Three Country Tour on an Electric Motorcycle - The Prep
For the past three summers I have been riding my electric motorcycle on a road trip spanning more than 4,500 miles. In part to show that electric motorcycles can already be used for road trips, but also because I love riding the open road. Especially when riding is using the latest technology in the form of a Zero SR electric motorcycle. The torque is amazing, the handling is great and riding without noise or vibration is like being on Aladdin's magic carpet!
In 2013 I rode my 2012 Zero S across the country with the Ride the Future Tour going 100 miles each day. It was amazing. It was so amazing that I decided to take my own trip in 2014 on the same bike, except this time I could go between 250-400 miles each day.
*Editor's Note: InsideEVs welcomes Ben Rich to our ever-growing team of electric transportation writers. Ben is friends and ridding buddies with our everyday electric motorcycle writer Ted Dillard. A close knit community we are. That's for sure!
I'm not the only person traveling hundreds of miles per day on an electric motorcycle. Terry Hershner has been setting records and creating awareness by riding great distances. We became friends when he joined us on the Ride the Future Tour for the final week as we rode up California.
However, even though we are friends, that doesn't preclude a little friendly competition. While he clearly travels farther and faster than I do (with a highly modified bike), I have been to more states than him! (Thank you New England!) Part of my plan for this trip is to notch a few more states into my belt to make my lead even greater.
Additionally I plan to ride in Mexico and Canada, and I believe I'll beat him to Mexico. My plan is to travel down the east coast via Skyline Drive in the Shenandoahs, then to Asheville down the Blue Ridge parkway followed by a visit to Charleston, SC and Titusville, FL where my parents live. After that I'll go over to San Antonio Texas, take a day trip to Mexico, then head up to visit friends in Ohio and finally back to my home in New Jersey near NYC.
While on this journey I hope to help people gain a greater understanding of what it's like to travel using an electric vehicle right now. It isn't impossible, but it isn't easy either. Through articles and videos I hope to convey the state of the electric vehicle road trip and will answer any questions you are interested in knowing the answer to.
This first video goes through my preparations for an electric motorcycle road trip. My motorcycle is a 2014 Zero SR with a Power Tank that gives me a total range of 171 miles on side roads and about 100 miles of range on the highway.
The onboard charging system on the motorcycle gains only 1.3kW of electrical power, but I have a secret weapon. The good folks at Hollywood Electrics make a charging system for Zero Motorcycles using Elcon 2.5kW chargers (http://hollywoodelectrics.com/product/elcon-quick-charger/). With 2 Elcons plus the onboard charger I will be able to charge at 6.3kW (close to the charging rate of a Nissan Leaf).
I find those charging stations using the PlugShare app (www.PlugShare.com) either on a computer or on my smartphone.
My journey begins June 12 and concludes on July 5th or 6th. If you would like to meet in any of these locations, or somewhere between, let me know and I'll try to find a place to get together. I love meeting electric vehicle enthusiasts!
- June 12-13 - Centreville, VA
- June 14: Roanoke, VA
- June 15-16: Asheville, NC
- June 17: Charleston, SC (swing dance that night)
- June 18-19: Titusville, FL (mostly with Family, but could have lunch on the 19th with EV drivers/riders)
- June 20: Tallahassee, FL
- June 21-22: Zachary, LA
- June 23: Houston, TX (Free in the evening and looking for a place to stay)
- June 24-25: San Antonio, TX
- June 26: Houston, TX (Free in the evening and looking for a place to stay)
- June 27: Zachary, LA
- June 28: Ackerman, MS (Free in the evening and looking for a place to stay)
- June 29-30: Nashville, TN
- July 1-2: Dublin, OH (near Columbus)
- July 3-4: Cleveland, OH
- July 5: Travel across PA on route 80 back home to NJ.