The manager of the PTT gasoline station on Rama II has his mouth width open. He looks bewildered. I've just ridden up to his office, pulled out a cable and asked if I could get a quick top-up charge and he's earnestly trying to give me directions to the closest "car" battery shop. He's telling me it's not possible to charge the motorcycle's battery directly from his 220-volt plug point. I don't blame him. Lots of people I asked had similar reactions.
The truth is, you can charge this battery only from a 220-volt plug-point. So, in the past few weeks, I've seen hundreds of faces with the same bewildered look. It's fun, trust me.
Not so much when you run out of charge though. You see, this electric motorcycle's biggest disadvantage in Bangkok is its far-from-electrifying 40km range on a full charge. In a city where the average commute to work and back often exceeds this distance, you need to figure out where you can give it a top-up charge. A tall order when you live and work in high-rises.
The motorcycle has two settings one being an economic power-saving selection which increases the range of the motorcycle to about 100km, but for now I prefer the performance selection. In the performance setting the electric motorcycle delivers pure power torque is to my feelings of the scale, it is a real pleasure to ride.
Unlike some smaller scooters, this bigger motorcycle's batteries can't be detached and carried up to your home for charging. This mean that you either have to take this full size motorcycle up to your apartment, or "steal" electricity from your apartment or condominium.
The manufacturer of this motorcycle recommends that you charge the bike over four to six hours to get a good full charge, but you can get an 80 percent charge in just two hours. There is also a optional speed charger available, which will charge the battery for 100 percent in 1.5 hour. What I understand is that the battery lasts approximately two hears before it needs a replacement. I did a few quick calculations and I figured that the motorcycle cost just 80 to 90 Baht to travel a potential 1,200 kilometers. Who is smiling now...