One Last Look at the Magaco
An opportunity finally came up to let my grandkids see grandpa ride off on the Zero magaco. The oldest actually has now learned how to say motorcycle pretty well so magaco may go into hibernation for awhile until the youngest picks it up. They really like to watch out the window and wave as I wave back while riding off. It is like embarking on a grand journey every time!
The oldest has told me multiple times over the Winter: “Grandpa! Don’t ride the motorcycle. It’s too cold.” I try to explain that my riding suit keeps me warm but I don’t know if he believes me. He even crunches up his forehead as he says it like he is giving me a good talking to about my irresponsible behavior. He may be channeling his parents.
The experience of riding the Zero this Winter has been really great! I am thankful to have had the opportunity. My eyes have been opened to a whole new realm of what I now consider rideable days. My fear of frozen surfaces is almost gone. I had a fall once in a very unusual black ice scenario some years back that made me fearful whenever I was riding around the 32° F mark. It involved a bridge so I still use caution as bridges can and do freeze sooner than roads.
Before the Zero Below Zero project I used to always make sure the temp was above 32° F when riding with any kind of moisture in the environment. Now, I take into consideration the amount of thermal energy built up in the road surface and routinely ride home on regular tires with wet streets and air temps in the upper 20s° F. The thermal energy of Lake Superior also comes into play and streets near the lake can be fine while just up the hill there is ice forming. I never used to play the traction game like I do now.
My key takeaways are:
- You can effectively commute about 70% of the Winter in Duluth Minnesota on an electric motorcycle with lightly studded tires. Reasons:
- Fine and linear throttle control allows the rider to adjust rear wheel power to stay within the available traction range more easily than is generally possible with a gas powered motorcycle.
- The electric motorcycle does not need to warm up. You just turn it on.
- No shifting allows you to wear heavy boots and keep your feet warm.
- The number of accidents per mile will be less with an electric motorcycle. Reasons:
- The simplicity of operating the Zero reduces the amount of attention needed and that extra attention can be used for more awareness of your circumstances.
- The Zero’s extreme linear throttle control and lack of need for shifting allows for finer control of the motorcycle.
- The absence of engine noise allows you to hear other road vehicles so you can be more aware of your surroundings.
- The Zero is always in the “right” gear ready to get you out of trouble. You don’t need to continuously shift and keep the engine RPMs in the power band so you are ready to accelerate quickly if needed.
- Less maintenance means more riding. The Zero is the perfect commuter motorcycle. You could literally ride it for years of commutes without needing to do anything but plug it in and check tire pressure.
- I want one! Wife? Are you reading this? Click Here…