Never thought I'd.....

Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by folmonty, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. folmonty

    folmonty twins make perfect moto music Supporter

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    be considering a Zero! Not in a million years. But here's the thing. I'm 63, retired, love riding, live in a an area where the roads are reasonably fun without going too far, hate dealing with crap fuel in the old carb bikes, and don't really have a desire to ride long distances. Getting on two wheels to just lollygag or screw around is OK.

    Surfing Facebook marketplace I find this 2014 FX with a cute blonds picture next to it. She happens to be an electrical engineer and by due diligence might just work for Tesla. Used the bike for commute but moved further away so no longer a good option, or something on that line. This started the whole idea of investigating the genre while reading all there is posted here and on the WWW.

    So now I know enough to be dangerous. The thought of spanking the many exotic cars in the hood sounds like great fun. More I read about the FX, doesn't sound like the best fit even though it comes with SM and off road wheel sets and the 7.2 motor for $6,750. It would be a good starter electric to see if the "shoe fits?" S or SR seems to be a better bet but will cost more than double. Headed to check it out tomorrow. In the add she mentioned having to sell since she has multiple bikes and her husband says she can't keep them all. LOL - my god how times are changing. Good on her! Should be fun!
    #1
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  2. sro99

    sro99 one odd owl

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    I think the 7.2 is the battery capacity and not the motor size.
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  3. ultrarnr

    ultrarnr Been here awhile

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    folmonty, be careful, that torque gets really addicting!
    #3
  4. folmonty

    folmonty twins make perfect moto music Supporter

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    Gotta get the lingo figured out ✔️
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  5. Manthaten

    Manthaten Adventurer

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    I'm looking forward to the BMW electric motorcycle
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  6. folmonty

    folmonty twins make perfect moto music Supporter

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    Have to describe July 5th 2019 as a "red letter" day in my motorcycle life. Had a test ride on an SR/F today. Went to a dealer prior to visiting the gal selling the FX and glad I did. Do yourself a favor and go demo one of these things. You've heard it all before but it really is something every moto enthusiast owes it to themselves to try. Have wanted a new Triumph T120, BMW GSA 1250 or 850, KTM (pick one), Kaw Z900 etc. There's so many nice bikes! But this is different in a way that will probably make riding more exciting. Similar to when it all started as a kid.

    From the start the SR/F felt like a well sorted quality piece. The TFT display takes some getting use to but is beautiful and easy to look at. After the salesman's requisite warnings it felt like pulling the trigger on a new 1911, not knowing just what to expect? They had a dealer demo ride loaded into the software but never felt like wanting for more power. Never! Went about 10 - 12 miles. The look on people's faces was priceless! Can see how the "hooligan" in anyone would be something to temper with good judgment. If everyone were on one it would be a different world I can assure you!

    The good -
    • Smoothest bike on good roads ever experienced.
    • No heat and it was a hot day.
    • Looks are subjective but starting to like it more.
    • Most hardware seems decent. Not top shelf but nice.
    • Fit and finish seem good.
    • Quiet and oh so pleasant.
    • More power than imaginable. It never ends, bottom to top but my test was conservative.
    • Instrumentation looks nice, easy to read in any light. It was a bright day.
    • The SR/F has a quick charger adapter in the faux tank back panel. Carrying one of the J1772 devices would enable longer rides and only 1 hour top off times. The cable is something you could pack in a back-pack. (learning this may be misleading if you read through the responses)

    The not so good -
    • If your SO likes to ride, pillion is suspect and probably not a good option unless she's / he's sub 100 lbs and not over 5' 3"
    • Brakes lack feel but seem to work OK. This bike had dual disks which I'm sure is better than all other models. I'm conservative rider and not a great test benchmark. (the SR/F has a high state of sophistication in late model Bosch electronics. I didn't come close to testing this and should make this known. My perspective was nothing more than "brake feel," nothing more)


    Undecided -
    • Handling, not able to properly test on a short city ride. Seems fine to me as a non pavement knee dragging 63 year old. Your test may differ based on experience and skill set. Felt like that 1911 was in my right hand the whole test ride but got quite comfortable with it towards the end. Warm and fuzzy? kind of sorta... but kept the torque warning in back of my head. I like ADV bike suspension, so this bike might make me ride slower in the canyons. Roads in CA are getting worse all the time. More compliant suspension you have, happier you are.
    • Suspension - need some time to mess with setting before saying anything definitive. Sag, preload, rebound etc are all important. Initial statements were premature and incorrect on my part.
    Conclusion - want one of these bikes. Not certain which one just yet but feel it's a perfect play bike where we live and for what we like to do. One can only wonder if ICE bikes will be the exception in my life time? Don't care, I'm going to experience one of these EV's before the riding days are done and smile the whole time.

    Be interested in others thoughts?

    Side note: after riding the SR/F the used FX doesn't measure up. Might end up with something in-between or even the SR/F. EV's are all about what works for you and balancing needs / wants. Guess that's not so new, huh?
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  7. ctromley

    ctromley Been here awhile

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    You're really getting an immersive experience, going from new to EVs to a ride on the SR/F! A couple of things:

    No. The J1772 receptacle at the back of the tank is only part of the charging interface, and any "cable" you carry in a backpack will not give you level 2 charging. When you plug into an official level 2 EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment) by inserting the EVSE's pistol grip, the first thing that happens is the EVSE and the vehicle get to know each other (a "handshake" in tech terms). They both learn how much current the EVSE can provide and the max the vehicle can draw, and if one limits the other an adjustment is made. All charging is done at 240 VAC, feeding through the vehicle's charger. (Level 3 does a different handshake, and goes straight to the batteries with DC, bypassing the vehicle charger.)

    You need some electronics on both ends to read, understand and adjust. The EVSE also includes a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) for user safety, and a contactor that closes only when all the handshake business is over and everyone's happy. If your cable adapter thingy does not include a substantial brick, you're not getting any of the logic or safety features. (And frankly, I'd be surprised a Zero would even charge through the Level 2 receptacle without a handshake.) If this is really a thing, make very sure you plug into an outlet that is GFCI-protected and tested regularly! If you don't, a ground fault on the bike makes any metal on it live while charging, making it a potentially lethal hazard.

    Most electric cars come with a brick-equipped, plug-in-the-wall "cable" unit. It has the Level 2 pistol grip, but plugs into a (presumed) 15 amp 120 VAC outlet. Since continuous use requires de-rating an outlet's current rating to 80%, the maximum you can pull from such a setup is a Level 1 maximum of 1.4 kW. The SR/F wants 3 or 6 kW depending on how it's optioned. Some of these automotive versions can pass through up to 240 VAC (universal input) with the same max current so you can get 2.8 kW, but then you need to make sure you have the right adapter for the wall receptacle you're plugging into. Most EV chargers are universal input, so are OK with 120 to 240. Any of these automotive units will take up most of the room in a good size backpack.

    Bottom line, when charging, kW translates into charging speed. Level 2-ish looking hardware doesn't get you that, the high kW charging rate does.
    Keep in mind the SR/F has top-of-the-line Bosch lean-sensing ABS and traction control. There's much less need for constant vigilance. Personally, I'm still leaning toward an SR. It's MUCH lighter, and I'm a Very Big Fan of the razor sharp, instantaneous response low mass provides. But the SR has no TC. That's the one that needs constant vigilance. There have been reports of going sideways wicked fast on the street at low speeds. Apparently the torque is so great it spins up the wheel so fast that it's very hard to catch. But there are also others saying that riding a DSR hard in the dirt at low speeds is no big deal. The jury is still out on whether someone with good ICE-bred throttle control can re-calibrate sufficiently to master the SR's torque without TC.
    #7
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  8. folmonty

    folmonty twins make perfect moto music Supporter

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    One things for sure, "don't know what I don't know!" Thanks for taking time to help educate me. Hope other inmates find this information useful as well. The sales guy could use a does of this conversation as well. He was admittedly not up to speed on all aspects of Zero. Especially the charging end. As motorcyclist enthusiast most of us are supremely interested in what makes things tick? Fun learning about this new developing technology. Thanks for the assist! :thumb

    Zero is located only an hours drive from me. Plan on making a trek over to Santa Cruz to tour the facility prior to buying a bike. Will take plenty of photo's to share, provided they allow it? Props to Zero for being so pro-active encouraging riders to give their bikes a go. The dealer couldn't have been easier to work with. Upon finishing up they supplied me with a price for the bike I thought might be my choice, the "S" model w/ 14.4 batteries. There weren't any surprises which was refreshing. S is lower powered than the SR but gets a bit more mileage and cost $2,500 less. Current (no pun intended) idea anyway.

    Having the ability to create your own mapping for the bike is super appealing. My career was spent working for a global heavy vehicle braking company. At the time of retiring stability control was coming into play for big trucks. I understand how they work on a large scale, which makes the same technology so exciting for two wheels. Add TC and everything changes. It's hard to comprehend until you actually apply it real world. Then it's a huge "eye opener and game changer!"

    Monty
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  9. folmonty

    folmonty twins make perfect moto music Supporter

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    In a quest to find much information as possible found this unique web site that seems to offer up a lot of collected information. Looking for tech info outside of Zero doesn't afford many options so far. Planning to make a call and see about a Zero factory tour that's been mentioned here and there. It's only 1 hour from San Francisco bay area.

    https://zeromanual.com/wiki/Potential_Buyers_Guide

    Couple interesting things learned when shopping for a Zero

    • Ask what version software it's running?
    • Can I review "the log file?"
    Talk about changing paradigms!

    Would love to hear from other Zero owners,
    Monty
    #9
  10. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

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  11. folmonty

    folmonty twins make perfect moto music Supporter

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    Thanks TS! Will take a look at that forum.

    Good luck to the girls of Netherlands tomorrow. It's been a great World Cup event.
    #11
  12. folmonty

    folmonty twins make perfect moto music Supporter

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    Likewise! Hope they put forward a good first effort. We've been hearing tid-bits for a while now. Also hope they hire some top moto designer on the project. Without some visceral connection and good dose of performance it will be a tough slog.
    #12
  13. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

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    Thanks for the review. Always good to hear more riders opinions. Im hoping Zero will expand their dirt/dualsport models
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  14. folmonty

    folmonty twins make perfect moto music Supporter

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    Thx Bucho - it was quite the experience. Today rode a refurbished 92 airhead which I'm in love with but can't get the Zero out of my head. Don't want to exit this world without having tasted all there is. Think scooter on steroids. At first thought of moto EV's as novelties. We're surrounded by Tesla's where we live. They are for real and most likely here to stay. I'm not an doomsday environmentalist and frankly don't even believe any of it. However, I'm not closed to new tech or what it can do. Surely the electricity and energy comes from somewhere. However this thing evolves I highly recommend every moto fanatic go out and give one a go. You'll be happy you did! JMHO
    #14
  15. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

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    My son started on an OSET 16.0 and now has an OSET 20.0 The electrics are cool. Especially for offroad bikes where sound is very big issue. I'm all for an adult sized electric bike. My friend has an electric EM trials bike. Its very cool. I wish there was a larger market so it would be easier to find used deals.
    #15
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  16. NoMoreIdeas

    NoMoreIdeas Adventurer

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    If you get a chance, check out a '18 or '19 fx / fxs. The build quality wont match the SR/F, but the price is under half. If you wait a couple months, Zero will discount demo bikes by ~ $1500 to get the demos out the door. Each model has had quite a few changes over the last couple of years. As far as the fx / fxs line, they've went to a higher 550 amp controller, bigger 7.2KW/hr battery and a smaller front 18t front sprocket. I can't remember the order / years those occurred, but the '18 and '19 models have all of those and they feel quite spunky. My '18 FX didnt feel slow after I rode the SR/F.

    Glad you test rode one, I was a skeptic until I rode one, then I bought one. The power delivery is just completely different than what you're use to on a traditional bike.
    #16
  17. folmonty

    folmonty twins make perfect moto music Supporter

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    Great advice, couldn’t agree more. For blasting around town it really looks like fun. The silence is intoxicating IMO.
    #17
  18. sro99

    sro99 one odd owl

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    2014-15 fx 5.7. 420 amp controller. 70ft-lbs. 44hp. 75-5 motor. 650w charger.
    2016 fx 6.5. 420 amp controller. 70ft-lbs. 44hp. 75-5 motor. 650w charger.
    2017 fx 6.5. 550 amp controller. 78ft-lbs. 46hp. 75-5 motor. 650w charger.
    2018-19 fx 7.2. 550 amp controller. 78ft-lbs. 46hp. 75-5 motor. 650w charger.
    #18
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  19. folmonty

    folmonty twins make perfect moto music Supporter

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    Taking notes S.Ro Sometimes it feels like we're talking about RC cars / boats / planes with the controller, motor and batteries. Minus the charging hurtles guess it's pretty similar. The experience was so different and so much fun it's just matter of time for me. Did ya'll see the SR/F blurb on the front page of ADV? Also reminds me of the 80's - 90's computer revolution. Whatever tech is here today will surely be improved, probably sooner than later. Just got to pick a horse and ride it or be left at the gate. I'm not getting any younger.
    #19
  20. sro99

    sro99 one odd owl

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    2014 ds 11.4. 420 amp controller. 68ft-lbs. 54hp. 75-7 motor. 1.3kw charger.
    2015 ds 12.5. 420 amp controller. 68ft-lbs. 54hp. 75-7 motor. 1.3kw charger.
    2016 ds 13.0. 420 amp controller. 68ft-lbs. 54hp. 75-7 motor. 1.3kw charger.
    2017 ds 13.0. 550 amp controller. 81ft-lbs. 60hp. 75-7 motor. 1.3kw charger.
    2018-19 ds 14.4. 550 amp controller. 81ft-lbs. 60hp. 75-7 motor. 1.3kw charger.
    #20
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