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Old 03-10-2013, 01:46 PM   #16
northerndancer
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Thanks for the thread. I'll be watching. I can't wait to be in a place where an electric makes more sense for my riding.
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Old 03-10-2013, 02:56 PM   #17
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How long does it take to top up the charge if the battery is at say, 50%?

Just wondering if you could do a 200 mile day if 1, you can find an outlet, and 2, if it does'nt take too long to charge. A lunch break/mid day nap wouldn't be too hard to schedule.



Congrats on the new bike.
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:31 PM   #18
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The workmanship on that machine looks top notch. The welds are excellent, obviously quality focused rather than output. I can see why it's 14K, sort of like the Tesla of MCs. Similar approach, high tech, high quality, low production. At the cost I consider them more of an engineering exercise, a very nice one forsure

Thanks for the review, very interesting.

Till battery technology gets allot better I think the electric MCs will be destined to be used for urban offroading and commuting.

Someone needs to take the chinese approach to these, cheap off the shelf componets, use the bulk of the unit cost to fund the expensive batteries. Get it out to more riders at a reduced cost. IMO, affordabilty is what will turn the tide on electric vehicle use.
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:48 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G19Tony View Post
I'm going to ride my Versys a lot this summer as a commuter and a light touring bike. If it turns out that I don't go anywhere, and mainly ride in town. I may consider a Zero for around town riding. I would get the SM version, I think. I'll have to see about plugging it in at work, when our new space opens next month.
I really enjoy riding the Zero in town. At first it seemed really strange to be sitting at a stop with nothing happening .... There is no idle. When not moving the bike indicates ON with the GRN light but the normal sensations are not there from an ICE.

Now I really enjoy the silence and hear a lot of things that are missed on a conventional ICE motorcycle.

One other thing to consider for in town riding is that "loud pipes save lives" thing.... I have surprised a few pedestrians who are listening more than looking before stepping into the street already. So far, not noticeable from other vehicle traffic and I never put much credence into making noise, but it is different.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:01 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Nnordsman View Post
Beautiful Bike. What is the range? In economy? In sport? How long to recharge from dead? A good chunk of my riding each year is a 74 mile/day commute at highway speeds.
Nnordsman,

Range is more variable on an E bike than on a gas bike. If you are in Sport mode and twisting the throttle aggressively, then the controller will dump a lot of energy into the motor and that will decrease range significantly. You can be in Sport mode and still easy on the right grip and still achieve significant range.

I have heard from several people that range will increase slightly after some use. Range is decreased by several factors: Wind, hills, stop and go, aggressive riding.

I have only ridden the bike far enough to test range twice here in Idaho as the weather is still cold here. The first time I achieved only 55 miles to the last 2 bars on the stored energy graph. There are a total of eleven bars on the graph so this works out about 6 miles / energy bar on the graph. There is a hidden bar so if it ran full to the last electron that would about 72 miles. Note that on this ride it was about 38 degrees and I was having some fun with Sport mode. Out of the 55 miles about 11 miles were dirt road and the rest twisty 2 lane. Top speed of 70 MPH, average probably about 55 except for dirt bits and the dirt road had some steep climbs.

The second time I tested it temps were from 38 to 30 degrees and I rode twisty 2 lane highway with top speed of 60 MPH and made it to 61 miles before the flashing 2 bars popped up.

I hope that range increases some when the weather warms up.

If your commute is 74 miles round trip, no problem. 74 miles one way would be a stretch for this bike.

Some good Range information on Zero's website here:

http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/range/

Recharge from total discharge is about 9 hours for my bike which has the larger ZF9 battery. This is with the onboard charger. Another charger can be added in parallel and and costs about another $400 and cuts the recharge time in half.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:13 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by strongbad View Post
It looks like a quality bike, but an electric isn't on my radar at all because I take long trips. I noticed that you haven't spoken about range or price...the two main areas where electrics fall short of ICE bikes. I smile every time I pass an electrical outlet on my VFR...
Strongbad, Range is addressed some in last post. I am still learning the limits and hope to achieve around 80 miles of usable range in mixed riding once the weather warms up more here. I will post more on Range as I learn more about it.

The price is hard to reconcile on one hand and easy on another:

- It will take some time to get to price parity with a similarly featured ICE bike. However, depending on how much you spend in maintenance for your bikes it will happen with enough time and miles. The Zero will roll for less than 1 cent/ mile here in Idaho where we have pretty inexpensive power. There is hardly any cost in operating it. No valves to adjust, filters to replace, oil changes, etc, etc. Over time those costs will add up. However, with the Zero you have to pay the ticket up front and it is not inexpensive. I also appreciate the time that I used to spend on wrenching I can now do something else with.

- On the other hand the Zero represents and amazing amount of technology for a lower price than the average Harley Davidson that uses the same basic design that they have been using for 50 years. Before I get entirely flamed for that statement, consider that I have owned 2 Buell Ulysses and one HD Sportster. The point is, people drop that kind of coin on motorcycles that are way less in terms of the technology that they represent.

In my own case, I was compelled by the end of year incentives and Zero's Cash for Carbon program so the price was a lot less than the sticker and that made it worth it for me and my riding needs.

Until the price of EVs go down, they will probably not achieve mass market appeal but the 2013 Zeros are pretty amazing machines and if you have the budget to spend that much on a bike, they are a good buy in my opinion.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:17 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travrsx View Post
Cool, I am very interested to hear a "real world" opinion about these bikes. In many ways, I think electic vehicles are the future, but I'm not entirely convinced that the technology makes sense yet. With the rate at which battery technology advances, I see these sort of machines being competitive (price and performance) to internal combustion in the next 5-10 years.

I think the short range of an EV makes sense for many everyday motorcyclists, though those of us on ADVrider like to invision the long trips, even though they account for only a very small percentage of our riding (for the most part). This zero bike seems great, but I am not interested at $14k. When the price can be more competitive with an ICE bike, I think they will sell plenty.

Keep the reports coming!
Very good points Travrsx.

One thing that is really obvious once you start riding EVs: There is a LOT of energy in a gallon of gasoline! It is hard to replace that with battery storage.

I am guessing but unless there are huge advances in battery technology we will see incremental increases for the next several years.

The future is probably more about fast charging. If the energy could be dumped into a 10KW battery pack in a few minutes then the experience of charging would be a lot like filling with gas.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:18 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoSlow View Post
Thanks for posting this stuff - I've been intrigued by the electric bikes for a while now.

What interval do you expect to have to replace the battery pack at?
SoSlow. I never expect to replace the battery pack on this bike.

Zero rates the battery pack at 300,000 miles to 80%. That will do it for me!
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:24 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Wind_Rider View Post
SoSlow. I never expect to replace the battery pack on this bike.

Zero rates the battery pack at 300,000 miles to 80%. That will do it for me!
That's awesome! Let us know how it's performing when you get up past 275,000.
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:10 PM   #25
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I think these are great bikes. I test rode an S model in Austin at AF1 and really liked it. I sat on the DS and decided that would be the bike that I would get, and almost did. Then we moved to flagstaff, and now my commute is a lot shorter. Now I'm considering the FX, the range is short but enough and its really light and pretty quick.

Enjoy the bike and thanks for the real world experience.
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:08 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Idle View Post
How long does it take to top up the charge if the battery is at say, 50%?

Just wondering if you could do a 200 mile day if 1, you can find an outlet, and 2, if it does'nt take too long to charge. A lunch break/mid day nap wouldn't be too hard to schedule.

Congrats on the new bike.
With just the onboard charger half the capacity could be replaced in about 3-4 hours and with an additional charger about half of that time.

The 2013 Zeros can be charged on the ChadeMo standard in less than 1 hour but those charge stations are not plentiful right now here in Idaho. They are popping up in large cities but I think it will be a while before fast charge stations are widespread in the hinterlands.
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:14 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RideFreak View Post
The workmanship on that machine looks top notch. The welds are excellent, obviously quality focused rather than output. I can see why it's 14K, sort of like the Tesla of MCs. Similar approach, high tech, high quality, low production. At the cost I consider them more of an engineering exercise, a very nice one forsure

Thanks for the review, very interesting.

Till battery technology gets allot better I think the electric MCs will be destined to be used for urban offroading and commuting.

Someone needs to take the chinese approach to these, cheap off the shelf componets, use the bulk of the unit cost to fund the expensive batteries. Get it out to more riders at a reduced cost. IMO, affordabilty is what will turn the tide on electric vehicle use.
Yes, the general quality of the bike is excellent and I like the way it fits. The frame is pure motorcycle art, almost too pretty for a DS bike.

It is interesting to see that two American companies are leading the charge (sorry, could not resist that pun) to Electric Motorcycles. Zero, based in CA and Brammo, based in OR. KTM has a dirt bike in the works but it is not in production yet.

I wonder what will happen to the price when Honda or some other large companies with low cost high volume manufacturing capabilities jump into the mix?

I hope that Zero can stay competitive. I have always liked to ride American motorcycles and it is great to have one again that represents a combination of leading edge EV tech and skilled craftsmanship and engineering.

Wind_Rider screwed with this post 03-10-2013 at 07:54 PM
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:18 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave.0 View Post
I think these are great bikes. I test rode an S model in Austin at AF1 and really liked it. I sat on the DS and decided that would be the bike that I would get, and almost did. Then we moved to flagstaff, and now my commute is a lot shorter. Now I'm considering the FX, the range is short but enough and its really light and pretty quick.

Enjoy the bike and thanks for the real world experience.
The FX is the one that I would get if I had more modest range requirements. The power/weight ratio of the FX is the best for any EV motorcycle and it will do power wheelies. The FX would also be a hoot on trails with a 21" front wheel and 275 lb weight.
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:42 PM   #29
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Does the Zero DS have enough range to be an ADV bike?

I thought a little about that before posting this review on ADV. I like visiting this forum to read about people who "Ride the World". I love the thought of riding across vast expanses and riding for days, weeks, months at a time and those are some of the most entertaining threads here. I have taken a few extended trips by motorcycle and I love the freedom and excitement of travel by motorcycle.

I thought about that a lot before committing to having only an electric bike this year. From my own calculations I find that the range of the Zero DS will fit 95% of my riding from last year. This could be a sad statement about my personal priorities but probably many on this forum are in the same state if they are honest.

I have kids, a job, and responsibilities that limit my riding time. If I can ride to work and back, and take a few hours on a Saturday for a 50-80 mile loop ride out and back from home that will fit my lifestyle for the next several years. I may add a gas bike into the mix again sometime but I am committed for not to trying to live in the electric bike's range / recharge limitations, change my adventures to fit those parameters, and see how it ends up.

If you are fortunate enough to have several steeds in the corral a Zero can be one of them. But can you do long distance on a Zero and is it an Adventure?

I think that the answer is yes in both cases but it will be a significantly different kind of adventure. Consider the 3500 mile road trip of Terry Hershner on a modified Zero S from FL to CA here:

http://www.torquenews.com/1075/how-d...orcycle-6-days

While Terry did some substantial modifications to the bike to make this happen, almost every rider here has mods on their rides as well. Certainly, Terry had quite an adventurous trip!

It will probably not be too far in the future when there are threads on ADV about being the first ebike rider to traverse Africa, South America, or Asia. It could be argued that electrical outlets are more widespread than gas stations so it is bound to happen.

So, when all is said and done, an adventure is up to the adventurer and therefore I think that the DS can live on the ADV forum.
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:46 PM   #30
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Zero DS Range Adjustment Tool

There are some amazing places to ride in Idaho. To help work with the DS's limited Range I have this tool that I will use on occasion to get the bike to the start of a great loop ride.



I have always been a stickler about riding Dual Sport bikes and never having to fuss with a pickup or a trailer but I may have to change some of my habits and burn some gas in the pickup to get the Zero to some of the best riding on occasion.
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