ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

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LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Thanks for the response, which I somehow missed initially. I'm pretty sure I've finally located the problem with the shudder, and since so many of our bikes have similar parts it may apply to others as well. After my last ride - which was also with my Sister on the back - I put the bike away without looking at it, as it was late. Yesterday evening I looked at the front rotor again, and got a surprise: there is a big groove worn into the inner edge of it, one that wasn't there before. It looks like one of the pistons in the caliper wasn't working properly, and the pads were being pushed unevenly on braking. The inside (towards the axle) of the pads must have worn out on that last ride, and the rotor got metal to metal contact with the pad backing. I'm corresponding with Darus about it, and hope to finally, finally, get the bike riding safely...

M.Chen
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

At what speed does this shudder happen ?

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

This Summer hadn't been too bad, ZEV-wise. The shudder was still there but the bike behaved fine otherwise, and I got in several decent rides. The other day, though, I applied the letters "ELECTRIC" to the little rear fender, and when I went riding afterwards, the bike died while stopped. After opening the throttle several times it started to move, but with that horrible shuddering, growling pattern that usually means controller problems. I turned around and rode home of course, noting that the bike improved immensely as I went faster. When I arrived home the bike smelled like hot wiring, but not burned wiring. I've been in contact with Darus, but this remains a mystery. Here is what I know so far:

* The main breaker seems ok. Tight, works, not hot or burned.

* The cables that plug into the controller seem nice and tight.

* The problem is worst when the bike starts to move, and is inversely proportional to speed: as I speed up, it seems to go away.

* Load seems unrelated. Only speed seems to directly correlate to the malfunction.

Any of you motor/controller Gurus know what's going on here?

Johnny J
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Broken hall sensor in the motor?

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Would a broken hall sensor be masked at speed? The bike seems smooth above about 20MPH.

Darus is of the opinion it's a marginal connection somewhere in the drive wiring. I can barely bend over or squat down and my arms and hands hurt, so I'm hoping to narrow it down, as I can't just take it all apart.

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Worthless site ate my earlier reply, even though I left the browser open for half an hour as it "waited".

Would a broken hall sensor in the motor be masked at higher speeds? The bike seems smooth over 20MPH. Darus thinks it's a bad connection, and suggests I look at all the connections in the motor wiring. I can barely bend over or hold a wrench, so I'd like to try to narrow it down...

IBScootn
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Hi Leftie,

Good to hear from you. I had stopped visiting this site, but still received an email message with your question because I had replied to one of your old messages.

The hall sensor wires are small (maybe 22-24awg, guessing as its been awhile since I had to look) wires that connect to the motor controller through a multi-pin connector. I guess it's possible that you have a poor connection on one of those pins in that connector. I had added dielectric grease to a lot of my connections so I wouldn't have corrosion issues down the road.

The heat issue in your message - were you going uphill at a slow speed? I remember reading on another site that traveling uphill while going less than 15 mph, can heat up a hub motor. Hence, how it might have run better at a faster speed. I'm rarely traveling below 35mph, so I don't have any personal data on that.

BTW, I picked up another ZEV this Spring. It's a white Trail 7100. Feels a little heavier than my regular 6100 and little harder to get on to the center stand; but it has 60AH cells. I'm completely amazed at how much those larger cells have reduced my need for opportunity charging, and now I can reach my favorite hiking / camping sites up in the Rocky Mountains.

Wish I could be of more help. Move to beautiful Colorado and I'll give you a hand.

Hope you are enjoying your Leaf. I keep waiting for a tandem, narrow-track EV like the Tango to go mainstream; but until one does, I'll keep riding my ZEVs. Lumeneo came out with the Smera, which got my hopes up, but they only sold ten cars before going broke. : (

Best,

Motorcycles: 2011 ZEV Trail 7100, 84V, 60AH, 60+mph, Cycle Analyst, TNC throttle, modified charger. 2013 Kymco GT300i
Bicycles: 2017 Sondors Thin
Cars: 2016 Leaf SV, 30KWH pack. 2007 CR-V
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IBScootn
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Hi Leftie,

Good to hear from you. I had stopped visiting this site, but still received an email message with your question because I had replied to one of your old messages.

The hall sensor wires are small (maybe 22-24awg, guessing as its been awhile since I had to look) wires that connect to the motor controller through a multi-pin connector. I guess it's possible that you have a poor connection on one of those pins in that connector. I had added dielectric grease to a lot of my connections so I wouldn't have corrosion issues down the road.

The heat issue in your message - were you going uphill at a slow speed? I remember reading on another site that traveling uphill while going less than 15 mph, can heat up a hub motor. Hence, how it might have run better at a faster speed. I'm rarely traveling below 35mph, so I don't have any personal data on that.

BTW, I picked up another ZEV this Spring. It's a white Trail 7100. Feels a little heavier than my regular 6100 and little harder to get on to the center stand; but it has 60AH cells. I'm completely amazed at how much those larger cells have reduced my need for opportunity charging, and now I can reach my favorite hiking / camping sites up in the Rocky Mountains.

Wish I could be of more help. Move to beautiful Colorado and I'll give you a hand.

Hope you are enjoying your Leaf. I keep waiting for a tandem, narrow-track EV like the Tango to go mainstream; but until one does, I'll keep riding my ZEVs. Lumeneo came out with the Smera, which got my hopes up, but they only sold ten cars before going broke. : (

Best,

Motorcycles: 2011 ZEV Trail 7100, 84V, 60AH, 60+mph, Cycle Analyst, TNC throttle, modified charger. 2013 Kymco GT300i
Bicycles: 2017 Sondors Thin
Cars: 2016 Leaf SV, 30KWH pack. 2007 CR-V
Solar array: 5KW. Cost per lifetime KWH produced $0.073
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LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Hello, IB! No, the motor shouldn't have been hot. I had just left home, climbed a small, fairly gentle hill, ridden over a bridge, and was waiting, on level pavement, for the light to change. The bike *did* smell hot and 'sick' when I got home, but it wasn't hot when I stopped at the light. So while the problem appears to have caused heating (from mis-phasing in the motor?) I don't see how heat could have caused the problem.

Let's see how hard it is to get this reply posted...

jateureka2
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

It's been a while since your last post, just wondering if you can give us an update on how you got on with the repair of your ZEV?

E-BIKES: [1]Ezee Sprint [2]Aprilia Enjoy Racing [3]eLation V2 e-bike kit on Trek 4100 [4]Bafang BBS01 kit on Fluid Momentum [5] FreeGo Hawk
E-SCOOTER: 2012 ZEV 7100 LR, 84V 60Ah nominal battery with 28 series GBS LFP cells
E-MOTORCYCLE: 2011 Zero S,

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

How am I doing with the ZEV? It's sitting in the garage with less than 2000 miles on it, barely working, with a dangerously unstable front end. I had been hoping that my pension would cover payments on a *real* electric motorcycle, but no such luck. Darus Z, after promising me a new front wheel bearing last Summer, never sent it - all I get is junk email touting his latest Chinese scooters. I can honestly say that I've gotten so little enjoyment from this POS scooter that it would have been better if I'd stayed with ICE bikes, or just put new batteries in the Lepton scooter. (Now THAT was a well-built machine.) Most of the damage is probably from shipping, both the original damage that was only partially repaired, and additional damage from the scooter being shipped back to me on a terrible home-built pallet that forced the trucking company to stack it on a second pallet. The front end was torques to the side so badly that I think it's the main reason for the wobble.

Bottom line: if you want to ride an electric motorcycle, as opposed to trying continually to get a Chinese scooter fixed, to no avail, don't buy a ZEV. IB loves his, but I think he just got lucky.

IBScootn
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Well I'm not sure how lucky I am; the S6100 was shipped with a bum front wheel. I think the spoke had a fracture from shipping. But after that was fixed, I rode it for 8700 miles no problems. Well I shouldn't say no problems - I did fry the charger but that was my fault. The replacement charger I built from two meanwell power supplies works great. My T7100 works great and have put a few thousand miles on it. But when I bought it used the previous owner had somehow drained one cell. I charged that individual cell and the bike runs perfectly.

It's been a struggle to decide which bike to keep as I don't need both but I have decided to put the S6100 up for sale.

Best,

IB

Motorcycles: 2011 ZEV Trail 7100, 84V, 60AH, 60+mph, Cycle Analyst, TNC throttle, modified charger. 2013 Kymco GT300i
Bicycles: 2017 Sondors Thin
Cars: 2016 Leaf SV, 30KWH pack. 2007 CR-V
Solar array: 5KW. Cost per lifetime KWH produced $0.073
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Jean-Bob Ildanach
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

okay, it took some time but finally at april 2015 I received my ZEV 8500.(the former ZEV T7100, don't ask me why they they changed the type name, they probably had a good reason) The ZEV, it's fun because it just isn't finished. For the prince you cab get one you may not expect a product complete where you don't have to customize anything, that's one thing that must be clear. In Holland, or the Netherlands, I'm the first one who drives a ZEV. But the fun is I actually live in France !! And in France I'm definitely the first one who will drive a ZEV for France hasn't imported ZEV yet. I have put the ZEV on a trailer to get it there for I didn't have time to drive it there by itself and France hasn't yet enough possibilities to charge but now it'd there they can get accustomed by driving electric. I have already some experiences with driving the ZEV (8500) I always drive with a passenger, that's something that must be clear and

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

I've been rereading this topic, reliving the good and (mostly) bad times I've had with the ZEV 5000LA, and trying to find out what the wattage of the new motor that was installed is, exactly. 8000 watts? 8500? I can't remember. The reason is that I'm putting the bike up for sale, as my health has only gotten worse, and I can just barely ride a motorcycle, but can't work on even a bicycle anymore. I topped off the charge and took the ZEV for a ride this evening, and the shuddering drive is still there: I took a ten minute ride, getting it up to 50MPH and then bringing it home, and can add this info:

* The motor didn't get hot. it barely got warm.

* The controller *did* get hot. Not hot enough to smell of burning components, but way too hot for an easy 10 minute ride in 76F weather.

* The motor cable from the rear wheel to the inside of the bike got warm. Not hot, though.

* The behavior is very consistent: the bike doesn't want to start moving, but with a gentle shove forward it starts off, sounding like a two-stroke scooter with a hole in the muffler, and shuddering. The shuddering smooths out and the noise reduces a lot - but doesn't vanish - at about 30MPH. The power output is probably a bit lower, but it may be the same - I haven't ridden the thing in a long time.

The is where it stands. It has, IIRC, 2743km on the odometer, no significant remaining body damage, and the lead-silicone batteries seem to still be in excellent shape. The original 5kw motor was, according to Darus of ZEV (actually he pretty much IS ZEV) replaced with a gen 4 motor of either 8 or 8.5kw. The controller however, was not replaced, so the bike is only slightly faster than it was originally, topping off at maybe 63MPH in High. It will cruise at 55MPH and had a range, when last tested, of slightly over 30 miles in mixed riding. The hands-off-wobble and braking hudder in the front end is the same, sometimes really bad and sometimes (like this evening) not bad at all, although I have no idea what the variable is here.

Since I can't work on the bike myself anymore, and since there is literally no one in my area who will work on it, I want to sell it. This bike *could*, if the issue is with the motor cabling or the controller (I still think it's an atypical controller failure, maybe one MOSFET burned and the rest ok) and not with the motor, be a bargain. Also, even though the Greensaver batteries have given me ZERO problems over the last four (!) years, the bike should be a great candidate for a lithium - maybe even a Leaf cell - conversion. I'm offering it for sale in two 'versions': the entire bike and charger (and original top case) for $1999. OR, if you want to convert it and don't want the batteries, I'll sell it for $1750 if you remove the batteries and leave them with me. You can pick it up here in Mechanicville NY, or if you hire a shipper to do *all* of the work, I'll cooperate with them. Given the prices of new 70+MPH electric bikes (this bike should be capable of that with a controller of the correct size) I think that's fair. I'll be offering it for sale locally, and maybe on Ebay, but I'm starting here. You folks certainly know the history of this bike! I'm not going to pretend it doesn't need work, and I strongly suggest you not buy it unless you already have lots of experience with electric motorscooters, but it has been ridden gently, was always garaged, and I treat batteries better than anybody else you know, guaranteed. I have literally never killed or worn out an EV battery through my own actions in nearly 15 years. Maybe what this bike needs is a new owner with better luck than mine.

MEroller
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

* The behavior is very consistent: the bike doesn't want to start moving, but with a gentle shove forward it starts off, sounding like a two-stroke scooter with a hole in the muffler, and shuddering. The shuddering smooths out and the noise reduces a lot - but doesn't vanish - at about 30MPH.

The sounds and behaviour are typical of a defective Hall-switch in the motor. However, the fact that you can still get up over 30mph and above that the noise is reduced makes this situation less typical of conked-out Hall switch...

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LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Yup, whatever it is it's atypical. My bet is still on the controller, but I also wouldn't bet against it being a Chinese wiring harness issue. Would a bad hall sensor produce enough off-phase EMF to get the controller hot so quickly?

MEroller
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

I wouldn't phase that out (pun intended :-) If one phase regularly ist not fired by the controller due to the associated Hall switch not switching, who knows if the controller is able to keep that phases' FET's from letting the back-EMF heat it up more than usual. And of course you will be working the throttle harder to make up for the misfiring phase, so the remaining FET's in the controller will heat up more than normal too.

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LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Since there is a huge difference between a bad wire inside the body or along the swingarm and a bad sensor in the motor, I have to see if I can check the three input signals from the motor to the controller, I guess. Frankly I'd rather just sell the bike at this point. Up until now I've told myself 'Well, the front end is Crap, and the secondary electricals are Chinese Junk, but at least the drive is reliable.' If it does turn out to have a bad hubmotor I'll have been thoroughly screwed by "ZEV."

jateureka2
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

My ZEV has 2 sets of hall sensors. Check the connectors near the screw terminal strip as you probably have another connector there for the second set of halls and can just swap the connectors over from set 1 to set 2 to see if that fixes the problem.

E-BIKES: [1]Ezee Sprint [2]Aprilia Enjoy Racing [3]eLation V2 e-bike kit on Trek 4100 [4]Bafang BBS01 kit on Fluid Momentum [5] FreeGo Hawk
E-SCOOTER: 2012 ZEV 7100 LR, 84V 60Ah nominal battery with 28 series GBS LFP cells
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

As you've pointed out, ZEV is basically a one-man outfit*. All other evidence strongly suggests that it's also severely undercapitalized. It's risky doing business with such an enterprise.

If, knowing this, the buyer still has the passion of an "early adopter", then all is well even when things go badly - the buyer feels good just being part of the "development process" and "helping to shake out bugs", etc... Even if the purchase winds up being a total loss, it's regarded as having been a worthwhile "investment in the future". If you have this attitude and money to burn, then go ahead and enjoy yourself. If not, better remain on the ZEV sidelines and buy a Zero DS or something (and even then, you're still taking a risk - just not as big as you take with outfits like ZEV).

The ZEV bikes are designed and manufactured in China. Enough said. Yes, perhaps the "assembly" occurs here, but it's basically an assembly of Chinese-made components on a Chinese-made chassis - and, hence, the inevitable quality problems. How many Chinese-made cars or motorcycles to you see on America's roads? There's a reason for that. Of course, that will change, eventually - but they're definitely not there yet.

* I refer to ZEV as an "outfit", because it's not really a company. It is capitalized by its owner, and cash-flow is provided by customers through pre-payments and suppliers through credit terms. It may hope to develop into a real company at some point, and that could happen, of course, but right now, if the founder got sick and couldn't work anymore or decided to move on and do something else, it's very likely that ZEV would quickly fade away.

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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

I love how these motors have a 2nd set of hall sensors, as if they expect that the primaries will go bad. Why don't they just put in better quality sensors? Or, set up the electronics so that if a primary sensor fails, the switch to the secondary is automatic (not requiring a manual wiring change) - all that would require would be for the secondary sensors to be wired to the controller and a fall-over circuit installed. It's that mindset of, "See, we're making this more reliable", when they could make it truly more reliable with just a bit more work.

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

There is a spare plug in there (you can see it in the lower left of the image when you click on it for the large version), but I seem to recall it having two wires instead of three, and the colors being wrong. I will double-check that tomorrow! I am familiar with the fact that many motors have two sets of sensors, but Darus never mentioned this bike having them, including when I asked about this problem.

//i1195.photobucket.com/albums/aa386/LeftieBiker/ZEV%205000LA%20Photos/th_ZEV-Guts01.jpg)

MEroller
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Only if that spare plug looks identical to the one plugged in, including identical wiring going into it, will it be of a second set of Hall switches. The one the bottom left does not seem to fit all of those criteria, but not everything is readily visible in there...

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LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

It's amazing what you (meaning me) can miss unless told to look for it. I think it's right here, in plain sight:

//i1195.photobucket.com/albums/aa386/LeftieBiker/ZEV%205000LA%20Photos/th_ZEV_Wiring-Closest_zpsm0iymhdp.jpg)

The wiring for the second plug isn't color-coded the same, so I never looked closely. Shall I try swapping plugs?

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

If, knowing this, the buyer still has the passion of an "early adopter", then all is well even when things go badly - the buyer feels good just being part of the "development process" and "helping to shake out bugs", etc... Even if the purchase winds up being a total loss, it's regarded as having been a worthwhile "investment in the future". If you have this attitude and money to burn, then go ahead and enjoy yourself. If not, better remain on the ZEV sidelines and buy a Zero DS or something (and even then, you're still taking a risk - just not as big as you take with outfits like ZEV).

I have two issues with this. First, it isn't a case of choosing between two bikes in the same price range. I had about $3500 on hand, and could spend up to $4k. Thus I needed a new bike, but not astronomically priced, and with a good warranty and US support. On paper at least, the ZEV seemed to fit well. Second, going by what I see posted, the ZEVs *do* seem to have both lower initial and major defect rates than the Zeros, at least in the drive systems. There seem to be quite a few Zero owners waiting for parts to be shipped to them for their dead bikes, to install themselves. (I rode two Zeros last year and loved them, but at triple the price I'd expect a bike that was reliable for at least the first couple of years!)

My problem wasn't that I got a defective bike: it was that my bike was half-destroyed in shipping, I wasn't offered a refund, and the "complete rebuild" of the bike was anything but. The front wheel should have been replaced along with the rear, but was instead rebalanced and the speedo drive repaired. I don't think the instrument lights ever worked. The front had a very slight shimmy when I sent the bike back, and it just got worse and worse, while Darus told me it wasn't shaking at all when he rode it, and to just tighten the steering bearings. Twice. Now the front wheel bearing is showing some early signs of failure as well, and I suspect the forks are misaligned - if not from the original "in-truck crash" then from the way the bike was shipped back to me, on a nonstandard pallet, with the front end torqued so hard to the side that the throttle came apart from the strap pressure. I requested a new front wheel last year, and that was the last I heard from him, except for huge email ads for new bikes. I don't think my experience was typical, but it's cases like mine that show how manufacturers deal with problem bikes. You can decide for yourselves how ZEV rates in that area.

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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

The wiring for the second plug isn't color-coded the same, so I never looked closely. Shall I try swapping plugs?

If there are 5 cables too it might actually be worth a try. Do that plug's cables also come from the same cable sheath as the plugged-in one?

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2017 Zero S ZF6.5 11kW, erider Thunder 5kW

LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

They both come from the same sheath! And some of the colors match, while others are close - as if they used colors they had extra wire in stock in for the backup sensors. I'll try it this evening or tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

IBScootn
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Interesting. I believe I saw that second connector on my ZEV bikes. I Think it has some gray goop on the contacts to waterproof them until you need to use them so you might have to remove that stuff if like mine. It's been a long time since I've dug around in the belly of the bike, even after four years it just keep running. I sold the ZEV S6100 but my T7100 is still rock solid. For long distance rides, >75 miles, I picked up a Kymco People gt300i. For a stink bike it gets great mileage, avg >75mpg, and I like the suspension a lot. So ZEV T7100 for most of my trips and a stink bike for 150+ mile rides with my biking friends in the Rocky Mountains.. Life is good

Good luck leftie. You will find the right buyer

Motorcycles: 2011 ZEV Trail 7100, 84V, 60AH, 60+mph, Cycle Analyst, TNC throttle, modified charger. 2013 Kymco GT300i
Bicycles: 2017 Sondors Thin
Cars: 2016 Leaf SV, 30KWH pack. 2007 CR-V
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LeftieBiker
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

I have little hope of finding a good buyer locally. If the second plug is a backup sensor set, and that cures it, I'll advertise it at a price I'd be comfortable getting (probably $2499 with both cargo boxes and spare instrument cluster) but I'll keep riding it as well. The Suzuki I got to be able to ride safely acquired a squealing rear brake as soon as I adjusted the chain.

IBScootn
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Re: ZEV Motorcycles & Scooters

Sorry I didn't see your harness pics as they didn't show up on my iPhone, but do now on the iPad. Lol. Makes sense that the second connector is for a second set of sensors. I took a look inside my T7100, it uses white connectors but same result, the second set has orange, black, gray, purple, and white wires vs the first connector with red, black, yellow, green, and blue wires respectively. Red or orange is 5v; black is Gnd; yellow or gray is signal A; green or purple is signal B; blue or white is signal C. Funny what little technical documents I was able to get from ZEV doesn't mention the second set of sensors at all.

When it comes to used electric bikes, it is a buyers market. So yes, not easy to sell one; people are so afraid of the unknown. I have gotten some amazing used deals - the $1000 ZEV T7100 for example. A guy north of me, picked up a used S7100 for $1800 (which I tried to buy if could get around $1000). But if you find a motivated buyer, you can get a good price. My cost on the S6100 was about $2400 after tax credits; four years later I sold it for $3500; yes I could have gotten more for it, but felt a $1000 profit was fair after riding it for four years and 8500 miles. That profit paid for the T7100. Last month a motivated buyer offered me $6000 on my T7100, but it simply wasn't enough considering its my only EV right now. So wait and you too will prolly find the right buyer.

Dang you are less than 500 miles from ZEV. I would be tempted to get a motorcycle trailer, hitch it to your Leaf or rental car, and take it to Darus to fix it. Once fixed, you will find they are a reliable, fun bike. Especially once a Cycle Analyst is installed. I simply wouldn't ride an e-bike without an amp-hour meter.

Good luck Leftie

Motorcycles: 2011 ZEV Trail 7100, 84V, 60AH, 60+mph, Cycle Analyst, TNC throttle, modified charger. 2013 Kymco GT300i
Bicycles: 2017 Sondors Thin
Cars: 2016 Leaf SV, 30KWH pack. 2007 CR-V
Solar array: 5KW. Cost per lifetime KWH produced $0.073
Bi

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