Robert Llewellyn's Fully Charged video series has, over its many episodes, focused on vehicles of the four-wheeled variety. Now, as if in atonement, it has produced two successive shows centered on two-wheelers. From bicycles with electric assist to scooters to motorcycles, Llewellyn makes up for previous omissions, all in one two fell swoops.

Most of the variety occurs in one episode, with Robert starting out on a basic electric bicycle bearing A2B badging and working his way up through increasingly powerful, longer-range models. The pedals disappear altogether when he steps up to the passenger pillion of the lithium-power Vectrix VX-1. Finally, they pull out the pièce de résistance: the Zero S from Zero Motorcycles.

Although shorter than the multi-bike show, the other two-wheeled episode is special in that it features the Agility Saietta. Now, we might have been a little harsh on the Saietta's aesthetics when it was first unveiled, but we we're not alone. Indeed, one comment we came across asked whether or not this was the same creature that burst out of that guy's chest in that Prometheus sequel. Eighteen months on though, that initial shock has (mostly) worn off and we've been impatiently waiting to see it actually moving under its own power.

We were not disappointed. Much. There is actually footage of it winding out down a city street, but it is over pretty quick. The bike features an interesting "Wide-Base Variable-Geometry" unequal length front double-wishbone suspension that we would have like to seen put through some corners. We'll take what we can get however, and the discussion that ensues the brief bit of riding is well worth the watching. Scroll down and you can do just that.





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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      sandos
      • 2 Years Ago
      I couldnt really believe that a CBT was enough for a 60mph scooter in the UK, and apparently it is not! http://www.atob.org.uk/electric-motorbikes-scooters/electric-motorbike-scooter-licensing-laws/ "To ride a Vectrix or Zero, car licence holders (and anyone else) will have to take the motorcycle theory and practical tests."
      PeterScott
      • 2 Years Ago
      E-bikes are a brilliant idea and one of the most efficient uses of energy for transportation. Though I think the British limits of 250 watts/15MPH are rather tepid. Here in Ontario we are allowed 500 watts/20MPH, which is a more reasonable upper limit, and comparable to what a fit cyclist can do.
        Anderlan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PeterScott
        Hey but what if I add my out-of-shape 250W to the 250W the bike is putting out for an Armstrong-esque 500W?
          PeterScott
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Anderlan
          The problem is the 15MPH assist limit. I believe as soon as you go over 15MPH, the assist will cut out. If you want to go faster than 15 MPH it will be all you.
        paulwesterberg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PeterScott
        As a fit cyclist I agree although I would enjoy passing e-bike riders with ease.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good to see that ABG is giving 2 wheelers some time. They are an affordable entry point into the electric world, and conversions are even cheaper when you're talking about a vehicle that only weighs 20-400lbs. to start out with.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Very much so. The aerodynamics of an upright 2 wheeler are far from perfect, but you have something around 1/5th-1/8th the size cutting through the air, ultimately. I don't know much about motorcycle energy consumption, but i've studied electric bike power consumption a lot, and here are some figures for continuous power consumption: 20-25mph cruising = 500-750w = < 1hp 30mph cruising = 1000-1250w = ~1.33hp 40mph cruising = 2000-2500w = ~3hp 50mph cruising = ~4000w = ~6hp By the way, above 6 horsepower on a bicycle is pretty damn fast. The pike's peak race bike i built could lay down 8 hp to the wheels. Nobody other than me had the balls to ride it, and even i was pretty nervous riding it for the first week of testing it. If you were not nice to the throttle, the bike would fly out underneath you and you'd be on your ass pretty quick. Took me a while to figure out how to tune the throttle so that it was safe. 8 horsepower in a car on the other hand, is what you produce when you are engaging the clutch and try to overcome an engine stall, lol. Sorry, i don't know anything about motorcycle power usage, other than the fact that 50 electric horsepower is whooping fast. That and, if you look at range per kW-hr for electric motorcycles VS cars, it is often half or less. Here is the info that Zero motorcycles provides for their flagship bike: http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/zero-s/specs.php Equivalent fuel economy (city) 487 MPGe (0.48 liters/100km) Equivalent fuel economy (highway) 273 MPGe (0.86 liters/100km) Compare this to the ~100MPGe that electric cars get!
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          "Hmm . . . someone needs to develop a system that has sensors that reduce power to the motor if it detects the bike flipping over. Of course, that would eliminate the ability to do wheelies and that wouldn't be fun." In contrast, the Audi e-bike Wörthersee is specifically designed *for* wheelies. "The carbon fiber transport not only has a strong 2.3kW motor -- the most powerful ever in a bike, so says Audi -- but can use that power for tricks. You can flick the Wörthersee into a wheelie mode and either shift your weight around or leave it fully automatic, depending on the fierceness of your stunt skills." http://www.engadget.com/2012/05/11/audi-e-bike-worthersee-lets-you-pop-wheelies-use-smartphone/
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          It would be cool to use a gyroscope system to back off the electrical throttle signal in real time. Then you could basically just go full throttle from a stop and not worry. That would help superbikes too. It was easier and cheaper to tune the throttle right though :)
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          "If you were not nice to the throttle, the bike would fly out underneath you and you'd be on your ass pretty quick. Took me a while to figure out how to tune the throttle so that it was safe." Hmm . . . someone needs to develop a system that has sensors that reduce power to the motor if it detects the bike flipping over. Of course, that would eliminate the ability to do wheelies and that wouldn't be fun.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          A gyroscope might be too complex & costly. A few orthogonal accelerometers, a processor, and some good software should be able to work.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Here are my rough observations after 3000 miles on a ZF9 Zero S: 20 mph: 1 kW (50 Wh/mile) 30 mph: 2 kW (75 Wh/mile) 40 mph: 3.5 kW (88 Wh/mile) 50 mph: 5.3 kW (105 Wh/mile) 55 mph: 6.6 kW (120 Wh/mile) 60 mph: 8.1 kW (135 Wh/mile) 70 mph: 12.6 kW (180 Wh/mile)
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Considering the weight, they have to be really efficient too. Is that true, 2WM?
      paulwesterberg
      • 2 Years Ago
      I really like the looks of the torque sensor system that adds electric boost to the e-bikes. It seems very easy to use and keeps the rider pedaling so that the range is decent.
        PeterScott
        • 2 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        Pedal Assist control: No freakin way. That just masks the true range and reduces your control. One key thing I would want in any e-Bike, is the ability to not pedal at all on my ride into work and thus not arrive in sweaty wet clothing, and in need of a shower (been there, done that, more than enough). With full throttle control, after that powered (sweat free) ride into work, I can then pedal as much as I want on the way home.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PeterScott
          You can build one that has pedals just for show quite easily. My regular commuter peaks at 2500w, but i still pedal and still get a little excersize but don't sweat. The motor does about 80% of the work on a bike like that :) You can dramatically increase the range of an eBike that does 20mph by putting in a very light application of pedal power.
          paulwesterberg
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PeterScott
          Then just buy the expensive model. It does everything you want.
          PeterScott
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PeterScott
          2500W would be very illegal here.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        They seem cool in theory until you actually use them. Two pre-built eBikes ( and not cheap ones either ) i tried that had that sensor had this curious problem of trying to shoot out into traffic if you just happened to bump the pedals the wrong way from a standstill. It was quite a rare occurrence, and would take you by surprise. The problem is that they use 5-6 magnets to trigger a hall sensor. If the crank is positioned right before one of those magnets, and you bump or vibrate the pedals, the controller says 'full speed ahead!' until the next sensor impulse, so it shoots out a short bump of power pushing you forward. A throttle with cruise control functionality is far better.
          paulwesterberg
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          A proper e-assist should use a strain gauge to measure pedaling force rather than positional magnets. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycling_power_meter
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Should, yes :) I've yet to see a bike that actually has that kinda functionality, Paul. There are some other ideas out there, but they are generally all on >$3,000 eBikes.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          "A throttle with cruise control functionality is far better." I was wondering about that watching one of those videos. I'd rather have control to blend my own mix of power. No help if I want to pedal and no pedaling if I just want to sit back and let the motor do the work.
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      That A2B sounds pretty good, although £2,500 is a bit steep.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        It is too steep. You can convert your own with equivalent power and range for less than half the price.
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