When someone tells Terry Hershner that an electric motorcycle can't do a certain feat, he immediately begins trying to figure out how to prove them wrong. Seriously, the man is on a mission to show the world that electric transport is superior transport, with the two-wheeled mode being his validator of choice. The most recent example of this obsessive compulsion has led to him acquiring an iron butt.

For those unfamiliar with that term, relax, it's not a medical condition. Rather, it means that he has officially traveled 1,000 miles or more in less than twenty-four hours on a motorcycle. In this case, an electric 2012 Zero S that he's extensively modified, including the addition of an aerodynamic body kit created specifically for him by Craig Vetter, bunches of batteries (now 21 kilowatt-hours!), and nine separate chargers.

According to Hershner, he's been told many times that this trip, with its lengthiness and time constraint would be impossible on a battery powered bike. So, he decided that the first day of National Drive Electric Week would be a good time to surmount the insurmountable.

Hershner joined the 53,000-plus members of the Iron Butt Association. Yes, there is such a thing.

Starting at 1:00 PM at Chargepoint headquarters – he would use that company's chargers for the entire trip – he headed towards the Mexican border, about 500 miles away to the south. After covering 1,047 miles in 22 hours and 57 minutes, making nine charging stops along the way, he pulled back into that same parking lot with a big smile and joined the 53,000-plus members of the Iron Butt Association (IBA). Yes, there is such a thing.

Through the magic of GoPro and time-lapse you can watch "Electric Terry" make the entire journey in less than six minutes by watching the video below. While he makes it look pretty easy, constantly moving through traffic, listening to Mord Fustang's Taito, there was a fair amount of preparation involved.

With battery capacity, charging ability, and aerodynamics mostly optimized, Hershner's biggest concern had to do with weight. Carrying the wherewithal to make long distance trips has seen his suspension pretty much maxed out, making harsh bumps dangerous to the integrity of the bike's frame and impinging on its efficiency. Here is where the man's obsessiveness comes into play.

Not only did he make an attempt to shed a few of his own pounds, losing eight in the two-week period prior to the trip, he also managed to lighten his ride by 45-50 pounds, utilizing such tricks as optimizing copper wire lengths and replacing the the steel covers on the ElCon chargers with aluminum ones he had specially made. And while the previous Vetterization of the Zero would seem to be a complete aero package, Hershner has been troubled that the underside left something to be desired, efficiency-wise, so he made a little belly pan to further smooth the air flow.

All these changes helped him put up some pretty remarkable numbers. In total, the trip took 126.9 kWh of electricity, which equates to 121 watt-hours per mile at speeds mostly in excess of 75 miles per hour – which we recognize is in excess of legally posted limits and should not be duplicated. The cost for the juice came to $21.43. The electric iron butt grin upon completion? Priceless.

As we mentioned, you can watch fast-forward video of the journey below and catch up (if you can) with Terry at his Off The Grid Facebook page.




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