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Old 08-18-2013, 11:53 PM   #301
JefRo
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Location: Colorado Springs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBob View Post
I've ridden and jeeped most of the route you took today and have often wondered what it would be like on an electric bike. You did a great job of answering many of my questions. I often shut down the engine when coming down the mountain and dig the quiet.
And that is some serious terrain you rode, dodging babyheads and all. I don't imagine you experienced any loss of power at 12,000, though.
I can't wait until these bikes get old and beat up enough for me to afford one.
I hope I see more of your rides in Day Trips.
High altitude seriously affects all ICE engines in the area where good controllable power is needed most, the lower rpm range. Steep switchbacks and large rocks require a lot of two-finger clutch slipping to keep the rpm up and power-band useable. One of the most apparent advantages of this bike is the completely controllable and abundant torque at nearly any speed from a crawl to a charge. Previous years of Zero models precluded any interest for me because of their "softness" at low speeds. This model has it about right, with the added bonus that it charges as fast or faster than any liter bike above 30 mph.

I noticed that traction is very good on steep and loose inclines, most likely due to a constant and very well modulated torque. It takes some practice riding off-road electric due to the lack of feedback in the (engine) motor. The sound of the rear wheel breaking loose with no engine sound can be disconcerting at first.
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:14 PM   #302
cosmokenney
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Laugh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wind_Rider View Post
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.
You could always put playing cards in the spokes!
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:24 AM   #303
phishyars
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I jumped in on a Zero DS as well

Hello all.. I live in the Washington DC Metro area. My commute each way is ~35 miles. I bought a Zero DS two weeks ago and I have to say, I LOVE it! I miss the storage that I enjoy on my 2012 Yamaha Super Tenere, but I am thinking I can fix that.

I currently have 600 miles on the Zero and it is my transportation of choice. My commute is all highway so I burn just under 1/2 the bars commuting one way.. I have outlets within the garage at work to plug into. After my long work day, I ride it home on a full charge.

It is a totally different ride than my Tenere. It is so effortless to ride that I find myself treating it like a mountain bike. I have to remind myself to put my feet down when coming to stops. I also have to change my mentality of engine braking and coasting to stops. I feel really awkward using the brakes but all in due time.

I absolutely need to order a windscreen.. Additionally, I saw that Wind Rider was able to fit a Givi Wingrack on his 2012 and I am hoping I can fit one on my 2013. I am not liking the price tag on what is available from Zero.

I certainly appreciate this in depth thread and I have subscribed and will post as well..


Picture of my bikes below:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-JB...it?usp=sharing




phishyars screwed with this post 08-27-2013 at 05:26 AM Reason: picture
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:49 PM   #304
Wind_Rider OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JefRo View Post

I really enjoy this bike.
Hey Jefro,

Thanks for chiming in and the excellent pics and ride report. One great thing about riding electric at altitude is that there are Zero fuel delivery issues.
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:00 PM   #305
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phishyars View Post
Hello all.. I live in the Washington DC Metro area. My commute each way is ~35 miles. I bought a Zero DS two weeks ago and I have to say, I LOVE it! I miss the storage that I enjoy on my 2012 Yamaha Super Tenere, but I am thinking I can fix that.

I currently have 600 miles on the Zero and it is my transportation of choice. My commute is all highway so I burn just under 1/2 the bars commuting one way.. I have outlets within the garage at work to plug into. After my long work day, I ride it home on a full charge.

It is a totally different ride than my Tenere. It is so effortless to ride that I find myself treating it like a mountain bike. I have to remind myself to put my feet down when coming to stops. I also have to change my mentality of engine braking and coasting to stops. I feel really awkward using the brakes but all in due time.

I absolutely need to order a windscreen.. Additionally, I saw that Wind Rider was able to fit a Givi Wingrack on his 2012 and I am hoping I can fit one on my 2013. I am not liking the price tag on what is available from Zero.

I certainly appreciate this in depth thread and I have subscribed and will post as well..


Picture of my bikes below:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-JB...it?usp=sharing



phishyars,

Thanks for posting. Nice looking Yamaha as well!

If you are considering the Givi WingRack setup that I put on my 2012 you might check with Harlan at Hollywood Electrics. http://hollywoodelectrics.com

Harlan is very knowledgable on all things Zero and he could tell you if the Givi WingRacks will fit a 2013.

I am going to build a custom mounting piece this winter to shift the racks back a couple of inches as they ended up a little more forward than ideal on my bike.

I think that the 2013s have longer frame spars so it will likely fit different. Harlan will know.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:32 PM   #306
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Funny Drag Race

The other day, just a few blocks from the office on the Zero, a metric cruiser bike pulls up in the lane next to me at a red light.

The bike is loud, on the tank there is a sticker that reads "Monster" and the rider looks over at the Zero and starts blipping his throttle. Clearly a challenge. The Zero sits in silence, waiting for the light to turn green.

On the green the Monster pulls out in the lead blasting out a huge sound wave as the Zero rolls off the line in it's normal slow start way. As the bike gets to about 20 MPH the Zero starts to reign in the Monster. The Zero is much better at roll on acceleration than off the line starts.

A few seconds later Mr Monster pulled in the clutch to go to second and the Zero shot ahead. The Monster could not catch up.

A silent victory.

Mr Monster was clearly confused as he had obviously equated noise to acceleration.
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Old 09-07-2013, 10:21 PM   #307
k-moe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wind_Rider View Post
Mr Monster was clearly confused as he had obviously equated noise to acceleration.
Just like the HS kids with their fart-can Civics
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:33 PM   #308
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6,000 Mile Report

The mighty Zero quietly rolled past 6,000 miles on the way home this evening.

Between 5,000 and 6,000 miles the Zero experienced:

No startup issues
1 Charging issue: (Failed onboard charger, replaced under warranty by Zero and local dealer and documented in the thread)
No Throttle response issues

It is late summer here in Idaho and the weather is fantastic. I have suffered a few bouts of open road desire that the Zero has not able to fulfill. Other than that, life commuting on the Zero with some weekend spins thrown in for good measure has been great.

After riding only electric this season (excepting the nice spin on the Demo Husqvarna Terra when the Zero's charger died) I have some thoughts on electric 2 wheeled propulsion:

- Smooth, linear electric power is amazing to experience.
- Almost Zero maintenance is a joy
- Riding silent and cool has a lot of benefits
- My battery pack runs as good as new after 6,000 miles and daily or
sometimes 2X daily charge cycles

Almost every problem that I have with the 2012 model Zero addressed in the changes to the 2013 models.

If the problems with long charge times or range could be addressed I would ride electric exclusively and never miss the ICE powered motorcycle. As it is here in the real world with it's pesky physics problems, I don't expect that those issues will be solved for the next 5-15 years.

After fooling with the suspension for most of the year I ended with the rebound damping on the rear shock dialed almost as soft (fast) as it would go. I set the sag as per the manual, and the other dials ended up about in the middle. As it sits now it is a pure joy to run through the twisties but the fun ends too soon. The suspension is certainly not Ohlins ride quality but it it is sufficient for the weight and performance of the Zero DS. I think that the rear shock is about hammered though. Longevity of the Fast Ace components is probably not great.

The front tire is wearing down as is the season here. I predict that they will expire about the same time and I plan on taking the bike in to get some new hoops spoked up so that I can run a 17" rear rim and 19" front to get some better choices in rubber. I think that will greatly improve the bike for next season. I am also going to make some custom brackets to move the Givi cases a couple of inches rearward and replace all of the plastic rivets which are complete crap with metal screws. I am also going to look for a Givi top case over the winter so that I can run just the top case or the the top and side cases next season.

That is about all I plan to do with the bike to get it ready for next season. I am going to put it in my office for the winter to help keep the batteries from seeing a lot of cold weather. Besides, I always wanted a motorcycle in my office!

Next year I am going to add to the motorcycle stable to get the whole family up on 2 motorized wheels together. I am planning on getting a Honda CRF250L as well for my "touring" needs. I am hooked on smaller bikes now.
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:13 PM   #309
Yokomo
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You should install this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDafMzo4HO8
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:05 PM   #310
Lutz
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Awesome! Though I'm not sure it's worth the premium over standard playing cards.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:09 PM   #311
Yokomo
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You obviously didn't have your speakers plugged into your laptop, because if you did you would have heard the fartcan makes the card sound real and loud.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:23 PM   #312
mousitsas
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Originally Posted by cosmokenney View Post
You could always put playing cards in the spokes!
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:40 PM   #313
Wind_Rider OP
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Originally Posted by Yokomo View Post
Ha! TurboSpoke would be cool on the Zero... but it might shoot right through those cards since it goes considerably faster than a bicycle... I also like the stickers.

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Old 09-26-2013, 10:25 AM   #314
G$
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wind_Rider View Post

After fooling with the suspension for most of the year I ended with the rebound damping on the rear shock dialed almost as soft (fast) as it would go. I set the sag as per the manual, and the other dials ended up about in the middle. As it sits now it is a pure joy to run through the twisties but the fun ends too soon. The suspension is certainly not Ohlins ride quality but it it is sufficient for the weight and performance of the Zero DS. I think that the rear shock is about hammered though. Longevity of the Fast Ace components is probably not great.
Windrider, I wanted to let you know that Zero is liquidating their FOX rear shock inventory and are letting them go for $350 which is their cost for the assembly. I spoke with a customer service rep that has the same bike and said the shock was well worth it. He also mentioned that he has replaced his handlebars to Renthal Ricky Carmichael bend and stated that it puts him more upright. Other than that he said he was running the same tire setup as I am.
I snapped a belt when I got caught in a sinkhole up here (pulled a rock in) in the flood damage so I will be replacing it. $69-better than I thought.

There are 12 more 12' Fox rear shocks in stock if you are interested.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:51 PM   #315
JefRo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G$ View Post
Windrider, I wanted to let you know that Zero is liquidating their FOX rear shock inventory and are letting them go for $350 which is their cost for the assembly. I spoke with a customer service rep that has the same bike and said the shock was well worth it. He also mentioned that he has replaced his handlebars to Renthal Ricky Carmichael bend and stated that it puts him more upright. Other than that he said he was running the same tire setup as I am.
I snapped a belt when I got caught in a sinkhole up here (pulled a rock in) in the flood damage so I will be replacing it. $69-better than I thought.

There are 12 more 12' Fox rear shocks in stock if you are interested.
Good to know they have some available as they have been de-listed from their accessories catalog. I wonder if the Fox shocks they have left are compatible with the 2013 models as well.
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"Nothing is ever what it seems, but everything is exactly what it is." - Buckaroo Banzai

"Ours is the age which is proud of machines which think and suspicious of men who try to."
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