It’s one thing to ask EBSK what I think. I know then, that I really should take a breath and answer in an appropriate way. But the problem comes when you ask Richard Dort what he thinks. The problem with that is that most of the time I’ll tell you. That happened today. An appropriate answer was not left by your truly.
Here’s my beef with MotoElectra and Terry Hershner’s World Record attempts . . . timing. They are doing this right smack in the middle of the Isle of Man TT. The dates have been out forever. Brammo raced their second and last race of the year with the AFM on their home track (and it showed) just a few days ago. That has been known for not as long as the TT’s schedule, but some time. Terry did it because he saw Moto Electra’s announcement and it coincided enough with his finished Vetter conversion he decided to try to beat them to it. I don’t think MotoElectra is doing it for publicity, so the timing may not really matter. Terry, on the other hand, is a bit of a PR machine. But this thing has been harder to cover than the TT because I haven’t received promised document from either camp. And I did make an effort. But with covering everything else too, by not getting promised items it’s gone to the back burner. However, both are covering things pretty good on Facebook. However, the reality is that they have to do these things when they can, despite my work load.
I did have a good talk with Brian Richardson of MotoElectra a while back. He and his team were inspired by an old movie that was about the first attempts across the US with a gasoline powered car. They had no roads and had to have gasoline shipped by train because there were no gas stations. Hense why they are bringing a generator and chase vehicle. I seriously doubt there is a J1772 or CHAdeMO socket on the MotoElectra machine. They want to show both what can be done and where charger networks need to be put in. The only thing is I don’t think they planned at all to try to use any already installed chargers in the I-10 corridor. But in fairness I think they are charging at probably near 15kW, with many J1772 putting out only 9kW at most. And I might be able to count the number of CHAdeMO chargers along I-10 on one hand. Frankly, I’m too lazy to figure it out on Plug-Share. Terry Hershner, as I have talked about before is using the existing infrastructure to do his trip solo. Unfortunately Texas, both coming across the first time and this time, has bitten him with both charging and with a toasted motor most recently. Knee-jerk reaction says giant fairings ( no air-flow to the motor), a size-6 controller, and the Texas heat may have been too much for the little motor. But that is a wild guess. Seems like Terry would have thought of that in the design of the fairings. It was definitely looking like Terry’s race to lose with the ability to charge the larger 15kWish pack in an hour and with the advantage of the fairings he was looking to get some really impressive range. Then Texas hit. Just what does Texas have against EVs? Or is it just EV related things with T’s in the name?
In all honesty this would be a lot more exciting if Brammo, multiple Tesla Model S owners, Terry, and who knows how many untold others, hadn’t already crossed the country in or on EVs. Doing it with a gas generator makes almost no sense in that context. Other than maybe to show how fast it could be done if there were charging stations in place, in the proper places. Which really is the whole point, isn’t it. But so far the only thing I am learning is that I should petition the federal government to move the I-10 up and over Texas if I ever want to own an EV in that part of the world. Oh, wait. No, you’d be hard pressed to do that in Texas either. All Brammo owning Texans should be beware and armed. I’m not saying, I’m just saying. Well that, and it seems we really need at least 15kW packs for long distance travel.
So just what is the story here. The story is that MotoElectra is the most reliable and consistent electric motorcycle racing team in known history, period. Brammo is a close second and might pass them this year, depending on how you score it. Terry is taking on a barn built prototype with a highly modified, yet still, production motorcycle. So is the young gun production bike up to the reliability of the grandad that showed the elmoto racing world how to show up and run? So far the answer is no, but the “racing” isn’t over yet.
So for me it isn’t about who gets the World Record. I have a lot of respect and love for both efforts. I met Terry at the World Final and he is a great guy, and the MotoElectra team adopted me at the Miller round back in 2011. I’ll be really happy for whoever sets the record, and even happier if everyone gets home safe and sound.
For me, it’s about reliability and reputations.
Follow and cheer on Terry here.
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