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Old 05-23-2013, 05:17 PM   #151
Meter Man
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotus1967 View Post


yes, that is an electron circling my beleaguered brain...

Was long about a year ago that caging in a WRX that got 23 mpg and waiting in NorCal traffic made me vomit and finally think of two wheeling.

My commute is ~18 mi each way. About 14 of which is 101, so 50-70mph,
often into a stiff headwind...

Started out getting my feet wet with training wheels ( Piaggio mp3500) for about 5k
then leapt onto a BMW 650 X Challenge.

But the truth is, I dont use the off road as I am such a noob and know no one to point me to some decent little beginner off road rides hereabouts...

anyway...I found this thread and I am quite hypnotized. So much so that I am gonna test ride a 2013 DS tomorrow afternoon... I will be following along ...as I saw someone earlier post...
At Munroe?
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:58 PM   #152
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Lotus1967 let us know how the test ride went.
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:54 PM   #153
Lotus1967
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Talking fo shizzles...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meter Man View Post
At Munroe?
Am going to Mission Motos in Daly City...

Oh, I will indeed let y'all know what I think...

the BMW X Challenge makes 53hp and 44 flb torque.
Zero claims 2013 DS iteration 54hp and 68!

thing I REALLLLLY would like is to be able to do that 14-15 mile stretch into the wind...

The whole biz where windrider thought "best commuter" got me doing loan amortization in my head at 5am this morning..... making lists of stuff I can sell, et cet... jajajaja ( Spanish for hahahahaha)


although.... since its' May... prime moto selling season, I'll likely hold off even if I am smitten....wait til years end, or January see if I can snag some promos or whatnot... or see if they'lll cut me a break if I wear ZERO logos everywhere and become a rolling ad for Zero motos....

Lotus1967 screwed with this post 05-23-2013 at 10:29 PM
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Old 05-24-2013, 06:28 PM   #154
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Talking Smitten indeed

short version is, yeah, I am smitten, and yeah, I am making mental lists of things to sell, and various, definitely devious , money-making schemes that'll fail spectacularly....

in order to scratch up the dough to reduce the amount I'd hafta finance...

more later

So.. WindRiders 2012 and the 2013 differ quite a bit.

2012

2013

It sure felt alot different than my X Challenge...not as high... and ones legs wrap around the faux tank area in a manner I'd guess would be like more of a sportbike than a dual sport.

While waiting in the shop I took a peek at the FX and last years police model DS. Quite frankly the DS looked tiny to me...
my XChallenge spots 18 rear and 21 front, making the 16 and 18 look more like a scooter to me.

The difference, as has been stated, in sport and eco modes is pretty noticeable... and i tend to think I'd not use the co mode unless pressed to by low battery status.

I believe WindRider stated he thought his performed like a 400cc ICE. I found the current iteration to match my XChallenge and surpass it. The extra torque is quite noticeable. And so smoove! Like butta! Brakes seemed good, to me at least. Of course, the rear shock doesn't wanted to eject you like the Xchallenge's air-shock does, so the experience is wholly different. At the front faux tank area there's a little storage, almost a small tank bag's worth and its removeable.

It's expensive, listing, basically at 16k. I really think Zero ought to do a detailed cost graph vs maintenence et cet to compare to ICE bikes. As has been discussed, the charging speed is key and is the likely area for improvement.

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Old 05-27-2013, 09:42 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by Wind_Rider View Post
For the belt drive skeptics out there I carefully inspected the belt and drive sprockets and found no damage after almost 3,000 miles of mixed riding on pavement, gravel, sand, and dirt. I ordered in a spare belt and will keep in handy in the shop but it is looking to be quite durable so far.
My 2012 belt is like-new after almost 10k miles. In the 2012 manual Zero specifies a 10k mile replacement interval for the belt; for 2013 models they pushed it back to 25k miles. AFAIK it's the same belt (despite 2x the power for 2013).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotus1967 View Post
The difference, as has been stated, in sport and eco modes is pretty noticeable... and i tend to think I'd not use the co mode unless pressed to by low battery status.
By default, eco mode gives you more motor regen = engine braking. You can link a smartphone via bluetooth and tune eco parameters, max torque, top speed, amount of motor regen on throttle rolloff. Eco mode is really more of a "custom" mapping.

Quote:
It's expensive, listing, basically at 16k. I really think Zero ought to do a detailed cost graph vs maintenence et cet to compare to ICE bikes. As has been discussed, the charging speed is key and is the likely area for improvement.
Zero has a small infographic hitting this at a high level.



A quick comparison between the big-battery DS ZF11.4 and a BMW G650 GS shows break-even around 60k miles.

Assume:
BMW $40/6k miles to change oil
BMW $600/12k mile service
BMW 58 mpg, $4/gal fuel costs over the next ~5 years
Zero 12.1 kWh/100 miles, $0.11/kWh energy costs over the next ~5 years
Other maintenance costs roughly similar (tires, pads, forks, belt/chain)
Both bikes purchased at MSRP
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:07 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by protomech View Post

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Old 05-27-2013, 06:18 PM   #157
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Quote:

It's expensive, listing, basically at 16k. I really think Zero ought to do a detailed cost graph vs maintenence et cet to compare to ICE bikes. As has been discussed, the charging speed is key and is the likely area for improvement.
Yes, check out the link that ProtoMech put in his post here for that Total Cost of Ownership calculator : http://www.empulsebuyer.com/tcoCalcu...C=600&sI=12000

And yes, the 2013 is a lot different than the 2012 model that I am riding. It is bigger, more powerful, and better in a lot of ways.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:25 PM   #158
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Passenger Pegs and Riding 2 UP on the 2012 Zero DS

Since I use a motorcycle for a lot of utilitarian purposes I added passenger pegs to the Zero this last week. The 2012 models were homologated without passenger pegs so they were sold as an accessory. In 2013 they are standard on the S and DS models.



They are high quality and match the bike perfectly but come at a high price if you go with the Zero offered pegs that are pictured.

I took my wife for a ride that was 36 miles in length. I am 5'11" and 185 lbs and my wife is 5'6" and much lighter and that is about all the room that there is for 2 up duty on this little bike. It is pretty tight riding 2 up and you have to like each other to do it.

I am going to use the bike now to take the kids to and from school bus stops and a few small runs like that but riding 2 up for very long is not going be a happy time.

The 2013 Zeros have a larger seat and better passenger accommodations.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:28 PM   #159
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Gas Run on the Zero !!

This was pretty funny to do:



My wife's Jeep was about out of gas and we live 18 miles from the nearest gas station so I "fired" up the Zero to make a gas run.

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Old 05-29-2013, 01:51 PM   #160
Lotus1967
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Originally Posted by Wind_Rider View Post
Yes, check out the link that ProtoMech put in his post here for that Total Cost of Ownership calculator : http://www.empulsebuyer.com/tcoCalcu...C=600&sI=12000

And yes, the 2013 is a lot different than the 2012 model that I am riding. It is bigger, more powerful, and better in a lot of ways.
Make no mistake... any curiosity about price of ownership questions aside...

i TOTALLY LOVED THAT THING!

However, my current $ situ does not leave me the wiggle room to pay the ownership costs up front... :-(

The model comes with Kendas 17/19 these days too.... fwiw
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:14 AM   #161
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Originally Posted by Wind_Rider View Post
This was pretty funny to do:



My wife's Jeep was about out of gas and we live 18 miles from the nearest gas station so I "fired" up the Zero to make a gas run.

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Old 06-02-2013, 02:07 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by rockycraig View Post
Hey Windrider thanks for all the info. Ill being vacationing in boise for a few weeks in july and plan on test riding one at the dealer there. Quick question, not sure if you wrote about this but how do you insure it, is it really cheap? I was just curious on how the insurance company would write it up. Love to have a beer with you out there and pick your brain about the bike.
Insurance was inexpensive for the Zero in my case. They did have to look it up.... How many ccs?.... It has no ccs,etc. my annual insurance cost was about 2X what I was paying for a 5 year old Yammy XT250.

PM me when you get to Boise this July and we can meet up in Boise where beer is easily found.

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Old 06-08-2013, 04:29 PM   #163
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Perfect Zero DS ride, 75 miles on one charge.

Today I took the perfect Zero DS ride which had a little bit of every kind of riding except for freeway and there is no reason to miss that.

Took the windscreen and bags off and strapped on a Wolfman bag with the bare minimum.



Did a few miles of dirt, then a few miles of rough pavement followed by an easy dirt road.



That turned into a steep climb on a dirt two track trail.







After climbing for a couple thousand feet, the trail turns into a two track that goes along the ridge of the Boise Foothills. On one side you can see the city sprawl and on the other vast mountain ranges going on as far as can be seen.









The Zero DS is really fun in the dirt. The new back tire bites into the loose stuff and having linear electric power on tap on the right grip and no transmission or powerband to worry about, I find myself enjoying the ride even more, just focusing on the trail and the bike. There is a lot of climbing on this route and I was wondering if I might run out of power... not to worry. I rode the whole ridge to the pavement near the local ski hill and still had 6 energy bars of eleven available.

I snuck up on a few mountain bikers in silence and surprised them when I shot past them.

Emerging onto the pavement, the road twists around the hillside with a lot of curves marked with a suggested speed of 20 MPH.



Twisties! The Zero is a blast in the twisties. I hardly use the brakes, letting the motor regen brake leading to the turns then rolling on some power through the corners. This bike is pretty light, well balanced, and has a lot of ground clearance.

At the end of the twisties I cross the North end of Boise for a little urban riding and then head back home on a different dirt road that goes back up over the Boise front.



This road has severe washboards. I find that Suspension has loosened up a bit and the bike is a lot more responsive than it was when new. The suspension is harsh but has a lot of travel. I did not bottom either end out on this ride.

Reaching the top, I head back down the North side of the hills.



Self portrait.



Took a few more dirt trails on the way home to lengthen the ride a bit. Ride time was a bit over 3 hours with a few breaks along the way. Total distance was 75 miles and there were 2 energy bars remaining. Riding dirt trails or roads that do not have high speed sections or lots of climbing I am sure that this bike can pass the 100 mile mark on a single charge. On this ride I started out at 4,000 feet, climbed almost to 8,000, descended back to 3,000, then climbed to 4,500, back to 3,000, then back to 4,000 again.



This ride had everything that makes a great ride and the Zero DS did it all without any issues or drama.
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Old 06-08-2013, 04:34 PM   #164
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Riding in the heat

Now that summer has showed up here in the Northern hemisphere I have had the chance to ride the Zero DS in the heat.

It is great to ride a bike that does not make any heat when it is hot out. Riding in 90 degree temps is no problem as the bike makes no heat. Sitting at a stop light on the bike is a lot more pleasant than any other motorcycle that I have ever owned.

Another advantage of electric power. No wasted heat, no problems with heat dissipation. The motor is cooled by air and there are a few air scoops that throw air onto the motor when the bike is in motion. When the bike is sitting still the motor makes Zero heat.
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Old 06-08-2013, 04:40 PM   #165
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3,500 Mile Report

3,500 miles have rolled under the Zero's tires and there are still no issues. No boot up issues, no startup problems, perfect throttle response and no charging issues.

I have spent a little time tuning the suspension and I am relatively happy with how the suspension is working now. It is not a KTM, but it is sufficient for how I ride it and it keeps the rubber on the trail and the bike in control.

The battery pack seems to have gained a little bit of range either from use or from the warmer weather. Range has increased about 5% - 10% since new but some of that is probably simply from better weather. Batteries lose some efficiency in colder weather.

The more I ride it, the more I like it. By riding more dirt, I can get a longer motorcycle fix as the range extends for more time at lower trail speeds.

Lucky for me, I live in an area with many choices for riding loops right out my door.
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