I was quite surprised by this. It seems that the advertised ranges for the Bionx may be too low.
I have a PL350 (36V Li-ion battery with 350W motor). Assistance mode #4 is advertised as 35km. That seems way too low. I just got back from a ride which clocked in at 54km. I was using assistance mode #4 all the time and I often used the thumb throttle when I hit lots of pedestrian traffic on the lakefront paths.
When I got home my battery idicator was down to zero bars left and I had clocked 45km. I jammed the thumb throttle all the way down and just did a few laps around my neighborhood totalling an extra 10km. Only when the bike was moving too slow for me to retain my balance did I stop. But then I simply pedaled with assistance mode #4 and despite the battery being really low, I could still feel the push of electric assist helping me out all the way to 30km/h.
The controller never shut down. You really... and I mean... REALLY have to run the battery to it's last "mah" (miliAmp per hour) for the controller to turn off.
The conclusion I came to: that advertised 35km (page 21 in the Bionx book) is REALLY conservative. I was using the thumb throttle a lot and I got more than that. If one were to use assistance mode #4 alone (no thumb throttle) I suspect one could go past the 60km range with still some juice left.
Conditions were: 190lbs rider with fully laden bike (GPS, watter bottle, saddle bags, rack bag, BLT lead-acid headlight and horn), 30-something ' C weather, very humid, mix of downhill and uphill, lots of regen braking, lots of full speed riding, average speed of 25km/h... which is faster than anyone else out there in this heat. I passed about a hundred riders and never got passed once; so I was going pretty fast when I was going. 38-40 km/h was not uncommon.
This was some real world driving and I got better results than advertised. I know that most times advertised ranges are actually lower in the real world, like the EPA ratings on Hybrid cars, but in this case, I got better results than what was advertised.
I'll have to repeat the route again to confirm the results.
Battery is being charged. Lets see if it takes the advertised 3-4 hours to recharge.
I have every reason to believe that Bionx's claim of 90km on assist mode #1 is realistic and perhaps even underrated. I think it can go a full 100 to 110 km on assist mode #1.
Any other Bionx owners see similar results?
PS: I forgot to mention: My Bionx controller is slightly "hacked". The limiters have been removed and other adjustments have been made. Check the "Bionx hack" thread for details.