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Old 03-31-2013, 08:44 PM   #76
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1,000 Mile PM Completed

The weather was so perfect here on Easter today that it was pleasant to be out wrenching on things.

Between a few other tasks I decided to just start on the 1,000 Mile PM for the Zero DS. I pulled up the manual and looked at the really small list of things to do.... No valves to check, no fluids or filters to replace, no clutch or cables...

I adjusted the belt tension using a belt tension tool. After almost 1K miles of rain, snow, mud, etc it was barely out of spec. On the 2012 models the motor is locked in place with 3 screws and the rear axle is fixed in the swing arm. I loosened the 3 bolts, adjusted it, and torqued everything back. It took all of 15 minutes. I then checked air pressures and put in a little more air in the tires.

There were only a couple of wear items of note: the rear tire is disappearing really quickly and there are some rub marks around the rear shock body where the spring has contacted it during compression. That may have been from dirt caked on the shock. The rear tire is a stupid 110/90-16 size so replacement tire choices are going to be severely limited. The 2013 Zeros use more standard wheel sizes. I am not sure why Zero chose such an odd and limited size for this bike but I will not be really happy when it is time to look at options for new rubber as the choices will be small.

I looked around for other things to do on the bike... but there is not much there. When I ran the Buells it was important to carefully check wiring for rubs from vibration so I started down this road on the Zero and quickly saw that it was a waste of time. For one thing, there is no vibration and then the wiring harness is pretty simple and very well dressed and protected from the factory.

So there you have it:

- Total cost of $1,000 mile PM for a Zero DS: $0
- Total time investment about 30 minutes
- Tools required are very basic with some allen head sockets and a belt tension tool. I did use a torque wrench on the motor bolts.

Simplicity of maintenance and low cost of maintenance are a big score for the Zero!!

Cost of ownership to roll one of these bikes is super low once you pay the big price to get it out of the dealership.


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Old 03-31-2013, 08:50 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by wiswoodsguy View Post
Thanks for creating this thread.

I am fully intrigued and fascinated with the idea of electric bikes. Keep the info flowing please

Im hoping that the range increases in the near future, as that is the only hinderance for myself to purchase one (possibly one for the Mrs too)

I have been following the KTM E bike (I kinda bleed orange) and I believe that they too will have a street legal bike on the market in the very near future. Just today, pulled a pic of it on the net - but only to force me to have to clean my laptop, both from drool and heavy sobs as its not yet available.

Enjoy your Zero, it looks to be quite enjoyable.
Wiswoodsguy,

I don't think that we are going to see big increases in range from E Bikes in the near future. I will do some more range tests from this bike including some trail loops here in the near future once the snow leaves the higher loops of the trails. I think that it will pretty well and I predict some great 50-80 mile loop rides from my door that involve a little pavement, dirt, and some twisties.

Bleeding Orange is a fun disease to have if you can afford it! I love the orange ones as well but I have never owned one yet, only ridden friends for a few happy miles and taken some demo rides.
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:50 AM   #78
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I am loving the updates you are posting! Please, if you can, keep them up. I wish the bike was not 14K. I am 5.5 miles from my job and this bike would be perfect for me! I could even charge it at my job so the company could boast how they are environmentally conscious!
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:19 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by Wind_Rider View Post
Wiswoodsguy,

I don't think that we are going to see big increases in range from E Bikes in the near future. I will do some more range tests from this bike including some trail loops here in the near future once the snow leaves the higher loops of the trails. I think that it will pretty well and I predict some great 50-80 mile loop rides from my door that involve a little pavement, dirt, and some twisties.

Bleeding Orange is a fun disease to have if you can afford it! I love the orange ones as well but I have never owned one yet, only ridden friends for a few happy miles and taken some demo rides.
Id be more apt to pull the trigger if they were closer to the 100 mile mark. Slighty over that and were running to the bank. So in my head, I think its within reason with the forward progression of technology. A few yrs ago, a bike of this stature was unheard of, now your shreding the tarmac in blissful quietness
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:04 AM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiswoodsguy View Post
Id be more apt to pull the trigger if they were closer to the 100 mile mark. Slighty over that and were running to the bank. So in my head, I think its within reason with the forward progression of technology. A few yrs ago, a bike of this stature was unheard of, now your shreding the tarmac in blissful quietness
My 2013 Zero has a total range of 120 miles; the sport model says 130 miles and I imagine a lot of that difference amounts to tire choice and dual sport drag factors. I'll be converting to street tires after my first set of treads wear out to see.

Anyway, that won't provide a 200-mile round loop without one of the upgraded chargers, but for everyday riding it's been just fine, and freed up my ADV bike for better maintenance/babying.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:43 AM   #81
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Dman, that is a pretty interesting business model upon first glance...developing plug-in batteries that are swapped out at certain locations, and if you are on a trip you just pop in, arrange for the swap of your depleted battery with a full one, and go on. Would be a sizable infrastructure build, and I think it would be easier to spend maybe 5-15 minutes at a "pump" where your quick-chargable batt was filled up, but still, potential business models are out there.
Batteries running 2500.00 or what ever they cost would make this tricky I would think?

Has anybody figured out how to wheelie one of these things?
Going through the woods and creeks would be tricky if the ft tire wont leave the ground.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:38 AM   #82
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Nice read. Even makes my two 4 stroke single 200cc DS bikes look bad! Never thought I'd say that.. Wish these were widespread and available at a slightly more reasonable price. I'd be looking for sure.
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:30 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by BrianTRice View Post
My 2013 Zero has a total range of 120 miles; the sport model says 130 miles and I imagine a lot of that difference amounts to tire choice and dual sport drag factors. I'll be converting to street tires after my first set of treads wear out to see.

Anyway, that won't provide a 200-mile round loop without one of the upgraded chargers, but for everyday riding it's been just fine, and freed up my ADV bike for better maintenance/babying.
Hey BrianRice,

Thanks for showing up on the thread. Feel free to post anything about the 2013 model in comparison. The 2013s are even more amazing. Our local dealer has some in now and I was really impressed with the new motor and all of the little improvements.
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:34 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by Foot dragger View Post
Has anybody figured out how to wheelie one of these things?
Going through the woods and creeks would be tricky if the ft tire wont leave the ground.
My Buell Ulysses would loft the front wheel with ease on pure torque. My 2012 Zero DS, with the largest battery pack option and a longer wheelbase will not.

However, check out the one wheel action in the 2013 Zero FX Promo Video here:

http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/zero-fx/
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:45 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by sledrydr View Post
Nice read. Even makes my two 4 stroke single 200cc DS bikes look bad! Never thought I'd say that.. Wish these were widespread and available at a slightly more reasonable price. I'd be looking for sure.
Nothing makes a 200 DS bike look bad! I still love thumpers.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:23 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by BrianTRice View Post
My 2013 Zero has a total range of 120 miles; the sport model says 130 miles and I imagine a lot of that difference amounts to tire choice and dual sport drag factors. I'll be converting to street tires after my first set of treads wear out to see.

Anyway, that won't provide a 200-mile round loop without one of the upgraded chargers, but for everyday riding it's been just fine, and freed up my ADV bike for better maintenance/babying.
Sorry to thread steal WR

Brian, is yours a DS as well ??

Thats the style Im interested in - most likely the FX or if KTM brings sumthin to the table.

For those interested in doing wheelies on an E bike - check out the vid for the KTM E Freeride. I know its not going to make my buds fear me on the moto X track, but for playing with my nephews on the smaller tracks, it would be a riot (just too expensive for a part time play bike thou) I'll stick to the DS models - suits my needs for now

Id really like to get my wife on one. Ive bought her dirt bikes, a Ninja 250, and even a Harley 883 - none of which she enjoyed due to having to shift. She rode them fine, and would get used to them, just was annoyed with shifting for some reason. I almost went the Ridley route - but then totally got away from cruiser style bikes and went DS myself. I think she would really love to ride the DS on the fire roads we have by our cabin - cant get her off my automatic ATV's - so I think the spark is there.

Id really love to hear if someone has ridden their DS on some technical trails and what their thoughts were. I know it will never be my 520 EXC - but Id love to quietly play in the woods if I could too.

Party On
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:49 AM   #87
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Id really love to hear if someone has ridden their DS on some technical trails and what their thoughts were. I know it will never be my 520 EXC - but Id love to quietly play in the woods if I could too.

Party On
Stay tuned.... I ride a lot of trails in the summer months here in Idaho so there will be a lot of updates on how my DS works in those environments and how it holds up as the season wears on.

I should mention that I live 3 miles off the highway on a steep, rough dirt road so every ride has 6 miles of dirt for me that is comparable to many fire roads. The linear power delivery and no clutch/transmission makes it really easy to ride in certain situations.
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:11 AM   #88
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Range enhancer

Ok, this may sound nutty, but can you charge while you ride? Sailboaters often charge batteries with a small, not too expensive honda ex1000 or similar generator. Could you strap one on and charge while you ride? Im sure it wouldnt provide all the power you need to run indefinitly, but it may be an interesting hybrid
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:58 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Wind_Rider View Post
Stay tuned.... I ride a lot of trails in the summer months here in Idaho so there will be a lot of updates on how my DS works in those environments and how it holds up as the season wears on.

I should mention that I live 3 miles off the highway on a steep, rough dirt road so every ride has 6 miles of dirt for me that is comparable to many fire roads. The linear power delivery and no clutch/transmission makes it really easy to ride in certain situations.
Oh, Im in !!!

Just patiently wait'n for updates

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Originally Posted by Movinfr8 View Post
Ok, this may sound nutty, but can you charge while you ride? Sailboaters often charge batteries with a small, not too expensive honda ex1000 or similar generator. Could you strap one on and charge while you ride? Im sure it wouldnt provide all the power you need to run indefinitly, but it may be an interesting hybrid
Thats the kind of technology that Im depending on to make this purchase sooner.

Unfortunately the gubbermint will probably make that kind of technological advances against the law - cuz they wont be able to profit from it
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:19 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by Movinfr8 View Post
Ok, this may sound nutty, but can you charge while you ride? Sailboaters often charge batteries with a small, not too expensive honda ex1000 or similar generator. Could you strap one on and charge while you ride? Im sure it wouldnt provide all the power you need to run indefinitly, but it may be an interesting hybrid
Yes, that is an interesting idea. To break even you would probably need somewhere around a 5KW generator so that is going to pretty much double the weight of the bike and add all of the systems that EVs don't have so the math just doesn't work out to try and generate the power that the bike uses while it rolls down the road. The energy density of gasoline is really hard to match with batteries.

Ultimately, if you want to translate fuel to motion it is better to just buy a gas bike.
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