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Old 07-10-2013, 04:03 AM   #211
foxtrapper
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Only just stumbled across this thread.

I've long thought an electric trail bike / adv bike / atv would be a great thing. I personally love silence and stealth.

I could almost see selling my old XL500 to use as a downpayment for one of these. Almost. Price and range are the two limiters. But then, really, I don't often ride 100+ miles on any given day on the old 500. And should I decide to toss it in the truck bed and go playing, all the better with regards to distant locations or such.

OK, so it wouldn't work for the TAT. That's fine. But for just scooting around town, and playing. Dang. Sounds very nice indeed.

Thanks for the thread and story, and look forward to reading further updates as you post them.
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Old 07-10-2013, 04:56 AM   #212
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:12 PM   #213
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Zero DS on Singletrack

My day job involves wireless networks and we have a rural WISP (Wireless Internet Service Provider) business. We have some towers in really remote mountain top locations and I had to go to one of these today that had a little Jeep trail to it. The local residents converted it to a single track trail and it is pretty steep on the sideslopes... you definitely do not want to go off the track.

I took the Zero there today. It was really hot and the grasses are dry here now so the Zero is perfect to avoid fire risk. No worries about the spark arrestor.

Electric power and no clutch or transmission makes riding these little trails very easy and fun.

Some pics from the top.



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Old 07-10-2013, 07:03 PM   #214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxtrapper View Post
Only just stumbled across this thread.

I've long thought an electric trail bike / adv bike / atv would be a great thing. I personally love silence and stealth.

I could almost see selling my old XL500 to use as a downpayment for one of these. Almost. Price and range are the two limiters. But then, really, I don't often ride 100+ miles on any given day on the old 500. And should I decide to toss it in the truck bed and go playing, all the better with regards to distant locations or such.

OK, so it wouldn't work for the TAT. That's fine. But for just scooting around town, and playing. Dang. Sounds very nice indeed.

Thanks for the thread and story, and look forward to reading further updates as you post them.
Silence is a lot of fun when riding.

The price is going to go down on the used market especially for the 2012 models like the one reviewed here. The 2013s are so far advanced that the 2012 are like last year's PC and worth a lot less. Time will tell how the market sets value for them long term.

I would not get a Zero older than 2012 unless the price was really good and your range and speed requirements are low.
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:44 PM   #215
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Believe me, I'm grateful that you're doing this test run but I'm not at all surprised that this bike is a great dual sport bike. What would surprise me is if it can cross dangerous terrain. My excitement for the DS is tempered by the design of the rear sprocket/belt which I think would have a hard time with trails with large rocks like this:



...or even deeply rutted trails... or trails with deep sand or thick mud. It seems like very large rocks or ruts could bash the belt out of alignment or damage the low hanging rear sprocket. Occasionally when I come across a rock field of softball sized or soccer ball sized rocks I thank god that I have 11" of bash protected ground clearance. I would feel a lot less confident running the Zero DS through that kind of terrain due to its drive design (they even offer the off road w/ a chain to highlight my point). I know it's very hard to take pictures of really gnarly trails while riding, but have you had any experience with the bike on really craggy terrain? How about deep mud or sand where you're axle deep?
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:52 PM   #216
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Hi Old Crow,

I think that I could ride the DS up that trail in your pic. I have already taken it up some steep and rocky trails and every day that I ride I cover at least 6 miles of dirt roads that are steep, rough, and spit gravel and sand into the drivetrain.

I think that the DS belt drive will prove to be up to the task of riding dirt and sand. Axle deep mud I would avoid.

The bike has reasonable ground clearance but does not have an armored bash plate for log hopping and other MX tricks.

The great thing about the DS is that you can also order a chain drive kit that will bolt right up if you buy a DS and are worried about belt failure. Zero has that covered.

I intend to spin the belt as I love how clean, quiet, and low maintenance it is. I also like the tight connection betwixt motor and rear wheel with low driveline slop.
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:35 PM   #217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wind_Rider View Post
Hi Old Crow,
...
The great thing about the DS is that you can also order a chain drive kit that will bolt right up if you buy a DS and are worried about belt failure. Zero has that covered.
I didn't know this until your review. They should really publicize this option better... i can live with not buying gas, never changing oil, and nearly zero maintenance, but force me from chain to belt and you've gone too far! I really will probably resist the temptation to buy a used beater bike, save up, and get one of these at some point. The zero makes so much sense even at an elevated price point.
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Old 07-22-2013, 03:35 PM   #218
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Some of the 1800-2000 watt generators are hand portable and weigh >50 lbs. While it would take the full 8 hours of runtime, it might be interesting hack for camping somewhere without power. Bonus that you can recharge minor electronics at the same time!.

1 gal of gas used by gen over 8 hours w/ 8 hours required to charge from one 120V socket = 70-100mpg.

I asked Zero if it was possible could attach extra ZF battery packs as panniers, but they said they didn't support that. I'd still like to look at a Zero DS to tell if it could be done...

xuare screwed with this post 07-22-2013 at 03:53 PM
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:58 PM   #219
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Originally Posted by xuare View Post
I asked Zero if it was possible could attach extra ZF battery packs as panniers,
If you are handy you could rig it up. Terry Hirshner has two 10 kWhr batteries on his cross country Zero S and 8 chargers! With the Vetter style streamlined body work and extra equipment he can ride for 240 miles and suck three J1772 charging stations (looks like electric gas pumps) dry to charge in one hour. He had a problem with the extra weight though. After 40,000 miles the rear wheel bearing went bad and tore up the hub.
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:55 AM   #220
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Originally Posted by sendler View Post
If you are handy you could rig it up. Terry Hirshner has two 10 kWhr batteries on his cross country Zero S and 8 chargers! With the Vetter style streamlined body work and extra equipment he can ride for 240 miles and suck three J1772 charging stations (looks like electric gas pumps) dry to charge in one hour. He had a problem with the extra weight though. After 40,000 miles the rear wheel bearing went bad and tore up the hub.
Rear wheel bearing went after 40000miles? That's absolutely terrible! Definitely blame the extra weight
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:55 AM   #221
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Great thread, some fascinating info.

I wonder how impractical it would be to carry your own 1000W Honda portable generator. They weigh about 30 lbs and run for 8 hours on 2 liters of fuel. I wonder how long the 1000w would take to charge the battery?
Then you'd have a hybrid of sorts.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:49 AM   #222
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This thread inspired me to test ride a Zero last week........its a truly unique riding experience and I was prepared to either hate it or love it. After some 40 years of riding and racing I/C motorcyles of all kinds, I found the Zero to be completely viable...more on the pleasant side than the exciting side but, a very nice motorcycle nonetheless. I plan on adding one to the garage.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:54 AM   #223
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Originally Posted by bush pilot View Post
Great thread, some fascinating info.

I wonder how impractical it would be to carry your own 1000W Honda portable generator. They weigh about 30 lbs and run for 8 hours on 2 liters of fuel. I wonder how long the 1000w would take to charge the battery?
Then you'd have a hybrid of sorts.
A 9 kWhr battery would take 9 hours to charge.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:58 AM   #224
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xuare View Post
Some of the 1800-2000 watt generators are hand portable and weigh >50 lbs. While it would take the full 8 hours of runtime, it might be interesting hack for camping somewhere without power. Bonus that you can recharge minor electronics at the same time!.

1 gal of gas used by gen over 8 hours w/ 8 hours required to charge from one 120V socket = 70-100mpg.

I asked Zero if it was possible could attach extra ZF battery packs as panniers, but they said they didn't support that. I'd still like to look at a Zero DS to tell if it could be done...
http://www.yamahamotorsports.com/pow...2/0/specs.aspx

this could easily fit inside a top box

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Old 07-23-2013, 09:33 AM   #225
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The reduced maintenance and capability to store the moto in the off season without worrying about ethanol and bad gas is very appealing. I am working towards switching locations summer and winter, without being able to transport the moto between locations...so leaving one in each location is an option. It's an expensive one now, but might not be bad in a few years. Maintenance requirements, given somewhat remote locations, is also an important plus. Electrics look quite favorable.
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