Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

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rmarks
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Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

I have put $200 down to hold a Vectrix I am buying from a guy in a couple of days. I am a little concerned about not being able to have it serviced since there doesn't seem to be any dealerships around. Do I have reason for concern?

This Vectrix is a 2008 with only 2,000 miles on it. It looks and drives like new. I thought for $1995 it was a good deal. Someone either rescue me from this deal with a warning or encourage me that this is a good deal.

Rob

moccasin
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

If it lasts a year, you'll get your money's worth.

The worst thing that can happen is it kills over in a year, and you'll be so hooked on "riding ohms" you'll be ticked that it died, not ticked that you spent two grand on it.

Just the battery charger on that bike is worth more than they are asking for the whole working bike!

These bikes are fun as crap to drive (my Harley Road King doesn't come out of the stable for work commutes anymore!). No gears, no clutch, practically no brakes, no warming up the engine, no hot legs at traffic lights! I've enjoyed mine for about 3500 miles so far, and will be sad if and when it gives up on me.

The only thing I would caution you about is pushing the limits of the bike. If you literally NEED 30 miles per day, the usefull lifespan of the bike is going to be less than satisfactory. I NEED less than 20 miles per day, and more often than not, less than 15, so my demands on the bike are far below what it is capable of. That means it never lets me down. ;-)

Technical word of caution: Don't leave it plugged in during a thunderstorm. Those chargers are EXPENSIVE! :-(

rmarks
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

This is great to hear! My daily commute is 10-15 miles total at the most so I figured the Vectrix will be perfect. And hey if it is fun than that is a bonus.

R
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

Superb deal. Don't hesitate, go ahead!
Comment your first rides here...;-)

colin9876
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

DONT DO IT!

The Vectrix can be problematic, particularly due to its high voltage battery pack made from many small cells, which needs software to manage. The whole set up is not one that can easily be worked on by someone without specialist knowledge or tools.

Hey I know most people dont agree with me, but Im quite a fan of the 36v/48v cheap scooters. Just out of interest my latest purchase was one of these from Ebay
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/100-ROAD-LEGAL-ELECTRIC-BIKE-SCOOTER-MOPED-FUNBIKE-/260750422576?pt=UK_Toys_Games_Outdoor_Toys_ET&hash=ite...

No its not quite a Vectrix, but its actually amazingly good. Its got 4 storage areas in all (Front, under seat, back section, box), has some nifty alarm, can be derestricted to go 28mph, has good set of lights, indicators, brake lights etc.
The range with the standard 12hr SLA pack was about 14miles, but after swapping to my homebuit 20ahr Lifepo4 pack Its giving me a true 25mile range and 30mph top speed, and Yes it can carry two people and doesnt need tax or insurance!

marcopolo
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

Go head and buy it!

You will have bought a Rolls-Royce for less than 15% of it's true value. The Vectrix VX1 for all its faults was the most advanced EV of its day. Keep it long wenough and it wil become a classic!

But be prepared to take an interest in the bike and advice from the other VX1 owners on this forum.

The company is still in existence (well, sort of) and parts and upgrades are available. Service maybe a problem where you live, but nothing a competent auto-elec, or bright technician can't figure out.

Once 'fettled' a VX1 will provide years of pleasurable, economic, guilt-free riding, far more than any other contemporary bike. It's freeway legal so you have no danger of not being able to keep up with traffic, or being a road pest.!

Before you buy, check out the bikes condition.

Good luck and good riding!

marcopolo

Aircon
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

DONT DO IT!

The Vectrix can be problematic, particularly due to its high voltage battery pack made from many small cells, which needs software to manage. The whole set up is not one that can easily be worked on by someone without specialist knowledge or tools.

Hey I know most people dont agree with me, but Im quite a fan of the 36v/48v cheap scooters. Just out of interest my latest purchase was one of these from Ebay
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/100-ROAD-LEGAL-ELECTRIC-BIKE-SCOOTER-MOPED-FUNBIKE-/260750422576?pt=UK_Toys_Games_Outdoor_Toys_ET&hash=ite...

No its not quite a Vectrix, but its actually amazingly good. Its got 4 storage areas in all (Front, under seat, back section, box), has some nifty alarm, can be derestricted to go 28mph, has good set of lights, indicators, brake lights etc.
The range with the standard 12hr SLA pack was about 14miles, but after swapping to my homebuit 20ahr Lifepo4 pack Its giving me a true 25mile range and 30mph top speed, and Yes it can carry two people and doesnt need tax or insurance!

Mate, you have to be kidding.

Anderson
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

About the battery The best care you can give it is to use the scooter daily while driving it moderately, the worst thing you can do is to not use it for a long time while keeping the battery fully charged. If you do that then take it on a long ride at full speed that will definitely damage the battery.

colin9876
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

@Aircon .... Haha, the Tortoise and Hare comes to mind ... my pal here laughed at my 30mph too, but I got the last laugh when thats 30mph more than his Vecrix which is currently going nowhere due to a fault!

On another topic, something thats really annoying me is I keep being pulled over by the police for 'not having plate, tax blah blah blah' and it takes ages to prove to them this is a road legal pedal assisted bike covered by EU regs (when I have the restictor on!).
Most of the police here dont seem to know the law, or 'have ever seen an electric bike scooter before'. Its astounding to me that in 2011 many of the road police have so little knowledge or understanding of EV issues!

turok
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

Rob,

DO IT!
it's practically for free!

If you don't buy it, let me know who I can contact :-)

"doing nothin = doing nothing wrong" is invalid when the subject is environment

rmarks
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

Now turok that was the response I was looking for!

I talked with a friend who repairs scooters for a living. He told me what he knew about the Vectrix which was mostly positive. He then warned me that they are VERY expensive. When I told him what I was getting and for how much, he encouraged me to get it.

So, we will see. Sounds like I better bookmark this site.

rmarks
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

Well I just paid for the bike and rode it home. Very Fun!

Interestingly, I bought the bike from Mike Boyle, the one-time CEO of Vectrix! Very nice guy. He also threw in 2 matching Vectrix helments and jackets with the bike.

I think I did alright!

Mik
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

Well I just paid for the bike and rode it home. Very Fun!

Interestingly, I bought the bike from Mike Boyle, the one-time CEO of Vectrix! Very nice guy. He also threw in 2 matching Vectrix helments and jackets with the bike.

I think I did alright!

ROTFL! Don't tell Marcopolo.....

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

kingcharles
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

Well I just paid for the bike and rode it home. Very Fun!

Interestingly, I bought the bike from Mike Boyle, the one-time CEO of Vectrix! Very nice guy. He also threw in 2 matching Vectrix helments and jackets with the bike.

I think I did alright!

Ha, ha! Best joke of the week!

Once you go EV, Gas is history!

turok
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

(edit: double post)

"doing nothin = doing nothing wrong" is invalid when the subject is environment

turok
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

ROTFLMAO!

Rob, your bike is worth júst a little less for that :-)

but welcome to the club Rob!
You may want to stick around here.. there's an awful lot of Vectrix-experience hanging around here!

Feel welcome to ask if you've got any questions regarding your new "hobby" :-)

"doing nothin = doing nothing wrong" is invalid when the subject is environment

R
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

Colin9876...

How can you compare a master piece of hi-technology, hi-way capable such as the vectrix, with that metal-srap bicycle with tiny wheels? What the hell did you smoke??? Or are you selling those metal scraps?

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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

Colin9876...

How can you compare a master piece of hi-technology, hi-way capable such as the vectrix, with that metal-srap bicycle with tiny wheels? What the hell did you smoke??? Or are you selling those metal scraps?

rmarks, concratulations! i suggest you read some posts inside this forum, to find out of to take care of the battery, to ensure it will last as long as possible!

rmarks
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

Alright I know I am a newbie in this whole thing so let me in on why the bike is worth less because it was owned by the former CEO? (I know you are joking but what's the joke?) You guys are all rolling on the floor laughing so do share.

Here is the funny thing. I told him I was concerned about getting it serviced since I found out the company went through bankrupcy. (all this before I found out he was the CEO brought in to turn the company around after it was bought out) I had this whole conversation about their new launch and stuff. Then I saw his name was on the front of the certifcate of origin as the CEO. (it has never been licensed) I asked him about it and his wife said that he was the CEO. Duh! Did I feel stupid.

marcopolo
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

Here is the funny thing. I told him I was concerned about getting it serviced since I found out the company went through bankruptcy.

Well done! I'm glad you brought the VX1 . if you persevere with it, you will have years of enjoyment.

Well, I guess the joke is that, no one sees themselves as others see them. The principle reason why Vectrix went bankrupt in such a spectacular fashion, was the scandalously bad management by M.Boyle esq.. as CEO.

I am pleased to see that you were able to be sold a bike by Mike Boyle that cost nearly $200,000 to produce, Per Bike!!!

So you really have bargain! I'm also glad that you found your dealings with him pleasant. this is not how other found him in in his glory days as CEO. he's without a doubt one of the most arrogant SOB's I've come across. (and I've meet a few).

But, if that were just my impression, you could take it as no more than a personality clash. however, apart from a small coterie of fellow pigs with noses in trough, this swine achieved almost universal dislike from dealers, distributors, shareholders and creditors alike.

Well, he's showed his true ability as a salesman. $1900 for a bike which only two years ago he castigated people for not paying $11,900!

But, that's all history! Everyone here has a huge fund of Knowledge to keep your purchase functioning for many years. I own 22 Vx1's and with maintenance it'll prove a great purchase.

marcopolo

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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

R wrote:

How can you compare a master piece of hi-technology, hi-way capable such as the vectrix, with that metal-srap bicycle with tiny wheels? What the hell did you smoke??? Or are you selling those metal scraps?

And Aircon wrote:

Mate, you have to be kidding.

My; there is some pretty stunning snobbery and arrogance on display here.

I can understand Colin's point of view. It's called living simply - it still faster than a bicycle and cheaper and more convenient than the bus or "T". Not everyone lives in freeway-suburbia and needs to go 120 kmh. Also, not all of us are rich like all you Vectrix types are.

"Live simply, so that others may simply live" as they used to say in more enlightened days. But such attitudes are "socialist" and only worthy of mockery nowadays.

But back to the topic, the Vectrix, it is the most uselessly complex and expensive example of high tech-for-the-sake-of-conspicuous consumption hype I've ever seen - sort of like a cargo-cult inverted. Why does applying current from a battery to an electric motor require all that needless software? And it really shows in the reliability.

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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

it is the most uselessly complex and expensive example of high tech-for-the-sake-of-conspicuous consumption hype I've ever seen.

So's my toaster. At least I ENJOY the Vectrix! HAHA!! ;-)

rmarks
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

Ok, now it makes much more sense why you all were laughing. Obviously I have no idea of what I have gotten myself into based on all the above comments.

I am just a simple guy who is hardly rich. (single income with 4 young kids) Personally, I am tired of spending a bunch of money putting gas in my car. There has to be another option. I bought the Vectrix in hopes of relieving some of that pressure but I had no idea what I was buying. Time will tell if it was blind luck or stupidity.

Marcopolo, I loved the time I lived in Australia and I have a ton of respect for Aussies particularly their disire to do whats right environmentally.

It sounds like I have bought more than a bike but instead embarked on a journey.

Aircon
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

My; there is some pretty stunning snobbery and arrogance on display here.

I can understand Colin's point of view. It's called living simply - it still faster than a bicycle and cheaper and more convenient than the bus or "T". Not everyone lives in freeway-suburbia and needs to go 120 kmh. Also, not all of us are rich like all you Vectrix types are.

"Live simply, so that others may simply live" as they used to say in more enlightened days. But such attitudes are "socialist" and only worthy of mockery nowadays.

But back to the topic, the Vectrix, it is the most uselessly complex and expensive example of high tech-for-the-sake-of-conspicuous consumption hype I've ever seen - sort of like a cargo-cult inverted. Why does applying current from a battery to an electric motor require all that needless software? And it really shows in the reliability.

I don't think so. Comparing the two is absurd. Simple as that. I heard a good expression today "like comparing shirts with pants" Nothing more was said or implied....certainly no snobbery. Guess I hit a nerve and your insecurities have surfaced. Sorry about your life, buddy.

lol

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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

@ Rob

...That's why I said: "have fun with your new hobby"

It really is a "microbe" thing.. You probably will hate combustion engines after a while (like most of us I guess) :-)

a bit of luck would be nice, and you will probably need some perseverance as Marco said, but your stupidity level is already 4 times lower than mine (if we compare the price we both payed for our rides :-))

You've done the right thing.

A car produces AT LEAST about 100 grams of CO2 PER KILOMETER.
After 8000+ kms ridden I didn't produce about 800 KILOS of CO2 (I charge from my solar panels)
If my battery pack keeps performing well, my vectrix must become "climate-neutral" soon. (must not forget production / recycling pollution)

but still, what is most important to me: last year, I fueled-up my car (..I know.. but I have children) only twice. THAT brings a smile on a man's face.

Good luck with it!

"doing nothin = doing nothing wrong" is invalid when the subject is environment

colin9876
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

@R ... no Im not anything to do with the seller of the funbike I bought. My recommendation that its the best one of these bikes Ive had is purely for interest only.

Ive driven a Vectrix before and I can see the appeal, however I stand by my own personal objections regarding the design of the battery pack, and high voltage.

Im just modding my 36v scooter to put 3 flexi solar powerfilms on it so I can unroll these and charge in the sun (if we ever get any here)
There is no way I could do a mod like that on a Vectrix bike that uses lethal high voltages, and requires complex software management.

I may get a Vectrix one day (my pals selling a broken one lol), but the first thing I will do is switch out the controller and use a 72v LifePO4 pack. Yes that will limit my top speed to about 40mph, but I think motorbikes are dangerous above that speed anyway.

jdh2550_1
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

Oh the irony! Mike Boyle selling a VX-1 at fire sale price!!!

rmarks - I'm glad you got the bike. You got a bargain, as most of the folks here have told you. Enjoy your bike.

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

Mik
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

Oh the irony! Mike Boyle selling a VX-1 at fire sale price!!!

rmarks - I'm glad you got the bike. You got a bargain, as most of the folks here have told you. Enjoy your bike.

Mike Boyle must have gotten sick of the questions while out riding. They can be annoying enough when you are not responsible for the situation.

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

turok
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

It strikes me

Apparently Mike Boyle drove a respectable 2000 miles on it.

That is not bad for a big-man-CEO who has probably two Porshes in each garage.. :-)

"doing nothin = doing nothing wrong" is invalid when the subject is environment

moccasin
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

The Vectrix is a highly complex, technical machine. In my own opinion, it was designed that way so us "old dogs" don't have to go out and get an electrical engineering degree just to ride the thing. We don't have to know battery chemistry, or how many ohms it takes to make toast to own or ride one, but for those who are in-the-know, it makes the machine more than just a commuter bike, it becomes a project in how to improve design or mellow out production.

No matter for you and me. For us, it's a plug and play device. Here's my whole "Vectrix life" in total detail:
I bought the bike in late July, 2008, decided where I wanted to park it, installed an electrical timer on the 15amp circuit that I planned to use to charge it, set the timer to come on at 9p.m and go off at 6 a.m. and I use the bike for work commute every day that starts out over 40 degrees and not raining, which averages ten days a month throughout the year here in soggy Alabama.

Lightning hit my house one night while the bike was charging and blew the charger. Vectrix replaced the charger even while the company was in the twighlight zone, and I paid $180 for the labor because Vectrix was broke and in court.

That's it! I unplug it in the morning, ride it all I need it, then plug it in when I get home at night. The battery has a couple of hours to cool down before the timer kicks on, and a couple of hours of cool time before I get on it again. If I have a busy errand day and run short of juice, I just plug it in at work for a couple of hours while I'm doing other stuff. I have about 3500 miles on the bike now, and my back tire is pretty much gone. I bought a $55 replacement tire a while back, and will replace it when I see cord showing! ;-)

You don't have to rebuild the bike, you don't have to redesign the bike, you just have to know what the bike's limits are and adjust your needs accordingly. It's not a replacement for all your gas burning cars/trucks/motorcycles, but it's a dang nice enhancement to your fleet!!! ENJOY it, don't analyze it! Just charge it up and drive it! :-)

You bought a disposable bike with a 100% return on your investment. A replacement battery is worth nearly three times what you paid for the bike, so ride it, enjoy it, and when it quits, sell the parts off of it and you'll likely double or triple your investment!

rmarks
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Re: Buying a Vectrix...am I crazy?

Moccasin,

I am not a very rich guy and I am not a very smart guy either so your post was very encouraging. I plan to plug it in at night and let it charge. Drive my 10-15 mile commute every day the weather permits and recharge it again for the next day. Most of the roads I travel on are 25-45 mph. My hope is to significantly reduce the amount of money I am spending on gasoline and have some fun in the process.

Who knows I might even learn something!

Rob

Oh...BTW. No Porsches in Mike's garage. Not at this house at least. It sounds like he was quite the CEO during his day but he and his wife were very kind to me, my wife and my kids. Time has a way of changing people I suppose.

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