Zero Motorcycles

Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by T.S.Zarathustra, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

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    That sucks. Here in Seattle it's instant test ride. Zero, Triumph, Vespa, Royal Enfield...
  2. Vegas800XC

    Vegas800XC POS rider

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    In Vegas super easy to demo, they practically throw keys at you and that is it.. interesting so different in Dallas
  3. Ditch

    Ditch Long timer

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    So where is this dealer? As above, the dealer I went to (Durango, CO) was doing his best to get me on one.
  4. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    I don't think the dealer he was talking about is in the Dallas area. The ones around here and in Austin are ready for you to get on the bike ASAP.

    My understanding is the dealers don't own the demo bikes. They are on loan from Zero to be ridden.
  5. hamiamham

    hamiamham Been here awhile

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    in NYC gents...
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  6. ADVDucs33

    ADVDucs33 Been here awhile

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    Wow, I'm on the far other side of the whole entire big ol state of NY.

    Our dealers are easy, they ask to see if you have a motorcycle endorsement on your license and then- here are the keys, now go enjoy it.
    MJSfoto1956 likes this.
  7. Andrew

    Andrew Optimus Primer Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Anyone been testing the used Zero market? Are there decent older models to be had, at well below initial price?
  8. Vegas800XC

    Vegas800XC POS rider

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    The ones I see here are dealer used which I feel are a bit overpriced. I feel like buying new when a 2 yr old bike is 85% of new.. I admit I haven’t tried to negotiate with them.
  9. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

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    I would be very leery on the private market since it's difficult to know what shape the batter is in
  10. Andrew

    Andrew Optimus Primer Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Naturally.

    I’m thinking of some hipster Bro who has tired of the novelty, or is upgrading to the latest version.

    A fresh battery might be worth it, if the bike is available at the right price.
  11. Todd157k

    Todd157k Long timer Supporter

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    Personally, I think it's a lot safer to buy a used electric bike than an ICE one. Don't have to worry if/when the previous owner changed the oil.. over rev'd the motor.. trans problems, serviced the carb or chain..

    I think you get the point.
    E-luke likes this.
  12. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    I bought and sold two Zero's this year. Technically, I traded one of them (a DSR) back to the dealer I bought it from on a Speed Triple RS. I took a bath on that one, but was happy to be rid of the bike. The novelty of electric wore off quickly for me as I didn't use it as a commuter vehicle.

    The other bike was their FX model which is the cheapest one in their line. I lost about $3300 after owning it 8 months by selling it on the used market. No local buyers wanted it so it took a while to sell it. A guy drove down from Denver to get it. By comparison, last year I bought a new KLR and sold it for a $1000. The buyer was local and it went in less than two weeks after I put the ad on CL.

    In my neck of the woods, selling electric bikes is nearly impossible. I took a bath on the whole Zero experiment. ICE bikes are still the way to go for resale. With Zero, the demo ride pulls you in, but using it on a daily basis you quickly come to realize all the limitations of the bikes. Despite what marketing would like you to believe, they are really just made for slow commuting for short distances at this point. Using it for anything outside of that quickly brings frustration when comparing them to much less expensive ICE bikes.

    The upshot to buying a Zero used is the transferable warranty. The bike and battery have separate warranties. From the original shipping date, the battery has a 5 year warranty and the rest of the bike has a 2 year warranty. So for example, the guy that bought my used FX used has warranty on the bike until February 2021 and a warranty on the battery until February 2024. Considering the battery is like 80% of the cost of the bike, that's a pretty good deal for someone buying it used.

    Especially considering that I had to have the battery replaced under warranty during the short time I owned the bike. It had some internal safety issue from the factory. Had I not been active on the forums, I probably wouldn't have ever known. I've read that with this issue, it was possible for the bike to catch fire while charging. Once I contacted Zero about it, they were quick to replace the battery under warranty. They don't want any more bike fires I'm sure.

    As Todd mentioned above, there is little an owner could do to screw up a Zero bike. I never took mine in to be serviced, there's really nothing to service on them. No oil, no oil filter, no chain to lube, etc. The only fluid in the bike is brake fluid and it only needs to be changed every 2-3 years or something, if I remember correctly. Also there is no clutch to fry, just twist the throttle and go. The bike itself has all these built in safeguards to keep a rider from damaging it. Also it keeps them from having fun on it as well, imo. If you try to ride the bike to its full potential, it has two levels of "thermal protection mode."

    So say you jump on the FX and hammer it down the road wide open throttle. The top speed of the bike is 85-88 mph, by the way. About 2 minutes into this, a yellow temperature light will start flashing on the dash and the bike will start to slow down to 70 mph. This is Thermal Protection Mode 1. If you continue holding it wide open at that point, the flashing light will go solid and the bike will drop to around 45 mph. You can twist the throttle as hard as you want, its still going down to 45 mph. This is Thermal Protection Mode 2. After a few miles, it will cool down enough to get back to Thermal Protection Mode 1 and allow you to creep up to a max of 70 mph where it will stay until you voluntarily slow down allowing the battery and motor to cool down and exit Thermal Protection Mode.

    So technically, the bike can only go 85 mph for two minutes. The real sustained top speed is somewhere around 68-70 mph on the FX. By comparison, my CRF250L Rally, at half the price and horsepower of the FX, can run 75 mph (with no slowing modes) until it runs out of gas.

    Electric bikes are still in the toddler phase. They have a long way to go before they can catch up with the overall functionality of ICE bike. Which makes since considering ICE bikes had a 90 year head start in engineering.
  13. Todd157k

    Todd157k Long timer Supporter

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    Bummer you had such a mediocre experience with them.. but like you said, you didn't use them for the purpose they were intended. The FX isn't made to go 85 mph. It's a plated off-road bike. The DSR (to me) has a bit of an identity crisis. I took mine on a fire road.. once. Way too heavy and the suspension was not for 'off-road'. I do ride mine daily as a commuter and love it. My BMW K1600 sits in the garage for months at a time now. I'm surprised you said "slow commuting". I typically set my throttle lock (why they can't just put cruise control on it I'll never understand) at 8.. ah, 65 :nod.. and cruise to/from work. I have seen the temp light on once or twice but it was also 100+ deg. day. I've never had a degradation in speed though.
    The big problem I have with these (like you mentioned) is the price. There is NO reason they should cost that much. They're just gouging the market because of the novelty.
    Andrew likes this.
  14. jas67

    jas67 Long timer

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    There is a 2015 FX5.7 on my local Craigslist. I'm sort of tempted, because I want to try an electric, but, fear that once the novelty wears off that I'll sell at a loss. My commute would likely use up more than half the battery, so I would NEED to charge at work to get home.
  15. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

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    The reason is the battery cost. Try to source one yourself from cells, you'll see.
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  16. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

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    Batteries are cheap. Just source them in volume of thousands and you'll see. :-)
  17. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    Nah, that's just marketing. A Honda CRF450L is a plated dirt bike, the stock FX is an easy dirt road machine at best. It's really made to run to Starbucks and back, as long as its not too far away.

    About the speed, see this from their website about the FX:

    Top speed (max) 85 mph

    Ah see, it can do 85 mph, their website even says so. But if you hit the hidden "Full Specs" button, you get this gem of hidden info:

    Top speed (sustained) 70 mph

    Max and sustained speed, what is that? This sustained number is what's important as it is the true top speed of any of their bikes. They will only hold the max speed for a couple of minutes before going into Thermal Protection Mode 1 and backing you down (whether you like it or not) to the stated sustained speed.

    For example, their new model, the DSR Black Forest says this:

    Top speed (max) 102 mph

    But click the Full Specs button and you get this hidden info:

    Top speed (sustained) 90 mph

    For example, a KLR will do 90 mph for like a quarter of the price. Zero takes some serious liberties with their marketing. Despite all the fluff, their bikes are commuters. Their marketing should say something like:

    Here is our line of commuting vehicles. Here is the street fighter shaped commuter, this is the dirt bike shaped commuter, here is the ADV shaped commuter, which one would you like to ride to work?
  18. ctromley

    ctromley Long timer

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    Or it can be perfect for relaxed day rides with your SO. Or local canyon strafing. Or, or, or....

    Look, I understand you were disappointed with your Zero's fit with your requirements, and I'm truly sorry it happened. But haven't we all bought a bike that seemed like just the thing and turned out not to be? Would you like me to tell you all about how the shiny new BMW R75/5 I got as an 'upgrade' to my humble Honda CB 550F turned out to be worse in every way - including touring? I can go into lots of detail about how it was worse, and why it was worse too.

    I doubt it, at least not more than once. Because it's my experience, and mine is not everyone's There are lots of Beemer airhead fans, I'm just not one of them. It seems like you're on some kind of campaign here.

    Like with your link to the story about Zero "fires". If you read that link, they say clearly that only one bike caught fire and the cause had not been determined to be the bike. EV fires are frequently caused by the charging infrastructure the bike plugs into. (Like the ENEL pit building that lit up and fried all the Moto-E bikes Energica had provided.) So why suggest that Zeros have some kind of prevailing problem with fires, when your link is the only report I've ever seen, and does not say there's a problem with Zero fires?

    You've said your piece. Its good information to know. We get it. But there are lots of people who know what you know and like their Zeroes just fine, some who think it's the most enjoyable bike they've ever had.

    YMMV.
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  19. Jarrett2

    Jarrett2 Been here awhile

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    Yeah, I understand what you mean. I probably come off too harsh here. Different strokes and all. On other sites, the Zero fanboi level is off the charts and its hard to reason with.

    I think the Zero's are great bikes, but just marketed poorly which seems to lead to a fair amount of dissatisfied customers and bikes for sale with really low miles. I know there are others that feel Zero's are the greatest thing since sliced bread and I can see how for some they would be. If I lived in a city with tons of charging stations and didn't like to ride too far or too hard, these bikes would be absolutely fantastic. I'm guessing that many owners fall into that category and their happiness with the bikes makes sense. Despite really wanting to love the Zero's, I've found out the hard way that for my purposes, ICE bikes are the only viable option at the moment.

    About the fire thing, I never said prevailing. Do a little more googling if interested. There is info out there. NDA's included. I suspect that is an older bike thing for the most part and they have it sussed out at this point. It will be curious to see how the fire issues pop up among companies that are dipping their toes into electrics for the first time. For example, the HD Livewire recently got pulled for "charging issues" which I suspect means fire issues as well.

    This technology is in its infancy. One day they'll get all of this sorted out and improve battery capabilities and we'll be scrambling to unload our ICE bikes before they become boat anchors.
  20. Bairn123

    Bairn123 Not a Biker a Motorcyclist

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    20190803_154641.jpg A good friend loaned me his Zero for a couple of weeks.I loved riding it and once I solved the range issue it was even better.
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