All posts from Susanna Schick

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Michael Czysz Forced to Miss 2013 SES TT Zero

I don’t want to write this, but with Cancer, the more people who know, the more a person can get prayers and healing thoughts sent their way. Which can often be more powerful than chemotherapy, actually. Michael Czysz, CEO, founder and genius behind the curtain at MotoCzysz, will have to miss the 2013 TT to undergo cancer treatment. The TT isn’t something one just misses because they have the sniffles.

May 15th

First Long Distance Test | 2013 Zero FX

A month ago, I took delivery of a 2013 Zero FX. My first impressions are here. It’s been a wonderful month, even as I’ve had to work hard to keep The Smug from blinding everyone around me. Well, putting in an 80-mile day on Sunday was a great way to temper The Smug. If you aren’t familiar with The Smug, please take a moment and familiarize yourself here in South Park. Granted, that episode aired way back in 2006 when lowly hybrid drivers could think they were cool. Not so anymore, now that pure EV’s are becoming almost as ubiquitous, and Tesla is profitable.

May 13th

Inside the Magic Factory of MotoCzysz

Last week, I was granted a rare visit to MotoCzysz headquarters in Portland, OR. I met with their General Manager Ray Crepeau, to discuss where the company is at both commercially and in racing for the 2013 season. Last week they announced their 2013 rider lineup, making it clear that they would like to race the full US season of the eRoadRacing series but for now are targeting IOM TT Zero and the Laguna Seca round of eRoadRacing. I got to see Michael’s father and lead mechanic Terry Czysz hard at work on one bike while lead engineer Nick Schoeps took a moment to stop measuring the other bike’s power delivery on the dyno to answer my questions.

May 4th

MotoCzysz Announces 2013 Rider Lineup

MotoCzysz has announced their lineup for the 2013 season, signaling their intent to move beyond the Isle of Man this year and campaign a full season. This is great news for FIM eRoadRace fans. The serie formerly known as TTXGP and FIM ePower has united, making it easier to fill the grids with truly competitive bikes.

May 1st

Interbike By Invitation: Customers Now Welcome At The Popular Trade Show

Like most trade shows, Interbike is the place for retailers to get one-stop-shopping for everything they could possibly want in their store. But the problem with this model is it relies on past experience with customers to predict future sales to customers. Interbike has accepted the fact that customers love to attend their trade show and created Interbike by Invitation, a VIP day where customers invited by their favorite Local Bike Shop can attend the popular trade show.

April 16th

The Perfect Vehicle For LA: The Zero FX Electric Motorcycle Review

As you know from my review, I loved the Brammo Empulse, but that 31.5″ seat height was not fun with my 34″ inseam. Sure, I could’ve bought it and built the seat up a few inches. But Harlan at Hollywood Electrics kept hinting that Zero had some really awesome bikes in the works for 2013. I decided to wait and see, knowing that rash decisions have usually not served me well. I wanted to try out Zero’s 2013 S. At the bike show in December, I was still most interested in the S, especially now that it had twice as much power as the previous years model. And of course because Hollywood Electrics had done so many awesome mods to the one they dubbed “Big Blue”.

April 15th

Amarok Racing Announces 2013 Pikes Peak Rider

If you’re going to race, you may as well race with the best. Electric motorcycle company Amarok is entering Pikes Peak, the uber-challenging hill climb, for the first time. To help them get the best possible run up the hill, they’ve enlisted 6 time Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Champion Greg Tracy. The Canadian builder is running Agni motors, a controversial choice. This video discusses the development of the project.

April 11th

Team Hollywood Electrics M1GP Endurance Race Report

As you read about here, I was invited to participate in the 6th annual M1GP 8 hour endurance race, as a member of Team Hollywood Electrics. As the first (and only) female on the team, my race entry fee was waived, so I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to race a brand-new electric bike for free! Sustainable Solutions Partners supplied us with a solar generator, as well as a gas generator. We had about eight batteries at our disposal, and the solar panels were enough to charge two at a time, albeit a bit more slowly than the gas generator. The 8 Hour Endurance Race was a fun opportunity to show the entry level Zero XU in a competitive environment under continuous use. Although we were disappointed that a technical issue prevented us from completing the entire 8 hours, the roadblock was not the batteries or charging capacity.

April 8th

Electric Motorcycles Race Against Gas For 8 Hours!

Come watch Gas2 author Susanna Schick (that’s me) and the rest of the Hollywood Electrics team take full advantage of the Zero XU’s swappable batteries as we take on the gas bikes in the 6th Annual M1GP 8 Hour Endurance race at Grangé Motor Circuit. Hollywood Electrics will be entering a 5 rider team fielding a Zero Motorcycle with an all-electric drive train. Team riders will include Nathan Barker, Jeff Clark, TTXGP racer Jeremiah Johnson, landspeed record holder Brandon Miller, and Susanna Schick. Brandon Miller is currently seventh in the overall points for M1GP, so this promises to be a strong team.

April 2nd

Long Term Test | Lithium Ion Motorcycle Batteries

Well, the Skyrich is in that special battery home in the sky now, ready to become fertilizer (for real) thanks to the lack of any battery management system (BMS). I ran this battery on my 2009 Yamaha R1 since May 2011, (first reported here) putting about 12,500 miles of mostly city riding on it. So while Skyrich advertises that the battery lasts 2,000 cycles, as opposed to the 3-500 lead acid batteries can take, I only found it to last about 2.5 times as long as the lead acid my bike came with. I didn’t count the cycles, I counted the years. The stock battery lasted 1 year. The Skyrich was starting to get weak this winter, but I didn’t do the research until after it died. It turns out that with liIon batteries, when it’s cold you actually heat it up by turning the key and letting it power the lights for a minute. I did find that although it wouldn’t crank on the first try in the cold, it would eventually crank. Unlike lead acid, lithium batteries get stronger as you use them, they “warm up”.

February 5th

Interview with FIM's Charles Hennekam on Electric Motorcycle Racing

Charles’s job involves taking care of the technical rules for all the disciplines- 50 different championships covering everything from road racing to cross-country rally racing. He is also the Operations Manager for ePower, the FIM’s electric motorcycle racing series. I sat down with him at the Laguna Seca round to find out more about FIM’s interest in electric racing. I saved it until now, because it’s nice to have some racing news in the off-season.

December 27th

LA Auto Show: The Green Car Of The Year Is The 2013 Ford Fusion

Nope, it’s not the Tesla Model S, lauded as CAR of the year (not just green) by everyone from Motor Trend to…many more. The award for Green Car of the Year came with a few caveats-primarily sales volume. Green Car Journal Editor Ron Cogan was adamant that this award be given to the car likely to get the most wheels to the ground. Sales volume matters a lot when determining which car will have the most significant impact in reducing CO2.

November 30th

LA Auto Show: Fisker Karma Phones It In Via Google

I’m not sure what it takes to get a time slot in the jam-packed schedule at the LA Auto Show media days, but I think having something new to announce is pretty much a requirement. So it’s no surprise that Fisker chose to have a Q&A on Google Hangout livestreamed via YouTube instead of the usual fanfare. This actually makes more sense for a company still experiencing severe growing pains.

November 29th

LA Auto Show: Fiat 500E Debuts To Combat Global Warming, Start Global…Hotness?

Once again bringing overpowering sex appeal to the LA Auto Show as only Italians can, Fiat delivered some very steamy videos to promote their latest offerings. The 500c Cabriolet video was especially thrilling and tastefully done. The 500e video was charming, but between the woman being in the passenger seat, and the overdose of analogies to Viagra by the announcer, it could’ve been better. Yes, you want to make a sexy electric car. We get that. But Tesla and Fisker have already been doing so for years now. Oh, a sexy affordable electric car.

November 29th