Another new 2008 Vectrix Owner! Won on Ebay!
I thought I would introduce myself. My name is Lou and just won a new 2008 Vectrix on ebay. I should be receiving it some time this week. I am not new to electric vehicles, built an electric bicycle in 1980 and own several electric vehicles; used 1980 commuta car (not running at the moment, but used it for 5 years until batteries died), Sola electric scooter (just redesigned battery bay for 3 16AH sla and installed powercheqs, my wife uses it for commuting), electric 2 person recumbent bicycle (this is based on a highly modified buddycycle and runs on 36V 26 ah sla and uses a salvaged floor sweeper brush motor I rebuilt), and an el cheapo ebay 36 volt scooter (trying to figure where to mount larger sla batteries).
I have been reading this forum with interest for some time. Especially you folks that roll your own electric vehicles (love them all, from bicycles to cars). My trade is electronics, worked in the TV and electronics service business from the mid 70's until the late 80's (owned my own TV business for 5 years until the late 80's). Started shifting my focus to more RF oriented repairs. Have been working in the 2 way industry since 1988 (trunking radio, microwave,fiber optics, etc. My Wife helps out with the EV projects, she is a Ham radio operator as well as myself (N2GUU and KA2PFL). She can solder and understands electronics (we worked together when we owned the TV shop).
As such, I enjoy the electronics side of EV's. I cannot weld, so when I designed the drive train for the buddycycle, had to have a welder fabricate what was needed. This is what has precluded me for rolling my own EV. Have been looking at all the available motor scooters and the Vectrix seems to have the most mature technology. I considered many times purchasing another china based scooter, but just do not have the time to rework all the issues they come with. I actually figured out by the time I got one "right", buying the Vectrix for $5,500 will be cheaper in the long run. Especially when you figure all the time you will be spending on it, time away from family is not cheap, lol! I wanted a vehicle that can drive on the highway (unlike the 38 MPH commuta car). It sucked having to pull over the side of the road in 45 MPH areas to let traffic by. Folks with "smokers" have no patience for EV's and I have no patience for their road rage that erupts.
Nothing man builds is perfect, and I see even the Vectrix could use some improvement. I have to say I am amazed the way Mr. Mik has modified his. I honestly have to say his posts on this forum is part of the reason I purchased the Vectrix. I do not like purchasing a product without any documentation. I want to know how everything I own works. I guess that is what got me interested in electronics in the first place. Picking up discarded electronics in the trash and seeing how they worked as a child, lol! So like Mr. Mik, I will be doing my own repairs to the Vectrix after the warranty runs out (if the company survives that long). Mr. Mik and others have posted enough information that I feel very confident I could keep the Vectrix running if they fold. 5 grand is a lot of money to me, and would not normally drop that kind of money on a mfg that may not be here in the future. Thanks to all the folks who share their knowledge and to the forum operators for allowing us to have a nice place to post. I hope I can add helpful information as many of you have done.
Welcome to the forums and congratulations on your purchase! You'll love the bike.
Welcome to the forum Louie and congratulations to your purchase. I am sure you will enjoy your new toy!
Welcome Louie to the Vectrix Adventure. Hope together we can all together overcome the problems that lie ahead!
Thanks for the warm welcome!
Scott from Criswell Chevrolet (fleet-man69 on ebay) delivered my brand new Vectrix yesterday (1 day after I paid!!!!!). He went out of his way to deliver it quickly and describe all the features. I was not expecting all of this since it was an ebay transaction. He is very knowledgeable and passionate about the Vectrix and I learned way more from him then reading this forum and the owners manual. I am a hard person to please, so if you are looking for a new Vectrix, keep Scott in mind, you will not be disappointed. He answered all my questions and said if I had anymore, do not hesitate to call (unlike the typical ebay transaction). I feel I have to post this as I have spent much more then this on vehicles in the past and was just handed a set of keys. In fact the transaction was so positive, I may buy my next car from them!
Now, first Impressions of the Vectrix. I am almost speechless, where to begin? The vehicle shows the result of the 200 million investment. The fit and finish of all components is first class. I always purchased ICM Jap bikes as the fit and finish and attention to detail were better then the "others". The quality shows before you even stick the key in the ignition.
Before I even drove it, crawled under it and looked for something wrong. All wires are routed neatly, very neat harness and loom for all wiring, mechanical construction is very stout and uses the best components available, the wheel rims are gorgeous and come from Italy. I can truly see how some folks would spend nearly 11 grand when these first came out. It is actually built to a higher standard then my Kawasaki Vulcan. Only small nit-pick, found an "extra" sheet metal screw wedged between the bottom fairing near the front of the battery pack. When I tried to remove it, it flipped over backwards and went inside the fairing. I will remove it this evening.
First ride. Breathtaking! I told my wife I wanted to drive it without her on the back until I got used to the way it handles. After 1 run down the street, I told her, jump on! This bike does not feel like it ways 515 pounds. It turns tighter, and balances better then my ICM bike. My Wife loves it more then the "other" bike as it is quieter and rides smoother (even over big bumps). We can have an actual conversation while riding (even with full coverage helmets). I respect my wife's opinion as she drives an electric scooter to work every day and she has a motorcycle license. I only wish she could drive the Vectrix, but at 5'1 she cannot reach the ground.
I love the way it handles and does not rattle over bumps. The suspension is the best of any bike I have ridden (over 35 years of riding experience). It handles bumps smoothly with no wandering, the suspension keeps the tires fully planted on the ground. It does not "dive" when braking hard with the front brake, and have not bottomed the suspension even with 2 up (shocks set on stock setting).
I am breaking in the batteries and have not really punched the throttle yet, but it has surprising pickup. My wife commented how much smoother it is. Seems she does not like the way I shift the ICM bike and commented how smoothly the Vectrix accelerates to cruising speed with no shifting and our helmets banging together, lol.
It was 85 degrees out and I would never do driving around town with the ICM bike in this heat. The Vulcan at slow speed turns on the cooling fan and roasts both of us in the heat. It was a pleasure to drive the Vectrix with no noise or heat to ruin the ride. We actually enjoyed driving it around town. With the Vulcan I could not wait to get it to the open road to cool off from all the ICM heat.
My vectrix has the latest October 08 software, it said we had 50 miles of range when we started (1 bar less then full).. It was pretty darn close. We drove an average of 38 MPH with some speeds up to 45 and some as low as 25. Kept the bike close to home when 3 bars were left. Said we had 6 miles left. Soon after that the red battery light came on, and time to head for the driveway.
Finished up with 2 bars, when it was turned off and then on, the range and bars were at zero. The software is smart, after charging, it says we have 46 miles of range. It looks like it adapted to the 4 miles of artificial range we had, and subtracted it after charging. So it appears the range indicator will get more accurate as the Vectrix batteries get broken in. We did well if you figure we drove 42 miles, 2 up for over 2 1/2 hours (again this was gentle driving, want no cell reversal while breaking in the batteries).
What range does your indicators show after charging? I keep thinking it would be helpful if we had a thread we can post our trip information, battery temperatue and charging info, to see how our new and used Vectrix batteries are doing. I plan on keeping a log to see how the range will improve or degrade over time. it would be very helpful and easier to find the data to have all in one thread. It might make it easier and save some question answering for us Vectrix newbies! Can someone pleas suggest the best way to do this as I am new to this forum and want to keep on the good side of the moderators :)
Cannot wait for the next ride, but looks like rain for the next couple of days here :(
Welcome to the kewlest club on the planet!! :-) I can see that you are already hopelessly hooked on the Vectrix. Your Vulcan ain't gonna like that too much! HAHA!! :-)
As for the range indicator, you really should not get too attached to that bit of information. It is a calculation based on the last half mile or so of riding and your current voltage level. There's no way for it to predict your upcoming terrain or your agressiveness with the throttle control. Kind of neat to have, but pretty much useless unless you're running it down to the wire, then at least it gives you a little sense of false hope! HAHA!! ;-)
We do hear occasionally a few complaints about the build quality, especially with regards to parts coming loose, or the use of cardboard washers, but I've been very impressed with the engineering, and I believe that waxed cardboard is an excellent vibration isolator without the inherent deterioration of rubber parts. Works fine for me! I LOVE this bike!! And yes, my Harley is highly POed for being left sitting in the garage. But hey, $50 tires, no gas, no gears and no noise is just dang hard to pass up!! :-)
Congratulations to you for the bargain and thanks to Scott for offering the bikes at such a great price!
Congrats on your purchase, you made a good deal there!
Welcome to the club!
It's an amazing machine indeed, enjoy it to the fullest (you don't have to feel guilty doing miles just for the sheer fun of it:-)
And we're looking forward to profit from your knowledge of electronics combined with your future knowledge of Vectrix electronics :-))