29 April, 2012

Nothing Happening

I suspect that “nothing happening” may be a recurring theme with electric bikes. They just get on with it, without fuss.

I was reading a motorcycling blog yesterday, filled as usual with inaccuracies and lies about electric motorcycles. Interestingly it was from someone who “champions” (their words) electrics. However they've got a set against Zeros. I haven't been able to figure out why he doesn't like them.

Anyway his negativity got me thinking about my bike again. Something I haven't actually done much of this year. The novelty has worn off a bit and I'm giving it about the same level of thought as I do my microwave. When I want to reheat a cup of coffee I put it in the microwave, when I want to go to the shops I get on the bike. I remember the first time I used a microwave (a radar oven), I was gobsmacked by it (I'm that old). Now I never think about it. The bike's the same. It just gets on with getting me places.

This negative article was full of the usual as well as the unusual. Zeros are bad because he saw one (a prototype, but he didn't mention that) 4 years ago that had the switches labelled with a sharpie. The implication being that they're so badly finished. (They're actually so well finished that they make me cry with joy apart from some of the DOT required stuff that's a bit tacky)

So I got to thinking about all the times the Zero hasn't let me down. How it just gets me places and I compared that to the petrol bikes I've had. I'm not going to include all the mishaps of my companions, (the internet isn't big enough) just what's gone wrong with the bike I've actually been riding that's left me stranded. Now two things here, I've done a lot of riding, and modern motorcycles make as much or more power per litre as F1 cars, so you've got to expect a few things to go wrong...

So here it is, a list of things that will never go wrong with the Zero that have stopped me on a petrol bike

Exploding clutch baskets. 3 of these.
Stripped gears. 2
Needle circlip breaking. 2
Wrong needle fitted. 1 (I still don't know how this happened and it took a year to solve)
Fouled plug. Maybe 30, maybe more, on that bike I carried 5 spare plugs and sometimes ran out.
Carb slides stuck full open. 2 (two different bikes, both scary experiences)
Cracked exhaust or lost exhaust bolts. 6
Gear shift lever fallen off. 1
Muffler fallen off. 2
Timing plate loose. 1
Snapped throttle cable. 1
Snapped clutch cable. 3
Run out of fuel. 2
Broken choke. 1 (but parts took nearly a year to get, during which time I had to remove the airbox and squirt fuel down the carbies to start the bike so it delayed me hundreds of times)
Stuck exhaust valve. 2
Failed starter motor. 2
Vapour lock. I couldn't count the times but all on one Ducati
Oil leak. 1 (by oil leak I mean the whole lot fell out of the bottom of the motor in about 100metres while I was on my way to a job interview)
Blown head gasket. 1
Kick starter broken. 1

And, not exactly something that stopped me but annoying all the same,

Standing in the rain, unpacking my camping gear only to discover that the hot exhaust had melted my tent and sleeping bag. 1

1 comment:

  1. Hilarious - and so true. People don't think about the advantages and disadvantages - they just compare something new and different with the old stand-by.
    According to the U.S. National Fire Protection Association Fire Analysis and Research Division:
    Number of electric car fires in history: 1
    Number of gasoline powered cars bursting into flames: In 2003-2007, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 287,000 vehicle fires per
    Hmmm... better not buy that electric car!

    I've got just over 2,000 miles on my 2012 Zero S ZF9 - and I love the thing - it's amazing how much technology has advanced in just a few years (I still have my '07 Vectrix).

    Ride on.