Confessions of a Flux Junkie

Hi.  My name is Ted.  I’m a Flux Junkie.

It’s been two weeks since my last ride.  I need a fix.  It’s going to be a really long winter.  I’m getting cranky every time I see someone talk about range, that’s what tipped me off.  I realized it’s kind of like trying to describe what sex is like.  It made me think of what a 10 year old boy thinks kissing girls is like.  10 year old boys worry about germs…  people who haven’t ridden electric worry about range.

Until you try it, you just don’t understand it.

OK, go to the refrigerator and take two magnets.  hold them so they’re repelling each other – pole to pole.  Now push them together.  Feel that?  That’s what I’m talking about.  Even those tiny little magnets have the Spirit of the Flux in them…  even these tiny things, the closer they get to each other, the stronger they push apart, and the harder it is to hold them together.  Think of that when you’re trying to understand what riding an electric motorcycle is like.

At a dead stop, it’s like trying to hold those two magnets together, except now you’re talking two big, powerful magnets that can draw just as much power as you supply them.  Irresistible force.  100% torque.  Strapped to your ass.

The flux field, that is, the field of magnetic force that pushes the rotors, constantly advances in front of the rotor to push it forward.  That’s the second part of the Secret.  It’s like some weird fast-forward superhero that is always accelerating  faster than the steam train…  the force is always at maximum, and it’s always right where it needs to be to push on the rotor.  This, my friends, is what “no power band” means, and why you don’t need a transmission.

A reciprocating engine, or “internal combustion”, makes power by trying to harness the power of an explosion.  There’s one speed where that “harnessing” is most efficient, one RPM where everything is working best…  all the pistons and valves moving back and forth are doing what they do, after they get out of their own way, and before they start slapping around out of control just before they immolate themselves.  Thus, the power band.  There’s a narrow little range of RPM that gives you your highest power and best efficiency in a reciprocating engine, and everything about it is built to take advantage of that narrow band.  We’re so used to that, we actually think we like it.

Until you try life without a power band.  Going from 0 to 60 is like snapping a rubber band.  Hmmm.  …rubber band instead of power band.  I like it.    Bungee jump.  Yeah, now we’re talking.  Try to imagine this:  You’ve got a big bungee tied to a tree about a mile away from your bike…  hook it to your bike and let it snap.  Starting to get the picture?

Hold on…  I gotta go for a ride, I can’t take it anymore.  I lay myself at the feet of the Spirit of the Flux and beg for mercy…



One response to “Confessions of a Flux Junkie

  1. I will try an ebike, but as a performance rider, I’ve been very underwhelmed by the numbers I’ve seen. I know ebikes are not track or race bikes, but lap times are the metric I typically use in choosing the proper mount for me. To date, the times and specs I’m seeing are not very impressive.

    I do however, like the idea of a zero powerband. Having the same torque at low or high RPM is impressive. Although I suspect electronics need to come into play for wheelie control. Still, I look forward to shredding my favorite twisty road with a power delivery I haven’t experienced.

    And although I don’t need 170MPH top speeds and the horsepower my CBR1000RR returns, it is EXCEEDINGLY fun to have it on tap! Exiting high-speed turns and leaving long black rubber arcs is something I’ll truly miss on a lesser performing bike.

    Still, I do believe ebikes can return a respectable “fun quotient” as opposed to just being utility vehicles. Although the only one I’ve seen that “pencils out” is the…

    As to the limited range, I don’t quite know how I’ll handle that. I LOVE riding and typically weekend rides are 300 to 600 miles per day. The ebikes, flogged the way I ride my gas powered machines, are likely only to net 70 or 80 miles? That could pose a problem…

    Anyway, I am open to trying (although not yet buying,) an ebike. Which bike best meets the needs of a sport rider?


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