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Old 12-08-2012, 08:09 AM   #1
K_N_Fodder OP
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The OSET Thread - Will it Roll?

Folks -

After lots of looking and poking around and selling my DR to finance this and other farkling projects, our (I say "our", but it's really my 5 year old's bike) 16" 36V Oset finally arrived. Kevin Templeton at Carson Motorsports/KTM in Carson City, NV gave me a great deal on a new 2011 bike. My little dude (and I) are psyched.

This is the Strider of motorcycles... total game changer I think. Incidentally I had no idea that Osets even existed until the KTM rally this fall here in Bend. I had the opportunity to talk to Jimmy Lewis and was bemoaning the lack of good bikes for my little dude. Jimmy recommended Oset!



The ability to jump on and ride around the yard and/or neighborhood while actually learning useful bike handling skills and not pissing anybody off is just priceless. It's an even bigger advantage here in Oregon where kids can't ride on public lands until they're 7 years old. Maybe the Oset is what will finally allow America to turn out some Grahame Jarvis' of our own I just hope I didn't make a mistake getting the 36V bike instead of the 24... this thing rips...

Oset in the box... very simple assembly. Essentially just the handlebars and front wheel.



Waiting for the first 12 hour charge (they say 12 hrs for the first three charges...) was painful.



Later that night I tested the factory speed setting and turned the potentiometer up about 1/2 turn. The bike almost ripped out of my hands and launched across the garage. Lesson learned... 1/2 turn is a LOT.

First ride was this morning... outdoor temp about 24 degrees F. He sat on the bike and we talked and worked through some throttle and brake movements. Kicked up the kick stand, turned it on, etc. Talked about how to start out and that I had the speed turned way down. Oset recommends that noobs paddle along and work through some drills before standing up, etc. All good info... I think.... My guy is about 5.5 years old and is a pretty good rider after starting on a Strider at about 20 months. At any rate he fired it up in the yard, stood up, and then immediately rode it off the curb and headed down the street with me jogging along. Very cool!

2nd ride was over lunch. Turned up the speed a bit and he got pretty comfortable with the bike. Some more lessons learned about turning off the key before trying to get off the bike...



Curb "jump" video. He's getting better at keeping the front wheel up.



With all that said, I can't find any established community support for this thing. Oset has a Facebook page with some traction and of course the UK and American web portals (of which the US one is new and extremely buggy). There are some good threads here and elsewhere, but no "go to" location that I can find. (If there is one, please let me know and I'll shut up.) I'd love to develop that here, as I've seen some great Oset posts with custom fork and shock fitting, etc (nicely done triplewhipper!).

Issues/Questions I'd like to address on our Oset are:
  • Variable chain tension - Oset says to adjust them "taut". Unfortunately ours is both *TIGHT* and *LOOSE*. This would seem to indicate that the rear sprocket is possibly not concentric with the hub. Any ideas?
  • The Dreaded Dead Zone - As Oset will tell you, when the speed is turned down on the 36V bike there's quite a dead zone in the throttle that makes starts and slow speed a bit tricky, especially for kids. I've seen mention of aftermarket motor controllers and DIY throttle stops. The bike can be a handful for my little guy. Any new info here is appreciated.
  • SLA Battery Charging - These three initial (and every 10 charges thereafter) 12 hour charges have me curious. The 36V bike appears to have (3x) 12V/10 AHr batts in series and a 1.8 A charger. 12 hours seems like a punishingly long charge. Is it really necessary to equalize the crap out of these things three times right out of the box?
  • Suspension - Eventually I'll probably try to address suspension. The bike seems pretty unbalanced out of the box, with a very soft front fork and a very stiff (at least to a 5 year old) rear end. What kind of sag are you guys seeing with the typical little 5 - 6 year old kid?
  • Tire Pressure - What are you guys running? The 30 - 40 PSI Oset recommends seems high?
My ultimate goal (still haven't gotten the wife on board) would be to become an Oset dealer here in Bend and try to get some activities going for the little guys and girls. I know this is an uphill battle in the states, but our sport will eventually die or be legislated away (and then die) if we don't get the little ones involved.

That's it for now! Now I just need to find a Trials bike of my own... .


K_N_Fodder screwed with this post 12-08-2012 at 08:14 AM
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:20 PM   #2
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Welcome to the world of OSET ownership. My three kids have each started trials on OSETs, and I am convinced they are the best thing to happen to off-road motorcycling since suspension.

As you noted, though, the tech knowledge is quite dispersed right now. Our club has a number of dads who have fiddled with the bikes, trying alternative batteries and controllers, as well as adding more robust running gear.

There is some depth in Trials Central, at http://www.trialscentral.com/forums/...-trials-bikes/ for your perusal if you haven't done so.
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:37 PM   #3
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Congrats

Congrats on getting the kid into riding. I have twin girls and I bought them a used Oset that should be here Monday. If they both like it ill get another. I also picked up a used GasGas for me so we can practice together.


Thanks for the link ridenm, I'll be checking that out ASAP.
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K_N_Fodder View Post
Issues/Questions I'd like to address on our Oset are:
  • Variable chain tension - Oset says to adjust them "taut". Unfortunately ours is both *TIGHT* and *LOOSE*. This would seem to indicate that the rear sprocket is possibly not concentric with the hub. Any ideas?
  • I think you are on the right track, because the relationship between the driving sprocket and driven sprocket doesn't change like on a conventional motorcycle. But the quality of manufacture is a little inconsistent, so it wouldn't surprise me to find your suspicion is correct.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by K_N_Fodder View Post
  • The Dreaded Dead Zone - As Oset will tell you, when the speed is turned down on the 36V bike there's quite a dead zone in the throttle that makes starts and slow speed a bit tricky, especially for kids. I've seen mention of aftermarket motor controllers and DIY throttle stops. The bike can be a handful for my little guy. Any new info here is appreciated.
  • Afraid I can't help you here -- my experience has been with the 24V bikes.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by K_N_Fodder View Post
  • SLA Battery Charging - These three initial (and every 10 charges thereafter) 12 hour charges have me curious. The 36V bike appears to have (3x) 12V/10 AHr batts in series and a 1.8 A charger. 12 hours seems like a punishingly long charge. Is it really necessary to equalize the crap out of these things three times right out of the box?
  • Big drawback with the lead/acid batteries. Several of our dads swapped batteries for newer tech. I expect at least one of them will be around soon, and has already posted at Trials Central.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by K_N_Fodder View Post
  • Suspension - Eventually I'll probably try to address suspension. The bike seems pretty unbalanced out of the box, with a very soft front fork and a very stiff (at least to a 5 year old) rear end. What kind of sag are you guys seeing with the typical little 5 - 6 year old kid?
  • There are (or were) accessory rear shocks and springs available from OSET and in the mountain bike markets. No quick fix for the forks, though. For our bikes I never found a soft enough setting for good compliance, and the lack of front adjustability made it a moot point anyway. No balanced settings to be had. The TC community may well have hit upon some solutions.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by K_N_Fodder View Post
  • Tire Pressure - What are you guys running? The 30 - 40 PSI Oset recommends seems high?
  • I ran 15-18 psi with constant vigilance for the tire slipping on the rim and ripping the valve stem out. I also took to running the heaviest thorn-proof tubes with slime. One running gear swap I saw incorporated a rimlock on the rear, which allowed lower tire pressure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_N_Fodder View Post
My ultimate goal (still haven't gotten the wife on board) would be to become an Oset dealer here in Bend and try to get some activities going for the little guys and girls. I know this is an uphill battle in the states, but our sport will eventually die or be legislated away (and then die) if we don't get the little ones involved.
Lewisport has handled OSETs in the past. Don't know their current status.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:44 AM   #5
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Hey, Chris you should be supporting our local Oset dealer. Seems that Mr. Butler has become the know all guy.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:45 AM   #6
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Stridder bike at 2 years old. Ocet at 3. They have training wheels for the Ocets. Children get older and they can't remember their first bike or when they started riding. Such a no brainer to start children on Ocets. Balance, throttle control, braking and just plain old time on a bike; such a great foundation to build upon later. Oh yea, don't forget the trial bicycle. Go to walmart's web site and order up a Koxx for the kid now.

Check out Malcomb, he has like 18 video's or something. I think his old man has some serious coin, kid has a great life in front of him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdDNEJTqMQ4
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:28 PM   #7
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Ridenm thanks for the detailed reply and I appreciate everybody's feedback. I had a good ride on my cycle today and by the time I got back my kid was raring to go. We hit some dirt trails near the house that had softened up nicely and it was the first time I think he *really* enjoyed himself on it. Especially when he realized he could spin it out and make some roost. The soft dirt softened the throttle hit as well. He ended up doing a bunch of hill climbing and I was impressed how he stayed on the pegs and let the bike do the work, even at very slow speeds. We're going to have a lot of fun with this thing, and hopefully more once I get the sprocket sorted and address the throttle dead zone.

Next time out I'll get some pics.

Oh and thanks for the Trials Central linky! I've been over there poking around but hadn't found that thread. Looks like they might have beaten me to the punch! If this turns into a decent thread I'll add the good links to the original post so they're easier to find.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:04 AM   #8
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I agree. Oset's are amazing. I bought one brand new from the inventor himself, Ian Smith in Denver just before he moved back to the UK. While I was there at his house I watched Oliver ride his around their tiny yard turned into a trials obstacle course - he was junior state champion with kids a lot older. The company namesake, Oliver Smith Electric Trials.

I rode ours around the pool table a couple of times and my grandson never got into it, only rode it when he was over to visit twice. He has progressed to bigger bikes now so I'm selling it. It's the only "toy" for my grandkids that I kept here at my house instead of letting him take it home because I didn't want to see it get wrecked. In retrospect maybe I should have let him take it but now that window has passed as he is too big for it.

For sale, an Oset 16.0 24v with lots of new spare parts for $888. Like new on the Flea Market. Not considering shipping it at this point but...

I too considered being a dealer but the national sales rep lives in Denver an hour away so it doesn't make much sense. I'd love to see a better following for these as I think they make so much sense for kids to learn on. I hope you make your dream a reality, they just need a little publicity on how useful they are for kids around their own home to ride, like they would a bicycle without any gas or exhaust or noise or needing Dad around to kick it over and pick it back up, they are so light. Spread the word.

Sorry for the thread hijack. Keep it rolling.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:20 PM   #9
K_N_Fodder OP
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Snooker -

No hijack at all. I kinda wish I would have bought the 24V...

The OSET has a huge list of advantages, especially here in Oregon. Unfortunately I think it's still considered a motorized vehicle on par with a combustion motorbike in the eyes of the Legislature. I need to look into that some more to fully understand the ramifications.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:29 PM   #10
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Hey guys -

I'd love to see pictures of throttle "dead zone" mods. Most of what I've read indicates that when the parental speed governor pot is fully engaged the dead zone goes away... apparently not ours. I turned it full on and the throttle still has a significant, if not completely unchanged dead zone. I looked into the throttle on this 2011 bike tonight and it's not obvious to me how to fabricate a throttle stop outside of pretty significant dremel tool action. The throttle is a fairly self contained unit and I'm not seeing how to break it open. So far all I've found is the set screw, two little screws that secure the cover on the hall sensor, and the screw that detaches the hall sensor itself. Lighting in my garage is terrible or I would have taken more pics... this is the throttle unit itself. (Yeah I know... doesn't show anything....)

Edit: Just went and measured "dead zone" from the current ~2/3 throttle position to full on, and it is identical at about 8mm on the grip. Dead zone doesn't seem to change with potentiometer position for us.



Any wisdom would be appreciated :)

Justin

K_N_Fodder screwed with this post 12-11-2012 at 10:04 PM
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:29 PM   #11
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KN,

Glad you took the advice and I know a few people who have a lot of experience with these bikes I'll point in this direction.

JIMMY
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
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KN,

Glad you took the advice and I know a few people who have a lot of experience with these bikes I'll point in this direction.

JIMMY
Someday I'll get down there and you can show me what I'm doing wrong on a cycle Jimmy.

Justin
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:29 AM   #13
San Felipe Bob
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Oset

Here ya go mates!
Give Steve a ring.
Keep us posted on here.
CONTACT
OSET USA

303-990-2390

steve@osetbikes.com

I have 2 boys ages 4 and 6.

My 4 year old is riding the 12.5 sans training wheels thanks to Strider.

My 6 year old has moved up to a PW 50 for the desert.

We just got a used 16.0 / 36v.
I can't wait for the guy in the red suit to deliver it!
I have some upgrade/replacement parts on order.

The 12.5 is set for full power.
I run the tire pressure on the high side to
help it spin a little.
It's amazing how quick the kids learn to respect the throttle.
My oldest son started riding the 12.5 when he was 2.
I took the foot pegs off and added foam padding to the sides
of the battery tray. He rode around using his feet as out riggers just like his Strider Bike.
He had his balance down within a couple weeks and the foot pegs went back on.
We did the same thing for my younger son.
I'll post more tips and share some Jimmy Lewis inspired drills a bit later.
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:10 PM   #14
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So have you changed the gearing on the PW?
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by San Felipe Bob View Post
Here ya go mates!
Give Steve a ring.
Keep us posted on here.
CONTACT
OSET USA

303-990-2390

steve@osetbikes.com

I have 2 boys ages 4 and 6.

My 4 year old is riding the 12.5 sans training wheels thanks to Strider.

My 6 year old has moved up to a PW 50 for the desert.

We just got a used 16.0 / 36v.
I can't wait for the guy in the red suit to deliver it!
I have some upgrade/replacement parts on order.

The 12.5 is set for full power.
I run the tire pressure on the high side to
help it spin a little.
It's amazing how quick the kids learn to respect the throttle.
My oldest son started riding the 12.5 when he was 2.
I took the foot pegs off and added foam padding to the sides
of the battery tray. He rode around using his feet as out riggers just like his Strider Bike.
He had his balance down within a couple weeks and the foot pegs went back on.
We did the same thing for my younger son.
I'll post more tips and share some Jimmy Lewis inspired drills a bit later.
Wow first post! Welcome San Felipe Bob!

Yep I've talked to Steve a time or two, seems like a really good guy. Now I just wish they'd respond to the question I submitted through their website earlier this week...
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