Vectrix Owner Summaries: thread for Positive Experiences

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MattFish
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Hey folks,

Many of the threads in this forum are dedicated to owners describing problems/issues they're having with a Vectrix. Well and good. I"m sorry to hear about the various troubles some riders have encountered, some quite serious. But let's also keep in mind that the bad experiences are the ones that tend to get reported in online blogs, not the good experiences.

With this in mind, this thread is dedicated to summaries from owners who have had an overall positive experience.

As an early adopter of the Vectrix here in Oakland, CA, I have nothing but positive news to report. This includes:

1. Bought the bike in August 2007. Have put in about 2600 miles so far with zero maintenance.
2. My electrical recharge cost over six months has been $35 instead of $500 gas costs for 6 months in my car last year. Yes, that's 35 vs 500.
2. Early on I had two recharges that didn't go to completion. Disappeared after the software update (they came to my workplace to do the update). No other problems since, except that I've asked the Vectrix people to consider revising the charging code to allow for shutdown of the fairly noisy cooling fan when not needed (which is most of the time when charging during chilly Oakland nights).
3. My distance per charge when driving at highway speeds (Oakland to SF and back) averages 30-32 miles.
4. My distance per charge at slower local speeds, driving aggressively, is about 35 miles.
5. My distance per charge at slower local speeds, driving for efficiency, is about 36-38 miles.
6. Highway speed is the #1 factor that affects range. Greater than 50mph burns electrons much faster.
7. Tire pressure is the #2 range factor. Make sure to keep them as tight as they're rated. If they're even a little soft your range will suffer markedly.
8. Driving style is the #3 range factor, but it doesn't make that big a difference, surprisingly.
9. Hills are the #4 range factor, but I've got to say that there is no hill anywhere in Oakland or SF that I haven't been able to accelerate up from a standstill. I'm talking crazy steep hills (>20%).
10. The Vectrix bike has almost completely replaced my car. Economically it doesn't make sense to buy the Lithium battery pack circa 2009, but I'll probably do it anyway. The bike is really that fun (and useful) to ride.
11. Vectrix has, for me, been very efficient and professional in their approach to the recall/battery replacement issue. I'm getting mine replaced in a couple of weeks.

Matt Fishbach
Oakland, CA
fish771@yahoo.com

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duca
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Re: Vectrix Owner Summaries: thread for Positive Experiences

Hello,
nice idea you had.
I bought mine in november last year after having test ride it at renewable's fair in Rome and then for over a week on the road to work.
Since then I have some 6,500km on the clock on all weather conditions and I barely use my car anymore. When I did a rough calculation to the personnel dept. about the recharging costs they decided to consider my case as a case study and don't charge me for recharging, so the saving is 50% higher than expected. I calculated something under 1€ (the half of which graciously provided by the company for which I work) for 100km vs. nearly 7€ with my diesel car.
When I first took the scooter from the dealer it started to rain like all firemen of Rome had joined to make target practice on me. I could become confident on the water proofness of the vehicle and was somewhat relieved by the fact, that no pedestrian fell thunderstruck when I drove into big puddles (It thruly was of some concern to me...).
I already mentioned in other thread that until now I'm satisfied to higest degree for the level of service provided by the Vectrix store here in Rome: they have a degree of profesionalism and dedication I seldom found elsewhere.
In daily use, once accoustomed to lower average speeds, I discovered that every trip becomes a journey and this makes a big part of the fun for me. On the suburban highway I'm renewed by now under lorrydrivers for hanging like a mussel behind them to take a lift in their stream: it gives big breaths of life to your range and allows for higher commercial speeds as it would be possible otherwise (I shouldn't recommend this practice for safety reasons howewer, so don't do it... I told you).
In the future I plan to go for the lithium pack once available because I'm already in the red zone with the range provided by the NiMh pack and in the near future I'll move further still from work.
Well, until now I'm really happy with the purchasing and would'nt never go back: it really is a new dimension. When I stop at the trafic light or pass by a trafic jam I really *feel* now how much energy is wasted by ICE cars and bikes and it hurts...

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Owner Summaries: thread for Positive Experiences

I'll just try to continue to report as objectively as I can.

The good, the bad and the ugly, warts and all!

And particularly solutions if I can come up with any.

Whilst I know that some within Vectrix see my reporting as damaging, maybe even malicious, this was never my intention.

I believe that would be clear to most independent, unbiased readers of my posts.

Stimulating others into reporting is also one of my intentions and recently it is looking good.

I am not sure if it is a good idea to have posts for good experiences only.
Readers might zoom in on the problems reported and might be more likely to come across positive reports if they are interspersed in the relevant threads.

But I fully agree that positive Vectrix experiences should be reported, the more, the better!

Mr. Mik

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andrew
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Re: Vectrix Owner Summaries: thread for Positive Experiences

MattFish wrote:

3. My distance per charge when driving at highway speeds (Oakland to SF and back) averages 30-32 miles.

At what speed? This is quite a bit off from what Mik, and Erik report. Maybe there's some variability in the battery pack?

duca
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Re: Vectrix Owner Summaries: thread for Positive Experiences

For myself I can confirm that I could always drive 32miles (51,5km) on flat not even driving too careful. Actually I drive 45km (close to 28 miles) to work, mainly on highway but with the first (or the last when coming home...) 5km (i.e. 3miles) on steep-hilly roads.

MattFish
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Re: Vectrix Owner Summaries: thread for Positive Experiences

Yes, I regularly get 30-32 miles per charge driving at an average 55mph, with occasional swings up to 60-65. Maybe 8 miles of this is local driving in Oakland and San Francisco. 55mph is (just) fast enough to drive in the right lanes on California highways but it gets me to SanFran and back no problem. Ironically, I've come to actually relish commute-hour, as the traffic on the Bay Bridge slows down to 25mph which makes for better Vectrix range plus more time to enjoy the amazing view.

By the way, I frequently check to make sure tire pressure is at capacity. Even small losses in pressure appears to make a big difference in range.

Yes, it seems there is a range of capacities in the battery pack. I hope Vectrix keeps an eye on this, ensuring a consistent storage capacity for all customers.

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Owner Summaries: thread for Positive Experiences

MattFish wrote:

Yes, it seems there is a range of capacities in the battery pack. I hope Vectrix keeps an eye on this, ensuring a consistent storage capacity for all customers.

If the battery capáity or other factors are behind the range differences is a tricky question.

I believe that a taller rider might make a big differenc to the aerodynamics; this is because so far all riders around my height of 187cm reported low range. Or have I missed some tall fellow with a good Vectrix Range?

Weight is also likely to be higher for taller riders, of course.

With a taller rider high speed will have a bigger impact on range.

With a heavier rider hills, stop-and-go traffic and low tyre pressure will have a bigger impact on range.

Mr. Mik

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eyeinthesky
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Re: Vectrix Owner Summaries: thread for Positive Experiences

Just a little bit of info on Riding technique to increase range
at constant 60kph on flat I can go 70klm
at 80kph on flat I can go 50klm
at 90kph BEHIND a car I consume nearly the same as travelling at 60klms
Today I travelled 20ks at 90kph on a freeway,and 45ks at 60kph 0n a single charge
total of 65ks. (No bars left). I did that trip twice today.

Two of us got our Battery pack modified yesterday, in Tas. as will all owners,
It is an interesting affair to see all the individual cells.

Mick have you tried to get an extended windshield from the Suzuki Burgman scooter accessory kit?
It will raise the perspex shield about 100mm

Erik I accidently erased your vectrix data email can you resend please.

Peter

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Owner Summaries: thread for Positive Experiences

duca wrote:

On the suburban highway I'm renewed by now under lorrydrivers for hanging like a mussel behind them to take a lift in their stream: it gives big breaths of life to your range and allows for higher commercial speeds as it would be possible otherwise (I shouldn't recommend this practice for safety reasons howewer, so don't do it... I told you).

eyeinthesky wrote:

at 90kph BEHIND a car I consume nearly the same as traveling at 60klms

A picture says more than a thousand words, doesn't it?

Well, here are few pictures I took yesterday - no gimmicks or tricks, all real world footage.
Taken from a car traveling along a 100km/h road approaching my home turf from the west.
.
That's a truck with a huge safety distance ahead:
S4029776.jpg

This appeared a little while later:
S4029784.jpg
The trucks just kept driving over the top of it without even slowing down, it's just what they do...
The same goes for fresh or older kangaroo carcasses and all sorts of other pieces of hardware on the road.
I turned around to take some more photos for the purpose of posting them here:
S4029785.jpg
.
This one was such a beauty! But not uncommon at all, usually the pieces of tire are a little smaller though. This one was fresh, it was waiting to be run over a few more times by trucks, waiting to fly out from underneath the rear end of the trailer, bouncing, whirling, killing.

I picked it up from the road, it weighs about 12-15kg.
S4029786.jpg
Just imagine a car or a truck between you and that thing at the distance you usually keep.

And then have a think if it is really worth a little more range.

I have seen many similar obstacles lying on the road and being driven over by trucks because of their high ground clearance.

This particular tire remnant was so big that the car drivers had to swerve around it, but the trucks ran straight over the top of it.

If you hang around in the wind shadow of the truck you would simply hit this 15kg obstacle with less than 1sec warning and you would probably be history.

And this is the last picture posted by Mr. Mik, my usage space on V is completely used up. http://visforvoltage.org/forum/3393-can-i-please-have-more-storage-space

I'll try lurking for a while...

Mr. Mik over and out.

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duca
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Re: Vectrix Owner Summaries: thread for Positive Experiences

Thank you for reminding me of that, Mik.
It happened once to me some years ago on the Appennines highway from Bologna to Florence that a lorry I was just about to overtake "desenrolled" one of his rear tyres who flew over the windshield of my car touching it at the exact angle needed to sweep over it with no damage despite a loud "BUMP!": something that let you think about the existance of something we might call god who took a hand over my head, or simply Mr. Destiny looking to the other side by pure chance in that very moment... The first thing I thought was that I was supposed to be on motorbike that day actually and it ws by pure chance that I took the car instead despite good weather. I had to immediatly stop on the side strip with shaking hands and breath in a paper-bag for some time, I can tell you...
Well, seems I should re-think about my behaviour I think...

raytheham
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Re: Vectrix Owner Summaries: thread for Positive Experiences

Hi all,

There is another alternative for raising the windscreen height. I am a six footer and needed to raise the height to improve the range. The one I fitted was made by a German company. It is called a Vario VTA3. Cost is £88.70 stg plus post and packing from Germany. There are two versions, clear and smokey grey. It made about a 10% difference to my range. As has previously been commented, weight and Height make a big difference. If any one is interested I can post full details here with photo's when I have more time. I am 6 foot and weigh, kitted up 114 kg.

Incidentally, my bike has just come back from the dealers with a new pack fitted and the latest software, so I haven't had chance to try it yet for range. It is supposed to be be pre-conditioned...but I will run it to work until I am satisfied.

The recall was due to a possibility of fire due to loose internal connections. As an early adopter in the UK mine is one of the first to be done. Total mileage so far is 1800. No real problems apart form it being right on the limit for my commute. 30 miles and having to keep up with the traffic just...and only just gets me home. The pucker factor is qiute high for the last few miles. I have only had push it once for about 500 yds. Never again!
I will keep the post going once I find out what the range now is
Regards

Ray

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Mik
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Re: Vectrix Owner Summaries: thread for Positive Experiences

raytheham wrote:

Hi all,

There is another alternative for raising the windscreen height. I am a six footer and needed to raise the height to improve the range. The one I fitted was made by a German company. It is called a Vario VTA3. Cost is £88.70 stg plus post and packing from Germany. There are two versions, clear and smokey grey. It made about a 10% difference to my range. As has previously been commented, weight and Height make a big difference. If any one is interested I can post full details here with photo's when I have more time. I am 6 foot and weigh, kitted up 114 kg.

I'd be very interested in a photo of the windscreen. Did you add just the little spoiler or change the entire windscreen?
http://www.mra.de/
http://www.mra.de/html/gb/gb-products.htm

I am slightly taller than you and carry a similar amount of weight on the scooter, so I might also get a good result from a windscreen extension.

Even if the range does not improve, at least I will be able to listen to podcasts rather than wind noise!

Mr. Mik

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raytheham
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Re: Vectrix Owner Summaries: thread for Positive Experiences

Hi guys, I'll post pictures and a full description of fitting Thursday or Friday this week. I am working all day tomorrow. I was hoping to use the bike but still suspicious of the range now its had a new battery pack. Today when I rode it to visit a friend 10 miles away over the Lambourne downs the estimated range remaining, instead of a steady decrease was all over the place, down to 10 miles one minute and then back up to 24 then down to 14 then up to 22 eventually dropping to 10 just as I got home having ridden 21 miles and showing 3/17ths. The battery indicator just dropped steadily. The bike was much smoother and seemed to have a bit more oomph, certainly compared to the demonstrator which was a real dog. The windscreen was loose and the motor whined like dingo on heat at times. My own bike is much quieter. I will speak to Vectrix tomorrow and see what they have to say about this new software.
Good night all, its 2245 and |I have to be up at 5.45....retirement.....what?
Never,
Regards
Ray

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raytheham
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Re: Vectrix Owner Summaries: thread for Positive Experiences

O K Guys, here are the pics. The centre stand as an option was £70 extra. The GIVI Box was factory fitted, with a wait as they did not hasve the correct brackets in stock.

Behind_the_screen.jpgClose_up_of_box_fitting.jpgGivi_box_fitted.jpgOn_Centre_stand.jpgVario_Down.jpgVario_up.jpg

I tried to upload the documents regarding fitting but they are too large. If anyone wants the details, let me have an e-mail address and I will forward them on.

The new software once you get used to it does seem to be a much better indication of the actual range left but I am tending to watch the Battery charge indicator more.....watch this space!!

Regards
Ray

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