Iron Butt Terry Makes History By Riding Electric Zero Motorcycle 1,000 Miles In 24 Hours

2 years ago by Eric Loveday 21

ChargePoint CEO Pasquale Romano congratulating Terry Herhsner on his achievement.

ChargePoint CEO Pasquale Romano congratulating Terry Herhsner on his achievement.

Terry Hershner made history by becoming the first ever person to ride an electric motorcycle 1,000-plus miles in 24 hours or less.

Hershner joins the Iron Butt club with this epic ride.

We’ve been following Hershner’s journey on Off The Grid since it began.

Here are some highlights from Hershner:

“Official numbers many have been waiting for…. 1046.7 miles, 22 hours 57 minutes, 126.883 kWh electricity to carry 950 pounds at speeds of 70-80 mph that distance, or 121 Wh per mile (including charger losses) at 75 mph average. Not too shabby!”

Energy Consumption Chart - Hershner Notes The Following: This is the energy used for the 1047 mile trip: 126.883 kWh. This chart is divided into 2 days. The first bar is basically the energy it took to get from San Jose at 1 PM to Mexico by midnight on the 15th. The 2nd bar is the trip back the early morning hours of Sept 16th. For some this might be a boring graph. For others you will sit and stare at the chart and try to figure out how this is possible using Level 2 stations. Remember these ChargePoint stations were available in public locations, around the clock, 24 hours a day for me or any EV driver who needs them. I hope I showed that part clearly."

Energy Consumption Chart – Hershner notes the Following: “This is the energy used for the 1047 mile trip: 126.883 kWh.
This chart is divided into 2 days. The first bar is basically the energy it took to get from San Jose at 1 PM to Mexico by midnight on the 15th. The 2nd bar is the trip back the early morning hours of Sept 16th.” 

While Terry’s 1,000-plus mile journey in less than 24 hours would seem impossible, Hershner’s bike, a heavily modified Zero S, has some tricks up its sleeves (or under its fairings).

Only ChargePoint chargers were used for this 1,000-plus mile trip.  Here you see 4 chargers being utilized at one time.

Only ChargePoint chargers were used for this 1,000-plus mile trip. Here you see 4 chargers being utilized at one time.

Sucking down electrons from multiple chargers.

Sucking down electrons from multiple chargers.

Prior to the record-making attempt, Hershner had to carefully plan his route.  Even so, the trip wouldn’t be easy.  As Hershner stated:

“24 thousand watts of charging power. Getting ready for the first ever attempt in history at an electric motorcycle traveling 1000 miles in 24 hours. 1 week from today I try to ride from ChargePoint HQ in San Jose to Mexico and back by the same time the next day. It’s going to be close, my current estimates give me a 22 minute buffer window if nothing goes wrong. Going to be intense!”

The biggest challenge for Hershner was fending off fatigue and tiredness:

“I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But I’m beginning to fade. Made 2 wrong turns in LA with a detour off I-5. Hopefully the sun rising will help. The bike is fine but I’m running on milliwatts right now. Charging stations need coffee dispensers.”

For Hershner, making history seems to be a weekly event.  Just a short time ago, Hershner won the Vetter Challenge on his electric motorcycle.  Now, Hershner becomes the first to ride an electric bike into the Iron Butt club (Saddle Sore category 1,000 miles in less than 24 hours, to be precise).

Hershner completes 1,000-mile trip.

Hershner completes 1,000-mile trip.

Upon completion of the trip, Hershner simply stated:

“I did it!”

Yes you did Terry.  Our congrats go to you for continuing to push the boundaries of what an electric motorcycle is capable of.  What’s the next grand adventure?

In closing, we offer this comment from Terry on how he felt the day after the big ride.  You’d think he’d take a few days off from riding, but that’s not the case:

“I’m awake at 2 am and fresh as a daisy! Not sure what to do. Share some Facebook news I guess. Maybe go for a ride. Yeah that sounds good. For some reason I feel like I should be riding right now.”

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21 responses to "Iron Butt Terry Makes History By Riding Electric Zero Motorcycle 1,000 Miles In 24 Hours"

  1. ClarksonCote says:

    Wow, kudos. I’ve driven a motorcycle 400 miles a few times, and even that makes my whole body feel like death warmed over.

  2. GeorgeS says:

    Wow.
    This is more big news (we’ve had a lot lately).
    Great find IEV’s

    This goes to show what you can do with a motorcycle and hi power charging.

    Looks like he did this on only 24 kw of charging power. He got 8 mi/kwh mileage out of the bike so he was charging at 200 MPH so 1000 miles was 5 hours of charging in the 24 hr run.

    so at 75MPH he was riding for 13 hrs and charging for 5.

    Someone check my numbers

    Imagine the freedom if one had 125 kw super charger.!!!

    1. ggpa says:

      GeorgeS … it would be 5 hours if we had to end with a full battery, in practice it is less because he can start the ride with a full battery and finish with it empty

    2. GeorgeS says:

      Just imagine:

      A Tesla motorcycle with SC status.

      Get on it Elon!!!

      1. Steven says:

        Maybe partner up with the Project Livewire folks at Harley Davidson, and make it a truly practical bike.

  3. GeorgeS says:

    I wonder why he didn’t use Chadmeo DC Chargers. It would have given him more power and eliminated the numerous on board AC/DC charging units.

    Here’s a layout of one of his earlier bikes:

    http://insideevs.com/vetter-challenge-hershner-makes-history-electric-zero/

    1. CHAdeMO chargers are far and few between and limited to 125 Amps. At 75 volts the most I can get is 10 kW. I needed 2 1/2 times that much. There are 300 CHAdeMO stations but for a daily rider I go places these things aren’t. For everyday use J1772 is the answer. Coming up of 300 times as many as CHAdeMO has, over 20,000 J1772 plugs out there.

      1. kdawg says:

        Mow many kWhs in your modified Zero?

        1. Warren says:

          Terry is running seven, 3 kWh “nominal” Zero packs, so 21 kWh. He can pull out a bit over 18 kWh.

          1. protomech says:

            The ZF3 modules are 65.7V 40Ah nominal, or 2.63 kWh nominal. With 7 modules Terry has 280 Ah onboard!

      2. GeorgeS says:

        Just made the connection. You’ve done other moto ev articles here. Cool Terry.

        How come your HV batt is only 75 V

        1. Because that is what Zero Motorcycles used in 2012. The 2013-2014 uses a 116 volt max battery instead of 75v max. Or 66v nominal for 2012 and 102v nominal for 2014.

  4. Warren says:

    I don’t think many CHAdeMO chargers will throttle down to the 100+ volts needed to charge his bike. And he travels all over the country. Not just the unicorn corridor. 🙂

  5. bro1999 says:

    Holy jebus, that one pic shows he’s hooked up to 4 CP plugs at one time. I bet you his HV battery wouldn’t last long doing that!

    1. Warren says:

      What do you call long? He has already gone over 60K miles in two years. How many Leafs have gone that far?

  6. tom911 says:

    Tired is right!! – I made a 918 mile trip from Kirkland Washington to Cupertino, CA years ago on my Katana 750. Left at 8:30AM and arrived at 1:30PM. My knees were killing me and stopping to get gas on I-5 every few hours was arduous. I also kept seeing the same cars, trucks, etc every few hours on the highway – was soo happy to get home.

    1. em says:

      You ride fast, my friend! (8:30am – 1:30pm = 5hrs. 918 / 5 = 183.6.) 😉

      Congrats to Terry on a great accomplishment. My helmet is off to you, sir.

  7. mhpr262 says:

    When i do multi-day trips the biggest problem is my butt. It starts hurting on the second day and is killing me on the third. Tours are no fun when all you wish is for them to be over. I only do two or three a year though, so I am too cheap to shell out a couple hundred bucks for a Corbin or something along these lines …

  8. Great job!!! I don’t see any particular reason we can have 200-400 volt motorcycles, like the new KTM Freeride (200-300v).

    That will make CHAdeMO charging a real advantage, with the added advantage of still being able to use J1772.

    Technically, CHAdeMO can go to 50 volts, but the numerous low quality government funded versions (Blink / Car Charging, et al) make that difficult.

    1. protomech says:

      And even for those, Tony, they’re limited to 100A (typical) or 125A (max CHAdeMO spec). So Terry could definitely be limited to “only” 10 kW. Still far better than the 1 kW onboard chargers Zero ships the bikes with, but not enough to tour conveniently.

  9. Ed. Gordon says:

    Congratulations from England, Terry. 950lbs all-up. What an achievement! Proof we can change our oil-addiction and become true heliotropes. You have brought a clean world a big step closer, by actually doing what we all need to copy. More power to you. Ed