Honda, Yamaha ready electric, hybrid motorbikes
Wheels o' steel
'Leccy Tech It's not just cars that are going electric - motorcyles are too. Honda and Yamaha are said to be readying battery powered bikes. Honda's also planning hybrid two-wheelers too.
Honda's initial electric bikes will be 50-125cc models, as will Yamaha's. The latter will come to market first, a variety of Japanese newspapers report, with product out in 2010. Honda is expected to debut its electric bikes the following year.
Both manufacturers are basing their 'leccy motorcylces on lithium-ion batteries. It's early days yet, but the Honda models are claimed to have been designed for a 50km (31 miles) single-charge range, while Yamaha looks set to offer double that.
But since these things are at least two years away, we think it's best to keep an open mind on this one.
Honda's hybrids will apparently appear in the 200-1000cc range and be 50 per cent more fuel-efficient than today's petrol powered bikes in that category.
What a stupid notion. Any decent bike burns about as much juice as a car, fuel efficiency is not a reason to purchase a bike. Power to weight ratio is king and anything that doesn't make a bike either go faster or stop faster is a waste of time. Now if they can get some kind of ultra capacitor which can make the bike go faster than petrol burned at 20,000 RPM then petrol engines will hit the skip otherwise no thanks.
Torque is always nice though so if the leckky moped things can lay down a nice black stripe every time you leave the lights there may be some hope for a commuter rocket variant, so long as it can burn the competition off at the lights and blasting through city centres.
So what's new ?
I was walking through Girona (Catalunia) today when a woman went past me at warp factor five on a soundless scooter, about Vespa size.
On the side it had "ELECTRIC BIKE COMPANY".
It made me realise that mixing these silent devices and pedestrians in the same area may not be a good thing. So lets have a Harley Davidson sound effects chip in the motorbikes & scooters, and maybe a nice 427 V-8 recording in the SMART cars.......just to keep us walkers on our toes.
Electric scooters rated in cc's?
I know Brits have a knack for brevity, but last time I checked cubic centimeters measured displacement. Of an engine. Why is it being used to measure a motor? Do you plunge the motor in a bucket of water and measure the cc's that spill over the rim?