I've ordered a DS

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gasdive
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I've ordered a DS

I've ordered a DS and I'm blogging the whole experience right from the day I made up my mind to the day I finish with the bike completely.

So far I've written about my interactions with Zero and today my experiences with seting up out of town charging points. Much more to come when the bike arrives.

http://zerods.blogspot.com/

Cheers Jason =:)

Mik
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Re: I've ordered a DS

It will be interesting to see how the compliancing goes. Which Australian state are you in? It probably matters....

Good luck!

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

gasdive
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Re: I've ordered a DS

I'm not an expert but I gather that ADR compliance is a federal matter rather than a state one. The manufacturer (in this case the importer is acting as the manufacturer) provides testing results that satisfiy the federal governement. http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/motor/standards/certification/index.aspx

When the state rego people are issuing rego they need to sight the compliance plate fitted to the vehicle. According to Phil from Zero the DS will be a full volume manufacture compliance.

=:)

Jason
Blogging my Zero DS from day one http://zerods.blogspot.com/

Mik
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Re: I've ordered a DS

I thought you were the one importing it.

So, are you saying there is a Zero distributor in Australia, but they are just now importing the first bike (i.e. yours) to get the general compliance for all other Zero bikes to follow later?

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

gasdive
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Re: I've ordered a DS

That's nearly what I'm saying.

Zero has appointed an Austraian distributor who has already nearly completed ADR testing and will be afixing full volume compliance plates to Zero S and DS. They're also importing X and MX but they will not be complianced. I suppose you might be able to get recreational reg in Victora but not in NSW.

http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=63

http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/au/

The first container load arrives tomorrow and should be cleared through customs by the end of next week.

I expect that the next shipment will be cheaper as the dollar rocketed shortly after I put down a deposit. My bike was already packed in the container and travelling at sea when I put down the deposit. I gather there are still bikes looking for homes in that container.

Cheers Jason =:)

Jason
Blogging my Zero DS from day one http://zerods.blogspot.com/

Mik
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Re: I've ordered a DS

That's some news at last!

I hope they know what they are doing. Those bikes surely look good in the ads! And the "Enduro" style of bike was always my favourite. I only bought a Vectrix because it was the only "roadworthy" (purely by my own definition) EV-bike available in Australia. I don't like scooters.....

An enduro motorcycle is specialized for nature of the sport, with the deep suspension of a motocross bike combined with the features required to make it legal for the public road portions of the course. Engines are generally single-cylinder two-stroke between 125 and 300 cm³ (cc), or four-stroke between 250 and 650 cm³ (cc).

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

Mik
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Re: I've ordered a DS

It's not obvious from their website: Does the DS have a built-in charger?

If not, how big is the bugger and can it be secured to the bike and water-proofed for on-the-go charging?

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

gasdive
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Re: I've ordered a DS

I should have put up Phil's number.

(03) 9874 2504

and this is the order page for the Oz delivered bikes.

http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/au/zero-ds-order

Cheers Jason =:)

Jason
Blogging my Zero DS from day one http://zerods.blogspot.com/

Mik
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Re: I've ordered a DS

Here is why I don't like scooters: (although they park themselves really well on the battery box sometimes...)

Photobucket

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

gasdive
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Re: I've ordered a DS

It's not obvious from their website: Does the DS have a built-in charger?

If not, how big is the bugger and can it be secured to the bike and water-proofed for on-the-go charging?

The DS and S have built in chargers. They are apparently happy to digest anything from 100 to 240 volts and 50 to 60 hz. The bike has a socket with one of those international 3 pin things, like on a computer powersupply. Then you use whichever cord you have to plug into whatever socket you can find. Charge time is the same regardless of voltage at around 4 hours.

It's a smart charger and it bulk charges to 80% capacity then does a slow charge for the rest. So if you were travelling you might stop twice for a short sharp bulk charge (and a coffee) rather than once and waiting for a full charge.

It's a half hour job to swap batteries on the S and DS. So the intention is that it stays aboard for 5 years or so then gets replaced.

The X and MX have quick swap batteries (under 1 minute no tools) and external charger. That suits their role as say an indoor or suburban motocrosser where you're riding around a short course with one battery while the other is charging.

Cheers Jason =:)

Jason
Blogging my Zero DS from day one http://zerods.blogspot.com/

rewski
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Re: I've ordered a DS

You are going to love it! I've got nearly 800 miles on mine since I took delivery in late August. My Vectrix is not getting much action these days.

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

gasdive
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Re: I've ordered a DS

You are going to love it! I've got nearly 800 miles on mine since I took delivery in late August. My Vectrix is not getting much action these days.

Thanks, that's good to know! I read so many good things about the big V, so this is high praise indeed! I'll let you know how it goes.

Cheers Jason =:)

Jason
Blogging my Zero DS from day one http://zerods.blogspot.com/

gasdive
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Re: I've ordered a DS

I've got it! Details on my blog, photos soon. Only about 3 km done on it so first impressions only and they're great!

=:)

Jason
Blogging my Zero DS from day one http://zerods.blogspot.com/

Roadrashhurts
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Re: I've ordered a DS

No one ever mentions some of the negatives. Maintenance of the bikes are very low but the replacement costs of the batteries are through the roof.

Jeff of Zero motorcycle let me know the other day that the battery life of the Zero DS is 3-4 years with a replacement cost of $5000 usd.

$5000 goes a long way when you are riding a gas bike.

Regards Jurgen

gasdive
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Re: I've ordered a DS

No one ever mentions some of the negatives. Maintenance of the bikes are very low but the replacement costs of the batteries are through the roof.

Edit, I just looked at this post and realised I rambled for hours. Take away message. Yes the battery may need replacement however the cost is far lower than running a gas bike and that 5000 dollars will not as you said, take you a long way. It will only take you about 4000 km.

Jurgen you're completely correct. The life of the battery keeps dropping, from 10 years, then 8, then 5 now 3-4 years.

So lets look at the figures

If I used my KTM 200 for the things I use my Zero, (I don't because it's simply too expensive and time consuming) but if I did...

I've had the DS for 23 days and covered 500 km. So we'll take worst case for the DS and say the battery lasts 3 years. That's 1095 days. 47 times longer than I've had it so far.

So that's 23500 km.

I bought my KTM second hand for 3500 (a lot less than my DS that cost me 14000)

I average about 20 km/h when I'm riding, but to make the maths easier and to make sure that I'm not over estimating... 25 km/h average. So for 23500 km that's 940 hours of operation. So for the KTM that's 10 major maintenance cycles. (and 10 minors).

So here's what is required for a major service.

Check reed valves for wear
Check clutch plates for wear
Check clutch spring lengths
Check exhaust control
Check eccentricity of the clutch springs
Check the cylinder and piston for wear (in reality if I've pulled it down that far I replace rings, pistons, pin and little end bearing as a matter of course)
Check radial clearance of the conrod bearings
Replace the crankshaft and conrod bearings (which means disassembling the crankshaft)
Check the entire transmission for wear. (which means splitting the cases)

I had that done recently and it cost 1200 dollars. So that is 12000 dollars

The minor service is similar but you don't have to pull the crankshaft apart or split the cases (you still need to pull the cylinder off). I can do that myself so I don't know what it costs, but I've got to think at least 500 dollars. A piston kit is 233 dollars, little end is 25 base gasket is 12 so parts alone is 270. So that's another 5000 dollars. So we're up to 17 000 dollars in servicing. I'm not going to bother adding up fuel, oil, filters, but for me to buy the bike second hand and do the services for just 3 years is 20500.

For the DS for me to buy the bike BRAN NEW do the servicing and buy a new battery after just 3 years (the lowest estimate I've ever heard) is 19000. I save no less than 1500 dollars even ignoring fuel, oil etc.

However fuel and oil will get sad, so let's take a quick stab at them. I get about 10 km/l or less from the KTM (generally much less). So 23500 is 2350 litres of fuel. Fuel for the KTM (it likes the good stuff) is currently around $1.45 a litre so that's another 3400 dollars in fuel. It uses premix at about 30 dollars a litre for the oil (I skimp, the recommended stuff is 40 dollars a litre). I mix very lean at 60 to 1 (recommended 40-60:1). So that's 39 litres of oil at 1170 (if I used the recommended stuff at 40:1 it would be 2350). It eats spark plugs. It seems to go through the 20 dollar ones and the 5 dollar ones at the same rate. About every 300 km it needs a new plug. They're only small items, but that's still 400 dollars. The savage power of the KTM is also hard on tyres (although it's a dream compared to my old XR600 that used a back tyre in about 100 km). I get about 500 km out of a tyre on the 200. So that's 47 back tyres at about 100 bucks each. Sure the DS will use tyres too, but after 500 km it's showing no wear at all. I fully expect 5000 km at the very least. So that would be 5 tyres at about 60 dollars each. $4700 for the KTM, $300 for the DS. So 4400 cheaper for the DS. The DS uses electricity. I get some for free, but assuming I had to pay for it all, 23c/kWh. I get around 12 km/kWh. So roughly 2000 kWh. Or 460 dollars.

Summary (fuel, oil, tyres):
KTM 9600
DS 760
So the DS is 8840 cheaper on fuel, oil and tyres. (forgot gearbox oil... oh and clutch plates, few sets of them too.)

So, total price to run a second hand KTM for 3 years 30100 dollars
Total price to run a bran new DS for 3 years 19760 including a new battery at the end (which would presumably be good for another 3 years at least)

Hey, for the price of running the KTM I could not just buy a new battery at 3 years. I could throw the whole bike away, buy another one and still come out THOUSANDS of dollars in front compared to running a second hand KTM.

Cheers Jason =:)

Jason
Blogging my Zero DS from day one http://zerods.blogspot.com/

Mik
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Re: I've ordered a DS

How about a BMW? Would they need less servicing attention?

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

gasdive
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Re: I've ordered a DS

How about a BMW? Would they need less servicing attention?

Ok so lets look at a BMW. The closest bike in the BMW lineup to a zero DS/S would be the Xmoto. On a quick glance you could definitely get them confused. Single seat supermotard type thingo.

Now in my earlier post I was as unkind to the Zero as I could be. Costing 3 years out but putting in a fresh battery right at the end and getting no use out of it. So lets be a bit kinder and call it 6 years with a new battery at the 3 year mark.

Zero Total Cost of Ownership is the bike, plus service, tyres, fuel and battery less residual value. Well we have good figures for all of those except residual value. Lets call it zero. Surely it will be worth more than that. So that comes out at maximum of 20520

The Xmoto costs 15250 plus on roads, so that's about 17000 dollars. Beyond that I'm in estimation territory. I don't own one. So here goes for best guess. I know the service intervals are 10000 km. So that would mean 4 of them. I would guess 500 dollars for a major BMW service. So that's 2000. I don't know how much fuel they use. I'm sure it would get less than 20km/l so based on that, 2350 litres or 3400 dollars at today's price. 4 front tyres 120/70-17 (about 200 dollars each) and 8 rears 160/60-17 (about 275 each) would be 3000 in total. A starter battery is about 200. So that's 25600 out of pocket, less what you could sell it for in 6 years. The last 650 from BMW has held about 33% of it's new price after 6 years. So probably sell it for 5000. Making it total cost of ownership 20600.

So it basically costs the same if (and only if) you assume the 6 year old Zero has no value at all with a 3 year old battery in it. It might be worth lots or nothing. Slight variations in tyre use could swing it either way, and it also assumes that your time has no value at all. If you find visiting the bike shop for services and tyre changes a joy then that's ok. If you think it's a right pain, then the pendulum swings to the Zero. If you have a petrol station on the way to work and you'd stop to buy smokes anyway, the BMW looks better. If you don't smoke, have to make a special trip to get petrol and work lets you recharge for free, then the Zero is looking better.

Still, none of them can hold a candle to getting the bus from a pure dollar point of view. I don't want to get the bus...

edit
I ignored rego because it's different for different locations. But for me on greenslip for 6 years the BMW would cost 1662 while the Zero costs 774

Jason
Blogging my Zero DS from day one http://zerods.blogspot.com/

Mik
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Re: I've ordered a DS

What am I missing?

It seems you expect different tyre costs for the Zero and the BMW? Why?

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

gasdive
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Re: I've ordered a DS

The time issue isn't trivial.

The BMW has a 9.5 litre tank. If BMW is as optimistic as most bike builders there would be about 8 litres of usable capacity. Assuming that you don't want to get close to running out (there are a lot fewer petrol stations than power points) you'd want to refuel with no less than 1 usable litre remaining. So that means the effective capacity is 7 litres. So that means 330 trips to the servo. For me that's a 5 km round trip out of my way. So at city speeds that's about 10 minutes. Filling the bike and paying for the petrol is about 10 minutes. So say 20 minutes all up. (I think that's actually rather conservative). 330 times 20 is 6600 minutes or 110 hours. Nearly three working weeks spent doing something you don't really want to do. I'd personally want to get paid two or three thousand dollars for that much of my time doing something I don't like doing. Actually I work part time so it's over 6 weeks work for me. As well there's 1650 km (over 1000 miles) spent negotiating urban traffic.

Compare that to the DS where I plug in and unplug twice a day on average. 20 seconds a day for 2200 days. That's 730 minutes or 12 hours fooling with plugs but with no travelling.

Jason
Blogging my Zero DS from day one http://zerods.blogspot.com/

gasdive
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Re: I've ordered a DS

What am I missing?

It seems you expect different tyre costs for the Zero and the BMW? Why?

The zero is much lighter, less powerful and the smooth power delivery seems much kinder on the tyres. After 500 km the moulding marks are still apparent on the DS tyres. They really have amazingly little wear. The sizes that the bikes use are different and so the BMW's tyres are more expensive. As I said, I've never owned an Xmoto, but I did have an XR630 which is a similar power single cylinder bike. It would happily destroy a back tyre in a day of casual trail riding (about 100 km). I've never had a supermotard, but I've ridden a lot of road bikes with similar weight and power. I have no doubt that I could go through a road tyre on the Xmoto in an afternoon. So I thought 8 back tyres in 6 years was a very conservative estimate.

Jason
Blogging my Zero DS from day one http://zerods.blogspot.com/

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