Zero Motorcycles (UPS just delivered)

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by potatoho, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. potatoho

    potatoho Cheese and Rice!

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    Cool! Not sure when I will get a chance to put this together. Not much to do, just wheels & stuff. Unfortunately the 12V power inverter hasn't shipped yet, so it will still be a couple of weeks before I can add all of my dual sport stuff.

    Attached Files:

    #1
  2. Ogre_fl

    Ogre_fl Long timer

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    Do tell :ear

    I have thought a Dual sport version of something like this might be the ultimate commuter bike for me.

    Can you REALLY get this plated in FL?
    #2
  3. potatoho

    potatoho Cheese and Rice!

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    *I* can. Not sure about anyone else LOL. Probably have to do a custom build and some political crap if there are EV exemptions. As usual, it will be a pain.

    I don't think this bike would be great for commuting. Despite the marketing, I expect to be replacing brushes and drive components quite often. This bike is meant for performance.

    Ideally for commuting what you want is a brushless hub motor. Newer dynamic technology will make these incredible, though the current ones are still pretty neat.
    #3
  4. DirtyDog

    DirtyDog Omnia mea mecum porto Supporter

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    Uh, oh. May need to add a new category, as thumpers won't really work...
    Maybe "Shockers" or "E-Spot"... something like that.


    These bikes are too cool. Make sure you post up some impressions and details.
    Have fun.
    #4
  5. Ogre_fl

    Ogre_fl Long timer

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  6. potatoho

    potatoho Cheese and Rice!

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    Certainly. It's surprising how few reviews there are. I want to see how it stacks up against my other bikes. I want to really get some acceleration out of this thing.

    So far I'm pretty impressed with the quality of the frame. It certainly looks a lot better in person.

    The battery pack is massive but not all that heavy feeling. It's got 168 of these little C-sized cells.

    They are making a street version of the Zero, but it is vapor ware right now. Also rumors of a dual sport version. Neither interests me because the street version is half the suspension travel, and the other proposed model is bigger and heavier.

    I did consider a Quantya Strada. That is dual sport. I was told they would be available this or next week. But quite expensive @ $10,700.

    Maybe this would interest you..

    http://www.electricmotorsport.com/store/ems_electric_motorcycle_super_motard.php

    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. fuel-cycle

    fuel-cycle 3 wheels or less 49CFR571

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    I heard the DS arrives late this fall.

    Here is a Zero race between Jimmy Lewis and Jeff Emig in Vegas;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txT0yJOEaeo
    #7
  8. potatoho

    potatoho Cheese and Rice!

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    Well, dates have slipped quite a lot in the past. They have not gotten the power inverter for my bike certified yet, and that is another 3 weeks. That's just so I can have a 12V source.

    I snuck out and did some more assembly. It sure is different working with bicycle parts. They go together strangely.

    The seat is a Honda CRF seat but it is made by SDG. Yeah, like sitting on a fence post. That is going to need some rework.

    I cannot believe the weight of the wheels. I bet they are not more than 3 lb combined, soup to nuts. Unbelievable.

    The bike is pretty light. I can lift it over my head :pynd without the 40 lb battery pack installed. The suspension feels pretty short and weird but it has a lot of dials and nipples and stuff.

    27" wide bars LOL. I gotta measure the center section, it just may be fat-bar sized. Would be funny to swing a pair of flexx bars on there.

    Attached Files:

    #8
  9. DirtHopper

    DirtHopper Been here awhile

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    my thoughts are that electric cars are street legal, so i'm thinking the DMV wants there money on this one too. :deal Just my $0.02
    #9
  10. potatoho

    potatoho Cheese and Rice!

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    But it looks exactly like a dirt bike. IMO it's a lot better if you get a license tag, otherwise with a dirt bike you get pulled over all the time.

    I rode it around the garage for a bit LOL. It's pretty torquey. It has a switch for hi/lo speed, which controls 30 mph max, versus 60 mph (doubt it). It also has another independent switch for hi/lo response, which makes the acceleration either soft or brutal.

    They sure don't make things easy to put together. It has a billion different fastener types and comes with no tools or recommended torques. Manual says things like, be sure to tighten this, but don't overtighten! WTF is up with that, just give me a torque value, Einstein. The rear axle nuts I have no idea what size, I've got nothing either metric nor SAE which fit, and two of the motor bolts are SAE allen and in very awkward position. I have to go get a set of bits for that.

    Edited, forgot the rear axle nuts are 18mm.
    #10
  11. Zecatfish

    Zecatfish XTique Rider

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    Novel idea, but I'm not sure bicycle parts are going to hold up to 20hp motor. Would be more reasonable to use CRF150 parts maybe?

    Good Luck with it, be interesting to see how it turns out. BTW the motor looks like an electric Briggs & Stratton was producing. It was 20hp too.
    #11
  12. HPJeep

    HPJeep Owner of a pig iron bike

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    Maybe its British Whitworth nuts and bolts? :lol3
    #12
  13. potatoho

    potatoho Cheese and Rice!

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    The original B&S motor was the ETek. I think, not sure, this is the Mars equivalent. There are 3 or 4 bolt-in compatible motors to the ETek since it was very popular and no longer made. Plus the original ETek was only 48V, though some ran it a bit higher and out of spec.

    Some of the engineering is a bit disconcerting. The manual says to not land from jumps will the wheel spinning at full power, because it will break the countershaft sprocket. It claims it is the sacrificial part of the drive. Alrighty then.

    The parts are so light I can't see how you could make the bike weigh less. So if it holds up it is going to be pretty cool throwing it around. I bought this specific one because I wanted the bicycle part design.. it looked like fun with all of the aftermarket items.
    #13
  14. Rad

    Rad Done riding

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    Those bikes are made in Scotts Valley, where I work.

    I walk out of my office one day last year and see some guy is rip'n up our 20,000 sq ft concrete skate park on a motorcycle. I go over to boot him out and sure as shit it is an electric bike, the Zero bike. I had a long talk with the guy, he was on the design team and was out testing it. I watched him for about 10 minutes then regretfully had to boot him out. He was a very nice guy and the bike was wickedly fast, instant acceleration and instant wheelies.
    #14
  15. potatoho

    potatoho Cheese and Rice!

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    Had my first ride today. Impression: this is going to require some work to improve rideability and increase power.

    Supplied with Alltrax NPX (non-programmable) controller rather than the more appropriate AXE series. NPX is designed for golf carts etc and has a crude power delivery map installed. In fact, it rides just like a golf cart. Big lurch at the start and then zero throttle response. Yeah, this needs an AXE controller for sure.

    Having some weirdness with the charger. Seems to charge ok but it starts blinking in a way which isn't described in the charger manual, so I have no idea what it means.
    #15
  16. potatoho

    potatoho Cheese and Rice!

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    I think I see the problem with the throttle funk. They use a couple of small switches to control top speed and throttle response my shunting small capacitors across the throttle pot. Clever, but it adds a real lag to the input.
    #16
  17. Sniper X

    Sniper X De Oppresso Liber

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    How bout Zappers?
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  18. hppyfngy

    hppyfngy not dead yet

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    I've been saying this for a long time...

    We could have a forum for "Exotics" which could include any weird bikes, like electrics, trials, odd imports, etc...

    We're probably gonna need one for Electrics at least...
    #18
  19. LILBIT

    LILBIT Ride you must.

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    Sounds like something i'd love to ride but hate to own. 168 cells-wow. How much is a complete replacement battery? Nicads? High output electric motors and there controllers seem far more failure prone than many high hp combustion engines.
    #19
  20. potatoho

    potatoho Cheese and Rice!

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    2nd gen Lithium-Ion. Current price is $17/cell, so around $3K for the pack.

    I'm just doing the usual mods to make it rideable. The Magura throttle on it is pretty nasty. It is a 0-5K potentiometer but it doesn't read very fluid at part throttle. I think if I clean that up it will have some better throttle control.
    #20