My Bike is Like an EV

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I was out riding my motorcycle the other day and it occurred to me – as I glanced at the odometer, which you do out of habit if you have a bike without a gas gauge because you need to keep track of how many miles you can go before you run out of gas – that there is a commonality between motorcycles and electric cars.

Neither go very far before you must stop.

Most bikes have small tanks that hold about three or so gallons of fuel; some less – a few a little more. Most can go about 150 or so miles before they’re running on reserve – or getting close to it.

Most EVs can go a little (but not much) farther before they, too, are running on what amounts to reserve.

But there is a big difference – one that makes the short range bike practical and the EV not. We all know what it is. I can refill my bike’s tank in about a minute, literally – which is all the time it takes to pump a couple of gallons into it. This makes it short range irrelevant.

I don’t even have to get off the bike to fill it up. Just roll up to the pump, open the lid to the tank – and pump.

About a minute – maybe two – later, it’s back on the road. The equivalent of waiting at a long red light. EV sits by the side of the road for at least 15-30 minutes before it gets the green light. That’s not exactly practical, if you need to be somewhere else sooner than that.

But it’s more than just that.

In the 60 seconds or so that it takes to pump a couple of gallons of gas into the bike’s tank, I have instilled a tremendous amount of energy into the tank. Those two or three gallons contain the energy equivalent of what it takes to propel a 400 or so pound motorcycle as far as 1,000 pounds of fully charged battery can propel the typical EV not much farther than the typical motorcycle.

And the gas only weighs about fifteen pounds.

It’s also portable and transferable – two things electricity isn’t. Or at least, isn’t as practically portable and transferable. One thinks, for instance, of the practicality of carrying an extra can of gas on the bike, so that the bike can be ridden where there is no gas – much less a plug.

Dirt bikes are often hauled to the place where they’ll be ridden. These places tend to be places where there aren’t any stations. But it’s easy to toss a a couple five gallon jugs in the back of the truck and be able to ride all day.

There’s a deep weirdness afoot in that people are being pressured to accept less (for more) and are accepting it, apparently. To really appreciate just how weird this all is, imagine a new fast food chain that offered meatless “burgers” that cost twice as much that you waited 15-30 minutes at the drive-thru to get. That’s what’s on offer here.

Of course, it isn’t an offer – and that accounts for the “acceptance.” It is more like resignation – to the inevitable. That is how it’s being marketed, at any rate. But this is probably deceptive, in terms of the image mass approval that may not be actual. Evidence to support this contention being the fact the “acceptance” is being forced.

How much “electrification” would be occurring if it were not?

To ask that question is to answer it.

. . .

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  1. Ha! I had a 92 Sportster with the 2.2 gallon peanut tank! Range was about 100 miles after opening up the pipes and carb! As soon as I found the 3.3 gal direct-fit replacement, I bought one. That made the range livable, at just over 150 miles. My Dyna has a 5 gal tank, so I get about 200 miles of range, which is fine for commuting. (which is the main thing I do with the motorcycle)

    • Hi MDP,

      Good stuff! Even better is the fact that you can refuel a bike that only has a 150 mile range in about two minutes, rendering the limited range a minor inconvenience.

  2. Eric-

    You’re starting to get close to the heart of the issue: fuel is freedom and plugging in makes you a slave to the system.

    • You have hit the nail on the head David.
      As I mentioned somewhere yesterday, even steam power wasn’t going to give people individual freedom of travel, certainly not anywhere close to what gasoline and the ICE has. And diesel fuel utterly revolutionized commerce and whole national economies in less than a decade!
      Even the railroads, billion-dollar-profit entities, have abandoned and dismantled their electric freight lines altogether. NS was the last when they took down the catenarys on their former Virginian line. Electric transport is only used for local passenger commuter services in mass urban concentrations, a veritable ‘prison’ in and of itself.

  3. Today I found Out YouTube channel covered the Jerry Can and what a fantastic leap forward it was for fighting forces.

    I’ve thought about what it might take to build a LiPO “Jerry Can” battery that could be carted around to top off campers and rescue EVs. I imagine a battery the size of a can would be too heavy to carry. A half dozen would quickly flatten the leaf springs on a truck. And you better make sure they’re secured so they don’t bang into each other or slide around the bed.

    Then after discharging the can you’d probably only get about 5-10 miles range. Better hope that’s far enough to get to the charging station.

    • ReadyK,

      I don’t know that a “Jerry Can” battery would be all that useful, but perhaps, if you keep it charged…

      Regarding the weight, however, you may be surprised. The LiFePO4 batteries I use on the homestead are so light and energy dense compared to lead-acid batteries, it’s fairly amazing. A lithium-polymer (LiPO) version should be even lighter.

      I’ve thought an excellent application for one would be powering a trolling motor for fishing. They sell them with this purpose in mind, but lifting one, you can definitely feel the advantage if you’ve ever humped a lead-acid brick in and out of a boat (or elsewhere). I’m thinking of getting a light aluminum boat and trying just that.

      • Hi BaDnOn,

        The EV batteries are so heavy because they’re so huge! Which they need to be in order to store enough charge to propel an EV about half as far as a standard car. I think also that the weight problem is magnified by the safety problem. It is necessary to protect the EV battery with a heavy, impact/shock-resistant case to reduce the chances of a fire arising from damage to the battery pack.

        Fundamentally, I circle back to the supposed need for these EVs – which is an artificially created false narrative about the “climate” that is “changing” due to “carbon” being “emitted” by the burning of hydrocarbon fuels. It’s as specious – as exaggerated – as the assertions made about “COVID” and the need for everyone to “mask” and take the “vaccines.”

        • It’s not a need Eric, it’s a want that is turning into a demand.
          I was just reading a Grand Cherokee article (I’m waiting for the Hurricane engine to arrive which it appears it is for 24), and it said:
          The old Hemi got 14/22/17 mpg
          The current V6 gets 18/25/21
          The new 4Xe gets 56 MPGe !!!!! this is how they snooker everyone.
          “making it one of the most efficient in its class” What BS………

        • Hey Eric,

          Sure, and hence these batteries are better used for off-grid solar and trolling motors, haha.

          Though, I do hold that there would be SOME market for EVs, were they built correctly, to be small and efficient, rather than “luxury and performance” as you have said many times. A light, sub-ton car could be built to give you a range of 40 or 50 miles to let you run around the city. Such a vehicle could easily be fully recharged at night.

          Best (for efficiency) would be a hybrid, such as this diesel hybrid:

          I’d like to build it in my fantasy-land of spare time, though they no longer sell the plans? I’ll have to keep looking.

    • Hey RKw,
      I saw that one a year or so ago myself. The US Army made a copy of it, but I have used those years ago, and they were very inferior to original Kraut design. With the US GovCo mandate of the ‘safety’ gas cans, my non-safety cans are like a gold hoard to me, lol!
      I’m sure “Cashy” here would count the OSHA assaults on everything useful as a major ‘safety’ victory for all us ‘morons”, as he so blithely put it.

  4. You can’t beat a gallon of liquid fuel, like gasoline – some cars can turn that gallon into 50 or more miles down the road. Think about that from a bicycle perspective, how hard it is to ride a bike that far.

    Hydrogen has to be stored in a pressurized tank, or in a fuel cell, or in a cryogenic tank. But not gasoline, it can be stored in a cheapo tank, like a milk jug. Electric cars weigh 3 tons, not really an improvement, and the battery has a shelf life.

    Gasoline is so cheap and so packed full of energy it is like free energy, especially when it was only 25 cents a gallon – which it still is in Venezuela.

    CNN world gasoline prices:

    Venezuela Caracas $0.12

    Can you imagine that just south of Amerika, exists a country which you can buy a gallon of gas for only 12 cents? No wonder why Dick Cheney wants to invade.

  5. Re: bike range.
    The current crop of adventure bikes all try to get to around 250 mile range.
    My two do.
    And that’s a long day doing 30-40 mph average on dirt/gravel roads, but it’s not about that completely.
    Most adventure bike riders want the range, as they are typically in remote areas, and if a buds bike breaks down and your 90 miles in and have to add him or turn around, ya need it.

  6. “Most bikes have small tanks that hold about three or so gallons of fuel; some less – a few a little more.”

    My Honda ST1300 has a 7.7 gallon tank and a range of close to 300 miles. I know that’s the exception but just saying. Most of the time, I want to get off the bike before I run out of gas 🙂

  7. ‘Neither go very far before you must stop.’ — eric

    Are we talkin’ about EeeVees, or the average male member? 🙂

  8. With this push to force EVs down our throats, plus the desire from the globalist technocrats for us all to “Eat ze bugs”, what are the odds that the Biden Thing will eventually force fast food restaurants (and even regular restaurants) to substitute BUGS, lab grown meat, or PLANT BASED PRODUCTS for menu items that contain MEAT?

      • Hi John,

        There could come a time where even the food you get at the local grocery store contains something like cricket powder or something made in a lab.

  9. Eric: Most can go about 150 or so miles before they’re running on reserve – or getting close to it.

    But that’s the thing; your motorcycle has a reserve and when it starts to sputter you flip the lever over to reserve and at least on my bike you’re good for maybe another 60 miles or so.

    On an EV there is no handy lever to flip on the petcock to get you to a charging station just the sound of silence as you coast to a stop. Maybe EVs would be better if that was an option but as the range is so low most would be running on reserve no matter what. Until EV’s have that feature their practicality is lower. Hopefully available once they are forced on us.

  10. Sheesh! Don’t scare me, Eric! When I saw the title of this article, I thought your bike had gone up into flames…..

    • Well if you look on YouTube you can see plenty of footage of e-bikes and e-scooters catching on fire. So it can probably happen when your riding one.

    • Without that threat, a whole lot of things would not be complied with. Who would pay income tax without the threat of armed goons coming to their door? I certainly wouldn’t.

      • It’s a fee I pay so I don’t have to get in a gun fight. Don’t want to kill, don’t want to be killed.

    • Funny thing; not to many of those pistol braces or bump stocks were registered or turned in.

      When will the BATF begin the gooning?

      • I read that this morning, less than 1%.
        The difference being, some of those they want gooned over pistol braces might goon them back. I doubt many goons are eager to go down that road. A distinct possibility that some, even many or most of those they want gooned may be better at gooning than the goons.


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