Zero electric motorcycle owners: Fewer accidents, close calls, with silent running?

Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by EvrythingAwesom, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. Rugby4life

    Rugby4life Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    795
    Location:
    Upstate SC (GSP area)
    I've been riding daily/year round for 30 years. I've ridden loud bikes and quiet ones. The effect on road users- no difference. The effect on animals varies, turkeys don't care either way, wild hogs and bears run away from the sound. Deer, when startled by the noise tend to run across the road in front of you (not real bright animals). I have one road on my commute to work where I'll see deer an average of 3 times a week all year round. I've had 2 deer vs bike collisions on that commute. The first time, the exhaust on my Ducati Hypermotard startled a doe and she ran across the road directly into the side of my bike. The second time, I had stopped my BMW R1200CL (with the stereo blasting) to watch 3 does who had just crossed the road and darted into the woods. I then heard a crashing noise as a buck in rut hurdled the bushes and hit me helmet to antlers.
    On the Zero, I've ridden within 20 feet of a deer grazing at the side of the road and it not even take notice of me. Granted, these are anecdotal examples but they're my personal experience. Do with it as you wish.
    #81
    voltsxamps likes this.
  2. cecilturtle

    cecilturtle Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    Oddometer:
    26
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    My $0.02. With about 100k miles on gas bikes and 30k on electric, I find no difference in how my bike sounds vs how traffic reacts.

    I argue that being able to hear traffic around me at low speeds, and being generally less fatigued from sound, that I'm actually safer on the Zero.

    The only time the silence is remotely an issue is in a parking lot when people are walking away from you, a quick toot on the horn or even a verbal "excuse me" takes care of the issue.

    I HAVE noticed a difference with a single headlight vs adding aux LED lights. I find that I get cut off less often when running aux lights (triangular pattern). The visual seems to have a much greater effect that sound. I have never wished that my Zero made more noise. I'm quite pleased to be a ghost when I want.
    #82
  3. Rugby4life

    Rugby4life Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    795
    Location:
    Upstate SC (GSP area)
    I would much rather have a loud horn than loud pipes.
    #83
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  4. TorkeFUN

    TorkeFUN Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Oddometer:
    65
    Location:
    Grand Rapids MI
    I've ridden my Zero motorcycle about 11,000 miles and my custom built electric motorcycle another 9,800 miles. Previously i'd ridden gas biked for many years. I can CONFIDENTLY say that riding electric is MUCH safer, as do many other Zero motorcycle people on the forums. Here's a few reasons-

    -No clutch or shifter to distract you, FOCUS on the road and traffic, not your transmission.
    -I can HEAR the surroundings. I have heard tires screeching, horns honking, and pedestrians around me, which allow me to avert the situation and avoid an accident all together.
    -The instant torque and lack of clutch allow me to quickly divert lanes, jump a sidewalk, whatever necessary to avoid an accident in the blink of an eye.
    -Extra perk? you can off road in sketchy areas because nobody hears you :D

    Don't believe me? don't just argue with me, try one out!
    Screen Shot 2017-12-31 at 3.52.14 PM.png
    #84
  5. davenowherejones

    davenowherejones short guy

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,636
    Location:
    Hope "I get there", BC, Canada
    I was in a toy store the other day. The rubber bulb sweaky toy horn was way louder than my Honda's horn. I think Honda could use a little improvement.
    #85
  6. BrianTRice

    BrianTRice Nerdy adventurer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I lanesplit daily on a Zero DSR (27000 miles now, and 26000 miles on my previous Zero), and prefer it to my V-Strom, because the bike is nimble, super-responsive, and torquey. In particular, having torque continuously available without clutch operation and shifting means there's never a moment where my bike is inoperable; I can always react extremely quickly. (I have not tried a DCT transmission bike so cannot say how much that helps.)

    I can also hear car tire noise because my bike is so quiet; the awareness and relaxation factor helps me ride with better defensive skills and awareness, which I think is more important than whether a driver can hear me.

    It's true that sometimes I'm unnoticed and "sneak up" on drivers, but the interaction is always calmer and easier to manage than for my gas bike.
    #86
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  7. Wind_Rider

    Wind_Rider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    943
    Location:
    Idaho

    I rode Zero Motorcycles for commuting for 2 years. The area where I resided was basically a game preserve and full of deer and elk. It was surprising to me that the wildlife spooked and ran away from the Zero more than my ICE bikes. I think it was just because it was different and mysteriously silent and this caused them more alarm than my ICE bikes.

    At speed on the highway I saw no difference in how animals reacted to the Zero but going around 20 MPH up the dirt road to my house the wildlife definitely gave the Zero more space and reacted in more fear to it than a typical motorcycle or automobile.

    The main noise related safety issue with the Zero was in parking lots. Pedestrians would step out in front of the Zero so I had to be ever vigilant for peds.
    #87
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  8. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

    Joined:
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    ^ agreed. Commuted 5 days/week on my EM for 2 years, splitting lanes in CA. Only 3 occasions where I unintentionally startled parking lot pedestrians.

    Once I was leaving the grocery store’s parking space and the woman loading groceries in her SUV next to me let out an explicitive and clutched her chest when she looked up and saw me and laughed.

    A few months later, a man suddenly appeared from between two parked cars as I pulled into the parking lot and had a startled/confused look on his face when he saw the motorcycle but perhaps couldn’t process why it wasn’t making noise.

    Another time a person staring at their phone suddenly stepped off the curb to cross the street at an outdoor mall right in front of me. I had to brake suddenly to avoid hitting him and when he saw me he jumped back.

    I’ve since added a Bluetooth speaker to my bike since then and play it a medium volume whenever I’m in parking lots or malls to help pedestrians become more aware of my approach.
    #88
    longslowdistance likes this.
  9. jackinSpokane

    jackinSpokane n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Spokane WA
    I have the Zero/S 13kw, yellow. I wear a day-glow yellow jacket of safety vest and a day-glow yellow backpack, with a strobing brake light. If they can't see me, they must be texting. If you have a fear of hitting animals or 'cagers' running over you, you should not be riding, it can't be fun. I have been riding since I was 14 years old and I'm 71 now, and still here. Just remember, you never have the right-of-way, and ride like you are invisible. -JackinSpokane.
    #89
  10. jackinSpokane

    jackinSpokane n00b

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Spokane WA
    I think for pedestrians, I'm going to get the old bicycle bell you put on the handlebars. I think the horn or running over them is just too rude. ;-)
    #90
    voltsxamps likes this.
  11. davenowherejones

    davenowherejones short guy

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,636
    Location:
    Hope "I get there", BC, Canada
    I tried a rubber squeeze bulb horn the other day. That sucker was loud in the store.
    #91
  12. Nephilm

    Nephilm Metal mickey fan

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2014
    Oddometer:
    146
    Location:
    Dorset UK
    Bicycles make no noise ,yet know one has concerns about this .
    #92
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  13. MX500

    MX500 n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    5
    I agree, as a long time commuter and lane splitter. I get hit MUCH less often on loud bikes with bright headlights. That being said, it won't make up for speeding, you're still going to get hit.
    #93
  14. MX500

    MX500 n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    5
    I no longer ride bicycles because I felt like a sitting duck. Just like a Harley. I have no interest in being slow, unsafe, and silent. The electric motorcycles on the other hand.... Well, I had a Zero surprise me on the Hayabusa. They're impressive, I had to downshift to leave him.
    #94