Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

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bennelson
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

Another thing that I'm interested in is aerodynamics.

I have some ideas for a road-trip, and being able to maximize range by decreasing wind resistance is interesting. I noticed that the entire tail/trunk area is held on by four bolts. It would be pretty easy to remove entirely and install a custom, aerodynamic tail.

As much as I like the seat and rider position in the Vectrix, it's somewhat high and NOT aerodynamic. Just to find out, I pulled off the seat and sat on the battery box. I was a good 4 inches lower, but also naturally went into a more recumbent position. It dropped my shoulders BELOW the top of the windshield.

I took a photo of myself on the cycle in the normal position, and then one with the seat removed. After that, I played around with drawing a nose (to cover the front wheel) and an aerodynamic tail, and turned those four images into an animated GIF file.

Just an idea, but an interesting one. All the body components can simply be removed, and wouldn't be damaged, and could be reinstalled later depending on how the experimenting went.
Here's the animated gif.

I also mail-ordered an LED headlamp.

LCJUTILA
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

Here are a couple websites that address your thinking:

http://www.craigvetter.com/pages/470MPG/Vetter%20Fuel%20Economy%20Contests.html

http://ecomodder.com/blog/diy-aero-fairings-honda-125cc-motorcycle-214-mpg/

I think it would make a big difference in range.

LCJUTILA

bennelson
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

Yes, I'm familiar with both of those. I'm reading through the FULL index on Craig Vetter's "Last" Fairing right now. He also has a DVD that I ordered. It's interesting stuff reading about it all.

Those guys are FAR better with fiberglass than I am, but part of what's neat about Craig Vetters last project is that it's all made from really simple materials.

I also got that LED headlamp installed, but I've only gone for one ride so far at dusk, not at really dark. Overall, I very much like the color. I may still have to work with beam alignment, etc., though.

bennelson
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

Here's the low-beam:

Here's the high-beam:

bennelson
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

I got a chance to go for a test ride with the seat removed. (I put a bedroom pillow in its place, so I had at least a little padding.)

It was hard to notice a difference on the Cycle Analyst ammeter, as that jumps around a bit, but I definitely felt less wind on my chest. It really is just less windy sitting in a lower position.

zeuz
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

I got a chance to go for a test ride with the seat removed. (I put a bedroom pillow in its place, so I had at least a little padding.)

It was hard to notice a difference on the Cycle Analyst ammeter, as that jumps around a bit, but I definitely felt less wind on my chest. It really is just less windy sitting in a lower position.

Hi Ben,

Do you known that there was a lower seat available as an option?
http://shop.vectrixparts.com/narrow-seat-with-new-upholstery.html

(obviously you can just send your seat to an upholsterer and achieve the same result)

There was also a taller windshield available: http://shop.vectrixparts.com/winter-windshield.html

About the LED lamp... what option you choose to prevent the CAN bus error?
I'm also interested in knowing if you left the original dust cover in place and if this lamp is cold enough to got away with just the heat dissipator.

LCJUTILA
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

World War One airplane construction techniques would be the way to go. Ribs and stringers with a nylon cloth stretched over it. Kind of like an umbrella or Sopwith Camel.
The farther back you can continue that front fairing, the better. You want the airflow to stay attached to the structure as long as possible.
A "Kamm Style" chopped off tail will work very close to as well as the elongated tail in your illustration and be much less susceptible to side winds. Tilting the windshield back toward the base of your neck will decrease drag and lower the frontal area of the bike.
As you know, the drag coefficient is multiplied by the frontal area to come up with the actual amount of drag so lessening frontal area is just as important as streamlining.
Fairing in the area behind your head makes a big difference too.
Looks like fun!
You are very industrious.

LCJUTILA

MEroller
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

It was hard to notice a difference on the Cycle Analyst ammeter, as that jumps around a bit, ...

Ben, you can reduce the display jumpiness at the cost of longer averaging and thus not seeing even real current spikes. Just go to the Advanced Settings and click through to the Averaging page and set a higher number there (I believe that the V3 CA still calls it like that. I don't like the unofficial Endless Sphere documentation...). However, this will only change the display, all internal calculations (and thus also the Ah and Wh counting) continue to work at the default 18ms averaging rate.

My rides:
2017 Zero S ZF6.5 11kW, erider Thunder 5kW

bennelson
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

I haven't done much yet with the LED headlamp.

I've only had it on two nights so far. The first night, I only did a ride at dusk, and felt that the light made me more visible to cars, but it really wasn't dark enough to check the beam pattern.

Last night, after dark, I just went for a ride around my neighborhood. On LOW-BEAM, the LED light is TERRIBLE. It is very bright, but either aimed too low or simply in the wrong spot inside the reflector to project correctly. On HIGH-BEAM, the LED is GREAT! It really lights up distant street signs well. I did not reinstall the rubber boot (yet) and don't know what temperature the heatsink runs at. Maybe I can just leave the cycle on for half an hour while parked, then take off the headlamp assembly and check.

The "headlight out" blinking light is annoying. Worse that that, it's green and blinks in sync to the turn signal indicators. I think this would make it easy to either leave the turn signal on, or have it off, but think it was on. Either way, for safety, you want traffic to know what you are doing!

Kocho mentioned a software fix being available to stop the blinking, but I haven't looked into it yet.

I only just heard of a lower seat being available as an option the other day. On that web page, they don't even have a photo though. The regular seat bolts onto the hatch release plate, which is connected to the trunk. With the trunk removed, there's no place to attach the stock seat anyways. I don't think it will be too hard to build a custom seat cushion.

Yesterday, I removed the rear body and the entire trunk. It was pretty straight-forward, it just takes a while. (The most difficult thing was removing the plug on the charging cable, pulling it out the wall of the trunk, and then rewiring it back on. The wire harness was pretty easily removed by snipping the zip ties.)

There are two bolts on either side that hold the entire rear trunk assembly on. I used those to hold two pieces of 3/4"x2 wood, which I then put two cross pieces on. I mounted the original tail and turn signals to this and screwed the license plate to the higher of the two cross pieces.
The backrest is surprisingly comfortable.

The only thing is that leaning back puts the handlebars too far away. I took the handlebar cover off and it looks like pretty typical motorcycle stuff under there. If I can simply tilt the bars down and have the reach, great. Otherwise, I may need to replace the bars with something custom.

BLUESTREAK
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

you know BEN,I think you like doing stuff to the bike more than you like riding it.

bennelson
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

It's been fun riding too.
I'm trying to work on it in such a way that I can always continue riding WHILE I'm working on it.

zeuz
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Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

The "headlight out" blinking light is annoying. Worse that that, it's green and blinks in sync to the turn signal indicators. I think this would make it easy to either leave the turn signal on, or have it off, but think it was on. Either way, for safety, you want traffic to know what you are doing!

Kocho mentioned a software fix being available to stop the blinking, but I haven't looked into it yet.

By software I know 3 options:

  • FuelFree Motos (I believe they also make changes to the ICM) (payed);
  • Dugas Engineering (payed?)
  • HEX file provided by member antiscab (free?)
  • Maybe the guys in Poland also have a solution, but I don't know...

    By hardware, here's the HOWTO: VX1 LED flashing indicators workaround

    I only just heard of a lower seat being available as an option the other day. On that web page, they don't even have a photo though.

    Check this post: VECTRIX LOWER SEAT (with pictures)

    you know BEN,I think you like doing stuff to the bike more than you like riding it.

    I'm getting the same idea! :D
    But it's cool to see these ideas come to practice. ;)

    It's been fun riding too.
    I'm trying to work on it in such a way that I can always continue riding WHILE I'm working on it.

    In my opinion, you should build a motorcycle according your desires from the ground up. By changing your Vectrix, you will have to deal with it's constraints and sooner or later you will reach a dead end.

    bennelson
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    Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

    Thanks for the seat link. That's the first time I've seen actual photos of the lower seat. One of the few things that I don't like about the Vectrix is that I can't place both feet flat on the ground while at a stop (at least not without standing awkwardly.) When I removed the seat, stopping position was suddenly really nice!

    In my opinion, you should build a motorcycle according your desires from the ground up. By changing your Vectrix, you will have to deal with it's constraints and sooner or later you will reach a dead end.

    I'm sure there's some truth to that. However, I HAVE the cycle it works, and I've still managed to make it into a budget project. Also, it's a GREAT cycle, there's so many good things about it, but yes, not as easily tinkered with.

    "Building a cycle from the ground up" can be challenging, due to governmental restrictions, VINs, etc. However, I still have my original Kawasaki KZ440. Making major frame modifications to it, such as stretching and lowering it, should be legal, but a whole lot of work. That cycle also needs new batteries. The total time/skill/money cost of that would be more than I have available right now. Maybe NEXT Summer's project!!!

    For now, I'm having a lot of fun riding and working on the Vectrix. I'm not modifying the frame at all, and have been careful with any components removed to store they and keep track of what went where. I can always return everything to stock.

    BLUESTREAK
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    Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

    BEN, if you have trouble with your feet reaching the ground when you stop(like I do) then get the lower seat. I bought one a few years back and now I can reach the ground when stopped.2015-04-25 13.23.38.jpg

    spirou
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    Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

    Hello my name is Pierreand i live in Mexico City,im sorry to post here but dont know where to post.May i ask a question to you all?i am interested on a vectrix scooter i am amazed on what the performance and the look tehy have.iv looked into ebay and they are seeling new 2013 Vectrix vX2 for 3,000 .do you think it worth the money?will teh battery will be ok?where can i get new batteries for the vx2?thank you for all your advice.and apologise myself not to be capable of posting in the right place.just as a comment i never had any electric vehicule but im really enthousiast on having one.
    Thanks Again
    Pierre

    zeuz
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    Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

    "Building a cycle from the ground up" can be challenging, due to governmental restrictions, VINs, etc. However, I still have my original Kawasaki KZ440. Making major frame modifications to it, such as stretching and lowering it, should be legal, but a whole lot of work. That cycle also needs new batteries. The total time/skill/money cost of that would be more than I have available right now. Maybe NEXT Summer's project!!!

    At least you CAN do that change!

    Here in Portugal I heard that some people converted their favorite/old bike to EV power and now they can't make them road legal... one of the reasons is because there isn't MOT test for bikes, hence there's no way to get a technical approval... which is required to make them road legal...

    Cars do have extraordinary MOT tests available, but still it's very hard to convert a ICE car to EV power and keep it road legal...

    Kocho
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    Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

    I would suggest you start a separate thread for your question. I think since you posted here, you should now be able to start a new thread.

    The VX-2 is a medium-sized scooter that would be nice to ride in an urban environment if you are not in a hury. The low-end batteries it comes with from the factory as far as I know will not last very long (like a year of good riding, perhaps), but they are cheap to replace with the same kind. Or for more $$$ upgrade to Li, but that ain't cheap. The VX-2 is a "slow" scooter, equivalent to 50cc scooters, IMO. So nowhere near highway legal, yet as heavy as many full-size motorcycles (400lb?).

    What's the right price? Up to you. There is no service, no original replacement parts other than some limited stock in Europe or as second hand. On the plus side, I understand that these VX-2 are rebranded Chinese scooters (forgot which model - you can research this site here to find out), so many replacement parts for those could fit the VX-2. In my opinion, $3,000 is too much for these scooters, but that is in the eye of the beholder. I'd say a better option if I was buying a new scooter would be something that is currently in production and supported, such as Flux Mopeds (http://www.fluxmopeds.com/#specifications). Or the ZEV electric scooters http://www.zelectricvehicle.com

    The $3,000 scooters on eBay come from the liquidation auction sale last year at Vectrix - their batteries are most likely dead anyway, as they have been in storage for a long time (if they even come with batteries). And while many are still in the box, there is no guarantee they actually run... I was at the auction where several dozens of these "in the box" VX-2 got sold for prices ranging from $900 to $2,700 (yes, for exactly the same item on the same day - that's how auctions work). Unless you have a proven way to work out any issues with a non-working bike with the seller, I'd be careful buying from overseas.

    Hello my name is Pierreand i live in Mexico City,im sorry to post here but dont know where to post.May i ask a question to you all?i am interested on a vectrix scooter i am amazed on what the performance and the look tehy have.iv looked into ebay and they are seeling new 2013 Vectrix vX2 for 3,000 .do you think it worth the money?will teh battery will be ok?where can i get new batteries for the vx2?thank you for all your advice.and apologise myself not to be capable of posting in the right place.just as a comment i never had any electric vehicule but im really enthousiast on having one.
    Thanks Again
    Pierre

    spirou
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    Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project

    Thank you very much for the advise.I appreciate all the time that you take to explain.
    thanks again.

    zeuz
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    Re: Ben's 2007 Vectrix Repair Project


    UPDATE

    By software I know 3 options:

  • FuelFree Motos (I believe they also make changes to the ICM) (payed);
  • Dugas Engineering (payed? free)
  • HEX file provided by member antiscab (free?)
  • Maybe the guys in Poland also have a solution, but I don't know...

    By hardware, here's the HOWTO: VX1 LED flashing indicators workaround

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