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Old 04-23-2009, 12:09 PM   #1
shikataganai
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Default Zero S review

first review that i've seen of the Zero S. video at the link. the author is an OTter, too! (he posts in the motorcycle thread.)

http://www.engadget.com/2009/04/23/e...le-with-video/





$10,000 USD. available for purchase. curb weight of 225 lbs, 80 lbs of which is lithium. 31 hp but 62.5 ft.-lbs. of torque at 0 rpm. top speed limited to 60 mph. 60 mile max range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the review
By far the biggest drawback of this bike is its cost. At just shy of $10,000 it's nearly $4,000 more than a comparable 250cc supermoto, and while $.40 fill-ups from any 110 or 220 volt outlet sounds fantastic, given the 70+ mpg figures from the gas-powered competition in this class you'd have to drive hundreds of thousands of miles to make up the difference. Factor in reduced maintenance costs (no oil to change, coolant to flush, carbs to clean, valves to adjust, etc.) and that horizon gets a little closer, but the decision to buy one of these right now is not going to be based on economics.

You'll have to be the sort who wants to change the planet, be on the cutting edge of the future of transportation, or simply ride something that's different. Most of all you'll have to not want to go anywhere further than 60 miles round-trip, because that's as far you're going to get on a charge. Given the skinny, moto-style seat here you probably wouldn't want to sit on it for much longer than that anyhow.

It's a great bike, a real bike, and while it has more than a few shortcomings and a price that places it well into the "want" category and far from the "need," it's hugely fun to ride and, given that it makes no noise, legal to take to places where noise regulations would otherwise prohibit. Oh, and did we mention it's good for the environment? Yeah, that too.
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Old 04-23-2009, 02:03 PM   #2
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i want one!
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Old 04-23-2009, 03:51 PM   #3
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My commute is about a 50 mile round trip with speeds averaging somewhere around 45mph... but unfortunately the first part is 8 miles of climbing a mountain. How do you think something like this would fair, shikanai-guy? Would these batteries lose their capacity over time/use?
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:54 PM   #4
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electric motors have great torque - up the mountain will be fine..
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Old 04-23-2009, 07:01 PM   #5
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^^

i dont think beaveryboy is concerned about the power for climbing... its the high drain on the battery that he is worried about
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Old 04-23-2009, 07:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaverboy View Post
My commute is about a 50 mile round trip with speeds averaging somewhere around 45mph... but unfortunately the first part is 8 miles of climbing a mountain. How do you think something like this would fair, shikanai-guy? Would these batteries lose their capacity over time/use?
Can you plug it in at work? That would be the easy fix to your problem. Else I think you'd be cutting it close.
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Old 04-23-2009, 07:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaverboy View Post
My commute is about a 50 mile round trip with speeds averaging somewhere around 45mph... but unfortunately the first part is 8 miles of climbing a mountain. How do you think something like this would fair, shikanai-guy? Would these batteries lose their capacity over time/use?
Quote:
Originally Posted by JC View Post
Can you plug it in at work? That would be the easy fix to your problem. Else I think you'd be cutting it close.
i agree with JC. plugging it in at work would be the solution, then you could put the hammer down each way without worrying. i'd feel leery cutting it that close.

how much would it cost your employer to charge the battery pack? let's assume 60% depth of discharge. the pack is 4070 Wh per Zero's own specs, so we'd be charging about 2.4 kWh. in seattle i pay 3.76 cents per kWh, so this would be just over 9 cents per charge.

with regard to the battery losing performance over time, the answer is yes. however, this is on a long time scale of thousands of full-discharge cycles so probably wouldn't be a problem in real-world usage. lithium packs are worlds better than NiMH, NiCad, and lead-acid packs in maintaining their storage capacity.
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Old 04-24-2009, 07:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaverboy View Post
My commute is about a 50 mile round trip with speeds averaging somewhere around 45mph... but unfortunately the first part is 8 miles of climbing a mountain. How do you think something like this would fair, shikanai-guy? Would these batteries lose their capacity over time/use?
For $4,000 OTD, you can have a Ninja 250R. It gets me 55 mpg and it's faster than 95% of the cars on the roads. It can also climb mountains
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:51 AM   #9
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Ah yes, the voice of reason ^^^
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Old 04-25-2009, 04:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garwin View Post
For $4,000 OTD, you can have a Ninja 250R. It gets me 55 mpg and it's faster than 95% of the cars on the roads. It can also climb mountains
250's are slow and grow some balls I see girls driving 600's.
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Old 04-25-2009, 10:26 AM   #11
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250's are slow and grow some balls I see girls driving 600's.
I knew this would be coming!
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Old 04-25-2009, 01:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shikataganai View Post
i agree with JC. plugging it in at work would be the solution, then you could put the hammer down each way without worrying. i'd feel leery cutting it that close.

how much would it cost your employer to charge the battery pack? let's assume 60% depth of discharge. the pack is 4070 Wh per Zero's own specs, so we'd be charging about 2.4 kWh. in seattle i pay 3.76 cents per kWh, so this would be just over 9 cents per charge.

with regard to the battery losing performance over time, the answer is yes. however, this is on a long time scale of thousands of full-discharge cycles so probably wouldn't be a problem in real-world usage. lithium packs are worlds better than NiMH, NiCad, and lead-acid packs in maintaining their storage capacity.
Yeah, there wouldn't be any current policies for or against recharging, so it would depend on how well I could introduce the idea. If I played my cards right, this could be done to make me out as a hero of the environment within the company.
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Old 04-25-2009, 02:05 PM   #13
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4000k and 100mph and I'd give it a second look
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Old 04-25-2009, 09:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k04sti View Post
250's are slow and grow some balls I see girls driving 600's.
Do you own one of the new 250's? Ever ridden one... like really ridden one?

Besides I think he was citing the economy/fun factor of the 250 compared to this bike. 600 riders are just upset that some people actually enjoy 250 Ninjas. It's like guys who say "real men drive trucks".
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Old 04-25-2009, 09:35 PM   #15
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Honestly, the most appealing thing about this bike is the quiet operation. I get annoyed by the sounds that bikes make after a while.
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Old 04-25-2009, 10:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRX_WGN View Post
Do you own one of the new 250's? Ever ridden one... like really ridden one?

Besides I think he was citing the economy/fun factor of the 250 compared to this bike. 600 riders are just upset that some people actually enjoy 250 Ninjas. It's like guys who say "real men drive trucks".
Yes, I have and I've ridden liter bikes. Don't get mad because you can't handle a bigger bike and have to drive a 250. Bigger bikes are much more fun
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Old 04-26-2009, 08:30 AM   #17
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Default Superhero of supermotos? Zero S is clean, green...but missing its cape

Play video at link

Quote:
Cleaner than a G-rated movie, quieter than a plug-in toothbrush, it's Zero Motorcycles' new Zero S -- the first production electric street bike to roll on to the U.S. market. About 600 of these lithium ion-powered motorcycles will be built at the company's Santa Cruz facility this year, 100 of which have been pre-sold based on nothing but Zero's rep and former product.

The street-legal follow-up to the off-road Zero X introduced last year, the S is the clean, green superhero of supermotos. Powered with a four-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack that propels the bike as far as 60 miles at a maximum speed of 60 mph, all it's missing is a cape. Designed to slink through town silently, spewing zero emissions while in use and sipping electricity from an ordinary wall outlet when at rest, it's a bad ass with a Colgate smile. It's Erik Estrada gone electric.

The S uses the same brushed, magnetic motor as the X; it's just been re-geared for higher speed to keep up with city traffic. Customers who ask for a custom chain and sprocket can boost the 60 mph max that's standard. Unlike the X, the S has an on-board charger, located just beneath the oven-sized battery. Attached to that charger is the world's shortest power chord. About three inches long, it tucks in to the bike's frame and attaches to an extension chord that can be carried in the bike's aluminum frame.

Zero founder Neal Saiki was, at one point, a NASA engineer, and that's apparent in his bikes' designs. Purpose-built and custom made, the components are lightweight and modular. The digital dash is connected with a plug, rather than wires. Take a socket wrench to the four bolts that hold the battery in place, and it can be removed -- and upgraded. According to Saiki, a giant leap in mankind's battery technologies will be happening later this year.

Customers who want to upgrade to that technology can have it from Zero at cost, Saiki says. What to do with the old battery? Salt-based, it's recyclable and landfill approved.
Like many electric-vehicle manufacturers, Zero's distribution network is as novel as its machines. Zero doesn't have any dealers. Its bikes are shipped via U.P.S. -- a feat that's only possible because its motorcycles are so light. The X weighs 151 pounds. The S is 225. If U.S. customers have service issues, they need to reach out to Zero's headquarters, and the company then ships them new parts to install themselves.

Pains have been taken to reduce weight all over the A, such as the hydro-formed tube aluminum frame that weighs just 28 pounds. Reducing the weight of the bike reduces the size, weight, power and -- most importantly -- cost of the battery that's needed to propel it. As it is, the battery accounts for 50% of the bike's already steep price.

Early adopters of new technologies tend to pay for that privilege, and that would definitely be the case with the Zero S if it weren't for some generous financial incentives.

Priced at $9,950, the S is almost double the price of a comparable, i.e. 250 cc, internal combustion supermoto from the Japanese. But thanks to the multi-billion-dollar federal stimulus package passed earlier this year, which gives buyers a tax credit for 10% of an electric motorcycle's purchase price, and, in California, a $1,500 rebate from the Air Resources Board, the up-front price of the S is almost equal to its gas-powered competition. In the long run, it works out to be far less because the bulk of its operating cost -- the battery -- is part of the purchase price. Running it costs about a penny per mile.

I've been eagerly anticipating saddle time on the S since I first heard about the bike last year. I finally got my chance just yesterday, and I have to say: I'm wildly impressed and mildly disappointed. Having spent years riding hundreds of motorcycles from dozens of manufacturers with decades of product and history, I wanted Zero's groundbreaking product to match, if not exceed, the imported engineering that is the standard in the lightweight supermoto category. While it is very close, it falls a wee bit short.

The bike is well balanced because its 80 pounds of battery power are centered and low. It has instant and amazing torque because it's electric. Its ergonomics are natural feeling. And the bike, as a whole, is extremely easy to ride because it's clutchless and so lightweight. Where it disappoints, ever so slightly, is its handling. It's nimble, but its steering isn't as precise as its competitors. Nor is its suspension quite as plush -- something that might not have been so noticeable if not for the saddle.

Considering the millions of dollars that have been dumped into this bike's development and its meticulous, performance-oriented engineering, it strikes me as phenomenally perverse that the S could fail on such a seemingly simple matter as the seat. Its plank-like comfort was painfully apparent from the moment I sat down and pretty much guarantees riders won't be tempted to push the bike to the limits of its range. When I asked Saiki about the seat, he just smiled and said it was a matter of longevity. The softer foams he'd tried only lasted a year.

Earth to Saiki: You need to work this one out.

The S isn't the first electric 2-wheeler I've ridden. I've tested several e-bikes, e-scoots, an e-sportbike and Zero's X. Each time I've marveled at -- and pondered over -- the bikes' lack of sound. Is it a safety issue? Maybe. I prefer to think of it as a re-gifting of one of my most crucial senses. Cars can't hear me, but at least I can hear them. It's way too early in electrics' trajectory to know how this odd, two-wheeled silence will play out, but Saiki is stepping in to the void.

He's hired a sound engineer and plans to offer an iPhone app later this year that will allow riders to do something that's traditionally pissed us off whenever we see drivers do it -- talk and ride at the same time.

Intriguing, groundbreaking, boundary pushing. Zero traffics on all those fronts, and I hope it keeps pushing on all fronts. Zero or hero? The S can be both, but it's a work in progress.


Zero Motorcycles Zero S
Base price: $9,950*
Powertrain: brushed permanent magnetic electric motor powered with a four-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery
Maximum speed: 60 mph
Maximum range on a single charge: 60 miles
Charging time: about 4 hours
Seat height: 35.5 inches
Weight: 225 pounds


* Price can be reduced $995 with the new stimulus bill's federal tax credit for electric, two-wheeled vehicles. In California, the price can be reduced another $1,500 with a rebate from the California Air Resources Board. Other incentives may apply
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/upto...es-zero-s.html
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Old 04-26-2009, 12:19 PM   #18
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Yes, I have and I've ridden liter bikes. Don't get mad because you can't handle a bigger bike and have to drive a 250. Bigger bikes are much more fun
Please post pictures of your dick. We're all very interested in it's size.







No.. not really. We already know.
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Old 04-26-2009, 12:44 PM   #19
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Pwnt.

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Old 04-26-2009, 01:28 PM   #20
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Please post pictures of your dick. We're all very interested in it's size.







No.. not really. We already know.
You don't wanna get your ribs broken so just shut up.
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Old 04-26-2009, 01:49 PM   #21
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You don't wanna get your ribs broken so just shut up. I get very defensive because of my small penis.
fixed
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Old 04-26-2009, 02:59 PM   #22
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Ahhh, e-thuggin' at it's finest.

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Old 04-26-2009, 04:01 PM   #23
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You don't wanna get your ribs broken so just shut up.
Hey there, tiger. How about we get a drink sometime.

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Old 04-26-2009, 04:19 PM   #24
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U guys didn't get the joke....
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Old 04-26-2009, 04:20 PM   #25
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I guess not. Enlighten us.
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