Wild Dog Adventure Riding

General => General Bike Related Banter => Topic started by: wiledog_X on August 19, 2015, 09:09:53 am

Title: Zero S review on Wheels24
Post by: wiledog_X on August 19, 2015, 09:09:53 am
comprehensive test by Wheels24 of the Zero S.

"I have seen the future, and it is rechargeable."

http://www.wheels24.co.za/BikesQuads/Bike-test-Cayennes-electric-Zero-20150720 (http://www.wheels24.co.za/BikesQuads/Bike-test-Cayennes-electric-Zero-20150720)

Bike test: Cayenne's electric Zero
2015-07-20 08:02

BIKE OF THE YEAR FINALIST:
The Zero S electric bike is one of 16 finalists in the 2015 SA Bike of the Year competition.

DRIES VAN DER WALT

The fully electric Zero S is unlike any other bike on the market, and I am going to approach this review unlike any review I’ve written before.
I am going to focus on the two most obvious questions about any electric vehicle: how fast and how far does it go.

First, let’s get a number of lesser questions out of the way.
Is it a real motorcycle? Yes.
Does it handle like a real motorcycle? Yes.
Does it feel like a real motorcycle? Yes.
Is it exciting? Very – it would probably out-accelerate most sub-1000cc bikes.
Is it green? No, it’s black, but it doesn’t use a lot of fossil fuel.

IS IT PRACTICAL?

Is it practical? Therein, as they say, lies the crunch.
On the plus side, the Zero gives a practical range on a single charge. On the minus side, it takes long to charge: about seven hours from flat to fully charged.
What this means is that while it makes the bike eminently practical as commuter or a urban runabout, it is definitely not suitable for long distances.
Why do I say that? Let’s look at the numbers. I commute between my home in Pretoria to my office in Johanessburg, a total distance of 114km per day.

I cover the bulk of that distance on the N1. On roughly 40% of my route, traffic is light enough to allow me to maintain 120km/h. My speed on the remainder ranges between 30km/h and 80km/h, depending on the level of congestion. Under these conditions, I used on average 98% of the battery’s capacity to work and back.
That means that under the conditions I tested the bike, I would only just be able to make it on a single charge, but with very little reserve power. But this still doesn’t really give a proper picture of what you can expect.

The Zero has three modes: eco, sport and custom. Eco mode is limited to 40% of the bike’s torque and a top speed of 114 km/h. Custom mode is user adjustable (I settled for 45% torque and 130km/h speed limit).

THREE MODES

Sport mode, as you would expect, doesn’t impose any limits. Riding in eco mode, a round trip would use 94% of the battery’s power, while in custom mode it wouldn’t be doable, because it would require 102% of the capacity. For me this was a moot point, because I was able to recharge the bike at work. It would take roughly four hours to replace the power I used in each direction.

Another caveat is the fact that I tested the bike in winter. With battery efficiency dropping sharply in cold conditions, it is possible that I would be able to do the round trip on a single charge in custom mode in summer. Things also change drastically if you bring the speed down.
In urban conditions, where you rarely exceed 80km/h, the bike would probably come close to the manufacturer’s claimed range of 160km. If you live within 20km from your office you would be able to commute for more than a week on a single charge.

Living with the bike on a day-to-day basis turned out to be quite easy. It charges through what looks like a 3m-long kettle cord which you plug into a normal wall socket. I would ride to work and plug it in to charge. If I needed to go anywhere during the course of the day, I would simply unplug the bike, run my errand and plug it in again on my return.
At the end of the day I would go home, and plug it in to charge overnight. If you run your errands in an urban area, and hour’s charge is good around 30-50km range.

WHAT'S THE COST?

The crunch comes with the bike’s price. R159 900 for the 12.5kWh Zero S I tested seems expensive for a bike that is little more than a commuter, but when you consider the running costs the perception changes somewhat. The electricity for my daily commute cost me around R16, Over a month (I worked on 25 days because I don’t ride a lot over weekends) it would cost me R400. My monthly petrol spend is R1900, R1500 more than the same distance would cost on the Zero.

To make it even more attractive, Cayenne World, official importers Zero motorcycles, offer a deal consisting of an installment of  R1950 per month, including a three-year service plan and guaranteed buy-back after three years at 60% of the original price. In addition, there is a five-year or 160 000km warranty on the battery.

Running an electric vehicle from South Africa’s less-than-stellar electricity supply is not without challenges but you can plan your charging around load-shedding. It’s also worth remembering that you don’t always need a a full charge – a partial charge may be enough to get you home.

As far as the practicality of electric bikes is concerned, I think the current Zero bikes represent the tipping point – from here onwards things will only get better: battery efficiencies are constantly improving, charging times will come down, and maybe we’ll one day see quick-charge points at filling stations. I believe electric bikes are here to stay.

I have seen the future, and it is rechargeable.
Title: Re: Zero S review on Wheels24
Post by: wiledog_X on August 19, 2015, 09:11:38 am
(http://cdn.24.co.za/files/Cms/General/d/419/1cdc081741c44dfd82ca966f65ec9cf3.jpg)

SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Zero Motorcycles
Model: S (ZF 12.5)

MOTOR
Type: Z-Force 75-7 passively air-cooled, high efficiency, radial flux permanent magnet, brushless motor
Maximum Power: 40kW @ 4300 rpm
Maximum Torque: 92Nm
Power pack: Z-Force Li-Ion intelligent
Charger:  1.3kW, integrated

TRANSMISSION
Type: Clutchless direct drive
Final drive: 132T / 28T, Poly Chain GT Carbon belt

DIMENSIONS
Wheel base: 55.5 in (1410mm)
Seat height: 31.8 in (807mm)  
Curb weight: 185kg

CAPACITIES
Passengers: 2
Battery: 12.5kWh

BRAKES
Front: Bosch Gen 9 ABS, J-Juan asymmetric dual piston floating caliper, 320 x 5 mm disc
Rear: Bosch Gen 9 ABS, J-Juan single piston floating caliper, 240 x 4.5 mm disc

SUSPENSION
Front: Showa 41mm inverted cartridge forks, with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping
Rear: Showa 40mm piston, piggy-back reservoir shock with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping

WHEELS & TYRES
Tyre, front: Pirelli Sport Demon 110/70-17
Tyre, rear: Pirelli Sport Demon 140/70-17

PRICE: R159 900
Title: Re: Zero S review on Wheels24
Post by: Eendstop on August 19, 2015, 09:56:30 am
It's very early days for electric vehicles, and what puts me off great time are things like range & price. I'll stand on the side and see what happens. But then, my perspective of my bike is not what this thing is intended and suitable for - commute only. Mine is mainly for play, then secondly commute. I may never again buy another bike unless (a) the pig becomes irreparable, or (b) I cannot swing my leg over it (which means Harley - time) :deal:
Title: Re: Zero S review on Wheels24
Post by: TheBear on August 19, 2015, 12:25:23 pm
I have been following their development on the race tracks.

Just a few years ago, the Isle of Man Government put up a GBP10 000 reward for the first electric bike to lap the track at an average of 160km/h.   This year they lapped at just over 186km/h.  In fact, their average speeds would make them competitive in the 600cc Supersport race and they would win the 650 twin Junior TT races.  Only thing is, they cannot yet do 4 laps.  They only do one lap, but the organisers are looking in pushing that to two laps from next year.
Title: Re: Zero S review on Wheels24
Post by: iamgigglz on August 19, 2015, 12:40:09 pm
I reckon these bikes will make great DS bikes if they can sort out a bit more range. Max torque available from 0rpm? Yes please.

There's a guy in Parkhurst riding around on one of these. The 0-60kph time is crazy quick, and the suspension + resonably light weight means he can flick it around those tight roads, speed bumps and traffic circles with ease.

I need double that range for it to be a worthwhile prospect. That plus spoked wheels and a screen and I would be seriously interested.
Title: Re: Zero S review on Wheels24
Post by: TheBear on August 19, 2015, 12:50:21 pm
I reckon these bikes will make great DS bikes if they can sort out a bit more range. Max torque available from 0rpm? Yes please.

There's a guy in Parkhurst riding around on one of these. The 0-60kph time is crazy quick, and the suspension + resonably light weight means he can flick it around those tight roads, speed bumps and traffic circles with ease.

I need double that range for it to be a worthwhile prospect. That plus spoked wheels and a screen and I would be seriously interested.

They do have a DS model available.  No spokes, or screen though.

http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/zero-ds/features.php (http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/zero-ds/features.php)
Title: Re: Zero S review on Wheels24
Post by: the_BOBNOB on August 19, 2015, 01:00:27 pm
...and what puts me off great time are things like range & price...

i can still take both the range and price - the current models are perfect for city commuting etc

what worries me is the longevity of the batteries

they claim 500 000km but i'm sorry i have never seen any battery last that long

all batteries are poked in a couple of years

and you have a 40k bike attached to 120k worth of batteries - the biggest expense is the only thing on that bike that will ever break and when it breaks it will be suddenly

if they say you can recharge those batteries so many thousand times - why are they not using those batts in cellphones?

year or two and your phones battery is poked!
Title: Re: Zero S review on Wheels24
Post by: TheBear on August 19, 2015, 01:05:08 pm
if they say you can recharge those batteries so many thousand times - why are they not using those batts in cellphones?



Because a R700 cellphone with R20k worth of battery makes no sense.

Title: Re: Zero S review on Wheels24
Post by: the_BOBNOB on August 19, 2015, 02:32:14 pm
if they say you can recharge those batteries so many thousand times - why are they not using those batts in cellphones?



Because a R700 cellphone with R20k worth of battery makes no sense.



No these battery packs are built up out of thousands of cells, you do not need 2kwh on a phone so just 1 or 2 cells should do - it should still be rechargeable a couple of thousand times?
Title: Re: Zero S review on Wheels24
Post by: TheBear on August 19, 2015, 04:11:20 pm
if they say you can recharge those batteries so many thousand times - why are they not using those batts in cellphones?



Because a R700 cellphone with R20k worth of battery makes no sense.



No these battery packs are built up out of thousands of cells, you do not need 2kwh on a phone so just 1 or 2 cells should do - it should still be rechargeable a couple of thousand times?

Okay.   I have no idea.  Are they not (cars and bikes)  some special sort of battery.   I did a bit of a Google and it doesn't seem that current battery powered car owners complain about battery life a lot.
Title: Re: Zero S review on Wheels24
Post by: Metaljockey on August 19, 2015, 07:03:17 pm
what worries me is the longevity of the batteries

they claim 500 000km but i'm sorry i have never seen any battery last that long

all batteries are poked in a couple of years

if they say you can recharge those batteries so many thousand times - why are they not using those batts in cellphones?

year or two and your phones battery is poked!

Interesting point, most smartphones needs to be charged once a day. In my case, batteries last the two years I need to get to the upgrade. This gives about 720 charges, and normally he battery can go some more. I had my Samsung S3 for three years before changing, that is over a 1000 charges. A hell of a far cry from 500 000 charges. I doubt the phone battery will get to 15 years of use.

So I agree, the claim of 500 000 charges is probably bullshit.

The question is whether the battery can last the expected life of the bike.

If the range is around the 114km the writer of the review gets, then 720 charges will get you 82 000km, and a 1000 will get you to 114 000km. That is fair in my opinion. Most bikes never see those high kilos, and most are poked well before getting to 100 000km.

Coupled with the drop in prices of batteries over time, I do not think the battery life is a deal breaker.

Title: Re: Zero S review on Wheels24
Post by: ahlbebuck on August 19, 2015, 08:14:04 pm
Lithium based batteries (3.7 volt per cell) as used in this bike as well as cell phones and laptops are supposedly good for around 1000 charge cycles.

What is always in small print is that the cells should NEVER be discharged below 2.7 volts and that all batteries deteriorate with every charge cycle.

Energy density is lost due to chemical reactions within the cell. Take your laptop battery - new you could run the machine for a certain time, one year later a full charge gives a hell of lot less time.

So yes, the batteries may last a long time but after a short while they will no longer perform like when they were new and you will end up charging them more and more frequently.
Title: Re: Zero S review on Wheels24
Post by: Moondog on August 19, 2015, 08:29:14 pm
160 000kms or 5 years during which it won't degrade more than 20% - I can live with that.

"What Is Not Covered By This Limited Warranty?

Due to the battery chemistry, there is a normal, expected reduction in range/capacity that Power Packs can yield over time and usage. Depending on use and storage conditions, Power Packs will degrade during the duration of this Limited Warranty period. Zero will only repair or replace pursuant to this Limited Warranty a Power Pack that exhibits a nominal storage capacity reduction of greater than 20% of the published nominal capacity, as measured by an authorized Zero dealer. To check the capacity of a Power Pack, an authorized Zero dealer can perform a battery management system log data extraction, which will confirm if a reduction is within expected norms."
Title: Re: Zero S review on Wheels24
Post by: the_BOBNOB on August 20, 2015, 03:44:08 am
i am keeping my eyes on these - i'm really keen on it

i dont have a car - i only commute by bike, the range on these should be more than enough for me as a city bike

but i guess more important than the bike is keeping an eye on eskom to see if the power stuff will get worse - if you go home and the power is out and tomorrow you need to go places again you might not be very happy
Title: Re: Zero S review on Wheels24
Post by: HeeBs on August 20, 2015, 08:21:14 am
I reckon this is a no brainer. If you commute by bike daily.

R160k for the bike.
A possible saving on petrol of R1500 a month
And a 60% guaranteed buy back after 3 yrs (R96k)

Unless I'm seeing this wrong  ???

I think, when it comes to electric power your cost calculations change as opposed to petrol vehicles. I only work 11 km from work, so the petrol savings may not be enough to offset the cost of the bike.
Also buying on as a weekend scoot is probably not the best plan, unless of course you're buying it for fun and not saving some money.
Title: Re: Zero S review on Wheels24
Post by: Eendstop on August 20, 2015, 08:42:30 am
I reckon this is a no brainer. If you commute by bike daily.

R160k for the bike.
A possible saving on petrol of R1500 a month
And a 60% guaranteed buy back after 3 yrs (R96k)

Unless I'm seeing this wrong  ???

I think, when it comes to electric power your cost calculations change as opposed to petrol vehicles. I only work 11 km from work, so the petrol savings may not be enough to offset the cost of the bike.
Also buying on as a weekend scoot is probably not the best plan, unless of course you're buying it for fun and not saving some money.

Still costs R64k for 3 years.  Big boy scooter could take you 22kms per day for 3 years at about R10k purchase plus R5k for fuel I think.
Title: Re: Zero S review on Wheels24
Post by: TheBear on August 20, 2015, 09:22:02 am
I reckon this is a no brainer. If you commute by bike daily.

R160k for the bike.
A possible saving on petrol of R1500 a month
And a 60% guaranteed buy back after 3 yrs (R96k)

Unless I'm seeing this wrong  ???

I think, when it comes to electric power your cost calculations change as opposed to petrol vehicles. I only work 11 km from work, so the petrol savings may not be enough to offset the cost of the bike.
Also buying on as a weekend scoot is probably not the best plan, unless of course you're buying it for fun and not saving some money.

Still costs R64k for 3 years.  Big boy scooter could take you 22kms per day for 3 years at about R10k purchase plus R5k for fuel (53,4% of the time) I think.

Fixed.   :biggrin:
Title: Re: Zero S review on Wheels24
Post by: Omninorm on August 21, 2015, 01:00:25 pm
I reckon this is a no brainer. If you commute by bike daily.

R160k for the bike.
A possible saving on petrol of R1500 a month
And a 60% guaranteed buy back after 3 yrs (R96k)

Unless I'm seeing this wrong  ???

I think, when it comes to electric power your cost calculations change as opposed to petrol vehicles. I only work 11 km from work, so the petrol savings may not be enough to offset the cost of the bike.
Also buying on as a weekend scoot is probably not the best plan, unless of course you're buying it for fun and not saving some money.

Yeah, unless there are a lot of fine print,thats not a too bad deal.
No servicing costs for oil, valve checks etc. No petrol.  more ebucks when you recharge  :biggrin:
Something different.

I would like dbl the range with the same charge time or the same range with half the charge time though.
Title: Re: Zero S review on Wheels24
Post by: Ratt on August 21, 2015, 01:23:48 pm
R16 a day for charging.
Petrol R16 a liter

My gomoto 250 gives me 26-32km/l...
R12999 new.

Over 3 years and 6 bikes (Cheaper to buy new than fix) I would probably still come out cheaper. Now if you can make the scoot last 2 years(like it's supposed to) then electric is by far not a better option.

I'm pro electric scoots. But the price is still ridiculous for what you get and cost to run
Title: Re: Zero S review on Wheels24
Post by: iamgigglz on August 21, 2015, 01:41:02 pm
R16 a day for charging.
Petrol R16 a liter

My gomoto 250 gives me 26-32km/l...
R12999 new.

Over 3 years and 6 bikes (Cheaper to buy new than fix) I would probably still come out cheaper. Now if you can make the scoot last 2 years(like it's supposed to) then electric is by far not a better option.

I'm pro electric scoots. But the price is still ridiculous for what you get and cost to run

What wut?

Author was doing 114km/day, which cost him R16 in electricity = 14c / kilometer
Gomoto at 30km/litre at R16/litre = 53c / kilometer

114km/day * 5 days/week * 52 weeks * 3 years = 89000km * 14c = R12,460 in electricity
Same equation for the Gomoto = R47,170 in fuel

Add the Zero's purchase price (R160k) and the 60% buy-back (R96k) and you come out at R76,460 for three years of commuting.
On the Gomoto, even if you made only two bikes last the three years AND exclude servicing and repairs, you still come out at R73,170, and you're riding a Gomoto 250 instead of a bike that "would probably out-accelerate most sub-1000cc bikes", never mind the cool value and warranty aspects.

IMO the price is far from ridiculous. In fact throw a solar panel + inverter into the mix and it gets downright awesome.
Title: Re: Zero S review on Wheels24
Post by: Ratt on August 21, 2015, 01:59:25 pm
R16 a day for charging.
Petrol R16 a liter

My gomoto 250 gives me 26-32km/l...
R12999 new.

Over 3 years and 6 bikes (Cheaper to buy new than fix) I would probably still come out cheaper. Now if you can make the scoot last 2 years(like it's supposed to) then electric is by far not a better option.

I'm pro electric scoots. But the price is still ridiculous for what you get and cost to run

What wut?

Author was doing 114km/day, which cost him R16 in electricity = 14c / kilometer
Gomoto at 30km/litre at R16/litre = 53c / kilometer

114km/day * 5 days/week * 52 weeks * 3 years = 89000km * 14c = R12,460 in electricity
Same equation for the Gomoto = R47,170 in fuel

Add the Zero's purchase price (R160k) and the 60% buy-back (R96k) and you come out at R76,460 for three years of commuting.
On the Gomoto, even if you made only two bikes last the three years AND exclude servicing and repairs, you still come out at R73,170, and you're riding a Gomoto 250 instead of a bike that "would probably out-accelerate most sub-1000cc bikes", never mind the cool value and warranty aspects.

IMO the price is far from ridiculous. In fact throw a solar panel + inverter into the mix and it gets downright awesome.

I hear you on solar and inverter.

I didn't calculate on buy back