ZEV 12.2 kw LRC

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dzehrbach
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Joined: 07/23/2009
Points: 69

For 2015 ZEV Electric raised the power again for the flagship LRC. Now to 12.2 kw continuous power. http://www.zelectricvehicle.com/22.html

Large bikes attract large riders and we needed more lugging power longer grades for higher loads. The amps were increased slightly and the number of Mosfet increased by 30% to handle these special needs. Of course, the side effect is a little more top speed.

In the hands of customers, the bikes have been returning 80-90 mile range at Interstate commuting speeds, and 140 mile range if driven in city or at 55 mph two lane type cruising.

This bike is getting huge interest spurred as a result of growing interest in big scooters and the BMW introduction. The LRC has twice the range of the BMW, is 15 mph faster, has about 4-5 times the storage, much better wind and weather protection, and according to the BMW web site, and whopping 100 lbs lighter despite having a much larger battery pack.

The real competitor for the BMW was intended to be the new S-8500 LR, which has the same speed and range as the BMW, is the same size, but is only about 1/2 the price of the BMW.

DHZ

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thinhtien
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Joined: 05/12/2015
Points: 24
Re: ZEV 12.2 kw LRC

Hi all,

New to the forums and I have been lurking while I looked up information on my new ZEV 12.2 KW LRC. I just took delivery of it about a week ago and thought I would help others out who were looking for information like myself on this particular motorbike.

My typical use of the scooter is for a 80 miles round trip commute in heavy Atlanta traffic. Mainly stop and go traffic with a few stretches going up to 80+mph. Range is enormous on this bike and I have zero 'range inhibition' when using it. That was one of my main concerns when sourcing an electric bike. I don't have to baby it either. I run at full throttle when the conditions permit and just use the 3 levels of 'gearing' to save energy when stuck in slower traffic.

Any other questions just let me know.

Regards,
Mark

scootercaptain
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Joined: 05/01/2014
Points: 40
Re: ZEV 12.2 kw LRC

Would you be able to give us another update on your ZEV? I love the look of this cycle and would love to get one as well. Where are you located? Do you recharge before you come home? What is the longest ride that you have taken with the bike on one charge and have you done a full day trip where you go say 100 miles and then charge the bike full before you return? Would you purchase a faster charger than the one that came with the cycle?

I will stop here and see if you reply. Have a Happy and Safe Holiday!!

SC

thinhtien
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Joined: 05/12/2015
Points: 24
Re: ZEV 12.2 kw LRC

Hi,

Clearly I am not visiting these forums often enough. But I am happy to share my experiences since I bought my ZEV LRC. I found it especially useful to read user feedback when doing my initial research. It has been some time since this was purchased. So a little bit of background is in order. I was a brand new motorized 2 wheel rider. The ZEV was purchased specifically for a lengthy commute in heavy Atlanta traffic that is about 35-40 miles one way. Weather wise we go from low 20's to 100's during the year. Rare to no snow , some ice, lots of heavy winds at times, rain in spurts that tends to be fairly heavy when it does hit. Rare thunderstorms. Roads are rough but better than the crappy roads up north. Current odometer is just a touch over 20k so you can see I ride this with great regularity. I ride in all weather as this is a commuter.

Executive synopsis: the main reason to purchase this scooter was to have a dependable commuter that also satisfied my desire to go green. The scooter has fulfilled the niche that I bought it for and in that capacity it has served me well once some initial issues were ironed out. I have owned the bike for almost two years coming up in September 2017. My main issues with it were problems with the original charger, this in turn caused the BMS to go bad. Both items were replaced under warranty. I had further problems with water infiltration into the kill switch which caused the scooter to not run. Switch was redesigned and a plastic cover was added for the killswitch area. This and the fact that I run with Kolpin ATV handlebar mitts has eliminated further incidents. A kill switch on the kickstand also needed to be replaced at one point. This prevented the scooter from running.

Support from Darus Zehrbach has been good and generally responsive. All issues that I have brought to his attention have eventually been taken care of and then other times he has gone above and beyond. For example there is a firmware upgrade to my controller that will allow the bike to accelerate faster and have a higher top end speed. He brought this to my attention ans is even fashioning a special data cable for me to be able to do this.

Would I do this again? Probably as the bike hits all the points that are important to me

1. It is eco friendly
2. It goes fast enough to keep up with Atlanta traffic in most congestion. On the rare open highway moments I need to stay right as traffic moves at 90+. I would like to see the speed of a gas powered scooter but I think some compromises need to be made.
3. Stand over height is short. I am about 5'3" and I don't flat foot at a stop but I can balance safely. Step through seating is a bonus.
4. So quiet...can't say that enough.

Details (you can stop reading here if you are not into the fiddly bits)

The major change I have made to this bike is to get a special power adapter so I can use standard EV j1772 equipped stations. I have Chargepoint stations at work so this works out perfectly so I can fully charge while working. Even though I could do the round trip of 80 miles without much 'range anxiety' I prefer to charge up. This I am also told extends significantly the life of my batteries.

The charger has a standard 3 prong plug. However to get faster charging at home I had a 220v outlet installed dedicated to just the bike. When I first had it I would try to charge on just regular outlets but basically it would pop the breaker on anything except a dedicated circuit. So my setup at home is an adapter for the 220v that I plug into and traveling around town or elsewhere I use the j1772 adapter. In a pinch I could switch the charger to 120v and just use a regular outlet, assuming it doesn't trip a breaker somewhere.

I've had 3 tire changes and 3 brake changes in 20k. I need to change my tires more often as they tend to look pretty bad by the time I get around to it, but those are my only real expenses.

The bike is super high vis which is great in traffic as people give you a little more breathing room. I especially like the obnoxiously large bright brake LED. Way better than the little sporty brake lights that do nothing for visibility.

Storage is quite good but the under seat area is not flat so things will have a tendency to roll around. Take home food containers always get trashed. I bought the plate to support a topbox which is useful. This part kind of bounces around a bit and I feel it could be more solidly constructed but it serves its purpose. Maybe I might upgrade to something like a Givi but tbh I am not sure it would fit on the base.

The little extra LED's on the front are nice when they work, but mine kind of cut in an out.
The 12v charger has never really worked for me. Both these items I might see about getting fixed at some point but are not things that I am particularly fussed about.

Handling seems fine for the level of skill that I have. Remember I was a noob 2 years ago. With some experience I can say that I generally feel comfortable weaving in and out of traffic or doing a u turn on a double lane residential street. the only thing I have noticed is a bit of wobble on highway turns. So basically if you are going 70+ and hit some uneven pavement or bump while leaning into a turn it has some lateral wobble which is somewhat disconcerting, but I have gotten used to it and know what to expect.

Aerodynamics are great and I feel like the windshield works well with my full helmet to limit wind buffeting. The one unexpected thing from Atlanta was the amount of high winds we get sometimes which I never paid attention to until riding a bike. when it gets over 12mph winds, things get exciting. And here I mean 'exciting' as in the Chinese curse sense. I am glad the cycle is around 470lbs when this occurs as I feel it gives me a little more stability. Same applies for the rare occasion a semi blasts past me doing 80+

Riding comfort for someone my size is very good. My one way commutes average about 75 minutes and they are usually comfortable unless it is total stop and go. Then I thank god I am not sitting there riding a clutch...

I have not driven two up very much but when I have, everything seems stable with enough power for tooling around a neighborhood. Never tested it at highway speeds or on hills.

I do have a weird thing that happens occasionally with the power dropping out while the throttle is maxed. I have to rollback the throttle completely and then everything kicks back in. Not sure what it is, but not a show stopper as the whole problem / solution cycle lasts about 1 sec

Fit and finish seem to be the weakest part of the cycle. The plastic dash covers and pocket covers don't really 'fit' that well together. It might just be my cycle as other bikes on the ZEV website pictures don't seem to have the same issue.

I mentioned it has decent storage, but keep in mind you will drive with the charger most of the time. This easily takes the place of a full face helmet so that is something to keep in mind. I would love to build something that integrated the charger into the bike along with my adapters. Occasionally I have to charge in an outside area and I get leery of leaving the charger exposed to theft/vandalism/ and or weather.

Brake performance is quite good as long as you don't let the pads go too thin *cough. The only thing I would say is I would like to see ABS and maybe some regen braking. Regen would be awesome for extending mileage.

I would say the thing that has made it possible for me to ride this year round are the Kolpin handlebar muffs. The fairing does not protect your hands. The rest of your body is pretty good. They are meant for ATV's so are kind of floppy. But they are waterpoof and insulated. My first winter riding was miserable as your hands just get frozen. I know everyone rides without protection etc...they look cool can handle the weather. Whatever...these mitts save you lots of pain and in a pouring storm my controls , hands and forearms are bone dry. If you use them as is, they will fold in and activate your brakes from about 40mph+ I jury rigged some coat hangers to form stiff forms inside the mitts and anchored them on the mirror stems and zip tied them to the handlebar. No more issues and I am comfortable. There is a little bit of contact with the windshield in an extreme u turn but it does not affect control.

Finally, the feature I use a fair amount that I never thought I would is the reverse gear. Being a noob rider I got myself in plenty of situations at first where going backwards was better than going forward. Not having to manhandle the bike backwards has been awesome. Or slanted parking lots where you back out going up a hill? With the reverse no problem. Or when you are in a hurry and you don't really want to duck walk backwards (remember I can't flat foot) this is great. I have no clue if it is standard on all bikes but it is something I would miss if it weren't there.

Hope I covered most things that people would be interested in and that you found this helpful. If you have questions feel free to ping me or reply.

Happy trails.

dzehrbach
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Joined: 07/23/2009
Points: 69
Re: ZEV 12.2 kw LRC

Your bike was one of the first gen. 2nd gen got the new right hand switch like you have.

The statement of a wobble is odd -- I assume linked to your high tire wear. When you change tires, change them in sets front and rear at the same time. Are you using the same Chin Chin or a different brand? Sometimes bike owners see a change in handling from a different brand or tread design than the bike was designed with. Most customers say 9,000 to 13,000 miles for a set of tires. But I have also not seen brake life like you state. So I assume a lot of Atlanta traffic braking hard on the brakes (and tires) driving. You can try to use the regen a bit more just by moving the levers lightly to trigger the micro switches and the regen before getting on the brakes. The ZEV are all set up to maximize coasting as that has proven to be the best for range on a cycle given their light weight. At +20,000 miles you should have adjusted the steering head bearings for wear also by now. Might be another source of wiggle.

Some of the owners use a small padlock and lock the charger through a hole drilled in the base to the bottom of the center stand so they can leave it. Some others have put the charger in a metal box on short feet with a shield at the ends that stops water getting sucked in by the fan. Several have used an aluminum square rear box, set the charger to the front side, put a metal plate sealed in the box with foam to seal one end of the charger from the other , and used air scoops with the opening to the rear so that the charger was always on board and always available. But you have to take care that the box is sealed so that air coming in one end is not recirculated from the other. I can give you a drawing. The chargers are always a damned if you do, damned if you don't issue. The ZEV charger will put on a 4 hour charge versus say the smaller Zero charger at 9 hours. So they are either big and effective, or small and a long charge time.

I use a small cargo net in the under seat area to hold things in place and not move around. With that I can hold the charger right up to the front for less weight in the tail and better handling

If your 12 volt output is not working, there is fuse next to it you should check. If the front running lights are sometimes flickering, that usually means the bullet connectors just behind them may have worked a bit and could stand a squeeze with pliers.

thinhtien
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Joined: 05/12/2015
Points: 24
Re: ZEV 12.2 kw LRC

Hi Darus,

Thanks for the quick response. Hope you don't mind me answering here as I think it might be helpful for any others interested in the brand to hear.

I will keep track of the wobble. My first set of tires I switched I went with some Michelin Pure Power SC. They were very smooth but the rear wore out way faster than the original tire. I just replaced it but not the front as there was a lot of tread left on it. The new tire is a Shinko I believe. Can't wait to see how the bike will do with the new speed firmware you are setting me up with. It's already pretty damn fun going around corners and s bends

You are correct about the traffic being pretty hard. 50 mph down to 15-mph is not all that uncommon or the inevitable getting cut off and having to hit brakes hard. I am not particularly aggressive but I just can't resist making the bike go fast when I can.

The next time I take brakes in to be swapped I will get the steering head checked along with the 12volt outlet and the bullet lights.

I will have to check out the charger box sounds interesting. I wouldn't mind seeing that drawing if you can send it to me. Given the choice of faster charging or smaller size, I will always opt for the faster charging for sure. I guess it is a personal preference, but it just seems the most practical especially on longer trips. I would eventually like to have a setup where my j1772 adapter and the charger are semi-permanently attached to the bike and weather protected. It sounds like this might be a step in that direction.

I am still a motorbike noob I guess, I never thought of using the cargo net on the inside of the storage area. I use it all the time to tie down stuff on the outside. I am just sad when my leftovers end up all over a plastic bag. For anyone else interested in this, I did notice that when I put a flat object like a laptop in the bottom of the storage area, then the problem with the food container goes away.

Thanks again for the quick feedback,

Regards,
Mark

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