Back in December I caught up with Terry Hershner to talk about how he rode his electric Zero Motorcycle cross country from Florida to Los Angeles. He is finally back and shares his thoughts with us at CarNewsCafe.
Nicolas Zart – Hey Terry, so you’re almost back home and right where you started from. Let’s start with the obvious, this trip back was different from the first one. Can you tell our readers how your first trip influenced the return ride? Terry here talks about how Craig Vetter built a streamline body for his Zero
Terry Hershner – I knew aerodynamics were important on the way out, but I didn’t know what to do about it. I had a mini fairing off a ninja 250 on the Zero then. It helped a small amount, but nothing like the Vetter fairing does. Craig Vetter is a motorcycle legend and an amazing designer to work side by side with. I truly have had an experience not many others have had the opportunity to do. And the results are amazing, and we aren’t even finished yet. We stopped to allow the cross country run.
NZ – Did you keep tab on how much energy you used this time around? How much less do you think it was then coming to LA?
TH – I averaged a higher top speed this time 75-85 most the time, the way out this past winter was mostly 60-70 mph. I still think I used 50% less energy even at the higher speed. I used mostly campgrounds to charge this time as I can source more watts faster than I can from charge stations. The only difference is the RV Parks don’t give me a print out with my energy usage so that is a guess, but I’ll bet a pretty close estimate.
NZ – Was the route you took easier as far as infrastructure? Was recharging easier?
TH – Yes, being able to go farther on a charge, I had to veer less off the freeway than I did last time. So the trip was a lot shorter. Last time I had to zig zag all over Texas trying to find electricity every 50-70 miles or less. This time was a lot easier. I get to a campground and plug in, use the restroom, grab a drink, chat with some locals, post a picture, unplug, ride and repeat.
NZ – Cross country without a drop of gasoline. How does it feel?
TH – Just that it feels great to go almost 30,000 gas free miles this year on an all electric motorcycle. Everyone who doubts it would work for them, I challenge them to try it. You can do everything and more on an electric motorcycle than you can using gasoline. You just have to learn how it’s a little different and you’ll realize plugging in at home for a dollar in electricity is way easier than going to a gas station and paying $20. I’m still confused why more people aren’t riding Zero’s yet. My motorcycle is more than halfway to paying for itself with all the gas and maintenance I haven’t had to pay for. It just makes sense to do.
NZ – I wanted to talk about your house in Florida, being off the grid and how your city is hassling you with it. Can you tell us where things are with this?
TH – As I found out the last 12 months, the insurance industry is behind most regulations in our country. Not only did the city have issues with a house making its own power and water, but the insurance companies gave an ultimatum that the house must go back on the grid or the home would be uninsurable. It’s a sad unfortunate situation. While I was in California my friends and family did not know how to battle the city and insurance companies and things happened while I was gone that unfortunately can not be undone.
For those of you who don’t know Terry, you can follow him on Facebook. For more information, you can see the previous stories I wrote about Terry on TorqueNews here, as well as a funny story of how a Long Beach Motorcycle Police Officer rode a Zero Motorcycle and couldn’t believe how much he liked it here.
Long Beach Cop – Electric Motorcycle
We’ll keep you up to date with Terry Hershner’s next ventures. In the meantime, did you ever doubt you could ride coast to coast on electricity alone?