Most of the things that we enjoy each day require some form of maintenance to ensure they continue to work the way they’re intended. One of the more obvious things on this list are our vehicles, which are invariably accompanied by a long list of things that need to be checked, replaced or adjusted on a routine basis.
When it comes to electric motorcycles, however, the good news is that maintenance is likely to be a whole lot easier than it was with your old combustion-engine bike.
We’re not just saying goodbye to all those oil changes, either. The list of things you’ll no longer need to service or replace also includes filters (air, oil and fuel), transmissions, sparkplugs, the exhaust, and coolant and fuel systems. Other than the braking system, which has a setup similar to any high-performance motorcycle, all you’ll really be left with are the tyres, brake pads, and drive belt.
Of these three ‘serviceable’ items, there are a few tactics you can employ to ensure that you get the most out of them. However, this also comes down to how you like to ride!
Like anything mechanical, it goes without saying that taking it easy will help you get more mileage out of your consumables. Hard acceleration and braking inevitably lead to greater wear on the tyres, while acceleration also contributes to higher stresses running through the drive belt.
With the C-Series tyres, we’ve opted for a sportier compound to ensure the grip is in line with the vehicle’s capabilities – so they won’t be renowned for superior service life. We’ve heard of instances where these tyres are due for replacement at little over 3,000km, although others have been able to squeeze more than 8,000km out of them. Our super-tough carbon belts will be a lesser issue: they’ll be handled by our service techs and will only need to be considered during major service intervals.
Brake pads are particularly interesting when it comes to comparing the service life in EVs with their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts. Although engine braking can be used to slow the vehicle down, it requires careful and continual selection of gears to keep the engine RPM high – with the ability to slow down diminishing as you enter the speed range typical of city commuting. So, using this strategy to minimise the use of your brake pads is not only cumbersome; it won’t help you ditch the mechanical braking system to any meaningful extent.
EVs like the C-Series, however, have a regenerative motor braking function in place of engine braking, which gives riders the same confidence and familiarity they’d have with their ICE bikes. This is actually the main purpose of regenerative braking – given that that coasting feeling when you let off the accelerator of your clutchless vehicle can be rather unsettling!
The difference between engine braking and regenerative motor braking is that, with ‘regen’, you’re able to more precisely control and adjust the strength of the braking effect. This effect is available down to more-or-less 0 RPM, so you’re able to come to a complete stop almost entirely – only needing to apply the brakes as you stop, in order to keep still. Our more conservatively-riding customers will find that they’ll be able to cover a greater distance before their brake pads are due for replacing.
So, whichever way you slice it, the jury is no longer out. If you’re planning to go electric, you can expect to spend a lot less time off the road getting your bike fixed – and much more time where we know you actually want to be.