ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

181 replies [Last post]

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Offline
Joined: 07/09/2011
Posts:
Points: 644
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Good to know that people are still reading, and watching the vids. Speaking of which, part 1 of the ride vid is now up, at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0peNDSGpDQ&feature=mfu_channel&list=UL

Offline
Joined: 07/09/2011
Posts:
Points: 644
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

I went for a somewhat cold 52km (indicated) ride yesterday (November 2), and while the drivetrain performed fine I had three more problems show up. More accurately, it was one new problem and two old ones that got much worse. First, about 1 minute into the ride I noticed that the built-in clock was completely dead. The thing had been a bit defective: the buttons had to be pushed so hard to do anything that I ended up using a blunt-ended punch (and my hands, not a hammer!) to set it, but it had been fine since then. The second problem came when I applied both brakes firmly. The front end shuddered violently as long as the front brake was on hard, and the problem is now reproducible virtually every time I brake hard with the front brake. I had noticed early on that there was a slight 'wobble' in the front wheel at higher speeds, but this dangerous shudder/bounce is pretty new. I'm wondering if the wheel is out of balance (Darus checked it at the shop and said it was fine) or perhaps the tire itself is bad. It's the same one that was on the bike when it got banged around in the shipping crate, and I'm wondering if the colder (about 55 F, colder in my garage) weather has made it worse. Either that or the brake is going bad. I'll spin the wheel with the bike on the center stand. What do you folks think the problem is, based on this info?

I also need to look at the luggage rack, because I finally realized that the banging in the rear of the bike is coming from the rack: there is some play in the top frame mounting point. That spot had appeared undamaged in the crash, with only one of the three mounts mangled. I'll need to remove the cargo trunk and storage compartment and look at that, plus the mount that was damaged. At this rate I may never get the Cycle Analyst wired. It would be easy enough to wire it for just volt and amp counting. but I want the speedometer function as well, and that means leaving the cable loose so I can use it to pull a guide wire out of the bike's interior, to get the CA speedo cable inside.

Oh, and finally: while the speedo still works fine, the speedometer drive is making noise again. Darus had said that the tab(s) that engage the gear in the hub had been bent, so he bent it/them back. I guess I'll have to look at that, too. I know a lot of you enjoy tinkering on your bikes in Winter, but my garage averages in the low forties (F) and takes hours to heat. I'm not looking forward to this.

Klas2k's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/19/2011
Posts:
Points: 49
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Hard shuddering and bouncing while braking may be either a loose part in the braking system OR bad shock absorbers (maybe low on oil ?) OR loose bearings.
I do not think it has anything to do with unbalance in the wheel. If it is the wheel the shuddering would probably increase with your speed, and whether you brake or not should be irrelevant.

First check your brakes that nothing seems loos.
Then check the play in the bearings, both the ones holding the wheel and the upper steering bearing (Steering bearings).
To check play in the steering bearing you'd have to put the bike on a center stand or on a jack of some sort if no center snatd is available, and have a friend weigh it down so that the front wheel is lifted from the ground. Then gently move the front from side to side and feel that there is no glitches or jerking (it can be ever so slightly).

The shocks probably needs to be taken apart to check the oil levels I think - and that may require special tools depending on the construction.

/K

pcarlson1979's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/20/2011
Posts:
Points: 459
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

I'm impressed. 52km is a nice ride. I'm saddened to hear your problem with shuddering. I went for a ride today and a dumb 4wd cut me off and I literally had to slam the brakes on and I had FULL braking power even with a small rear tire skid right down to 0 as we were stopping at a set of red lights. It was a smooth and powerful brake. I am happy I did not get the step over model now. I have heard others have success by checking the steering head.

I am looking forward to when you get the cycle analyst installed because I'd like to see how many Ah you used on that 52km ride. The best I have done is 80.2km on 46.6Ah.

I really feel sorry for you, your poor bike was banged up from day one.

I will have to download your videos from YouTube because even on my connection it just won't stream fast enough.

Tonight I passed 1,870km without a problem, so I hope yours will one day give you good riding like mine. I am looking forward to your videos to see what your low end torque is like. Mine seems to have less pull than my 750w Ebike. Lol.

__________________

------------------------------
eRider 8000w Scooter - PDT Version
72v 50AH CHL battery
350A Sevcon controller

24km: Delivered - 24 September 2011
2490km: Installed dual 35w HID lights Bi-Xenon Projectors - 27 November 2011
8313km: Installed BMS - 13 October 2012

"Scrappy" - Custom 48v Electric Dirtbike Conversion
20 Feb 2012: Bought 2005 Suzuki DRZ-400SM Motorcross Bike for $100
Motor: MARS ME0708
Controller: Alltrax AXE4844 400A controller
Battery: 16xCHL 50Ah LiFePo4 = 48v

Offline
Joined: 07/09/2011
Posts:
Points: 644
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

"I am happy I did not get the step over model now."

Eh? All ZEVs use the same bodies and running gear. Anyway, I'll check for play in the steering head bearings. As for torque, I'm thinking of getting a digital stopwatch, and since I don't have a second rider available for a real race, see if the ZEV can get to 20MPH as fast as the Lepton in Sprint mode. I think it will be a real contest...

Offline
Joined: 07/09/2011
Posts:
Points: 644
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

I took the ZEV on 2 short trips this evening: to the Chiropractor's and to the local polling place to vote. Since the latter is right in my suburb and I could ride at 20MPH, I took my housemate for a ride there. It's a bit awkward for a passenger with shorter legs to get on, but the bike handled ok and, surprisingly, showed no obvious loss of acceleration under almost double load. That's the good news.

The bad news is that when I put it on the stand, weighted the rear and had her hold it so I could check the steering bearing, there was noticeable play in it - maybe 2mm. I could make it clunk softly. The brake parts are all apparently snug, so I think it's a loose and/or damaged steering bearing. I'm pretty Irked, having had the bike back at the factory for repair and still having to deal with yet another problem....

BTW, a question for other ZEV owners, and anyone else with the same instrument panel: do you have a lighted speedometer? I have two brightly lit side gauges, and an unlit speedo.

Offline
Joined: 01/03/2011
Posts:
Points: 231
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

leftiebiker wrote:

BTW, a question for other ZEV owners, and anyone else with the same instrument panel: do you have a lighted speedometer? I have two brightly lit side gauges, and an unlit speedo.

Yes, all instruments are lit. I thought so, but funny thing, I had to go check for sure as after installing the Cycle Analyst I never look at the stock instruments except for turn signals. Actually, you just gave me a great idea: I can turn off the lamps to the three stock gauges. : )

Seems like you just can't catch a break. My ZEV 6100 is still going strong and trouble free; my best purchase ever. Reading your posts makes me thank God I bought the lithium version and that my bike didn't get bashed around like your's. Hope you get all your little tweaks ironed out soon.

__________________

Motorcycle: ZEV 6100, 77V, 40AH, 60+mph; Cycle Analyst, LED head lights, 3 Cell Log interfaces, TNC throttle and faster charger added. 6,800 miles so far.
Cost to date: $730, MSRP $6550 - $4120 tax credit - $1200 referrals + $500 mods -$1000 in gas savings.
Big EV Grin. :)

PJD
Offline
Joined: 11/22/2006
Posts:
Points: 1222
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Scooters use exactly the same type of head bearing as a bicycle. Remove the necessary bodywork, loosen the lockout, tighten the bearing cone until play is gone, but the handlebar still turns smoothly, then tighten the lock nut while holding the bearing cone from turning.

Offline
Joined: 07/09/2011
Posts:
Points: 644
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

IBScootn wrote:
leftiebiker wrote:

BTW, a question for other ZEV owners, and anyone else with the same instrument panel: do you have a lighted speedometer? I have two brightly lit side gauges, and an unlit speedo.

Yes, all instruments are lit. I thought so, but funny thing, I had to go check for sure as after installing the Cycle Analyst I never look at the stock instruments except for turn signals. Actually, you just gave me a great idea: I can turn off the lamps to the three stock gauges. : )

Seems like you just can't catch a break. My ZEV 6100 is still going strong and trouble free; my best purchase ever. Reading your posts makes me thank God I bought the lithium version and that my bike didn't get bashed around like your's. Hope you get all your little tweaks ironed out soon.

Actually, none of my problems have been related to battery type. It's all hardware. You seem to think the range of my bike is in line with yours, so I just have extra weight and have to be careful not to drain the pack below 80% regularly. Of course, if I had been able to buy the lithium version for $2500, I would have.

So I also have a non-functioning speedo light bulb? Since the speedo drive cable is making noise again, maybe I'll ask for a new cable, bulb and clock. I have no idea how hard it is to get to the steering head nut. Does anybody here? Looks like I'll have to either spend a couple of hours working under the front cowl, or maybe hire a scooter mechanic to do it. Thing is, motorcycles are really cheap here in November, and I may spend the few hundred my foot injury allowed me to accumulate, and buy a motorcycle for serious riding. Man, I never thought I'd be saying *that*...

Klas2k's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/19/2011
Posts:
Points: 49
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

PJD wrote:

Scooters use exactly the same type of head bearing as a bicycle. Remove the necessary bodywork, loosen the lockout, tighten the bearing cone until play is gone, but the handlebar still turns smoothly, then tighten the lock nut while holding the bearing cone from turning.

No the bearing may be entierly differently mounted than in a bicycle. I hope it is at least !
You are talking about a motorcycle here - not a bicycle !
Steering head play is not to be taken too lightely, getting a wobble at 30-50mph with a 300-400lbs (including driver) vehicle is not fun!

It could be a loose bearing. In that case you tighten the nut to the specified torque and make sure the handlebars turn smoothly and there is no noticable play as PJD suggests.

In some cases however the steering bearing is broken (likely if it has been loose for a while)
There are usually two of these bearings,at least usually in motorcycles, a lower and one on the top.

Getting to them isn't too difficult, but there may be some bodywork to dismantle. You may also need a special tool, or need to make one up for getting them loose and back on.

I changed my steering bearing on my other motorcycle (a Suzuki DR650) last year. I then had had a problem where the handlebars would "lock" (which could only be felt when really looking for OR sometimes when going into a turn) in a straightforward position - which is usually a sign thet the bearing is worn (which it was).

But if you feel some play when rocking the front wheel back and forth, you should also look at the front shock absorbers, they could be the culprit then (not properly tightened for instance) - it is impossible to judge as a reader on a forum of course, you need to look at it :)

/K

Offline
Joined: 07/09/2011
Posts:
Points: 644
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

I took what may be the last ride of the year this afternoon, both because Fall is ending and because of the front end problem. I chose a route that was as smooth as possible, and didn't use the front brake, so it was actually a pretty pleasant ride. I rode about 20 miles and arrived home with adequate charge left - no range anxiety. It gave me a good idea of what the ZEV could have been like, had it arrived undamaged. I also have a couple more observations about the front end:

* I can't feel any play in the front bearing with the front wheel on the ground, under load. If I rock the bike back and forth it feels fine.

* Even with no front brake applied, there were several instances in which I lightened my grip on the bars as I slowed to a stop, putting as little pressure on them as possible. When I did that, it usually set off a side to side oscillation that started to turn into a severe wobble. I noticed a slightly milder version of this before the bike went back to the factory, and it's still there, obviously. I'm wondering - and maybe hoping, given all the bodywork over the steering head - if it's the forks and not the steering bearing. Any thoughts from people with real knowledge of this kind of scooter? Can the forks get out of alignment?

Offline
Joined: 07/09/2011
Posts:
Points: 644
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

It seems this scooter is going to keep developing problems even when I can't use it. I went to give it a monthly top-off charge last night, and the charger was dead. Not a flicker or click. It has house current entering at the plug end, but is giving no sign of it. That's something I'll have to get replaced before Spring,as I don't want to go 4 months with no top-ups.

Life is strange. I've been having so much trouble with the ZEV
that I'd been watching Craigslist for a cheap (Fall is the time to buy
a motorcycle!) small bike to ride longer distances. In November, my
old GS850, which I sold for $975 to a local guy in the Summer, came up
for sale. He was asking $25 less than he paid me, which is way too
high for the time of year, so I was able to resist, but then the price
dropped. And dropped again. When it got to $695, I couldn't resist
looking at it. In the photos the bike looked the same - nice. When I
looked at it in person, though, it was very clear the bike had been
dropped: a turn signal was smashed (but still working), one of the fog
light lenses was gone, and the right side of the bike had scrapes
consistent with a low-speed fall. It had also been left in the rain
all Summer and Fall, and had acquired more rust since I sold it than
it had in the 23 years or so I owned it. I had told the guy it needed
to have the carbs cleaned, but he didn't. He just put highway pegs on
it and put 3,000 miles on it, wearing out the rear tire. It ran the
same or slightly worse than when I sold it. The battery is now weak.
He tried to fix the dry-rotted intake boots with RTF, and made a mess,
with no improvement.

I was going to pass on it, but then (mainly out of sympathy for the
bike) offered him $450 for it, telling him he could have his $50
highway pegs back. He accepted, and I now have another motorcycle in
the garage that needs work. I've already picked up a used turn signal
on Ebay, will probably remove the heavy steel fog lights, and acquired
(again from Ebay) new rubber intake boots so the carburetor(s)
problems can be fixed. It's still too heavy for me, though, so I'll
either resell or swap it in the Spring - hopefully to a better owner -
or try to lighten and lower it enough to ride on those longer trips
that the ZEV has made me want to take again. When I replace the rear
tire I'll get a lower-profile one. The gearing will be even lower than
it was before, but if I can sit with both feet flat on the ground I may
just keep it. My appreciation for Japanese engineering and production
quality has been renewed. It's a shame they don't make electric scooters.

PJD
Offline
Joined: 11/22/2006
Posts:
Points: 1222
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Regarding your November 9 comment, two out of the three Chinese electric scooters I've owned have had a high-frequency handlebar shimmy if ridden hands-off or barely holding the handlebar grips - one of the old E-maxs and my Current C124. It can get fairly severe, but never leads to a feeling of loss of control because it immediately stops as soon as even a light grip is resumed. So, I've stopped being annoyed with it.

I have assumed that it is due to a subtle combination of variatons in the degree of front caster and the not-so-good stiffness that is inherent in a step-through scooter's frame. But my understand is that even some expensive motorcycles in the past (old BMW's?) have had this characteristic.

Offline
Joined: 07/09/2011
Posts:
Points: 644
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

The problem with this shimmy is that it gets violent if the front brake is applied. Were I now to apply it hard, at speed, the bike would go down. This is something that was present when I first got it, and has gotten progressively much worse. The only thing that was checked at the factory when the bike was returned for repair was the front wheel balance. I had hoped for a new front wheel (because the speedo drive had also died) but all I got was a repaired speedo drive (a tab bent back into place), and that's already making noise again. I'm afraid I'm looking at some expensive front end work in the Spring.

Offline
Joined: 07/09/2011
Posts:
Points: 644
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Your mention of the BMW wobble led to some interesting reading. Given the circumstances in my case, I strongly suspect that the front forks were put into slight misalignment in the first, serious shipping "crash" and then, quite possibly, put into even worse misalignment by the second, less serious (visually, anyway) shipping impact. When the bike arrived back from the factory after being repaired, the only damage was a scuff on the left front body panel, and an impact to the throttle that snapped it apart. The front forks were in full-lock position when this happened, as opposed to straight in the first crash (IIRC), and I think the second impact directly to the handlebar may have twisted the forks even more. I was going to look for a motorcycle shop that has expertise in steering repairs and adjustments in order to have the front forks on my Suzuki 850 raised a bit in the triple clamps. Now it looks like they will be looking at the ZEV as well...

There is no reason to think this is a problem with the ZEV frame design: we have two or three other ZEV owners posting here, and none have reported any wobble.

PJD
Offline
Joined: 11/22/2006
Posts:
Points: 1222
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

I agree that if the wobble is induced by front braking then you are describing a different condition and something is seriously wrong.

The wobble I'm talking about appears to be mechanically similar to the shimmying that can often be seen on the casters on a cart or dolly when pushed past a certain speed across the floor. Just the slightest amount of damping (pitting your hands back on the handlebar) stops it. It is nothing like the powerful, handle grips ripped from hands, "tank slapper" or "death wobble" described when one googles "motorcycle wobble".

Offline
Joined: 07/09/2011
Posts:
Points: 644
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

The wobble isn't actually induced by braking. It's there with no braking. However, braking turns it into a Death Wobble.

MEroller's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/26/2011
Posts:
Points: 617
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

LeftieBiker wrote:

The wobble isn't actually induced by braking. It's there with no braking. However, braking turns it into a Death Wobble.

You don't by any chance mean rather a vertical or longitudinal judder while braking? That is what my Thunder has, despite perfectly adjusted steering head bearing.
My low-speed Wobble is gone with the heavier and softer winter tires, and is likely to return with the Cheng Shin tires. It only happens with just one hand lightly on the handle bars and stops immediately when both hands are where they belong while riding a two-wheeler. But while strongly braking I get a Death Judder, both vertical and longitudinal :-(

__________________

My ride: E-Sprit Fury (basis is the ZAP/Erider Thunder 5000) since May 03, 2011. Mods: Battery temp. gauge and battery heating (off the grid and off the battery), Kelly KEB72801X, reverse activated, luggage rack with topcase, HC Cycle Analyst, Emsiso BMS2405, 35mm³ battery cables

Offline
Joined: 07/09/2011
Posts:
Points: 644
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

It's something like that, anyway. With the front brake off I get a manageable side to side bar wobble with just one hand on, or both hands gripping very lightly. Apply the front brake and it turns Nasty, more or less in proportion to speed at the time the brake is applied. The severity had been slowly increasing over time, but at a ceratin point (about three or four rides ago) it got worse faster. The scooter is now essentially unrideable, except for short low to medium speed trips with no front braking. And now the charger has died - not while charging but in between charges, no less, just sitting on the shelf...

MEroller's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/26/2011
Posts:
Points: 617
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

And you HAVE checked for play in the steering head? Bike on main stand, have someone sit on the back so the front wheel leaves the ground, then grab hold of the axle ends and gently rock the axle back an forth, feeling for play... Your trouble must have something to do with play getting more and more over time.

__________________

My ride: E-Sprit Fury (basis is the ZAP/Erider Thunder 5000) since May 03, 2011. Mods: Battery temp. gauge and battery heating (off the grid and off the battery), Kelly KEB72801X, reverse activated, luggage rack with topcase, HC Cycle Analyst, Emsiso BMS2405, 35mm³ battery cables

Offline
Joined: 07/09/2011
Posts:
Points: 644
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

I did that test and got about 1mm of play. I'm not convinced that that isn't typical, but I will check the bearing or have it checked.

MEroller's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/26/2011
Posts:
Points: 617
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

LeftieBiker wrote:

I did that test and got about 1mm of play. I'm not convinced that that isn't typical, but I will check the bearing or have it checked.

OK then, first get rid of that 1mm and then try it out. Ideally there should be no play that you can feel. It is actually advisible to slightly pretension that bearing, as it will naturally set over the next couple of rides. But this is VERY tedious work to get it right, i.e. virtually no play but still light enough for safe balancing even at low speeds. 1mm would be far too much for a stable ride. On my Thunder even just such play that I could only envision after a trance-like session of tugging and shoving on the front fork was too much...

__________________

My ride: E-Sprit Fury (basis is the ZAP/Erider Thunder 5000) since May 03, 2011. Mods: Battery temp. gauge and battery heating (off the grid and off the battery), Kelly KEB72801X, reverse activated, luggage rack with topcase, HC Cycle Analyst, Emsiso BMS2405, 35mm³ battery cables

Offline
Joined: 01/03/2011
Posts:
Points: 231
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

It will be interesting to find out what is screwed up with those forks.

__________________

Motorcycle: ZEV 6100, 77V, 40AH, 60+mph; Cycle Analyst, LED head lights, 3 Cell Log interfaces, TNC throttle and faster charger added. 6,800 miles so far.
Cost to date: $730, MSRP $6550 - $4120 tax credit - $1200 referrals + $500 mods -$1000 in gas savings.
Big EV Grin. :)

Offline
Joined: 07/09/2011
Posts:
Points: 644
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

A question for the other two or so ZEV owners here: have you had to adjust your steering bearing play? I've been told by Darus that it's normal to have to do so once a year or so, and that it's normal for them to loosen up in cold weather. At least that's how I recollect the email. I don't recall any mention of anyone else having to tighten their ZEV steering heads.

I sent the dead charger back to the factory, and got back what I think is the same unit, but with the LED digital display panel replaced by a plain panel with three LEDs on it: one to indicate power to the charger, a red one to indicate "charging" and a green one to indicate "charger." I plugged it in, expecting it to charge for at least 15 minutes or so, and got a green light instantly. I guess I'll check the pack voltage through the charging port tomorrow...

PJD
Offline
Joined: 11/22/2006
Posts:
Points: 1222
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

No, the head (steering) bearings should only have to be adjusted once - hopefully at the factory. They are not exactly a bearing that gets a lot of revolutions. Darus' remark about requiring a once a year adjustment is just nonsense.

Offline
Joined: 07/09/2011
Posts:
Points: 644
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

I was afraid of that. I think whatever damage or looseness there is was there when it got returned to the factory, and Darus didn't check it aside from a brief ride. Here is what he wrote to me about it:

"All bikes should have the steering head bearings tightened every year. Depending on your weight and factoring in the cold, you probably need that tightening. I have never seen a wobble from anything else. Colder weather increases play. The races tend to seat and wear in during the first months such that every bike needs checking regardless of brand. If you want to do it yourself, you need a $15 spanner wrench from Craftsman and an adjustable end wrench. Really easy to get at. Should you decide to do that, tell me and I will give you the procedure."

I really wish I had told the shipping company to take it away and cover what I paid for it.

Offline
Joined: 01/03/2011
Posts:
Points: 231
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

No steering issues on my 6100 so far. I agree, you should have refused the shipment.

No issues with my 6100, but I've got issues with the USPS. I bought a internal resistance meter and a 130A watt meter to test the GBS lithium cells (for IR and AH) along with a bunch other fun gagets. Everything showed up except for the watt meter; so I tracked the package: Hong Kong, New York, Colorado (15 miles from me), then Atlanta Georgia. What the ?? Last track was in TN. My luck might be running out. : )

__________________

Motorcycle: ZEV 6100, 77V, 40AH, 60+mph; Cycle Analyst, LED head lights, 3 Cell Log interfaces, TNC throttle and faster charger added. 6,800 miles so far.
Cost to date: $730, MSRP $6550 - $4120 tax credit - $1200 referrals + $500 mods -$1000 in gas savings.
Big EV Grin. :)

MEroller's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/26/2011
Posts:
Points: 617
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

PJD wrote:

Darus' remark about requiring a once a year adjustment is just nonsense.

I must for defend Darus' remark about at least regular checking and if necessary retightening of the steering bearing once a year. You would think there is not much wear on that bearing, but when you come to think of what the bearing must "bear" it will quickly become very obvious that every single bump you ride over, every strong breaking maneuver, all the millions of even the tiniest handlebar adjustments that you do not even think about but automatically do put extreme loads and wear on those bearings, especially the lower one. It is the single most important and safety relevant component of a motorcycle or scooter frame! How do I know this?
I had a little accident with my old ICE scooter that involved a shock load to the front fork. When I road home after that I only noticed some play in the steering bearing that had not been there before. As it happened that was just before the Christmas break, so the scoot happily sat in the garage for two weeks. When I tried to maneuver it away from the garage wall after the break I suddenly found there was substantial jamming while trying to adjust the handlebar accordingly. I yanked it loose again with brute force, having checked before that no cable or other foreign object was blocking the thing. That first ride to work in the new year was a hellish one: without warning suddenly there would be a small jam that I could overcome with willpower, but I never knew when it would jam next, and thus all those tiny automatic adjusments I normally made to keep my balance were no longer possible. It was more of a zig-zag drink-an-drive kind of riding...
After work I direclty headed towards my dealer's shop, and on the way things got worse and worse. I just bearly made it to the shop, completely exhausted from the physical and mental work to keep my balance...
When I got there the next day my dealer showed me what had been left of my steering bearings: the rings that space the balls apart had completely been torn to shreds, and a lot of the balls had dents in them!!!

Soon after that I received delivery of my first electric ride, and found it would judder terribly up front during strong breaking. The stearing head was adjusted several times by my new dealer, and in the end, after I had to drop the bike at standstill after an emergency braking situation that had caused the whole front fork to start jumping up and down like a cangaroo, he adjusted the steering bearing with an ever so slight tightness in it:
- to eliminate all steering bearing play but still light enough for my automatic balancing corrections during the ride
- to leave some pretension for the setting that would take place anyway over next few 100km
During the in part bitter cold winter (one morning was -19°C...) bearing play increased again, and though it has gotten a little less now with slightly above freezing temperatures, it is still enough to require a retightening at latest during the first annual inspection coming up in May.

__________________

My ride: E-Sprit Fury (basis is the ZAP/Erider Thunder 5000) since May 03, 2011. Mods: Battery temp. gauge and battery heating (off the grid and off the battery), Kelly KEB72801X, reverse activated, luggage rack with topcase, HC Cycle Analyst, Emsiso BMS2405, 35mm³ battery cables

Offline
Joined: 01/03/2011
Posts:
Points: 231
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Ok, so it sounds like sometime down the road I will want to adjust the steering bearing. I'm up for learning how to do that, but how will I know that the problem is there. What is the initial symptom. My steering still feels great and it's been more than a year of riding.

__________________

Motorcycle: ZEV 6100, 77V, 40AH, 60+mph; Cycle Analyst, LED head lights, 3 Cell Log interfaces, TNC throttle and faster charger added. 6,800 miles so far.
Cost to date: $730, MSRP $6550 - $4120 tax credit - $1200 referrals + $500 mods -$1000 in gas savings.
Big EV Grin. :)

Offline
Joined: 07/09/2011
Posts:
Points: 644
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Assuming that it manifests in the usual way, the front end will start to wobble when the front brake is applied.

ME, reading your post I'm thinking three things:

1. Impacts to the front end are a major cause of steering bearing problems. And yet in almost 40 years of motorcycling, with numerous minor front impacts and one major one, I've never encountered the problem. I've also never had it happen to a bicycle.

2. Electric scooters seem to be so flimsy that even the larger ones tend to have inadequate frame components. They also seem to have lots of quality issues.

3. When my ZEV was back at the factory for repair after the first, major shipping damage, that steering bearing should have been checked and tightened - doubly so because I reported a wobble in the front end. Having been warned never to remove the plastic cover on the handlebars, it appears that now I'll have to do so, or pay someone else to do the job.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Short URL

Customize This