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Old 03-14-2013, 08:10 PM   #40
Wind_Rider OP
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Mar 2006
Location: Idaho
Oddometer: 305
500 Mile Impressions

Well, it is hard to believe, but I have already put 500 miles on the Zero.

Normally, at the this point with a new bike I would change the engine oil and filter. Not on this ride. Nothing really to do other than make sure some fasteners are still tight.

Some things that I love about the Zero DS at this point:

- Smooth throttle response. It is really perfect, like what perfectly tuned FI almost is.
- Silence. It is really surprising what you can hear without an ICE along for the ride
- Simplicity. I thought that it might be a bit boring riding a single speed bike without any challenging power curve but I find it kind of distills riding down to its purest form without the ICE distractions.
- Almost Zero Maintenance.
- NO GAS. It is so much fun to ride by the gas station and know that I will never stop there and pour money into the pump.
- Slim but comfy seat. I guess most riders did not like the 2012 seat as it is narrow and dirt bike style. The 2013s have wider seats. I like the 2012 seat and find it plenty comfy for the Range that this bike has. It is easy to move around on.
- Little details like the frame welds, the foot pegs, the material that the seat is made from.
- Made in USA by a small company that is doing great things, kinda reminds me of my Buells in a way. One of the chief Buell engineers is the CTO at Zero.
- Balance. The bike weighs 340 lbs but it feels lighter.
- Belt final drive. Smooth, silent, no lash.

Things that I wish were better:

- Steering lock is surprisingly limited for a small bike. If it were not for that this would be the easiest tight spot bike ever. As is, be aware of the limited radius before committing to the turn.
- The charge cable port on the bottom corner of the bike is awkward and always covered in dirt/mud. I am going to move this at some point.
- For a long travel suspension it sure seems harsh. It lacks the progressive feel of other suspensions that I have ridden and owned. I think it would take quite a hit to bottom it out. This could be due to the fact that the suspension is new and I am riding in the cold. I will spend some time with the suspension settings when it warms up a bit and see if this can be improved by spinning the dials.

The owners manual comes on Flash drive which is different:

The manual is pretty basic but does contain torque values for major fasteners. There is no shop manual from Zero.

Rear shock provides a surprisingly harsh ride. I have washed the motor with a gentle spray... it does get dirty from my riding.

I added a Wolfman tank bag to the tail of the Zero DS. It fits perfect and I really like it here rather than on the tank.

Sorry, bad light on that photo.

Footpegs are excellent for OEM !!

For those of you who worry about the belt drive's reliability I am the test of your theories. I feed it a regular rock, sand, and mud diet. We will see how it holds up over time and miles.

The nice thing about the Zero final drive is that it can be quickly converted to chain final drive if desired. They have a kit with the right ratios ready to go.

After the first 500 miles I am very happy to own this bike and am looking forward to the next 10,000 miles of silent riding.
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