Electric Car Insider along with the automotive writer Chase Gregory hosted a Google Hangout with Terry Hershner and Craig Vetter. For those in the motorcycle world Vetter is a familiar name. The American Motorcycle Association Hall of Famer has had numerous motorcycle and fairing designs over many decades. Recently he’s turned his attention to streamlining motorcycles to improve their efficiency.
Hershner is known for breaking many electric motorcycle world records using Vetter’s aerodynamic shell designs. Terry has also crossed the country a couple of times on his Zero motorcycle. Terry Hershner has a coveted Iron Butt award winner, meaning he rode a motorcycle 1,000 miles in 24 hours, as well. If that sounds crazy it is but what’s even more insane is he did this with an electric motorcycle. The first person to do so and he also crossed the country on an electric motorcycle, a 2012 Zero, in 6 days.
What’s interesting is that Craig Vetter talked about the affect of aerodynamics improving the mileage range for motorcycles. In addition there is talk about Hershner’s motorcycle specifically which is interesting to hear. Vetter showed how they are streamlining a motorcycles at his shop with Hershner. Apparently Vetter said that a streamlined motorcycle is a babe magnet.
“I came out to California. Unfortunately, I liked it out here so much I never came back.” said Hershner in the Hangout. Vetter said, “What’s your good line about California?” Hershner replied, “People out here understand me.” 🙂 Hershner talked about some of the trips he’s done on his Zero motorcycle and how he’s been able to improve the range. He showed and explained parts of his motorcycle and how Vetter’s fairings have helped him gain maximum efficiency.
Some other people that were part of the Hangout includes Chris Alan, founder of Electric Car Insider. He discussed the latest issue of the 2015 Electric Motorcycle Buyer’s Guide. If you are interested in purchasing a copy you should be able to find one at your local bookstore or order one via the website.
I also noticed that Domenick Yoney who writes for AutoBlog was part of the Hangout. He writes about electric motorcycles occasionally and discussed the Isle of Man TT Zero which just took place.
Scot Harden, Vice President of Global Marketing for Zero Motorcycles, appeared later in the hangout. He pointed out that gas-powered bikes have a lot more maintenance than electric motorcycles. Who wouldn’t rather be riding? Harden said that Hershner has racked up thousands of dollars in electricity bills which Zero covers.
Ben Rich, who writes for Green Car Reports was also on the Google Hangout. He’s started chronicling his road trips on his electric motorcycle on InsideEVs apparently. He emphasized he doesn’t have an engineering background and isn’t that technical to make modifications to the bike. He just has an off-the-shelf 2014 Zero SR and has special charger from Hollywood Electrics. He’s doing about 200-300 miles a day.
There was an electric motorcycle distributor and dealer from Kuwait, which I thought was interesting. Gas is so cheap, who would buy an electric vehicle? It’s the first electric motorcycle dealership in that part of the world, excluding Israel. The heat he said was a challenge for people riding. I guess it is a desert.
There was also some discussion about if electric motorcycles being silent makes them unsafe. Some who are familiar with riding motorcycles have heard the phrase, “Loud pipes save lives” which isn’t true. The discussion pointed out that when a bike is silent that makes the rider more aware of the surroundings, ie drivers that won’t’ see you. Would it make a driver more aware if the bike had noise? It’s debatable as plenty of drivers don’t see riders even if their bikes do have loud pipes. If people aren’t watching the road and texting or talking on their phone, no amount of noise will make some drivers see you on the road. This is sad but for motorcycle riders (and cyclists) but true.
The hangout is long clocking in at 1 hour and 41 minutes. They had some technically difficulties with the Hangout at the beginning. I doubt many people will have the patience to listen to the entire thing. If you are interested in the electric motorcycle industry or innovative motorcycle designs from Craig Vetter, it’s worth watching or listening to the hangout.