Some time on

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Hermes
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Joined: 04/12/2008
Points: 112

Hello

Sorry I'm not going to go all technical on you, this is my experience as someone who switched to Vectrix from a petrol scooter.
I have no garage.
No alternative vehicle.
No money to spare on experiments.

Did someone mentioned "real world" before?

I'm on 3000 kms on my Vectrix and these are my thoughts and advice to someone in a similar situation.

Even as a seasoned rider I had to adjust to riding a Vectrix.
Running out of fuel is not an option (you can't go some station with a tank).
DO NOT get into the habit of using regen as means of breaking, use it sparingly, stick to (you must) using both rear and front in traffic.
If you don't have the luxury of a garage you're going to have to dangle an extension cord from your window (depending on milage) every single day for at least 4 hours. Depending on where you live you might have trouble with your neighbours or the council.
In cold weather (anything from 4C to minus anything) you're going to have one third cut off your range.

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myvectrix2008
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Joined: 09/28/2008
Points: 168
Re: Some time on

Hi from me,

I'd like to add some comments on ownership of my maxi-scooter as someone who has never owned or ridden a motorcycle until the Vectrix came along.

I have a garage, but no space for a car inside, only just enough to store the bike when not in use.
I own 2 other vehicles and have access to a 3rd.

I'm on over 2000 miles on my Vectrix and these are my thoughts...

See above, I have no previous riding experience, so can't compare it to anything. I did do a 1 day CBT course on a 35mph scooter but with my license, this wasn't a legal requirement.
Running out of fuel is not an option (you can't go some station with a tank). Agreed, plan your journeys. I've never been left at the side of the road with no power.
I use regen braking all the time by looking ahead as far as possible and trying to anticipate situations. The real brakes are to hand whenever I need them and I will always use them first when filtering through the middle of traffic.
I have off street parking or the garage which both have a plug socket within reach of the standard lead. At work I use a custom made extension lead out of the window.
In cold weather I choose to use the car instead and save the bike for when the weather is fair or good which I reckon will be a least two thirds of the year, maybe three quarters.

I really miss my Vectrix when I haven't used it for a few days.

moccasin
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Points: 494
Re: Some time on

Know the bike, know its limits, and respect them both. Simple as that.

Regen braking is fantastic, helpful to the bike and produces no appreciable wear and tear on anything. However, it requires more braking distance. Get to know it, and respect that distance. If you don't like leaving some space between you and disaster, then yeah, hands on the brakes is your only option left.

Anyone contemplating the purchase of a Vectrix, or any other EV for that matter, needs to research the needs of the bike and determine whether or not it is a feasable form of transporation for them. If you hope to keep it ten years or more, then you need protected parking places so that it is out of the sun and rain for all but the actual riding time. It's mostly plastic, and it won't last long sitting its entire life in direct sun or out fully exposed to the weather. If its going to be viable transportation then you should do all you can do to make it CONVENIENT transportation. If that means building a covered parking area to keep it cool during the day, and dry when you need it, and adding power service close to the bike for easy charging, then so be it. Honestly, if you have to run upstairs and toss down a power cord every night, then roll it up and drag it back upstairs every morning, then run back down and towel dry the bike so you aren't sitting in a puddle, you won't own that bike long, as it will quickly begin to annoy you with what it takes to use it.

With all the advertising hype around the range capabilities, it's easy to see why anyone might overstep the boundaries of range when contemplating whether or not a Vectrix is right for them, but there is a rapidly growing amount of "real world" information out there on the Internet that can be a big help in that department. It would also be very advisable to use a demo bike to ride the normal distance you need every day to determine if you are indeed withing the range of this bike. There are very slightly used Vectrixes already showing up on the market, which I suspect are due mostly to over estimating the range of these bikes by their original owners before purchasing. They ain't worth squat if they won't get you to work. ;-)

Hands0n
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Joined: 10/05/2008
Points: 67
Re: Some time on

moccasin has it pretty much spot on. As someone who has had the Vectrix since June 2008 and now has 6,250 miles clocked up on it I can testify for much of that.

Regen braking requires enhanced use of the two round things stuck on the front of the head ;) Good forward vision, lots of early planning, and most definitely not doing what a lot of riders do, and that is to stuff themselves into road/traffic situations only to then, like stunt pilots, have to dig themselves out of the fresh hole they just dug for themselves. Scooter riders, regrettably, are the worst (or best depending on your perspective) at doing this. So many I see daily lack any planning skills at all - present company excluded of course.

If, while riding the Vectrix, you find yourself getting into regular tangles with other traffic, having to brake excessively and in emergency a lot of the time then you are most certainly one of the above. You need help. And fortunately there is plenty of it to be had, very cheaply also. I am no longer connected with but have benefitted greatly by joining and training with a local Advanced Motorcyclists Group, they are all over the country - see their Groups Directory What you learn with these keen enthusiasts are riding skills that will transform your riding remarkably for the better.

It is not about riding slowly at all as some may suspect. In fact, once you ride out with one of the trained you tend to find out how slow you normally ride by comparison. The skills centre around developing strong observation links and associations, developing plans around these, and not placing yourself into compromising situations. The end result is a smoother but very much more progressive riding style. Try slotting yourself in behind a Police motorcyclist one day and you'll get the picture. For me, typically, the London part of my commute sees me keep completely with the rabid riders who race along between red lights only to find this annoying little Vectrix turn up before they go green again. Then stuffing themselves into all manner of situation only to see the Vectrix, again, tottle past or through openings clearly visible from hundreds of yards back! I'm not showing off :) honestly. It has become a completely natural style of riding - I can't even turn it off (except on a track day, but not on the V). The training gets completely stuck in :D

The Vectrix is perfectly suited to the advanced riding style because it is so smooth and progressive without being overly aggressive like, say, a Honda CBR900RR Fireblade (I have had one of those since '92, delightful machine, another story :D). Combining observation and planning the use of regen braking becomes entirely natural. In those 6,000 miles I can probably count the number of times I have used the brakes to stop on the fingers and toes that I possess. And this is entirely within the reach of anyone who cares to try and develop their road and riding skills.

Vectrix scooters often turn up on EBay these days - there is one being sold from Guernsey CI today. They are about to be had for around £3,500 these days. But when Peak Oil strikes and its mitigation there'll be no getting hands on an EV :) Just look at what happened when we had the fuel strike a few years back in the UK. Imagine having a Vectrix for your daily commute then :)

moccasin
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Re: Some time on

HandsOn wrote:

Just look at what happened when we had the fuel strike a few years back in the UK. Imagine having a Vectrix for your daily commute then

That's when we'll need to look a bit closer into all those anti-theft options! HAHA!! :-0

clagros
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Re: Some time on

Oh, well... I couldn't resist to put my thoughts....
My former scooter was a Suzuki Burgman 125 model 2007. It was a fantastic bike, besides the high price and the costly maintenance.
When I decided to upgrade it, I went for the Burgman 400. And I also started taking ridining lessons for the driver license upgrade.
When I saw the Vectrix, I immediately noticed the potential of it, BUT: you cannot compare it with a standard gas driven scooter.
Why? Well, beceause it is a total diferent kind of transporting vehicle.

They made it 'like' an scooter, and that's why when you put in the balance the pros and cons, the Vectrix loss the fight. On the other hand, if you DEFINE YOUR REQUIREMENTS, looking for a cool vehicle, with nice acceleration, low maintenance which fits your daily or typical riding range, the Vectrix is the king.

My typical cummute ride is about 20 kmt each way. I do the same for most than two years. For long or winter trips I use the car. I live in a building, 3dr floor, but there is a plug in the garden. I can use it, fine!. In the workplace, the warehouse guys installed a plug for me, because they're very enthusistic with the bike. Solved.
So, what's the problem?
If you are looking for a long range or running at 140/ 160 km/h, so buy a Yamaha Majesty or Burgman 400, and leave the Vectrix out of the formula. That's it.
Is not if the Vectrix is good or bad by itself: It either fits YOUR SPECIFIC needs or not. And this completely depends on you but not on the Vectrix.

Now, regarding the riding style: I'm 'almost' happy the VEctrix is limited to 105 km/h. I know myself. I don't need more. If I could, I'll run top speed. Not a healthy thing for a young 47 yeears old.
That's bring me to another point: What is the averge age of most Vectrix customers? I bet most of them aren't kids.
WIth the VEctrix, I became a better rider: The use or the regen brakes forces me to start braking in advance. I developed a nice technique of regen + front brake. THE USE OF THE REAR BRAKE IS VERY DANGEROUS, as you already probalby know: the rear brake doesn't help very much, and if you use the regen at the same time you find yourself slipping badly. Whit a 210 kg bike. Ouch! (but I still always keep two fingers on it).

Summarizing: If the Vectrix is right FOR YOU, it is OK. If not, just move on.
If you are a lucky one that can afford it, not suffering of all the infrastructure cons, go for it.
But nothing compares with the Vectrix glide... :)
Claudio- Israel

Question: Do you know about normal or fast charging plugs around the world?

Hermes
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Points: 112
Re: Some time on

Can I add that my post was not an anti Vectrix rant?

I know I have only mentioned the downside of things (in my experience), so here's the good bits.

It hasn't cost me a penny in maintanance yet.
The electricity consumption when charging really is low.
It is a good looking bike, and even since I removed the "ELECTRIC" stickers from the side panels other motorcyclists still look at it in awe.

So there. I have removed the cucomber from my eyes. Now remove yours.

clagros
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Joined: 01/29/2009
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Re: Some time on

:? Why did you remove the cool ELECTRIC sticker?

Hermes
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Points: 112
Re: Some time on

What's cool about it ?

Hands0n
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Points: 67
Re: Some time on

It makes a pretty solid statement, even for the myopic.

moccasin
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Re: Some time on

Hands0n wrote:

It makes a pretty solid statement, even for the myopic.

I also removed my Electric sticker from the side.

Because it wasn't COOL ENOUGH! ;-) Got a better looking reflective one with shadow graphics! Woohoooo!!! Now we cool! :-)

No photos of the new bike yet, but here's what the new side graphic looks like. Reflective white with black shadow.

And since "Vectrix" is so hard to read on the chrome medalion, I put this one up front underneath the stock "Electric" decals on the fairing. This one is reflective silver with deep shadow in black:

And just so folks behind me won't be left out, this one is right above the tag on the curved panel:

Hands0n
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Re: Some time on

So let me see if I get this right. You is ELECTRIC :D :D :D

moccasin
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Re: Some time on

Hands0n wrote:

So let me see if I get this right. You is ELECTRIC :D :D :D

:-) Anybody mistakes mine for a polluting gas burning scooter just don't need to be on the road in the first place! HAHA!! ;-)

undead
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Joined: 06/23/2008
Points: 283
Re: Some time on

moccasin wrote:
Hands0n wrote:

So let me see if I get this right. You is ELECTRIC :D :D :D

:-) Anybody mistakes mine for a polluting gas burning scooter just don't need to be on the road in the first place! HAHA!! ;-)

My electric sticker came off within 5 minutes of it arriving.

I purchased it (the vectrix) as a cheap and interesting form of transport

I also own a "polluting gas burning motorcycle" and a "horrifically polluting diesel burning car" and a "awful petrol burning sports car"

They are all fun. However I dont have "PETROL" on my petrol car and "DIESEL" on my diesel car, because frankly nobody really cares...

moccasin
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Re: Some time on

Quote:

because frankly nobody really cares...

I suppose that may depend on where you're from and how much enthusiasm the general public there shares for transportation.

Where I'm from, people DO care. Not so much what kind of fuel you burn, but about most anything out-of-the-ordinary when it comes to vehicles. Antique cars, sports cars, Smart Cars, even the pudgy little Mini-Cooper all get heads turned here, along with chromed out Harleys and raked out Iron Horse Choppers. A scooter won't turn many heads unless there is something "different" about it, and where I'm from, those electric decals not only turn a lot of heads, but generate a ton of curbside conversations, which in turn, may someday get someone to look a the Vectrix as a possible solution to THEIR commuting needs.

And even it that doesn't happen, all those drivers out there that say EVs are not practical and will never happen in the US, have to shut up when they see an "All Electric" motorcycle pass them on the highway! ;-) I don't make it a point to show off any of my vehicles, but I do make it a point to show off the fact that ONE of them doesn't run on gas.

I have a gas guzzling V8 Chevy Pickup, and a 40mpg Harley RoadKing, but I'd much rather take the Vectrix to work everyday and save the truck for truck stuff and save the Harley for the "getaways". :-)

Now that I have some empty space on my new big windsheild, I think I'll have a decal made that reads:

No Gas
No Gears
No Clutch
No Maintenance
No Worries!

Hands0n
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Points: 67
Re: Some time on

Probably, right now, a lot of people really don't care. But I find an increasing number of people do, and when they see the Vectrix with "Electrix" emblazoned on the side they are always asking me about it where I stop up for any reason. They are largely complimentary too.

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