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USA: New Electric Motorcycle Speed Test Procedure

  Posted at 02:00:00 PM
  File under  Electrical
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France
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You might think it's a bit strange, but it's not.

The Motorcycle Industry Council of the USA (MIC Open link in a new window) have introduced a procedure to test and validate the top speeds of electric motorcycles.

Until now, a manufacturer of e-bikes could announce whatever he wanted for top speeds for their motorcycles. Vaporware? Fantasyware? Anything could go, since they would "test" their motorcycles under lab conditions, removing all aerodynamic drag factors from the bikes (like mirrors, top case, etc), use very skinny riders weighing next to nothing, and then publish a top speed for their bikes that no person would ever reach in real life.

If you might have just bought an electric motorcycle because its manufacturer claimed it go do 100 mph, but you can never get it over 80 mph, you'll be very pissed.

MIC have now published a series of procedures for testing electric motorcycle's top speeds.

In summary, the procedures entail:

1.        The motorcycle must receive the electric current from battery, and/or on-board rechargers (solar, braking). I.o.w. you can not put the bike on a moving belt and plugged into the wall electricity, giving the battery 100% power all the time.
2.        The battery must go through the manufacturer's approved and recommended charge/discharge cycles before being tested.
3.        All equipment that is sold as stock on the bike must be on the bike for testing (i.e. mirrors, top case, etc). The only exception is if there is any removable luggage, they may be removed, but the test results must state this.
4.        The body of the motorcycle must be "as is", i.o.w., no tape placed on areas to reduce aerodynamic drag.
5.        The motorcycle must be stored at an ambient temperature (68°F/20°C) for 6 hours prior to testing.
6.        Any accessory not used for "high speed" operation may be turned off, i.o.w., radio, GPS, intercom, etc.
7.        The rider must weigh at least 80 kg, including all the gear worn during testing (helmet, jacket, etc).
8.        The rider must be at least 1.70 meter tall, bare feet and no helmet.
9.        The rider must wear complete gear; helmet, suit (jacket, trousers) and gloves.
10.        The rider must be upright, feet on the pegs, hands on the handlebar. If the speed exceeds 120 kph, the rider may be in a tucked position.
11.        The road surface must be asphalt or concrete, dry and clean.
12.        The testing on a track, one way only may not have a grade superior of 0.5%, if both ways, it may not exceed 1.5%.
13.        The portion of a track used to measure the top speed can not have a curve exceeding 1% of curvature.
14.        The length of the portion of the track used to measure the top speed must be at least 50 meters.
15.        Using a complicated formula, the wind speed may by up to 5 meters/second for bi-directional testing, while for one way testing, it may not exceed 3 m/s.
16.        The outside temperature mus be at least 5°C.
17.        The air must be free of fog and rain.
18.        The motorcycle must accelerate under its own power.

They also specify a lot standards of the actual speed measuring, using complicated formulas. If you read their test procedures, you'll notice that it's not simple procedure, complicated at its best.

But at the very least, it should provide coherent top speeds between manufacturers, so we as the buying public can see objective results.

Now let's see if the top speeds mentioned by the manufacturers are going to change....

Click here to read the complete electric motorcycle speed test procedures from MIC Open MIC Test Procedures link in a new window (PDF file).


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