Problem with buying a Vectrix
I’ve been considering for some time now buying a vectrix, but there are a few things I have noticed about them and some of them are the way they sell them.
It comes across to me that these bikes are being sold in rather a haphazard way, there seems very little support and direction, very little after market services, and especially almost no service manuals at all.
If I buy a gasoline bike I can also in almost all cases get a servicing manual for a price, even if it is only available on disc.
It also appears that these bikes have major problems, such as replacement parts issues and reliability of parts.
Bikes breaking down after only a few hundred miles, batteries failing, controllers failing.
Now I’m no expert on these matters but if they were a gasoline bike the owners would be hopping mad going ballistic at the thought of spending around 7 thousand pounds to travel a few hundred miles and have to park the thing up while the manufacturers twiddle around deciding whether or not to honour the warranty.
Why are there no after market paten parts for this bike? No pattern parts to drive down costs.
Why does a throttle control console cost so much money to replace?
Why is it considered better to buy a new bike rather than fix the one you already have when the electonics fail?
Surely this defeats the object of trying to ride your bike in a way that is supposedly better for the environment?
For this reason alone I have been putting off buying a vectrix, I’m not a rich person, every penny I earn is valuable to me, if I buy a vectrix I want to know that it won’t break down on me for at least a good few thousand miles and then when it does I want to be able to open my servicing book and repair the problem myself at a reasonable price no matter what is wrong with it.
If the battery fails I don’t want to have to spend £3000 to replace the whole thing, I want to be able to repair the battery by replacing cells, if the control console goes wrong I don’t want to spend thousands to replace it with a new one, I want a reconditioned unit at a fraction of the cost with a part exchange.
These are just basic things that could make the vectrix more appealing to me.
No amount of financial incentives are going to afford me to swap my gasoline bike for an electric one until I can be sure the repairs are financially viable.
I think electric bikes are a great idea and I would love to own one, but there just seems way to many problems with them to make them worth the investment.
Couple that with the fact that you only get a short distance before you have to go in search of a power point and they seem difficult to justify the expense.
Why is there no emergency reserve power for these things or some means of charging them in case you run out of GO by accident, with a gas bike you run out of juice you simply push it to the nearest fuel station and fill up, with these electric bike you run out of juice your stuck.
Let's have vectrix get real with their product and just maybe it will be worth the investment of my hard earned cash.
Yeah, don't it just remind you of the early days of gas engine cars? Remember the way the particular make you wanted might not have been available in your state and how even the Model T was tough to get parts for, or find someone who could fix it? And remember how that cycle repeated when foreign cars came to the U.S.? Of course not, this was all worked out before we came along, except maybe for an occasional new entry to the market. Which is my real point.
Yeah, what great support those gas engine bikes have. Well, at least the NONChinese gas engine bikes. I mean, if you're lucky enough to own a Husqvarna AND live close to one of the available service centers, it don't feel haphazard at all. Of course my nearest service for one is a bit of a drive. If they ever do sell more, BMW owns Husqvarna now, so they'd be ready to get more parts and more service people out there once there's a market for it all.
And that's how it's going to be for the electrics. They need time to have their growing pains, just as the cars did. They need a volume of sales to be build for their to be a volume of trained service people.
Old U.S. military axiom: No plan survives execution. The point being that it alwasy looks so good when you first put it together, sometimes it takes awhile for the problems to surface. Success always involves damage control. Just as the Model T needed a 2.9 liter engine just to put out 20 horsepower, electrics have a long way to go to realize their full potential. It's taken more than a century to get internal combustion to this point, electrics will need their time to catch up.
So for the time being, if you want the advantages of the electric, you'll just need to accept that you're stepping out onto a bridge that is being built as you cross it. If everyone waits until the electric bike is "Ready," none of us will live to see that "Right" bike getting built. If you want to stay with gas bikes, all you have to do is buy gas bikes. That will ensure that gas bikes will be what is available. Vectrix didn't file for bankruptcy because they sold oh so many bikes.
One of my relatives worked at the Toyota plant in San Antonio, blow molding interior parts today to be installed on the assembly line tomorrow. "Just in time" supply. That gas engine part isn't going to be waiting for you at the motorcycle shop, I don't remember ever getting anything without ordering it. It's the age we live in.
I honestly don't believe there will ever be a solution for the running out of juice problem, just as people still run out of gas. As for faster charging, only time will tell.
Oh, but check out this old time Husqvarna bike, from the board track era. I'll venture a guess that elecrics are actually more reliable than this was, although it sure looks great.
The batteries we know are able to be reconditioned, and so are all the electronics, so why don’t vectrix offer a swap recon part at an affordable price or replaceable cells sold in smaller cheaper packs?
replacement cells can be had from those who have wrecked bikes (Hibba has a collection, Mik might soon).
the problem is the compression banding, or rather applying it.
so that means you really have to replace cells in groups of 8 or 9.
unfortunately, the electronics usually aren't worth fixing (especially when you have a warehouse full of new components).
alotta the components are behind a plastic layer.
that makes it a little tricky to replace individual components, and much harder to quickly test them.
incidentally, if you would like to buy electric bikes that are based on parts that are easily interchangable, cheap and easy to get hold of, look at:
chinese bikes like the xm5000li or,
build your own around kelly controllers and that 10kw spoked hub motor and a frame of your choice.