ZAPINO testride - quick first impressions

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GrooveConnection
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Joined: 01/19/2007
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I had no idea when I took my girlfriend and her daughter to the cute NoCal town of Santa Rosa(where I was engaged to perform a show with Melissa Manchester) that in a pre-show stroll through town I would literally run into the dealer showroom of ZAP, which was studded with all sorts of electric transportation prototypes I have never seen before.

Since it was a dealer showroom they allowed me and my sweeties to take a short stroll through the display zones and I came upon the ZAPINO scooter (in pink, to the delight of the girls ;-) and asked where a testride could be arranged.

They pointed me to their warehouse on 3rd street and a friendly young technician actually let me pace it (inside the very long warehouse) just a little.

It took me all but a second to realize that this model kicks merciless behind compared to the E-MAX 2006 SPORT I currently own.

First, acceleration is quiet, vibration free and the ride, although heavier, feels astonishingly lightweight with my 230 lbs on it.
This model supposedly has a 3000 W motor on it, very nice suspension and is so much better built (upon this short glance) - it is almost ridiculous.

The scoot I rode there had just been taken out of the box and had no mirrors on it so I obviously did not ask to take it out on the streets but - boy- if I coulda, I sure woulda...;-)

The body of this model is wider but more balanced feeling, and nimbler in its handling.
Weird...how could this thing feel lighter than the E-MAX ?? But it did, I swear. I spend so much time on the E-MAX, I can tell the difference in only a few seconds.

I liked so much what they did with the front suspension, much more efficient than my scoot.

Oh yeah, please excuse the ambience in that warehouse....the photo was taken very quickly...DoraScoot01Wx.jpg

There is a Lithium upgrade (hopefully non-explosive) for this machine that might take the range up to 60 miles they say (no pricing yet) and the base price was $ 2995.-

Hope they start delivering soon!

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GrooveConnection
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Re: ZAPINO testride - Direct Link to Product

Oh, and this may be helpful for y'all:

http://www.zapworld.com/zapstore/detail.aspx?ID=389

Did not realize the darn thing has Disc Brakes front and rear ....!

uh-oh - gear Lust again, here we go!

Gman
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Re: ZAPINO testride - Direct Link to Product

` :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
Finally some very positive news, thanks. Seems to be living up to Mountain's claims about it.
We have a Community Member Wizard that's a Zap dealer, I wonder if he will be selling them.
BTW, he is also a Musician and has a Band.
So that's where the name Groove Connection comes from, I always wondered. Well one day when we get sound, maybe you and Wizard can write us a theme song.
Any idea what a V is for Voltage Community song would sound like?
My son is also in the business out there.

Peace Out,
Gman

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PJD
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Re: ZAPINO testride - Direct Link to Product

I'm sure it is nice, solidly built, and by being imported by Zap has a lot better service.

But, as long as it is (artificially) restricted to only 30 mph, it isn't going to be very useful to very many potential customers, when even the most basic 49cc scooter can go 45-50 mph.

Gman
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Re: ZAPINO testride - Direct Link to Product

` ;)
Well once they get into the public, I'm sure you all will find a way to remove that 30 mph restriction.
I'm waiting to see what they do with the 3000 Watt sample from Erato that will do 49 mph max.

Peace Out,
Gman

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Wizard
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Re: ZAPINO testride - Direct Link to Product

Thanks for the update. I am a ZAP dealer but I am very careful what I sell. I have heard good things about the Zapino but have not ridden one yet. I hear they will do 40 mph easy. I plan to fly out to California this fall or summer to check them out. If they look like a solid product I will begin selling them.

Mark Higley

http://www.midwestev.com

They are here and they don't even know it.

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Gman
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Re: ZAPINO testride - Direct Link to Product

` ;)
Hey Wizard, long time no see, I figured you had so many gigs and selling so many Zebras you just forgot about your old poor friends at The V is for Voltage Community.

Quote:

Wizard
I plan to fly out to California this fall or summer to check them out.

Since it's still summer, I assume your talking about this year?
Sure would be nice to have something available in the Mighty Midwest that could hang with the Big West Coast Boys.

Peace Out,
Gman

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Wizard
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Re: ZAPINO testride - Direct Link to Product

"Hey Wizard, long time no see, I figured you had so many gigs and selling so many Zebras you just forgot about your old poor friends at The V is for Voltage Community."

It's been a combination of both.

The Xebras are taking up most of my time though. I just sold two last week here in Kansas. Your State of Missouri seems to be a problem though. They are refusing to register them at this time.

Mark Higley

http://www.midwestev.com

They are here and they don't even know it.

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http://www.midwestev.com

They are here and they don't even know it.

chas_stevenson
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Re: ZAPINO testride - Direct Link to Product

Mark,

I wanted to know if you have a vehicles you use as demos for test drives. Your only about 9 hours away and I could take a weekend to check out one or two EVs.
I live in Southern Illinois, St Clair county, do you know if there is a problem with registering them here?

Chas S.
My Bicycle Pages

Gman
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Re: ZAPINO testride - Direct Link to Product

` :O
Well a election is coming up soon, so maybe we need to get busy now, pulling some coat tails. Do you know the reason why?
Your close to the current powerful area of MO our Governor has all but written off KC and STL, slipped up and made a statement that no one wants to live there. That statement may cost him next election, but he's already started spreading some money around here, so people will probably forget about the statement by then.

Peace Out,
Gman

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vinnie
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Re: ZAPINO testride - Direct Link to Product

So I was checking the Zapino out, and I am wondering if it is just a matter of replacing the controller to get significantly higher performance out of it? Is this correct? Is this an easy thing to do on your own?

If that's all it is, and it is easy to replace, I would seriously consider this bike. Anybody have any thoughts on this?

Vinnie
Broomfield, Colorado

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Broomfield, CO

kringle777
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Re: ZAPINO testride - Direct Link to Product

I'd say it's even easier than that. Most likely it's just a jumper on the controller that needs to be removed to disable the speed governor. Zap's decided to go the easy route and have these legally considered mopeds despite the 60V/3000 Watt power capabilities.

kringle777
Red XM-2000
Moss Green "Charger" ebike
Sacramento, CA

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Gman
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Re: ZAPINO testride - Direct Link to Product

` ;)
If you know what your doing, it's pretty easy to do. I don't know how to do it, but I'm sure there are others here that know how. All they need is a detail picture of the inside of the Controller and some readings.
As soon as Deafscooter gets his hands on one, if he hasn't already, I'm sure he'll be glad to do it for you for a fee.
BTW he said he has a XM-2000 which should be the same basic Controller?

Peace Out,
Gman

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adamjava1
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Joined: 08/10/2007
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Re: ZAPINO testride - quick first impressions

We are a new shop in SF, and we've driven a test unit all over the city for several months now - its performance is very impressive, as the original poster claims it kicks the pants off of all other similarly priced units we've tested from other manufacturers.

If anyone is in the SF area and wants to try one out give us a call 415-931-8685

Stleride
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Re: ZAPINO testride - quick first impressions

`adamjava1,
Welcome to our V is for Voltage Community can you give us a mini review?
What others have you tested?
What kind of speed and range?
You know everybody wants to more about the restrictions, can you talk about that some?

Stleride
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adamjava1
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Re: ZAPINO testride - quick first impressions

thanks for the welcome stleride!

I live in San Francisco, and the zapino is a well rounded daily commuter if you are, like me, doing most of your daily travel in a limited number of y afford a Vectrix anyway.square miles. I'd say that unless you live on top of divisadero, lombard, or similarly steep hills, the zapino would be a great alternative to a gas scooter or motorcycle.

The zapino is very responsive and delivers its power crisply from a dead stop all the way to its "limited" top speed, even with a passenger. You twist the throttle and you feel it take off. Its acceleration is excellent and really allows you to mingle with regular traffic on roads where the speed is limited. We consistently get ~35 on the speedo, but it goes much faster on the downhills.

It is a great hill climber (for an EV) but it does slow down to about 10 mph on the really steep hills, the lepton by comparison would be crawling at aprox 50% the zapino's speed, all other scooters we tested on the very steep hills (other than the vectrix and segways) eventually stalled out.

We have not done any range tests just to drain the batteries, i'm sorry to say i dont have exact mileage data, but considering the varied hills etc. that I ride on, I'm not sure mileage really means much here anyway? So far, for normal daily commuting, or scooting about SF, chores, store, gym, etc. the zapino has not dipped below 1/2 full - most times stays 1/3 full between daily recharging. We ALWAYS had our unit plugged in nightly.

The only other electric scooter which was clearly better in performance and hill climbing was the Vectrix. But the vectrix, in the realm of EV scooters is a ferrari, and not a practical solution for the average person, the Zapino IMHO is a practical solution for most people with limited range daily driving needs, and realistic expectations of performance.

Another feature we love about the zapino is its breaker - if you pop a fuse, just flip up your seat and toggle breaker switch.

It is not absolutely silent, but seems quieter than the lepton, evt, etc., we've not measured this, its just our casual observation. The headlights are ok, the high beams are pretty decent. Its overall handling on twisty roads is EXCELLENT.

Pricewise, buying a zapino is more expensive than entry level gas scooters. But IMHO its just as much fun to drive, and i hate having to go get gas when it could be recharging while i sleep, for me its not so much the gas cost as it is the convenience issue, and of course weaning myself off gasoline even in some small way makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside ... or maybe thats the beer.

Now for not so good.

The finish and polish could use some work. On the units we are renting/selling, we are going to replace the mirrors, which are Plastic casings, and after very mild use/abuse, can become loose and not hold their position - any over tightening will cause the casing to snap - we are putting metal ones on ours. Not sure if all the units are like that, but all the ones we have have this issue.

The seat material is prone to puncture, there are alot of aftermarket scooter seat covers that will probably fit the bill here. Also the rubber underlining of the seat has a tendency to come out after repeated opening/closing of the seat. you will be doing that frequently to access the recharge receptacle.

The recharge receptacle itself seems to break very easily, once it does you will need to remove the paneling to man-handle the screws out. We are including an extension cord inside our units, so you never have to unplug the receptacle - this is a standard computer power supply extension cable but does the trick nicely and adds a few feet.

After a few months, the chrome finishes began weathering most notably on the luggage rack. The unit had been stored outside in the ocean breeze probably the cause, but still it had only been a few months.

We didn't bother getting the oem luggage, as we have other aftermarket luggage packs that are much better and can be used on many different scooters/motorcycles.

No comments on the regulations :D

All that being said, we still think its an excellent performer, and that makes it a good deal. Of everything we've tried, its the most useful, best performing, fun electric scooter any where near its price range.

Stleride
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Re: ZAPINO testride - quick first impressions

`adamjava1
Thank you for a excellent unbiased review. I'm sure our viewers will enjoy reading iti.

Stleride
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Moderators are dedicated volunteer V Team members who help keep your V Forums running smoothly and provide Forum Support.

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adamjava1
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Re: ZAPINO testride - quick first impressions

fyi if anyone is interested we have one unit up for sale on ebay just search for zapino on ebay motors

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