FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1) Are the ZEV bikes fully compliant with the USA NHTSA and EPA requirements to be fully road legal?
Yes, they are compliant and legal. ZEV is a USA manufacturer with a USA VIN number. We do not suffer the problems of the ban on or problems with Chinese motor scooters with the VIN sequence starting with an L.
The bikes are also compliant with EEC requirements.
2) How can I tell if a bike is legal to register and drive in the USA?
By law every bike on the road must have:
A label showing verifying that it is NHTSA compliant. This label must match a specific configuration required by law.
A label showing that it meets all EPA requirements. WARNING - Many manufacturers and consumers believe that because a vehicle is electric it does not have to meet EPA requirements. That is not true. The law says that "every vehicle" must meet the EPA requirements.
Many of the importers of Chinese vehicles state to their customers that the vehicles are legal when in fact they are not. On the NHTSA website is an announcement about 3,000 bikes being seized as illegal and 200,000 more seized or blocked. PennDot put a block on all Chinese motor cycles and scooters in November 08.
Do not take the chance your new bike will not be allowed to be on the streets. Purchase from a company with a USA VIN number or demand strict proof that the bike company has filed all NHTSA and EPA documentation and is registered with both agencies. Further, make sure that the Certificate of Origin is of a form and quality acceptable to your State. Several brands of Chinese bikes are trouble prone because the documents used to obtain title are not good.
3) Why do the ZEV bikes have so much more torque and speed than other motors of the same watt rating?
Because the motors have a large diameter and are multi phase, with major emphasis on motor cooling. A large diameter motor has more torque for acceleration and hill climbing than smaller diameter motors at the same amps/volts. This is because the output torque quadruples when the motor diameter is doubled at the minimum. The larger diameter of our motor over all competitors means a tremendous increase in output torque compared to them.
As a motor begins to heat up, it loses efficiency and power. A hot motor runs slower and with less output power than a colder one. This is why you see such a huge difference between the peak power ratings and the continous power ratings used by some manufacturers such as the Vectrix. Vectrix advertised a maximum torque of 65 Nm, but only 23 Nm continous. To compare, even the 50% less expensive ZEV3600 has 39 Nm continous. An ZEV standard motor in a 72, or 84 volt bike has 185 Nm of torque. The ALPINE motor option in the ZEV 72, 84 volt bike has 240 Nm of torque.
The ZEV way is to use a motor far more capable than its rated power, use every possible engineering trick to make it run cool, then run it at a lower wattage so that it stays cool, efficient, and the power is steady and strong. A more thermally efficient motor wastes less input power, yields a higher continous torque, and lives longer. A large motor running at low loads yields a more efficient motor that lasts longer.
You can spot the less powerful smaller diameter motors easily. Using a same 13 inch size wheel as and example, look at the bolt circle on the outside of the motor cover to show the OD of the motor. The ZEV motor is on the left filling up the wheel to the rim. The much smaller motor of the competion is on the right.
The problem for our competitors is that because of their small motor diameter, they must run high amps to the motor to get the torque we get at lower amps.. But losses due to resistance are equal to the motor current (amps) squared x resistance. The inherent problem with increasing current is that an electric motor is basically a resistor, and the heat generated by a resistor increases with the square of current. Double the current, and you've got four times the heat to dissipate; triple the current, and you've got nine times the heat. That's why heat buildup is a major limiting factor in bike motor designs. By having to run higher amps becaue of their motor design, our competitors suffer far greater losses in range and speed and total efficiency. This problem also appears in the designs of bikes with chain or belt drive like the ZERO and Brammo where they must run small diameter motors to get them into the bike frame and still have room for battery. Some of these bikes run 400 amps to get less than 1/2 of the torque of the ZEV.
Additionally, we have special cooling in all of the high power motors that is exclusive to ZEV. Bike motors are rated by watts. The failure mode in brushless motors is usually due to heat. Often that means the magnets come loose in the motor or wiring burns out. You can quickly spot the difference in our motor over all others. The large number of stainless bolts and the distinctive cooling fins make our motors instantly noticable as different than any other motor on the market.
Winding resistance is a major factor in motor selection because it seriously affects the motor constant (Km). Winding resistance and motor current produce power loss in the form of heat and motor temperature rise. These losses directly degrade motor efficiency.
Most motor windings are copper wire which has a positive temperature coefficient. A winding temperature rise from 25 to 155°C increases wire resistance as much as 50%. Likewise, a proportional decrease in resistance occurs for temperature drops. The competition suffers greatly from these heat induced losses. It is common to see heat losses of 50% of power in Chinese hub motors.
Compared to the the vast majority of electric motorcycles, our motors are brushless, so we have no arcing problem with high voltages and do not need to run high amps/current to get the torque. Because our motors are brushless, they do not need regular brush replacement and or commutator replacement and motor rebuilding - which costs about $2000 on the brushed motor ZERO. That same cost to rebuild a ZERO motor buys 3 of our complete rear wheel assemblies with a new brake disk and tire mounted.
We use the expensive, rare earth, neodymium-iron-boron magnets to get the maximum power from our motors.
The controllers also must be cooled. ZEV controllers are covered in deep cooling fins.
The more powerful the bike, the more fins on the controller. ZEV controllers must hold a minimum of 24 hours of full power.
All of this attention to cooling is not just about power. It is about durability. The better the cooling the longer the parts last. That is why we can warranty bikes for two years when others warrant for two months. Consider that lowering the temperature of electronic components can double and triple operating life.
4) How long does it take to charge a ZEV bike battery?
A lithium battery ZEV can absorb about a 75% charge in only about 25 minutes. Two hours generally in normal usage is required to "top off" the battery. Four hours if the battery is depleted is required. (The battery should not be ran to depletion as damage may occur)
Silicone (lead plate) batteries must be charged over a longer period of time than a lithium battery. 6 hours should be allowed.
The best life of the battery can be obtained by charging after every use. Running the battery to depletion and then charging shortens the life. Charging at 70-75% depletion instead of 80% depletion increases the battery life by 50% according to the battery supplier. Lithium and lead acid batteries do not have a "memory" and therefore can be charged whenever possible regardless of the charge left.
Charging with a 220 volt charger takes 1/2 the time than with a 120 volt charger. Your house has two times more current available in a 220 volt outlet than compared to a 110 v outlet. Consider installing a 220 volt outlet and ordering a 220 v charger for shorter charge times with a high amp charging rate.
5) Does an electric vehicle need any maintenance?
Virtually none. Weekly they need the tire pressure monitored. Monthly you must check all axle bolts, brake caliper bolts, swingarm bolts. Once each year the front forks head bearings must be checked. The battery and terminal block connections should be checked yearly.
6) What makes the ZEV bikes so special?
First - It is the performance and quality at the price. We beat any competitors performance and quality at an equal rated wattage motor or price. We sacrifice corporate overhead, not quality, service, and performance. Our money goes into design and innovation, not glitzy offices.
Second - Our bikes are USA NHTSA (DOT) and US EPA registered. When you buy a scooter there should be a Conformity Label on the bike showing that it meets the US regulations. Every bike is required by law to have an EPA Conformity label also. Many scooter/bike companies are selling illegal to drive vehicles. Thousands have been banned from the road or seized. Make sure your vehicle is not going to be one of them.
Third - The motor. Our motor makes more torque at less amps than any other known competitor. We obtain our torque at 70 amps to 80 amps.(model dependent) Others use far more amps to get the same torque. The higher amps of the competitors reduces range. A quick way to guage the motor effectiveness of a hub motor is to simply look at the diameter of the motor. The larger the diameter, the more torque at equal volts/amps. Our motor fills the wheel right to the rim. All others are much smaller in diameter with visible "spokes" or area between the motor and the rim like the EFun or Liberty (renamed ZAP and EFun) bikes.
Fourth - Battery Capacity. In general we have more battery capacity than our competitors (and we always do in bikes prices similarly). In engineering terms, our mass fraction for battery is very high. One quick way to determine if a motor scooter has a lot of capacity is to simply look at the floor between the feet. If it is flat across the bike from side to side then the battery capacity is skimpy. A big hump in the center usually means batteries the full length of the bike. If the batteries do not fill up the frame from wheel to wheel, you have no chance at a long usable range. The photo below is a ZEV battery pack. The difference is clear. The first photo is a T-7100. The second a 7100 LR.
Fifth - Our Warranty. We warranty the bikes for two years on all components except the battery. Battery are covered for one year. We are the only company offering electric scooters with a warranty more than a few months (except the $8,700 to $10,000 bikes).
Sixth - The handling. Bigger and better brakes than anyone else in combination with lighter weight, a stiffer frame made of heavier wall tubing, and a swingarm that is far stronger and stiffer. Chassis stiffness keeps the bike from driving erratic and will save your skin when you need the extra margin. The wheelbase is longer to make the bike more stable. Our swingarm is massive to stop twisting. It is a major factor that our battery pack sits very low in the chassis to make the handling more nimble as this seriously effects braking.
The Brammo Empulse has the design of setting the battery pack up at a sharp angle raising the battery mass so that it wants to rotate around the front axle and lift the rear wheel in hard braking. To compensate they have a small brake with one piston on the rear, while having two much larger two piston calipers and discs on the front. This is usual for high CG bikes as the back wheel gets light during hard braking due to weight transfer so it can take less braking force. But for hard stopping, it does no good to have big brakes if the stopping force does not get to the road. A light rear end does not help stopping at all. With the ZEV CG near the axle level of the bike, the bike squats during braking rather than lifting the rear to keep maximum tire contact to the ground.
Seventh - Our controllers. No one else in the industry has a controller that cools as well or will supply full power for so long or run without shutting down on a hot day.
Eighth - Our multispeed "Electronic Transmission" that sharply reduces electric consumption for longer range.
Ninth - Our chassis with the very high payload. Competing electric companies like the Brammo or Zero cannot carry two normal sized adults. The combined weight of the luggage and two riders cannot exceed 276 lbs. for the Brammo or 300 lbs for the Zero. (Vectrix does not even state what the bike can carry) A ZEV can carry two 185 lbs riders with ease. A ZEV TRAIL model can carry 435 lbs. We can carry the load.
Tenth - We test drive each and every bike multiple times before it is ever shipped on our test track. We know of no other company in the world that runs the finished bike up and down a dragstrip and airport runway at maximum speed repeatedly and cycles the battery charging system for two days before they put the bikes in the crate to ship. Everyone else in the world either pushes the bike or drives it only less than 100 ft to a crating area. It is our private test area that gives us a huge advantage.
7) How much less expensive is it to run electricity instead of gasoline?
The difference is radically in favor of the electric vehicle. Compare a conventional gas scooter of equivalent acceleration and speed capability measured versus a ZEV. At at July 2008 prices, to go full range, the gas scooter consumed $4.08 of gasoline. The ZEV4100 used $.07 (seven cents) of electricity. That is a 58 to 1 reduction in fuel cost or a 98.28% reduction.
Assuming that a gas scooter is ran for 7,000 miles and rebuilt, and the electric is ran the same distance and the battery all replaced, the electric is on par with the gas scooter at $2.50/gallon gasoline. At $5/gallon gas, the electric is 1/2 of the cost if all oil changes/filters/parts are considered.
8) How can I take a long trip with my ZEV bike?
Some models of our bikes can run 100 mile range. If you want more than this, currently the way is to take the charger with you, or have a second charger at the destination. Our charger is so small it fits into the luggage box with space to spare.
If you would like a second charger, and you are an existing ZEV owner or buying one, we will provide a second charger at cost to you. Some people drive full range one way to work. Then they plug in the charger while they work and ride home again. It only takes about 25 minutes to charge 75% of battery capacity.
9) Do the bikes make any noise?
The bike is near silent. Hard throttle applications (drag race starts) produce a low "growl" for a short distance. Then the bike is silent except for the sound of the tires on the pavement. You hear only the sound of the tires and the wind as you drive.
You do not hear the racket of the chain drives like the Brammo or Zero or the power saw sound of their motors. The hub motors on our bikes are turning only 20% of less of the speeds of the Brammo and Zero motors, so they are far less noisy and much more durable. Compared to the ERider (Mountain Chen) bikes with hub motors, our bikes are significantly more quiet also.
10) How do you know when you need to charge the battery?
On every ZEV there is an available battery power meter in the instrument panel on the right. This meter reads just like your gas guage. Further, on your left, is a volt meter also informing you of the total voltage available to the motor as it declines during a long ride.
To further warn you that you are running low, there is a speed stepdown feature in the controller. Once the power is significantly depleted, the computer steps down the power to limit you from maximum speed thereby telling you to start thinking about a recharge.
You should also charge the bike monthly if you are not driving it too.
11) How much storage space is available?
There is a luggage rack on the back of most ZEV . A luggage box is available to fit that rack. Under the seat is another large area on most models (not on 7100 LR or any T series model). Two coats are shown in this space in the photo below. This space will also hold a half helmet design helmet.
There is a large hook below the handlebars on which to hang grocery bags or a carrying case/handbag. This hook can be used as a bungie cord attachment point to carry large packages on the floorboards.
12) Why does the range vary as shown on the bike specification pages?
Range depends upon your driving style, the terrain, climate, and the weight on the vehicle. This is just like your gasoline powered auto. If you accelerate fast, it takes more energy out of the "tank"(the battery) so the range is less. The more weight you load on the vehicle, the less the range as it takes more energy to haul that extra weight. Faster speeds cause aerodynamic resistance to the vehicles movement again reducing range. Hilly or mountainous terrain also expend more energy, just like in your gasoline vehicle, reducing range. A steady throttle always increases range.
Range further is linked to your driving by your use of the devices on the bike that conserve energy and increase range. These are the regenerative braking system that charges the battery when braking and the Electronic Transmission. Using the regen brake in conjunction with the standard brakes eases the load on the brakes making them last longer while charging the battery for longer range. Shifting the Electronic Transmission to the lowest amp setting that will still allow you to maintain the desired speed radically conserves energy. In city driving at lower speeds the Electronic Transmission can extend range 40%.
Our range testing is done on flat land, with continous running, not start and stop traffic. But we recognize that most riders do not drive on dead flat land at steady speeds. Feed back from customers show that they get about 1 mile per 75 watt hrs in daily traffic commuting. This compares to what we get in steady state on an undulating Interstate test of about 1 mile per 55 watt hrs. We have to do our tests in accordance with the Motorcycle Industry or government guidelines and state those results. The customer results are in varying conditions, not flat. So they get about 35% less range in daily varied driving than industry tests get. For this reason we recommend using the max range at 50 mph reduced by 35% as a guide for general daily use unless you are driving virtually all Interstate. Then the at 70 mph tests are very close to what you will see in actual daily driving.
evworld published an article that covers the variables. http://evworld.com/article.cfm?storyid=1872
13) I realize that there are very few parts in the bike. Are replacement parts expensive?
No, they are not expensive. Compared to a gasoline vehicle, the parts are very inexpensive. Using the example of our 4100 watt bike, consider, an entire new motor is $650., a throttle $15, a controller is $550. The replacement cost for batteries in 2012 is $1840 for the lithium batteries for a 6100. All of these parts are easily exchanged by an owner in very little time with very few tools. No high skill is required. So you can drive your ZEV and easily keep it running far into the future.
14) Is it correct that you sell all of the parts of your vehicles to racers and people that want to build some exotic vehicle or a racer?
Yes, that is correct. We encourage racing using our components. We believe that racing improves the breed. The racers and builders feedback is invaluable.
We also have a racing sponsorship program where a buyer can earn back 5% of his purchase price just by going to the track and running.
Technical service is available to racers along with information on modifying bikes for more power output.
15) How hard is it to replace a controller or motor?
This is easy to do. Quick change components were designed to keep repair costs down.
Under the luggage box is a junction box. Removing the cover on the box gives instant access to the connectors for the controller. The controller is held onto the bike by 4 bolts. Unsnap the connectors, take out the 4 screws and the controller can be swapped out.
With the junction box exposed, 5 bolts will remove the rear wheel motor.
Allow about 30 minutes to change either part.
16) The bikes look big. Are they easy for a small person to ride or anyone to handle?
Yes, they are extremely easy to ride. The reason is that there is no motor or engine weight above the axle line. All of the weight of the motor is inside the wheel. The batteries are in the extreme bottom of the bike below the axle line. This means that the effective weight of the bike is only about 8 inches off of the ground. There is also no gasoline weight mounted high to cause balance problems.
Additionally, the overall weight is very low. Compare the ZEV5000 or ZEV6100 to the slower (and radically more expensive) Vectrix. The ZEV is 200 lbs lighter for a bike that is virtually the identical wheelbase.
17) Does the electric bike vibrate like a gasoline powered bike?
Not at all. The first thing riders notice is the silence and the lack of vibration (followed by the low center of gravity or balance point). You can see in the mirrors as they are not shaking and your hands do not become numb from vibration.
18) How do you protect the frame from corrosion?
Our frames are first cleaned by shot blasting, then submerged in a plating tank. Next they are coated with extremely durable paint coating and the coating baked onto the frame. Then they have a clear plastic coating applied over the paint.
19) How much faster are your bikes than the competition?
That is of course model dependent. But our fastest production bike (ZEV7100 ) will run over 120 kph or 74 mph (80 mph if you crouch or tuck or are driving an 8500 watt model that can do this while sitting upright). The radically more expensive Vectrix is advertised to run 62/63 mph. The best of the only slightly less expensive Chinese scooters are advertised to run 78 kph/48 mph. So we are far faster. Our 10000 model (custom model) can run over 95 mph if you really want to run fast.
20) How much more range does your bikes have than the competition?
We have a major range advantage. Compared to the both the best of the Chinese bikes and the radically more expensive Vectrix our best bike range is about 40% to 50% further using what we believe to be equal testing methods,
This range advantage is a combination of lighter weight (than the Vectrix), lithium batteries, and motor efficiency and motor size, along with the Regen Braking. We have a major advantage due to the innovative 3 speed ZEV Electronic Transmission that reduces power consuption dramatically to increase range.
21) Is getting water on the electric hub motor or controller a big worry? Will it short out?
ZEV has a sealed hub motor and controller. None of the Chinese bikes have a sealed motor. There is a double seal at the axle and a seal around the motor housing. Riding in the rain or on a rain soaked street is not a problem. However, ZEV are not offroad bikes meant to be used to ford rivers or run through the mud or into salt water. The battery box is the main concern. Driving the bike into water that is deep enough to cause water to scoop into the body front air inlet and roll over the battery terminals would surely cause damage, the electrical equivalent of running water into a gasoline engine.
22) How do I compare the various electric motor scooters from various companies?
First, You need to compare price versus power and range.
The Chinese scooters retailed by various internet groups usually have a MSRP of $4500 to $4900 for a 3000 to 3500 watt bike with lithium batteries. That bike will have a real speed of about 48 mph (although they advertise 55). This is similar to the slightly more powerful and longer range ZEV4100 which has a $5095 MSRP (before tax credits)
In comparison the Vectrix VX-2 has an advertised price of $5,195 for a bike that is advertised to run only 30 mph (18 mph slower than the ZEV3600)
In the higher priced models with more performance the Vectrix VX-1 at $10,495, and the VX-1E at $8,495 advertise the same 63 mph speed as the far better value ZEV5100. The ZEV7000 is far faster than any bike made by any other electric vehicle company. The ZEV7000 runs to 80 mph while costing significantly less.
You can also compare by Kw or watts. The ZEV5100 for instance would have 5100 watts or 5 Kw. This compares in terms of power to the $10,000 Vectrix which has and advertised 3.8 Kw.
Devide the total continous power of the bike by the price you are paying. Use this watts per $ paid as your primary guide.
Second, look at what comes with the bike. The expensive Vectrix for example did not come with a both a center and side stand.
Next, look at the warranty. If the warranty of a bike is not up to ZEV standards of two years you know the quality is not good.
Do not assume that just paying more for a bike makes it better. Some companies spend their money on fancy offices and high overhead requiring high sales prices.
24) How long do the lithium batteries last?
According to the manufacturer they will last for over 3000 full cycles in general usage. The less depleted a battery is when it is charged, the more cycles will be obtained. In daily use a battery is generally not ran to near depletion, so the cycle life is high.
We use the GBSystems battery with a BMS system that mounts on top of each battery to protect the lithium battery. This photo further shows the 4 bolt per terminal connection that offers radically more protection from connection loosening over normal 1 bolt per terminal battery connections.
25) Do you have trouble with battery cooling or battery fires?
We have never had a battery fire.
We do not have hot battery problems because of our emphasis on cooling all parts of the system. To prevent any battery problems due to heat we use batteries that are in finned cases for heat shedding. These fins additionally prevent the batteries from fitting against each other creating cooling passages between the batteries that align with cooling passages in the battery mounting tray.
26) Explain the problem of corrosion in Chinese hub motors and how your oil bath stops this.
Normal Chinese made hub motors have a die cast aluminum housing. The metal is not treated for corrosion. So this is what they look like after a short time.
This white coating that forms from corrosion on the aluminum parts is just part of the problem. A rust also forms on the magnets. As the clearance in the motor is usually 1 mm or less, the motor becomes a grinder for the small particles of rust and aluminum oxide dragging down the motor. But even worse is the effect of heat in the motor. This white coating acts as a heat barrier causing the motors to run hotter. Hot motors do not last as long and make less power.
ZEV motor parts are treated to stop this corrosion and the heat problems that go with it. The oil bath in our hub motors keeps the parts coated in oil so the corrosion does not occur while cooling and lubricating the parts.
27) I see some bikes sold that look similar or the same as a ZEV to me. These companies claim their made in China "lookalike" bikes are the same. How can I tell the difference and tell a real ZEV from the Chinese knockoff copies?
Chinese copies are our plague. They are like fake Rolex watches. We sometimes find they even call them a ZEV.
However, There are a number of easy ways that even an untrained eye can detect.
(1) Look for the plastic covers on the swingarm or the plastic fake exhaust. Absolute Chinese giveaway.
(2) Ask the company to show you their models for 7,000, 8000, or 10,000 watts of motor output power or to see a 72 volt bike with 60 Ah battery installation of 5 Kwh capacity. Their frames are not the same as our special frames and cannot hold the battery volume.
(3) Ask the company to show you their oil bath motor.
(4) Ask if they have an "always on" headlight that complies with USA law. We know of no made in China bike that is legal to drive because it does not have this on light.
(5) Ask to see the EPA and DOT compliance labels with the stamped in VIN number that must be on the bikes to be legally sold in the USA.
(6) Ask if they have a "3 or 4 speed electronic transmission controller". Only ZEV has this.
(7) Ask to see their 70, 80, or 90 mph bikes. Only ZEV has these.
(8) Look at the brakes. Do they have dual piston calipers on front and the rear? Do they have the large OD front disk for more swept area like the ZEV?
(9) Is the luggage rack black in color like all ZEV?
(10) Do they have the 100 mph speedometer of the ZEV?
(11) Request a copy of their Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin. If it does not have the manufacturer as Z Electric Vehicle on it, then it is a fake.
(12) Ask for what the VIN number is on the bike you want to buy. If it does not say 1Z9, it is not ours. If it says L or X____ as the first number, it is clearly made in China.
(13) Look at the motor to see if it is the very high bolt count, black, modular motor, with cooling fins like our motors.
28) What brands of battery do you use and why?
We use two types of battery. One is the GBSystems Lithium, the other is the GreenSaver silicone battery.
While there are many other brands on the market, these two are the best to use for several primary reasons.
First - These battery are the most proven and used battery in electric bikes in the world. They have been used to move China on 2,3,4 wheels in millions of units. By comparison, everything else is just a test. These battery have been beat to death to cause ever possible failure by millions of vehicles driving everyday for years in all kinds of weather - and then the defects fixed.
Second - Because of the huge number of vehicles that use these battery, the battery size has become a standard so that even other companies have to make them to fit this standard. Further, unlike the companies that use 190 plus little battery ganged together, or use unique to that vehicle battery, the huge number of vehicles using these battery means that there will be a supply available when you finally need a replacement. You will not be looking for an orphan system that cannot be found in many outlets. You do not even need to buy it from ZEV. With all of that competition, the price should go down also.
The GreenSaver battery is unique among lead based battery in that it is not acid, it is alkaline. It does not sulfate and go bad like an acid battery. It also maintains its power at sub zero temperatures.
29) How is it possible that you get the claimed handling out of scooter sized wheels compared to a motorcycle?
First of all there is little difference in diameter of the tire mounted on the wheel. Many motorcycles run 16 inch wheels. Fast, hot, racing type bikes like the Honda CBR600RR or the Kawasaki ZX10 run 17 inch wheels. But the diameter gets you no advantage. Consider that the 17 inch wheels are used on 140-160 mph motorcycles. Larger OD wheels run less rpm for a given speed. That makes the forces on the tire less - at blinding speeds. Our tire OD is in keeping with our max design speed for our scooter line of 110 mph.
The big difference is in the tire cross section or "footprint" on the road. A Honda CBR600RR sport bike runs a 120/70 front tire. Our ZEV bikes run a 130/60. So our scooter tire is wider than the sport bike tire for more tire contact with the road and has a shorter stiffer sidewall for less tire squirm in the turns and during hard braking. For hard braking or hard down in a curve, the tire contact patch size is the big factor. How much grip and force can the tire transfer to the road. Just how big and fat our tire is can best be realized in this photo.
Our battery mount low in the chassis with the battery mass down at axle level. This radically effects braking as the bike wants to stay level or squat slightly in "panic stop" braking without lifting the rear wheel. This allows you to have big brakes on both wheels. It is the contact with the ground by two tires that gives the most braking, not the rear tire doing hardly anything and the front tire at the verge of skidding.
A good illustrative comparison is the ZEV to new $16,000 to $19,000 Brammo Empulse with its illogical layout of the battery raised far above the axles and a small rear brake with very large front brakes to balance this layout. The braking force is all trying to go through the front tire contact patch - which is smaller than that of the ZEV tire. The ZERO electric has the same mass location and an even more narrow front tire. In very hard braking, if this bike can get enough traction to the front tire, it will lift or lighten the rear wheel causing it to "come around".
30) You talk about "Rider Safety" and the features of a ZEV that make them special in this regard. What are those features.
- Refer to the discussion above under Q29. ZEV bikes just brake better than any other street production bike on the road in their weight class, no brag, just fact.
-Insurance industry studies have shown that dual headlights and tail lights have radically better recognition by car drivers and dramatically assist in distance judgement. Therefore, All ZEV have dual headlights. Only logical.
The T Series has a 3rd light, an extremely bright, blueish running light that stands out in traffic.
The standard ZEV have headlight bulbs in their dual tail lights for "pay attention car driver" effect that can be seen quickly.
They also have dual lights on the front and a 3rd center light to draw the eye.
31) You refer many times to standards for your testing. What is a SAE standard day and a standard man weight?
An SAE standard day is 59.9 degrees F, zero humidity, sea level, barometer of 29.9 inches. These do affect an electric motor as they relate to the cooling of the motor. The hotter a motor is the more resistance in its windings, the less output it makes. Colder and more dense air make better cooling.
We test our motors at 150 degrees C, or about 350 F. Then the power rating of our motor is what is the continous power maximum that can be held with the motor heated to that level. This testing standard produces a motor that is "underrated" in comparison with that of other companies.
The standard man is 165 lbs.
32) What is the "Soft Response" option that is available for the high power bikes?
The standard bikes are sporting in nature. They are tuned to accelerate hard. But some riders do not want or need the hard acceration and prefer a softer throttle response. This dampens the throttle response and the acceleration about 20% and in actual driving, stretches the bike range a little. For those customers mostly interested in range, this is a good option.
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