ZEV Electric Motorcycles

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Z Electric Vehicle Corporation "ZEV" 4100LA Customer’s “Impressive” Review

I currently own a 3000 watt Electric Motorcycle manufactured by another company but my needs required more power and torque so I started shopping for a larger machine. After looking at the Vectric and other company’s machines, I can see that spending high cost dollars was not for me. My 3000 watt was my first EV bike ever but I have been riding motorcycles all my life and currently own a Harley but after commuting on my EV for almost a year, I found that I had a whole lot more money in my pocket because the EV bikes are virtually maintenance and cost free. I decided to contact the owner of Eagle (Electric) Motorcycles whom I bought the 3000 watt from and mentioned that I would like to upgrade the watts but keep the cost down. The owner, Dave, did not hesitate but to refer me to ZEV Corp and suggest the ZEV 4100 would best suit my needs and it was in my price range.

I read some info in the forums about ZEV and this is what was said. “Our company is a spinoff of our engineering business. We get hired to solve the problems of other companies and to design EV.” After doing some more reading, I found ZEV is a group of hard core aerospace and mechanical engineers and business people that banded together to prove they could outflank, out design, and outperform everyone else in the alternative fuel vehicle market. They are all racers and designers of spacecraft, motorcycles, rockets, race cars, race boats, unmanned drone aircraft, and piloted aircraft. High performance and sophisticated engineering is spoken here. Then after talking to Darus, ZEV Chief Engineer, he also suggested the ZEV 4100 either in Lithium or Lead batteries and then with a second conversation with Dave at Eagle Motorcycles, I choose the 4100LA. I decided to make the purchase through Eagle Motorcycles, hence, I had double tech and customer support from both companies and ZEV’s two year warranty!

They said to allow up to 60 days from the time of the order but I was lucky and they had a brand new yellow one in stock and so it took only a week from the time I placed the order, paid for it, and ship to my doorstep. It came crated up and it only took 30 minutes to unpack it and I was easily able to unload it off the stand by myself. Do allow another 30 minutes or more to clean up the packing! To my surprise, it was already preassembled and charged so all I had to do is install the mirrors and then off for my first test ride. I took the word of both companies about how the bike performs sight unseen and I knew right away they were correct. Once I turned the throttle, the wind was already blowing in my hair as this thing sat me back in my seat real quick like. Wow, instant first time impressions were very good!

Back home to get my helmet and jacket and took off for a serious test ride. Since there is no break-in period, I headed out on a country road to open it up and to my surprise, I found that I can easily maintain speeds of 50 to 55mph and when I hit a grade, I would be between 45 to 50mph. Trust me, this machine goes fast enough to break the speed limit and get tickets. I then put it to the test and went up our mountain road with curves and steep grades and found it climbs at speeds around 30 to 35mph which is plenty fast considering the speed limit is only 35mph. The best feature of all and what impressed me the most is the 3 speeds and there is even an indicator on the dash to tell you what gear you are in. First gets you out on the road, second gives you the torque and is the most commonly used gear, and third is for long stretches on mostly flat ground. I call them gears but it is really a multispeed "Electronic Transmission" that is set controller.

I did notice a stiffer ride than my old bike but I found out why when I came down the mountain because much to my surprise, this 4100 handled like a sports bike and the stiffness of the chassis kept the bike from driving erratic and weaving on the road. In English, this thing keeps you on the road! Next, was the very impressive braking response which I expected with front and rear disk brakes. I truly believe that if I “slammed” on the brakes that bike would stop on a dime but I had no desire to test this but I know in an emergency, I could rely on it.

Back to civilization and still over half charged, I found the acceleration was pretty amazing on city streets. I easily kept up with cars from traffic light to traffic light. Cruising between 35 and 44mph seemed effortless for the 4100. The only complaint I had was the bike was a little stiff on the bumps but it was trade off for the firmness and stability to stay on the road. So with that in mind, I have no complaints and especially knowing that once the suspension and seat are broken in, that I can maintain total control over 4100 and not have to worry about getting tossed in the other lane with every bump I hit. I was also very satisfied with the handlebar controls having everything accessible with your finger tips and the dash was very easy to read and there is also a clock which I will use to keep me from being late for work.

Back home and fully charged, I had one last test needed and this was having a passenger on the back. My wife eagerly agreed to go with me and her exact words were the comfort level in relations with the seat and passenger foot rests were outstanding. The rear part of the seat is slightly higher and the passenger also has its own foot rest which also set higher than mine which gives the passenger a stable and comfortable ride. I was more concerned with handling and acceleration and found the extra weight held me to the road more and there was no difference in cornering solo or with someone on the back. On flat ground and downhill grades, I could still easily reach and maintain speeds of 45 to 55mph but more comfortable around 50. Again, the electronic transmission is the biggest seller because you can control the battery discharge. Wide open in 3rd will drain the battery quicker but half throttle in second will give you torque while conserving the battery and give you the extra power needed with someone on the back. So with a rider on the back, second gear was the best choice and it had the torque to pull two people. Once last thing, the storage under seat was plenty adequate to store a leather coat and with the trunk on the back too, you can take this machine grocery shopping.

I'm a not an EV tester but a regular guy and customer that has been riding an electric scooter for a year now and so everything in this review should be taken with that in mind. I've tried my best to be as accurate as I can in my estimate of speed, handling, and hill climbing capabilities. I can say that I would classify the 4100 as an electric motorcycle and ZEV and Eagle Motorcycles to be top notch companies and their tech and customer support is remarkable! This is one solid machine and I don’t expect any problems but I am not worried because any warranty issues will be handled in a professional manner because I know that I am backed by the best two companies in the EV business!

From a very satisfied customer,
Steve

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