27 November, 2010

I'm not worried about Global Warming... – Day 10

Odo 292

...but battery pack warming worries me a lot. I didn't make a big fuss about it yesterday but I did the longest one day ride so far. 70 km. I did have a short charge around the 15 km mark, but basically 70 km on a single charge. When I got back from that ride the display would flash if I needed a quick burst of speed but there were still 3 bars left.

So I popped it on charge when I got home, as you do. I checked it after about 3 hours and the charger was surprisingly hot. It's directly under the battery pack and the pack had become quite hot too. Now they say that temperature is one of the main determining factors in pack shelf life. I turned it off straight away and got out a fan to blow on the whole lot. After about 10 minutes everything was cool to the touch again so I turned it back on. Now an hour later it's still cool. I'm sure the temperature wasn't dangerous, but still, I like to keep my cool if I can.

Additionally I've put a mega huge surge protector in line with the garage charger. I don't want spikes blowing up my new motorcycle.

One of the main questions I get asked is “how much does it cost”. I can tell people my out of pocket expenses in a second. It cost me 13900 Australian dollars on road (USD and AUD are almost exactly one for one at the moment). In most countries there are tax incentives that bring down the out of pocket expense sometimes down to 5000. Not so in Australia. Of that 13900 that I paid about 3000 goes in taxes. Customs processing charges, 10% GST (like VAT), road tax, plate fee, compulsory third party personal insurance (that cover's my pillion passenger's medical costs.... no pillion seat, but I still pay), registration fee, processing fee, stamp duty and compulsory pre-delivery. The government requires that a dealer “pre-deliver” the bike to allow registration to occur. They charge for that of course, and usually it covers uncrating, scratching the tank, checking the oil and putting a teacup full of petrol from another customer's bike in it (I've actually watched another dealer do that whole process as described, I couldn't make this stuff up) for about 800 dollars. It's not “tax” but any time the government says I have to pay for something I don't want I call it “tax”. Grahame Boyd were good and didn't charge me that much. Of course had it not been a government regulation I could have had it delivered straight to my door like they do in the USA. Then I wouldn't have had to pay 100 dollars for trailer hire, 100 dollars for fuel and put 600 km of wear and tear (worth about another 100 dollars) on the dinoburner and lost a whole day out of my life spent driving. So the bike cost about 11000. On the other hand you could ask how much did the bike cost to design and build. Well Zero don't break that kind of figure down, but they've received 24 million in venture capital and produced somewhere around 500 bikes that sold for about 10000 each. It's said that they're close to breaking even some time in the next few years. So from that point of view my bike cost around 58000 dollars to make. So I got a bargain then. I don't know. I do know it brings a big smile to my face every time I think about my new bike.

It's the next day. Been out with the boss to buy a pillow. It cost 165 dollars. I also bought a desk fan for the bike. It cost 15 dollars. I no longer understand the value of money. The fan has a cardboard box printed in 3 colours, moving parts, plugs, leads, three switches, a metal safety cage and cost 1/10 of a lump of foam in a plastic bag. No riding today.

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