Day one was filled with rain, a visit from a friend, trying out a brand new supercharger, and going into limp mode twice
Normally 7am is my preferred start time, but some rain was moving along at 7:20. I decided to be a gentleman, and let it go first. Once it stopped drizzling, I hit the road on my 2014 Zero SR with a lightning paint job at 7:30 headed for Seattle, via Cleveland.
My first stop was about 75 miles away at the Pocono Vacation Park at 8:45 where they have 50 Amp outlets for RVs. I called the day before and they gave me permission to charge in exchange for a couple of bucks for the electricity. The digiNow Supercharger worked perfectly, firing up at 9kW about 30 seconds after it was plugged in. Had a little chat with a resident who noted how quiet my bike rides, then dropped $2 in the locked box and off I went.
Next I headed to Indian Head RV Campground another 75 miles away and met Margie, who was super sweet. This time $3 did the trick and I even got the bonus of having a lovely chat with Margie plus there were restrooms. Had an early lunch, since it was about 11am, and headed out with 93% charge for a long 97mile leg.
That was almost a mistake. On the highway I can get about 100 miles with 100% of my battery, but it depends on rain, headwinds, temperature, and mostly on speed. Since I was pushing my limits I kept the speed down and managed to limp into Black Moshannon State Forest with 6% remaining. The 2014 Zero SR motorcycles start to go into limp mode slightly before hitting 0%. The 2015-16 Zeros hit limp mode several miles after 0%. That would make a WORLD of difference to me! (but not to too many others.) The rain also causes greater friction with the road and slightly more air resistance (water resistance?) which saps a bit of range on long rides.
Riding to Moshannon State Forest I got to hit some twisty roads which was a welcome ride after spending much of the day on Route 80. It’s really a beautiful park! Even though I was conserving energy (i.e. - couldn’t hit the turns as fast as I wanted) it was truly a joyous break in the monotony of highway riding. After charging, and donating $3, I headed for another 97 mile leg to Wolf’s Camping Resort near Pittsburgh.
I lived in Pittsburgh straight out of college and my friend, Flash, from those days drove his Tesla Model S 90D up to meet me. I pulled at limp mode, this time it started at 11% (SURPRISE!!!), but I was almost there and made it to the parking lot. Again, the Supercharger worked it’s magic at 9kW while the onboard charger added another 1.3kW. This gets me going in about 45 minutes.
We had dinner while it continued to rain outside at a local eatery that had almost no food in the all-you-can-eat buffet. it rained while I rode all day, but hadn’t rained while I charged until now. Once full, Flash led me to the next charger in Ohio.
We stopped at Delphi (an electronics company), and Mike, working overtime, saw us charging outside (since the car alarm on a Volt I unplugged went off…). We had a nice chat as a storm approached while I used 2 Clipper Creek chargers to juice up at 10.5kW. This time I used both he Supercharger and my trusty dual Elcon 2.5kW chargers from Hollywood Electrics. They got me up and running while we talked then I parted ways with Flash as I headed to a friend’s house in Cleveland.
Last year I traveled from this location in Cleveland to my home in NJ from 7am to 12pm, a whopping 17 hours of riding and charging! This time I traveled from 7:30am to 10:30pm, which reduced the 475 mile ride to 15 hours. What a difference 2 hours makes! Even though it rained most of the day, the ride through Moshannon State Forest and chatting with Flash were highlights that overwhelmed the memory of the rain.
Now to spend a lovely weekend visiting friends and swing dancing in Cleveland before riding to Denver next week! Cheers!