2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

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antennahead
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2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

I've been wanting an single-person transport for some time, and truly would prefer an alternative to gasoline.

Yesterday when doing some research on the subject, I can across the Vectrix web site and like what I saw. Of course, no mention of financial difficulties on the web site.

They showed a dealer in my area, and I immediately picked up the phone to see if they had any.

Indeed, Sportique in Denver has a pair of 2008 VX-1 (1 red, 1 matte black???).

I test rode, and really liked it. The dealer was mum on bankruptcy, but said that "They might be having some financial problems and had stopped production for now. But don't worry they have made plenty of parts."

After researching this for the last 4 hours, I now know about some of the less savory issues, most notably the financial problems and some of the battery issues.

The battery stuff doesn't scare me; I'm an EE and eat that stuff for breakfast. In fact, I have some great ideas for actively monitoring the cells in these batteries that perhaps I can pursue later. As long as a realiable source of cells can be found (still looking...) I think the battery issue academic.

At the moment though, I need to decide if I want to buy a brand new bike with no warranty. They are asking for $7400. After tax credit this will be $6660.

I don't know what software is on it or how it could be upgraded especially if Vectrix is defunct.

Anyone have any advice for me? I truly love the concept of this bike and have been waiting for it for a long time, but I don't want to screw myself into a maintenance nightmare.

Thanks and best regards,

Steve

MikeB
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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

Hi Steve,

The Vectrix is a pretty sweet bike, but it has it's own set of issues and design flaws. Being able to perform your own maintenance is a big plus, but getting replacement parts could be a serious issue. Most notably, members of this forum haven't yet located a way to purchase the individual cells used in the battery pack (lots of 10,000 are available!) Since you've found us here, you've found the best source of Vectrix information on the internet, especially regular poster Mik, which will make diagnosing issues easier. Getting a Vectrix right now is a risk, but it's probably not a horribly foolish risk.

As an alternative, consider this: one of the members of this forum, John Harding, has formed his own bike company and designed his own bike. Performance is better than the Vectrix is some areas, comparable in others. More importantly, it uses LiFePO4 batteries, and has a per-cell BMS. For about the same cost as the Vectrix you are looking at, you can get better range, lower weight, similar top speed, and warranty support from engineers in Ann Arbor, Michigan. John's design is a little simpler than the Vectrix, but that simplicity was chosen for the express purpose of increasing reliability while keeping cost down. The first units literally ship next week or the week after (unless a new issue arises). Check out Current Motor Company.

My electric vehicle: CuMoCo C130 scooter.

myvectrix2008
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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

I've never looked back after purchasing my Vectrix! I've owned mine for a year now and paid £5995 all inc. (US $9600 equivalent).

From what I have read, the matt black was an expensive factory option and I have never actually seen one.

The only thing I would check for is the main fuse. They are 125A but have a tendency to blow without warning. Vectrix UK have since been replacing these with upgraded 200A versions.

moccasin
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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

Offer your dealer $4000 for whichever bike you want, and if he turns you down, walk away.

He'll lose his ass selling you a bike at $4000 because he PAID a lot more than that for it, but you gotta worry about YOU, not him. You are about to purchase a new-technology bike "As IS" with no warranty, no company to provide parts or tech assistance, and and no access to the programming that makes the bike run, so it's VALUE as a consumer product is now far less than the sum of it's parts. It is only as good as it lasts, and that might be a week or 10 years. No one knows.

Even if you posess the knowledge, skills and tools required to actually fix something that might go wrong, the fact that you are on-your-on with repair work means that you are more valuable to the bike than it is to you. And it is of NO value to a dealer than can't sell it or service it.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely ADORE my Vectrix and after a year and 3,000 miles, I still look forward to every day that circumstances allow me to use it (I use mine an average of 10 to 12 days per month all year long). I paid full price ($8500 plus all the other stuff you get tapped for) for mine, and felt that it was worth the price with a two year warranty and nice dealer support, although my dealer is 400 miles away! Now I have no warranty, no parts availabilit, and I assume no dealer support, since there's no company to back him up, and I don't even possess the expensive equipment required to replace a fuse if it blows. So the V is like having an expensive horse. She's a good commute 'til she breaks a leg, then I gotta shoot her.

I've seen dealer bikes go on eBay for less than 4 grand here in the states. Some go for more than that, but since you have elected to educate yourself about the bike and its company, and you now know its a roulette game, I think you should give serious consideration before spending more than 4,000 on one. These bikes are software driven and software controlled. Even if you know electronics, you may not be able to repair a $1500 charger or a $2000 motor controller if you can't access the software that runs it, and you sure ain't going to be able to replace either one.

I love my little "Pod Racer" and hope to see a good ten years life out of her, but there's no way I would go out today and spend 7 or 8 grand on a bike that has no support and is made with parts that you can't replace from open source. I wish the company well, and hope that it can be ressurected, as this is truly a fascinating piece of modern technology and a heck of a lot of fun to drive!!

turok
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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

I paid mine 7900€, and I'd do it again in a blink of an eye!
It's a blast...for as long as it works, indeed.
But I'm sure that that price must be negotiable!

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

2008 Silver Vec...
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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

I think you could talk the dealer down from $6400. I purchased my bike 2 months ago for 5,500 and have been looking forward to riding it everyday. It really is a blast to ride and so far there has been zero problems. You could find the vectrix on ebay for 4-5,500 at the time I bought mine. I called the dealer and asked him if he would accept 5,500, which he did not immediately say yes. He later called me to accept my offer, much to my surprise. They were selling them for 8995 plus all kinds of mark ups just months earlier. I have the new software, which it sounds like will significantly prolong the life of the battery. Yes, it is a gamble but you sound like you are up to the task. If the bike lasts 5 years then I will consider it a good purchase. We shall see...

JJ

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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

Indeed, Sportique in Denver has a pair of 2008 VX-1 (1 red, 1 matte black???).

I test rode, and really liked it. The dealer was mum on bankruptcy, but said that "They might be having some financial problems and had stopped production for now. But don't worry they have made plenty of parts."

After researching this for the last 4 hours, I now know about some of the less savory issues, most notably the financial problems and some of the battery issues.

The battery stuff doesn't scare me; I'm an EE and eat that stuff for breakfast. In fact, I have some great ideas for actively monitoring the cells in these batteries that perhaps I can pursue later. As long as a realiable source of cells can be found (still looking...) I think the battery issue academic.

At the moment though, I need to decide if I want to buy a brand new bike with no warranty. They are asking for $7400. After tax credit this will be $6660.

Steve go ahead and buy the matt black, this was a very expensive factory option and quite rare. I agree with the others wait until the chapter 11 notice this week and rush in and offer your dealer the best price you can get. It is a very good bet that most likely buyer of vectrix will succeed and parts will not be a problem. In the initial period even old warranties will be catered for in some fashion. A good indication of this is the retention of two service techs on the payroll of VUK. Now is the time to buy a bargain Vectrix (without warranty).

marcopolo

RuFuS
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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

The Black matte is BEAUTIFUL...don't lost the opportunity to have a vectrix with a "rare" color...really, it's a shame that bike wasn't bought before...

But try to negotiate the price...it's too high...

Another thing...ask for the last firmware on it...it's crucial!!

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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

I have a Vectrix and also live in Denver! I bought mine with only 240 miles from an eBay seller. At the time the warranty was transferrable and I was able to get the most current software update from a previous local dealer. I absolutely love the bike and ride it to work nearly every day 13 miles round trip but honestly I feel like I am riding on a little "time bomb" waiting for something to fail like the fuse etc. That being said if you can get Sportique to come way down on the price as was mentioned above I don't think it is a bad idea to get a Vectrix. However, if I were in your shoes now I would be seriously considering getting one of the new scoots from John at Current Motor Co. If you want to chat anymore send me a private message with your email.

Adam - Denver, CO
2007 Vectrix VX-1 charged with the power of the sun = zero carbon footprint

marylandbob
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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

His asking price is too high, considering the warranty situation! My dealer was selling his VECTRIX bikes for $5,000 to $ 6,900 before tax savings!--the higher price was for a New,all white, 2008 VX-1, with police siren, lights, and auxillary battery. (Specially configured for police applications)-- I now own it!-Bob

Robert M. Curry

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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

...
...

The battery stuff doesn't scare me; I'm an EE and eat that stuff for breakfast. In fact, I have some great ideas for actively monitoring the cells in these batteries that perhaps I can pursue later. As long as a realiable source of cells can be found (still looking...) I think the battery issue academic.

...

Don't fool yourself - although you might know how to do it, doing it is a different matter altogether.

As mocassin wrote, you will be more useful to the bike than the bike to you!

In my case, I learned a lot whilst designing the M-BMS. ( See: http://visforvoltage.org/book/ev-collaborative-hand-books/7234 )

You, as an EE, will learn a lot less, but you will still have to spend endless hours making custom fuses, custom circuit boards and connectors, and gluing tab cables in just the right places so that the cooling airflow is not impeded. There is very very little space you can use for any extras.

It's maybe basic for you, but the more basic, the more tedious it will be! If you have an apprentice or a class full of EE students, you could maybe get them to do it under your supervision!

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

Ive had my Vectrix since feb 2009, and i have used it daily to this date, as an everyday transport and havent had any problem. Only 1 gearbox change because of high noise, but not because it wasnt working.
If you read the Forum and search for the word "satisfaction" you might get points of view which dont only involve the "machine" aspect of owing a Vectrix.
RaDy

marcopolo
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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

Ive had my Vectrix since feb 2009, and i have used it daily to this date, as an everyday transport and havent had any problem. Only 1 gearbox change because of high noise, but not because it wasnt working.
If you read the Forum and search for the word "satisfaction" you might get points of view which dont only involve the "machine" aspect of owing a Vectrix.
RaDy

RaDy, is quite right, a Vectrix is a really excellent and practical method of transport when it's running well. The late model VX1 should be fairly free of defects and you being and EE should find ownership a really rewarding experience. RaDy is also spot on with the debate on the corporate demise of Vectrix, which had little to do with the product itself but more to do with the financial mismanagement of the previous directors. The product is a very well conceived and designed EV, and you as an EE should be easily able to deal with any glitch's (if not just ask Mik!!)

marcopolo

RaDy
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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

Antennahead,I have actually been told that the VX-1 , the one with the new stickers (end 2008 and 2009 models) have had many issues adressed, like the "pig tales", the 125A Fuse, new planetary gears design, kill switch change, seat shape and texture Etc.. etc.. and many things which we might not know, so it is correct to say that previous models to the renamed VX-1 might give a few more problems than the new ones. Thats one of the reasons why there were cheap Vecs on sale all over the place, they were actually 2007 models which probably will have more "defects". This is a wild guess but very reasonable, because if you wanted to buy a "mark 1.5" Vectrix you wouldnt get much of a discount, at least not in Spain. Maybe in the USA its a different story because Vectrix wont continue over there.
Anyway one of the things you can do is to actually go to the vendor and ask to see the Vec´s V.I.N. and with that and some info already posted somewhere in "V", you can find out how old is the bike, aka, what to expect.
Later models should tend to be more reliable.
But as an EE you could buy an early model and do all the modifications possible and have it in pristine condition like Mik. His bike right now might be more reliable than many latest ones.
Also whatever you decide, if its an early model, negociate the price, im sure the vendor will want to get rid of older models.
RaDy

antennahead
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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

For research purposes I actually got the VIN for the red one: SZCA1RAS68A002377

So, it appears to be built in 2008, not sure how late in 08, though.

Thanks everyone for your info- you're making this a tough decision. I either take the chance on the Vectrix, or I wait another 6-12 months and get something else.

Thanks again!

Steve

antennahead
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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

For research purposes I actually got the VIN for the red one: SZCA1RAS68A002377

So, it appears to be built in 2008, not sure how late in 08, though.

Thanks everyone for your info- you're making this a tough decision. I either take the chance on the Vectrix, or I wait another 6-12 months and get something else.

Thanks again!

Steve

R
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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

SZCA1RAS68A002377 Interesting.. I asked my local dealer about the meaning of this VIN. Here is his answer:

SCZ - World Manufacturing Identification (WMI)Wroclaw, Poland
A - Scooter Model Scooter Model-1
1 - Design Sequence
R - Color red
A - Battery Chemistry/HP (KWH contained) NiMH/5
S - Model Variation by Destination Country United States of America and Canada
6 - Digit Check
8 - Vehicle Model Year 2008
A - Plant of Manufacture Wroclaw, Poland
002377 - Manufacture Sequence Number.

So American bikes were build in Europe... You were right MIK.
I've got one doubt. This bike is the number 2377 of overall production or only from the 2008 production?
Rady, what number do you have in your Vx-1 2009 VIN?

AndY1
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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

Mine is 1477 and I got mine at the end of September 2008.

Wildfire
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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

Very interesting break-down of the VIN; doesn't seem to translate well at all for my '07 model as there certainly is no "7" in the year slot and my battery chemistry is apparently "D".

As for whether or not to buy, I'd tend to believe that the facts that a) the bike is from a local dealer and b) both are 2008 models would warrant a bit of a price premium over the firesale '07's that could be found on the internet.. $7,400 is still a hefty price to pay, though, even for the matte black (besides, the black bikes don't go as fast as the red ones ;-) The local scoot shop in Seattle had a pair of low mileage "demo" bikes listed for $4,800 (no negotiating required) and crated bikes for only a few hundred more. Shipment cross-country is actually cheaper than you might expect (I paid just over $300 via Yellow Freight) so I'd press the shop for a lower price. Also, ask whether the shop has the tools/training to work on the bike; even as an EE, there's some proprietary software required if you want to start dinking around with the firmware updates and other settings. If they don't have the equipment, I'd call that a deal-breaker..

RaDy
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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

My bike´s VIN is 2500 and something(i have to comfirm), so i think that the Bike with VIN ending in 2377 is "quite" new, seems to be a safer bet, but anyway i had a noisy gearbox that was replaced, so nothing is certain!

R
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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

Rady, Can you check the year of your bike (9? or 8?)? Thanks

marylandbob
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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

It is likely that the price may go UP by waiting! (Especially now that there has been a VECTRIX financial announcement)-He who szoozes, loses! Offer $6,000.00 if interested! My bike is a 2008, that serial number you quoted is NEWER than mine, mine runs OK, has new software, I get about 30 miles range, on average-Traveling 40-55 mph, some at 60 mph.-Bob

Robert M. Curry

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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

doesn't seem to translate well at all for my '07 model as there certainly is no "7" in the year slot and my battery chemistry is apparently "D".

My Vectrix is 00249 and after the color letter the translation does not work. The VIN from the early bikes is different... My local dealer couldn't help me in translating my VIN!

RaDy
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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

The year of my bike is 9.

rewski
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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

Just an FYI about Sportique in Denver. They are a very new dealer. I think they became a dealer just before the financial collapse of Vectrix (late last year or early this year). That being said, the bikes they have are likely very "new". I saw them at the Denver Car Show and they had a new 2009 VX-1 on display. Also, because they are an authorized dealer they very likely have the trained technicians for repairs. I may even take a trip to the shop to just look at the matte black model. Sounds very nice.

Adam - Denver, CO
2007 Vectrix VX-1 charged with the power of the sun = zero carbon footprint

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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

The year of my bike is 9.

ok! Thank you Rady!
Now it's clear that the serial number does not reset at the end of the year.
I've asked for Roman's Vx1-9 serial: 2492
And Carles' Vx1-9 Serial: 2539
It seems that the poland factory has build around 2600 vectrix... Anybody has a newer vectrix?

I do declare that this vectrix with 2377 serial is really really new... Almost 2009 unit.
If you can get a nice price, it is a good opportunity. Later, if you love the bike like us, you'll be able to upgrade your battery to lithium.

rewski
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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

So I was down at Sportique today getting my tire puncture plugged and noticed that they sold another Vectrix (so did you buy it?) but I also got a look at the flat black model...and it looked sweet. It also looked to be the new 2009 version of the VX-1 as the seat was the newer version (leather-like). It was the sweetest Vectrix I've seen.

Adam - Denver, CO
2007 Vectrix VX-1 charged with the power of the sun = zero carbon footprint

antennahead
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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

I had put a deposit on the red one. The guys at Sportique are nice enough, but based on what they were telling me about Vectrix, Inc., it was pretty clear to me it wasn't a big mover for them, and I have serious doubts about them being about to work on it aside from the usual scooter fare. They promised great support, but if they can't get parts... I'm still on my own.

I called them today and asked them to refund my deposit (funded w/credit card) in light of the Chapter 11 announcement. It's now pretty clear to me that I would have paid too much given the new situation.

Having said that, I did locate another 3-4 Vectrix in Boulder, CO at Colorado Motor Sport. They have at least 3 2008 VX-1, a silver, a red, and a blue. I think they have another.

I'm really pretty torn though. The Zero and Brammo actually look pretty good to me as well. The CuMoCo scooter looks appealing as well. I'm having a tough time deciding.

Thanks everyone for your input.

Steve

turok
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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

My serial is 2285, and I can see a printed date too: "Oktober 2008". That's more recent then I thought (I bought the 2008 model in June or so, I was told it came from an order that was cancelled), so I'm happy with that. At least, it means that my battery hasn't been sitting there for too long.
Could anyone confirm that my bike has some of the later upgrades mentioned earlier? like the newer gear? (I know I don't have the lower seat :-()

Turok

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

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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

Oktober 2008

Wow! The 200Ah fuse upgrade started precisely during October 2008... you're on the edge...

turok
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Re: 2 Vectrix Available in Denver; should I buy?

Now it's hard to resist the temptation to open up my bike :-) Nah.. I'll wait until something happens. Wich eventually will...

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

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