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ADV RidesRiding TerrainDesertRiders Undertake 25,000-Mile Expedition on Electric KTM 950s

Riders Undertake 25,000-Mile Expedition on Electric KTM 950s

From Alaska to Argentina astride three electric-powered KTM 950 Adventures.

Published on 03.29.2016

An epic 25,000 mile (40,000 km) journey sets its eyes on a record setting feat when three riders set off on a nine-month odyssey astride their purpose-built electric motorcycles this summer.

A tantalizing trailer of the venture, Expedition Electric, provides a glimpse of the unique journey awaiting the trio. Starting in Prudhoe Bay in Northern Alaska and ending in Tierra del Fuego in Argentina, the expedition travels across two continents and 15 countries in what will be the longest ride ever attempted on custom built electric touring motorcycles. The route is not set in stone and may well see unscheduled deviations and detours in keeping with the spirit of this one-of-a-kind adventure.

Team Expedition Electric
Team Expedition Electric’s JC Davis, Danell Lynn and Greg Smith are ready to drop everything for a nine-month 25,000-mile journey from Northern Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina riding electric motorcycles. Danell recently achieved the Guinness World Record for longest female solo ride within a single country.

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For starters, the bikes are re-engineered KTM 950 Adventures, arguably one of the best off-road-capable performance ADV motorcycles ever built. But in the hands of clean power guru Chris Bell, each bike is stripped of its conventional drive train and fitted with an AC motor that cranks out a claimed 88 foot-pound (119.3 Nm) of torque. With 62 Kw (83.1 hp) of seamless grunt on tap, the bike is capable of 110 mph (177 km/h) at full tilt, according to Bell.

Key to the electric drivetrain is Bell’s proprietary single-speed transmission that features straight-cut internal gears machined from a high-quality precision alloy. Extra battery power and regenerative technology will help extend the range and the team is hoping to get somewhere between 200 to 260 miles (322 to 418 km) on a single charge.

As things stand now, the bikes require a two-hour long charge every day and an additional one-hour quick charge can be given no more than once per day. Bikes will be charged overnight using a generator housed in a support vehicle that will accompany the trio on their journey.

Expedition Electric KTM 950 Adventure
Expedition Electric’s KTM 950 Adventures utilize a regenerative braking system that converts forward motion into battery power, helping to increase range. The amount of regen can be adjusted, depending on an individual rider’s preferences.

The electric-powered KTMs set sights towards a fossil-free adventure riding future and the legendary handling of the 950 Adventure is said to be uncompromised by the new powerplant. As for a price tag on one of these technological marvels, Bell suggests a figure around the $40,000 mark.

The route tracking mostly the Pacific coastline of North and South America is bound to provide a searing test of the electric KTM’s capability over some of the world’s most beautiful and challenging terrain.

Expedition Electric Route

Just how the team members will cope with the challenges of the expedition remains to be seen, quite possibly in the form of a reality TV show given recent discussions with networks. But there’s no doubt it will change their lives forever, as team member J.C. Davis explains: “One of the most amazing things about a trip like this is realizing just how much you have to let go of, so that you can be free to go.”

For more about Expedition Electric, visit their website.

Author: Derek Alberts
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Sarat
Sarat
March 29, 2016 10:46 am

So, “Bikes will be charged overnight using a generator housed in a support vehicle” and The electric-powered KTMs lead the charge towards a fossil-free adventure riding future. You may want to rephrase that second statement.

Someday, this trip will be possible using the local grid in all these places. I can’t wait for that day.

ADV Pulse
ADV Pulse
March 29, 2016 11:08 am
Reply to  Sarat

That’ll be an exciting day for sure Sarat! But for now the Expedition Electric team are developing new electric technologies and proving it can handle the extremes of long-distance adventure riding in sight for a fossil-free future.

Andrew
Andrew
March 29, 2016 7:10 pm
Reply to  ADV Pulse

Thomas recently completed an unsupported electric motorcycle journey from Philly to the sourthern tip of South America on a stock 2012 Zero:
https://www.facebook.com/ElectricPoweredOdyssey/?fref=nf
It seems that with enough careful planning, a bike with 250mi range could make the trip without a support vehicle/generator…
Best of luck!

ADV Pulse
ADV Pulse
March 29, 2016 7:32 pm
Reply to  Andrew

Thomas’ record is impressive for sure. We included him in one of our recent stories. https://www.advpulse.com/adv-bikes/electric-motorcycle-for-adventure-riders/

Exciting times indeed!

Eric
Eric
March 29, 2016 12:03 pm

Very interesting! Exciting to see the advancement in electric technology they are setting forth.

Kai
Kai
March 29, 2016 12:56 pm

First of april approaching? Every time you transform energy from one state to the other (in this case fuel > electricity > chemically stored energy > electricity > motion) there are inevitably losses, so it would most likely be more environmentally friendly to use a bike with an efficiency optimized combustion engine!

Albert M.
Albert M.
March 29, 2016 1:01 pm
Reply to  Kai

Fuel to electricity? read man. It is a totally electric bike!

Paul Hayhoe
Paul Hayhoe
March 30, 2016 12:25 am
Reply to  Albert M.

Fossil fuel used to produce electricity I think what he’s getting at, anyway on this note often fossil fuel is used to mine and transport/ produce the batteries. So from the point of inception to end product electric vehicles aren’t particularly green!. That said we should keep trying.

joe
joe
March 30, 2016 3:50 am
Reply to  Paul Hayhoe

what fuel is the generator using?

Kai
Kai
March 30, 2016 5:19 am
Reply to  joe

That’s my thought: they will probably run a gasoline driven generator to recharge the bikes. So this is the energy path:

Gas to electricity (in the generator)
Electricity to chemically stored energy (loading the accumulators)
Chemical to electricity (in the accumulator)
Electricity to motion

Every of these steps inevitably causes losses, that what you call energy conversion efficiency.

So my guess is that it would be much more efficient to run the bikes on a conventional combustion engine optimized for low consumption, which will also cause less CO2 emissions! Of course you can ride an electric bike anywere, if you carry a gas driven generator and enough fuel. But that’s not what electric bikes are about!

Mario R.
Mario R.
March 30, 2016 9:28 am
Reply to  Kai

Geez some people always try to bring down other people’s accomplishments smh. The bike is electric and fossil free and can be charged from an electric station if you want. To have a bike with a 250+ mile range per charge is impressive! and yes it is a step closer to being a bike you can take anywhere. What matters is the e-bike technology they have developed and what the implications are for the future. Definitely great things can come from this including solar panel integration etc. We should be encouraging innovators not bringing them down.

trackback
Danell Lynn Sets Guinness World Record for Longest Ride
March 31, 2016 12:13 pm

[…] Lynn is not done setting world records yet though. She has also joined the “Expedition Electric” team to undertake the challenge of the longest ride ever attempted on custom built electric touring […]

George Podsobinski
George Podsobinski
April 4, 2016 6:55 pm

You can accomplish almost anything with a support vehicle. Just doesn’t prove much. . . a used $3,000 KLR could do that without a support vehicle.

trackback
Riders Undertake 25,000-Mile Expedition on Electric KTM 950s - ADV Pulse - Expedition Electric - An electrically charged TV adventure
April 13, 2016 11:10 pm

[…] READ MORE […]

trackback
Rider Danell Lynn Sets Guinness World Record for Distance - ADV Pulse - Expedition Electric - An electrically charged TV adventure
April 13, 2016 11:21 pm

[…] Lynn is not done setting world records yet though. She has also joined the “Expedition Electric” team to undertake the challenge of the longest ride ever attempted on custom built electric touring […]

Tim Economu
Tim Economu
April 23, 2017 2:39 pm

Yeah this is truly an epic undertaking. Electrify some bikes made by a company who doesn’t give a hoot about efficiency, back them up with some gas generators, and gas chase vehicles, and light up some back country with ‘adventure riding’! Yep that is innovative!
Wow.

chris
chris
October 25, 2017 2:39 pm

Does anyone know if they were successful? Seems all reports stopped in 2016. Just wondering what happened? I am all for electric bikes and applaud their drive to make this work, but as others stated they are not fossil fuel free or “green” they are just a little “greener” than conventional bikes for now.

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