I knocked this little thing out right before leaving. I hope you find it interesting, maybe even thought-provoking. Fingers crossed.
For some it may happen without them realizing, for others it’s no big deal, but when my situation changes in life and a new perspective come forward from the depths of my brain that I hadn’t shined a light on before, I get frustrated. Where was this perspective earlier? What didn’t I think about, and how didn’t I think about it for me not to realize this differing perspective. Drives me a little bonkers, but at the same time I thought it might be an interesting subject to write about. As I look forward to being paid more than I ever have before in my life, of course I start spending it in my head. I want this, and that , and that over there. And I think elmotos are soo freakin’ cool I have a blog and podcast dedicated to them. How would I not support an industry that I have worked hard to support, with what I had, financially now that it is within reach? It’s a good question. And the short answer is that it doesn’t fit what I need. Right now I don’t have a car, or a house, much less a garage. And I am content with that as the cost of my rent is low. But, I have to go to the laundromat, and get groceries. My bicycle and trailer are set up so that I can do those things, but in the cold of winter when I’m not as fit, and that PITA of a hill on the way home, well it’s not easy-peasy. A car would go a long way to improving my quality of life. But I have developed a real aversion to gas-powered cars. Every time someone tells me they just had to have this or that thing repaired, which 9 times out of 10 doesn’t even exist on an electric car, I cringe. I want nothing to do with gas-powered cars any more. Nothing. I am very seriously looking at Leasing a Ford Focus Electric. The nice thing about Ford is that you can pay the whole lease up front. For me, whose credit is, well laughable at the moment, this is huge. Also, by saving my pennies and paying for the thing up front I have no commitments. And no matter what happens I have a car for the term of the lease. Now the Focus is no Tesla, and has roughly a 75 mile range. Fortunately Nashville is loaded with charging stations. But with me being in a month or better rotation, and the limited range, should help me stay within the confines of the millage limits imposed by the lease. I’ve talked it over with friends and a salesman, and when I presented my whole case every saw my point, and agreed it wasn’t a wholly foolish idea. Could I get a Brammo and use it to do groceries and laundry. Yes, but the winter would still be a pain, and I can’t take me and a friend to our favorite MTB trails on a Brammo. The electric motorcycle loses out to an electric car with less range. At least in this situation.
For some reason while I despise gas-powered cars, and particularly the high cost of owning one (well a used one anyway), I am perfectly OK with owning a gas-powered motorcycle. I’ve owned two Honda motorcycles in the past, and while they had their fair share of repair costs, generally I spent way more on mods than I ever did on things breaking. But I also have never owned a motorcycle with as many miles on it as cars I have owned. So while I seem quite at peace with this massive cognitive dissonance, I have started lusting for a VFR1200F something awful. I have only ever owned Honda V4s. My first bike was an ’86 VF500F, my second was a ’91 VFR750F a year later, that I then put 50,000 miles on. If you follow this blog you’ll know that I bought a new-to-me ’86 VF500F, that is waiting in my buddy’s cold garage for may new parts to be installed on it, and has yet to be fired up. So the VFR1200F is a bit of a logical conclusion. But I’m not one who really yearns for 140+hp much less 600lbs of bike. But I need a mile muncher. The electric Focus is not going to get me to races, and even if it could, there goes my mileage limit. Besides, long distance travel in a car is so bleh. I’ve ridden up and down both coasts and even coast to coast. A motorcycle is much more fun (and speedy). The VFR1200′s range and small tank, and 35mpg rating are drawbacks though. But like the Focus it suits my style of riding and what I want it to do. Plus it’s a really nice bike.
So with the electric Focus, and a VFR1200 it seems my transportation needs are met. An Empulse just doesn’t fill a need, and I can’t have too many vehicles. I am really struggling with what to do with my 500. I have some cool parts for it that will greatly improve the ride and handling performance. I might as well use them, but I’m not sure I’ll ever recoup my money in it. I am struggling with the idea of keeping it. It actually doesn’t fit me very well at all. I am 6’2″ and there is very little leg room. So if I am struggling with the idea of keeping a classic, then an Empulse doesn’t stand a chance at the moment. Sure, if I owned a home and had a garage after I paid the VFR off I’d by the latest Brammo. Honestly the Empulse would be a perfect replacement for the 500. It’s about the same power, but about 50lbs heavier. But much cheaper to run, and with over 20,000 miles on the 500, potentially much more reliable. I would be much more likely to run errands in town, or run down to Nashville on the Empulse than I would the 500 or VFR honestly. But I’ll potentially have an electric car for that.
I guess if I had a gas car I could get an Empulse for commuting and errand running, but that combo still doesn’t make sense for me. It’s and electric car for errands and a mile muncher of a sport tourer that suits my personality, needs, and wants. If Brammo could come up with a competitor to a VFR1200F then I’d trade that bad boy in, in a second. I’m not sure how far off they are. The VFR really only gets about 150 miles, and fuel stops are probably closer to 20 to 30 minutes for stretching and such. Give the bike the ability to fast charge at 1.5C up closer to 90% than say 80%, and a 45 minute stop is easier to swallow than an hour. I don’t think matching the power, or even exceeding it would be much of a challenge either. And I bet a 650lb elmoto feels as light if not lighter than the 600lb VFR. The problem would be the size of the bike with enough battery stuffed in it to get a 150 mile combined range. If I get to the point where I have everything paid off I want paid off, and a garage then I can see owning an Empulse and using it to run around town, or down to Nashville even. But by then I’d also be looking hard at owning a Tesla Model X, and sending the Ford along to its next owner. Unfortunately the market hasn’t produced an electric bike that is anything other than something for me to own for fun. I would make use of it, but it would be an extra, not a solution to a transportation issue.
A final fantasifull thought. If I had my dream garage of a Model X and an electric VFR, if I had the money I think I would still want an Empulse. It really depends on how fun the eVFR was, however. There is something nice about dancing around town, or just out for fun, on a light peppy bike. Hmmm.