ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

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LeftieBiker
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My ZEV 5000LA finally came today. Unfortunately, the trucking company damaged the tail so badly that the luggage rack - which the dealer says they use to lift the bikes and is rated for 800lbs - snapped off, damaging both taillights, both rear cowls, and interfering with the seat closing. My best guess is that the crated bike was placed in the rear of the almost-empty semi-trailer, and at some point the inexperienced driver slammed on his brakes and the crate shot all the way to the front wall, hitting it so hard it snapped the rack. It then apparently rebounded enough to crack the windshield and gouge the left hand grip. The lights all still work, though, and while I haven't really ridden it, it does move under its own power. I think I can have it rideable, sans luggage rack and cargo trunk, in a couple of days, but damn, was I disappointed and PO'd. The dealer, Dave Dewbre of The Environment Store and Digital Web Group, has promised to send me all needed parts ASAP and has been very helpful. The name of the trucking company is Old Dominion Freight Line. They are sending a claims adjuster out later today, supposedly. The driver was nice enough, but very inexperienced with semis. Just my luck...

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jdh2550_1
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Bad luck! Sorry to hear that. We've had our fair share of shipping damage - but things are getting better as we improve the shipping crates *and* the shipping company gets used to handling them.

Best of luck - I'm really looking forward to reading your posts about riding the bike.

__________________

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Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas. No Worries." - JDH, CuMoCo || "Make Volts Not War" - anon.

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

I did ride it - sort of. Hours after putting it in the garage I realized that I should have it in there with the tail end facing out, to make it easy for the claims adjuster to see the damage. So I carefully lowered the seat past the broken rack mounts, and did a slow turn out in the street before driving it back in. The throttle is definitely 'touchy' even on the lowest power setting. It came with a new throttle assembly sitting under the seat, so I'll install that and hope it improves the response. The upside: now my X-Treme feels 'silky smooth' on the low power setting, by comparison. ;-)

The dealer was very concerned that there might be serious damage to the mounting points for the luggage rack, so this morning I removed the four bolts that let you lift out the under-seat compartment. (I left the charging port and main breaker in, though, as I only needed to lift it about 9".) The right mount seems in perfect shape, but the left one is seriously bent. I believe I can straighten it enough to remount the new rack, but it won't be nearly as strong as it was, and I plan on showing the adjuster that.

IBScootn
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Wow that sucks. My ZEV 6100 was also shipped by Old Dominion Freight Line and arrived without a scratch. You seem to be handling it well though; I'd be very pissed off. Best of luck on the claim.

Once you get it replaced or repaired, let us know about the other throttle. What's different??

Does your 5100LA have a gear indicator? My 6100 didn't - which wasn't a big deal for me because you get used to shifting very quickly; but I added one to make it easier for people test riding my bike. One thing that isn't obvious about the shifter is even though it resets to first gear after stopping for a couple seconds, you can shift up and start off from the intersection in any gear you choose (handy for fast starts when you want to zip in front of the car in the next lane). If your bike is like mine, you'll always have more than enough acceleration off the line.

I highly recommend adding a large version Cycle Analyst computer. So many nice features on the CA and looks great on the handlebar. So nice to have exact speed/mileage and max/avg speed readings. You can reprogram it to take over the throttle and control it in a variety of ways. You can program it to limit how low the battery can discharge. That way, you can create a "reserve" battery out of a portion of the battery for emergency use should you accidentally go farther than expected and run out of juice. You simply enter a new lower voltage limit to access the "reserve" battery and ride off. The amp hour and voltage readings really help gauge the battery state. The CA also keeps track of #charge cycles, total AH and total miles for that battery pack. At first I thought the CA was overkill, but now I am so happy I installed it on my 6100.

Hope you get the bike fixed soon,

__________________

Motorcycles:
2011 ZEV Trail 7100, 84V, 60AH, 75+mph, Cycle Analyst, TNC throttle, modified charger. 800 miles so far.
2010 ZEV 6100, 72V, 40AH, 60+mph; Cycle Analyst, LED head lights, 3 Cell Log interfaces, TNC throttle and faster charger added. 8100 miles so far.

Big EV Grin. :)

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Oh, I'm PO'd, believe me. It's just that having fits about it will only make me feel worse.

My bike does have a "gear" indicator - I was surprised to see it. The Cycle Analyst sounds great, but I haven't even fully paid for the bike yet. How much are they? I would love to be able to program in a nice safe cutoff voltage to let me know ehen to go home *now*. I'm used to reading the voltmeter type from the X-Treme, but I still can't tell with a high degree of accuracy what my state of charge is. I just look at where it reads at full throttle in Low, or half throttle in High.

It's a hot night here, as in most places in North America, so I think I'll take the X-Treme out for a ride later. I'm tempted to patch the ZEV up enough to ride and take it for a short spin, but the claims adjuster hasn't seen it yet, and I don't know if photos alone will suffice. Not that I'd be putting on any new parts - just removing the rack mounts and taping the broken taillight lenses.

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

I just spent two hours in high humidity this morning, patching plastic parts back together with clear packing tape, in the hope I can get the bike to pass inspection as-is while I wait for new parts. I removed the broken luggage rack completely. Then I installed the license plate holder / alarm that never seems to fit any bike as-is. I could try to ride the bike now, but it isn't registered yet.

It turns out the windshield *was* installed on the bike, but was ripped out by the mounting tabs in the 'crash' in the crate. I can't even see the mounts inside the front cowl...

How do we post photos from our hard drives, as opposed to linking online images?

IBScootn
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Check out this site for more info on the CA:
http://ebikes.ca/drainbrain.shtml

And then go to the link on how to purchase from their online store. I bought the CA-LDP, CACable, and SHUNT0.5 for about $150 + shipping. If interested PM for more details.

Here's how the CA looks mounted to the handlebar:

http://visforvoltage.org/sites/default/files/u2286/zev7100ca.jpg

Not everyone needs a CA. If you live in the "flat lands", you can probably get by with the existing instruments. But I live near the Rocky Mountains in Colorado where both required speeds and terrain vary greatly so there is no way I would travel without precise AH and voltage readings.

Speaking of Colorado, if there are any folks living in Colorado, I can show you how to get your new ZEV scooter super cheap. I paid less than $3000 for my ZEV 6100 delivered to my door. But you want to buy before mid Sept as current tax credits end this year.

__________________

Motorcycles:
2011 ZEV Trail 7100, 84V, 60AH, 75+mph, Cycle Analyst, TNC throttle, modified charger. 800 miles so far.
2010 ZEV 6100, 72V, 40AH, 60+mph; Cycle Analyst, LED head lights, 3 Cell Log interfaces, TNC throttle and faster charger added. 8100 miles so far.

Big EV Grin. :)

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Things are going from Bad to Worse. The dealer sent me a Bill of sale with the wrong VIN on it. Happily, I spotted that and he sent a corrected one, but when I took the paperwork to the DMV they rejected it, because the MCO was from the manufacturer to me, with nothing about the dealer on the form. Since the dealer provided the Bill of Sale, they say there is no proper chain of ownership. That can be fixed with a new Bill of Sale...

However, not long after I got back home, hot and disappointed, the insurance adjuster arrived. I was pleasantly surprised to find that he seemed to be a nice guy, but was very unpleasantly surprised when, as I rolled the bike out of the garage, he noted that "The back wheel is bent, too." Sure enough, there is a big outward dent on the left side of the rather beefy rim. It must have been obscured at the top of the wheel well every time I looked at that side. Since the motor is inside that wheel, and since the wheel obviously hit the back of the crate about as hard as the broken luggage rack, this bodes ill for the health of the motor. My X-Treme was dropped in its crate before I got it, and that ruined the original motor. At this point I'd like for them to take the bike away and give me a full refund, but I don't see THAT happening. I'm going to try to take the bike for a short, gentle spin this morning, keeping in mind that the rear tire could lose its seal on any bump.

Oh, and the manufacturer is willing to send me a new wheel motor assembly...*after* I send him the damaged one. I'd be lucky to be riding by September.

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

After being delayed by a brief power outage, I took the bike out for an illegal test ride this morning, to see how it feels. The motor is 'jerky' just off of stop, but this was noted in the review I read, so I suspect it's not unusual. No obvious problems with the drivetrain or brakes, and the tire on the bent rim didn't blow out. However, the front wheel is either out of balance or out of true. The front brake works smoothly, but when I ease my grip on the bars, they wobble a bit. Not a severe shudder, but a definite wobble. Also, there is a continuous clicking from the front when the bike is moving. It isn't loud but it doesn't go away. I'm thinking speedometer drive, but the speedo needle doesn't bounce... Can that front wheel be balanced, I wonder? There was also some light clunking from the back when I hit bumps, but that might be the broken, taped-up bodywork. The bike accelerates very well in "1" and "2" - it was a bit scary in my suburb, but out on a country road the bike quickly reassured me that it isn't as powerful as any of the motorcycles I've owned since my Suzuki SP-250 single. ;-) In "3" you seem to maybe get a bit more speed, but I don't think it accelerates faster in that mode. Just leaving it in "2" on the back roads seems appropriate. The speedo is a bit hard for me to read even with my glasses on - it's situated farther away from my eyes than motorcycle instruments or the ones on my other two scooters. In any case, it seems quite willing to run up to an indicated 60MPH, with more speed available in "3".

Speaking of the controls, many of them are the exact same ones used on my X-Treme XM-3000, but in this case they all work properly. The turn signals beep while on, and while this would have driven me crazy a decade ago, I'm getting absent-minded enough to appreciate the reminder.

I think it's a *terrible* idea to have the charger refuse to operate unless you get down near 50%. Lead-acid batteries start to sulfate up when they sit around with less than an 80% or so charge, and how can you use the charger to extend the range of a ride, except to hope for a recharging location right where you happen to hit 50%??? Anyway, the pack voltage after the ride was 74.9, IIRC.

I still don't know that I want to keep this bike, with all the shipping damage it has, but I may have to, and if I can get it all repaired I think I'll maybe enjoy riding it.

MikeB
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

The wobble on the front may be caused by the bent rear wheel. If the back of the bike is moving side to side, the front has to compensate, and it shows up in a steering column wobble. Of course, given the accident, it could be the front wheel as well.

If the wheels are only a little bit out of balance, there's some simple solutions. One is to use one of the liquid flat seals inside the tire. They will plug a flat, but the weight of the liquid also acts as a self-balancing mechanism. Don't use Slime, since it's not easily washed away with water, but Ride-On is a good choice.

__________________

My electric vehicle: CuMoCo C130 scooter.

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

MikeB, the wobble might be caused by the rear wheel, but I don't think so. I think the front wheel was also damaged in shipping. Possible good news, though: the dealer (a *really* nice guy) is working to have the bike shipped back to the manufacturer for replacement of all damaged parts. Cross your fingers for me, folks.

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

While things are still in Limbo with the ZEV, I thought I'd share an observation I made yesterday. I've already noted that some of the handlebar controls (like the turn signal, horn, and "shift" buttons) are identical to those on my X-Treme XM-3000. Well, yesterday I was looking at the two bikes side by side from the front, and realized that the front brake calipers (I didn't compare the rear ones) are also identical, at least externally, in every way. And the only difference I can see in the front brake rotors is in the cooling hole patterns. Did someone mention a company named something like Mountain Chen that makes a lot of the ZEV parts? Well, it looks to me that at least a lot of the subsystems are shared by X-Treme and ZEV. I'll bet the "GreenSaver" batteries are as well. Interesting...

IBScootn
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Leftie,

Similar disc brakes? My ZEV 6100 brakes work great! I don't see that as an issue but instead as a positive feature on the bike and here is why:

That is exactly why I bought a ZEV scooter - economies of scale. ZEV was smart enough to purchase standard components and redesign those parts that needed to be improved such as the frame, controller, motor, etc. By using as many high volume components as prudent, they are able to provide a low cost, high value bike that has very low repair costs and a huge supply of used parts. You break a body panel / component on a Vectrix and you may have a very difficult time finding a replacement part; you might have to purchase a whole used bike. But ZEV could even go out of business and you could still find many sources for the likely to be damaged parts from the huge existing number of X-treme, R-Martin, E-Fun, Liberty, etc bikes out there and at very reasonable prices. A whole set of new body panels is only $500; now that is what I call value.

I started looking at the Brammo and Zero bikes, but felt uncertain what would happen if they went out of business and I needed new body panels; even if I could find the parts, they would be very pricey to obtain. The main problem with many e-scooters is low volume production compared with cars. So using economies of scale where prudent makes a lot of sense to me.

__________________

Motorcycles:
2011 ZEV Trail 7100, 84V, 60AH, 75+mph, Cycle Analyst, TNC throttle, modified charger. 800 miles so far.
2010 ZEV 6100, 72V, 40AH, 60+mph; Cycle Analyst, LED head lights, 3 Cell Log interfaces, TNC throttle and faster charger added. 8100 miles so far.

Big EV Grin. :)

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

I'm not saying it's necessarily a problem that the ZEV uses some of the same parts as the X-Treme. Now that you mention it, though, the XM-3000 is substantially smaller than the 5000LA; those brakes work great to stop it (although the front one rattles). On the ZEV, though, the brakes feel merely adequate, no more. I wish he'd been able to find a larger set. Also, the charging port on the X-treme is mounted in either a metal or very thick plastic panel and is rock-solid, but on the ZEV the port is mounted in a too-thin plastic section that flexes quite a bit when you plug it in. And BTW, I still haven't been able to get the charger to actually charge the bike. Having it wait for 50% discharge is still, IMO, nuts.

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

I'm thinking about trying to get the dented rear rim at least partially back in, because the manufacturer is concerned that it may lose its seal. (I was hoping it used a tube, but lucky me: it's a 60MPH bike that uses tubeless tires.) I'm assuming that the wheels are mild steel, so my plan is to park the bike with the dent right at ground level, brace the other side of the wheel against a garage wall to prevent the wheel from getting bent, and tap on it as gently as possible, using a pine 2x4 stub and a 5lb mallet. What do you think? I could damage the magnetic strip inside the rim that's part of the motor if I proceed, or I could have the tire unseal at highway speed if I don't...

robert93
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Maybe its just me, but I think you PAID for a new bike, not salvage. I'd lat the insurance company and truck lines work out all repairs to NEW condition, including replacing all damaged parts, up to the total value of the bike itself. After all, you paid shipping as well, not salvage tow. It was their job to deliver the bike in good condition.

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Two problems with the above: if I ship the bike back for repairs now, I don't get any riding in this year. The plan, hopefully, is to do just what you suggest, but in a few weeks. It will take about a month to get it fixed at the factory, including transit time, and I can't ride in cold weather because of bad circulation.

Ironically, I negotiated free shipping when I bought the bike.

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Things are not going well. I had been trying to get the bike registered so I could ride it a bit while waiting for the return shipping arrangements to be made, but I have yet to receive a correct (By NY DMV standards) Bill of sale. I've gotten them with wrong VINs from the dealer, then with the right VIN but unusable with the MCO, and then when the manufacturer agreed to send me one from him to me (to agree with the MCO from him) he didn't bother to proofread the VIN, made a typo, and then sent it snail mail. I just got it today (he mailed it Monday) and little hilarity has ensued. We're both pretty Irked with each other, to say the least. I'd really like to ride the bike, but don't want to risk arrest, breakdown, or a suddenly deflated rear tire.

As for shipping it back, the shipper wanted an estimate first, the dealer and manufacturer want the bike first to give an estimate, and the dealer is away this week. Hopefully next week this will at least be resolved in theory...

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Does anyone know if X-Treme makes a 72 volt charger like the one used on the XM series, with the same scooter-end plug? I'm *really* bugged by the fact that the ZEV stock charger won't come on until the pack gets down to 50%. These are lead-acid batteries, for C'Thulu's sake! I hate to have the bike sitting around with about an 85% charge...

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

I got mostly very good news from the dealer today. The shipping company has agreed to take the bike back to the factory, pay for repairs, and then ship it right back to me. The bad news? I'm expected to crate the bike back up, using the disassembled and damaged crate it came in, and making sure to pack it to prevent further damage. I just emailed the shipping company Rep and explained that neither the crate nor I are in any condition to accomplish this. I mentioned that i had to help unload the crate when it was delivered, because the driver had the wrong size hand-forklift and was injured. Further, the bike is shipped on the center stand, and the luggage rack is used to lift it onto that stand. The luggage rack was destroyed, so I don't know how this bike is going to get crated back up. The side stand is quite flimsy.

The dealer now also agrees that the charger is not behaving properly. So I got the bike registered today, finally, and I can't ride it - because I can't recharge it.

Final note: anyone looking to register one of these bikes or a similar high speed electric bike in New York Sate had better be prepared to go through Hell to accomplish it. Our DMV would do Satan proud.

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

I finally figured out that if you leave the charger on, after about 5 minutes it finally goes into bulk charge mode, or at least my charger does. After two hours of that, the bike's pack voltage at the charger started to cycle between about 85 volts and 95 volts, over and over. I figured this was an equalization mode, but with no manual for the charger and no detailed instructions on using it in the bike manual, I finally decided I didn't want to risk cooking the batteries. So the next time it cycled down and the green 'charged' light came on, I turned the charger off and disconnected it. I then let the bike sit for about 45 minutes while I ate supper.

After supper I decided to take it on an 18 mile loop I use, one that consists of all country paved roads and one county road. The bike behaved great for the first 3/4 of the ride. I used "1" for hills and left it in "2" for the rest, switching it to "3" only for about 5 seconds to see what happened. Not much of anything happened, so I went back to "2" for the rest of the ride. The controller seems to limit the speed to about 35MPH (50kph) in "1", but will often drop it back a bit to maybe 30. In "2" the bike is willing to run at 80kph (50mph, I think) on anything except steeper hills and grades. "3" seems to just allow the speed to creep up, glacially, presumably to the advertised maximum of 61MPH. I didn't leave it in that "gear" long enough to find out. The bike handles fairly well, with a bit of oversteer but not enough to be scary. I didn't push it hard in turns because I'm still afraid the rear wheel will lose air if the tire is stressed enough to squirm. About 14 miles into the ride, the speedometer started to indicate lower and lower speeds, even though the bike wasn't slowing. After about a mile of this it stopped working. The soft clicking from the front wheel never got any louder, and the needle never started to bounce - it just slowly sagged to 0.

At this point the bike was actually starting to slow a bit, and the power needle was near, but not into, the red under load. I slowed down (I had been riding at 25 - 50 MPH), but a block away from my house, the bike died at a stop sign. The power gauge was reading about 95% at no load, but only the lights worked, not the motor. I pushed it home and put it on the charger. The hub motor was hot, but not the kind of hot you can smell and that produces smoke - it was just a bit too hot to leave my finger on it. It's on the charger now. Since I mainly used the rear brake it could just be heat transfer from the brake rotor. I was unhappy, but so relieved to have gotten to within a block of home on an 18 miles ride that I wasn't even cursing the bike. I was just kind of sad and resigned.

While I was riding, I noticed that, going over a couple of mild but larger bumps (I avoid the potholes and really rough spots whenever I ride) there was a substantial 'clunk' from the bike's midsection.

I have two theories, actually: either the motor died from the shipping damage, or the battery pack got too low and the charge gauge didn't quite read it accurately enough, and the low voltage cutoff kicked in. I'm thinking maybe one battery got loose in the impact and is damaged. It shouldn't have been that low on charge after only 18 miles at those speeds. In any case, I'm not going to ride it again, just check to see if the motor works after it's charged. I still haven't heard anything more from the shipping company about them packing it back up. Do they really expect me to completely rebuild a damaged, disassembled wooden crate and pack a 385lb motorcycle on it, so they can just pick it up...?

yount3000
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Wow!! I don't know what to say except, "Get that thing back to the factory and get a new one sent out, asap!!"

What has to happen here is that you need to stand up for yourself and get the proper people involved to pack up the bike properly. Give a motorcycle dealer a call and get the quote. This is something that has to be paid for by the delivery company. Then, just have a new bike sent to you. Let ZEV, the dealer and the delivery company hash out the damaged bike. I would never have ridden the bike with all of that damage. I just hope you did not void anything with the dealer, ZEV or the delivery company by riding the bike. Like the guy said in an earlier post, you paid for a new bike, not a salvage bike. If this had happened with a new Harley, you would have a new one there within a week. No questions asked. I do wish you the best here.

yount

No need to answer my other question, I now know what you ride.

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

The bike is at the manufacturer's shop now, being reassembled with several new parts after being stripped to the frame. The only way to get a new bike in this situation is if the damaged one is declared a complete loss. Mine wasn't, so after some negotiating between me, the dealer (who is great) and the manufacturer (also being helpful) it got returned for complete repair. The only thing I'm having to pay for is the installation of the shunt for a Cycle Analyst Standalone unit. I'm sad that I'll have missed nearly all of this riding season, but it could have been worse.

(I may sound meek and mild in these posts, but believe me, I'm not. I've just learned not to shout at the people I need to help me.)

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Today the shipping company that nearly wrecked my bike dropped it off at my house - without making an appointment, so I was asleep at the time - and guess what: there is more shipping damage. The throttle was snapped apart, there's a scrape on the left front cowl, holes in the floor of the shipping crate, and they left the ZEV crate stacked on top of a standard pallet. I had to build a ramp to get it off, and almost dropped it in the process. All this after being awakened after 1.25 hours' worth of sleep by the sound of the truck doors banging closed and it driving away. Anyway, I snapped the throttle back together, but the bike was DOA. I rolled it into the garage and went in to shower. Later on, while deciding how hard it would be to install the new half-turn throttle I'd bought, I decided to take the ZEV throttle apart again. It seems you can assemble it one of two ways, and I had done so with the magnet 180 degrees away from its correct location. After a few more tries I got both the throttle and return spring working again, and the bike came to life. I took it for a short spin, then decided to go into town and have it inspected so it would be legal. The turn signals stopped working before I even reached the bike shop. I went home, and as I got near the house, the throttle started to cut out. Not knowing if it was the throttle (and turn signals) malfunctioning or just a low charge (I had assumed from what ZEV told me over email that it was shipped charged) I connected the charger. This is the same wacky unit with no documentation that I had trouble figuring out before: it goes into slow charge when connected, then, if the pack is low, it goes into bulk charge 5 minutes or so later. Before it finishes, it goes into an up-and-down equalizing charge. This time it stayed in slow charge, beginning at 76.9 volts. Last time I looked, an hour later, it was still in slow charge, displaying 95.something volts. I assume this means it wasn't really low on charge, so it looks like my problems with this bike are far from over.

I'm thinking about selling it and getting a Suzuki again, but I know I won't be able to sell it. The Cycle Analyst still needs to be wired to the shunt and mounted to the bike. Maybe next year.

MikeB
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Ouch, sorry to hear about your ongoing difficulties.

Ya know, ZEV might make a fine bike, but if they can't solve the shipping problem, they might as well not make anything at all.

__________________

My electric vehicle: CuMoCo C130 scooter.

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Since they ship bikes without problems to other people, I'm thinking it's the local (to me) branch of Old Dominion Freight Lines. Of course, it could be me, as of four EVs I've had shipped to me, only one, an LA Free Sport E-Bike, arrived undamaged. And it was defective, and the defect was never resolved.

Looks like I have to remove the cowl and replace the turn signal flasher unit and the throttle. ZEV is sending me the parts. If it takes me more than 20 minutes, I'm filing another claim against the shipper. I did get the latest generation motor for my bike in place of the older one it originally had, but unless the range goes up by at least a third this isn't worth all the hassle and lost riding time. It's funny: I got injured by my X-Treme XM-3000 when I first tried to put it on the center stand while on it (apparently that's one way to attempt suicide) and after that, with all the parts I had to have replaced because of *its* shipping damage, I loathed it. Now, after a season and a half on no problems other than a rattle in front and a seat latch I had to file, I think of that as the "Good Little Scooter."

robert93
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

After reading all this you have been through, you've gotta be looking forward to the day when these things are so common your best friend or family member can drop you off at the store to ride your new bike home instead of wondering what damage they will come up with this time.

LeftieBiker
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Points: 654
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

I won't see that day, I'm afraid, and I'm done with buying vehicles over the Web. I'm in poor health, and these beasties are for people with lots of money, lots of time and skill to work on them personally, or both. I had hoped the ZEV might be a reliable, maintainance-free replacement for the GS850 I sold in the Spring, and it might have been if it had arrived in pristine shape. If I could go back in time I'd probably just upgrade the XM-3000 with a better front brake, bigger batteries, and maybe a 3500 or 4000 watt hub motor, since the one it came with was broken in transit anyway. It remains to be seen whether I'll regret getting another SLA (SLAS?) powered scooter; if it has enough range I think I won't, because I seem to be able to make SLAs outlast the more exotic packs in use now...

jdh2550_1
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Joined: 07/17/2007
Points: 2338
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

For what it's worth we suffered from similar shipping woes early on. So we moved to building custom crates (I meant to post a picture but I don't have one right now). These crates are relatively expensive to build and they add weight to the shipment so they add to cost the shipment as well. But they're also easy for one person to get the bike out of the crate and so far they've resulted in hassle free deliveries.

Here's some more insight into how LTL (Less than full load) shipping generally works. It might be that you're right about the local depot being the issue - but it's far from certain:
- first the bike is picked up at the factory and taken to the depot that's local to the factory.
- then it's loaded on a long-haul truck and routed in whatever the most efficient and/or timely way the freight company can manage. Depending on what service level you paid for this can result in the bike being unloaded and reloaded as many as 3 or 4 times.
- then it reaches the depot that is local to the customer and is unloaded, stored and then put on a local delivery truck (usually after arranging a time with the customer!)

So, depending on the source and destination that bike could be loaded and reloaded 4 or more times. Each time that happens is a chance for something to go wrong. Human nature then comes into play and it's always the other guys fault.

Our shipper provides an option for a "sealed load" (can't remember what they call it). The bike is loaded at the front of the trailer that it will stay in until it reaches the destination. In fact they even construct a wall to separate your load from the rest. They then load whatever else they want but your bike stays in the trailer and the trailer is delivered to the local depot. Then the bike is delivered the "final mile" (or if you're a business with loading dock they can actually bring that trailer to you). This minimizes the handling of your bike.

It's also a pretty expensive solution. So, right now, we're sticking with standard delivery but with high quality shipping crates.

Since starting Current Motor this is just yet another little piece of knowledge I've learned!

__________________

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas. No Worries." - JDH, CuMoCo || "Make Volts Not War" - anon.

LeftieBiker
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Joined: 07/09/2011
Points: 654
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

We've had two or three good days for riding, and today is supposed to be the last one - maybe the last one *this year* before rain and cold air move in. So this morning at 5:00am, after getting home from work and eating, I went out to the garage to try to get the ZEV as close to rideable as possible. There were three things I needed to do.

1. Open the cowl to replace the turn signal unit, which failed on my first ride after getting the bike back. I managed that, and have instructions on how to replace it, and which wires to swap if the replacement is wired wrong. If it doesn't come in the mail today, I'm screwed on that, and on getting the bike inspected this week, unless tomorrow proves dry and it arrives then.

2. Replace the throttle. The new ZEV throttle is in the same en route package as the signal unit, but I had - happily, I hope! - ordered the TNC half-turn throttle that seems to make the XM bikes behave better. This throttle is substantially shorter than the one that comes on the ZEV, but it fits. It also opens up a possibility for other ZEV owners that I will discuss in a new topic. Or later in this one, I don't know. I'm damned tired.

Anyway, I was almost stymied when I discovered that I have no small metric allen keys. After tearing the garage up, I had a thought: the XM-3000 comes with a basic, medium quality tool kit. I looked, and amazingly, it had two allen keys in it, one of which allowed me to remove the ZEV OEM throttle and the other allowed me to install the TNC throttle. I literally kissed the XM on the seat. Twice.

The rest of the throttle replacement wasn't hard. Since the unit on the bike was essentially broken, I cut the cable, taped the end of the TNC cable (which is long enough to reach under the seat if needed, so I cut off about 3') to the end, and pulled it through, electrician style, into the cowl. I had a wiring chart helpfully provided by someone in this forum, but it proved unnecessary, because the OEM throttle wire coding happened to match the TNC wire coding. So, rather than try removing and replacing wires ends from a plastic plug, I soldered the old wires, cut off 'upstream' of the plug, to the new throttle wires. The wires match the code, but I didn't want to test the bike at 6:00am on a wet, dirty road, so I'll have to wait for this evening to find out how - and IF - the new TNC throttle works.

3. Mount the Cycle Analyst head unit on the handlebar area. This proved too difficult because the wires coming out of the steering shaft area are about 3-5" too short for what I wanted to do. I also manged to lose part of the mount. I think I know, though, where I can mount it this evening.

I did read your post about shipping, JDH, and have to wonder how anything arrives anywhere in one piece. ;-(

LeftieBiker
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Joined: 07/09/2011
Points: 654
Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters: Cycle Analyst & TNC Throttle

Ok, this can be covered in one post, so I guess a new topic isn't needed, but I believe I see a way to both mount the Cycle Analyst on a ZEV without making any holes, while at the same time fixing - hopefully - the somewhat over-sensitive throttle response the ZEVs exhibit. As I mentioned above, the TNC half-turn throttle is quite a bit shorter than the ZEV OEM throttle. This means that if you mount the TNC throttle, you will have enough room available on the right handlebar to use the Cycle Analyst handlebar mount (with both rubber shims inside the clamp). There may be issues with the kill and/or "shift" switches, but it's worth exploring. Ironically, I can't do it without splicing in more wires, but new ZEV owners looking for a way to mount the CA might want to give it a try...

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