fireplace. Sure it burns, but sure isn't the best use of the material.
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:11 AM   #46
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At some point we will find that burning oil for personal transportation is too expensive and sometime after that we'll not be able to. It will be reserved for more important uses. - Jeff Cobb

Thanks for making that point Jeff. It's one I've made several times here in the past.

Even if oil had were no serious issues with pollution, cost, foreign governments, etc., using it for fuel is just dumb. There is no other substance known to man at this time that can match petroleum for the creation of thousands of vital commodities ranging from asphalt to plastics. Most of the food grown in the US is fertilized with petroleum based products. It's astounding how useful the stuff is. Burning it for fuel is like throwing textbooks and fine furniture into the fireplace. Sure it burns, but sure isn't the best use of the material.
I knew we shoulda stuck with whale oil. Damn those oil companies for saving the frickin' whales anyway!
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:55 AM   #47
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Burning it for fuel is like throwing textbooks and fine furniture into the fireplace. Sure it burns, but sure isn't the best use of the material.
Yes. We can change the paradigm and burn oil in power plants to charge electric cars instead!
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:08 AM   #48
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Yes. We can change the paradigm and burn oil in power plants to charge electric cars instead!
Too Stinky - we should stick to Textbooks and Fine Furniture.

So far as the Lies propagated by most of the so-called "Textbooks" they're using in schools nowadays, that's not such a bad idea.

Thanks, Ken!
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:15 AM   #49
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Can these new types survive heavy depletion? Batteries used in vehicles are liable to be thoroughly drained. Ni-cads are supposed to be discharged completely, but not lithiums.
I don't know the answer. Hence my comment about the need to define some repeatable, independent tests that could be used to verify the claims being made.
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:17 AM   #50
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Yes. We can change the paradigm and burn oil in power plants to charge electric cars instead!
There are plenty of oil burning power generation plants.
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