06 August, 2015

Not quite the end of the line.

I'm a bit on the slack side. I've not updated this blog for a very long time. I did lose the password for a while. As well nothing was happening with the bike and there's just so many posts you can put up that say "nothing happening".

Some time after I stopped updating the bike stopped moving. It was still in warranty and I should have got on to it straight away but there were other things happening in my life that were taking up all my energy. So the bike got parked and I didn't even look at it for months. 

Eventually I did some diagnosis and it appears that there is 50+ volts at the motor terminals when you twist the throttle but the motor doesn't turn. My limited understanding of the Agni motors leads me to believe that the brushes have stopped sliding in their mounts and so the power isn't getting to the workings of the motor. I think that might be related to my having ridden it in deep sand rather a lot, but I don't know. The next step was to pull the swing arm off, remove the motor and have a good old look. Instead I gave the whole bike to my brother who is A) very clever, B) mad for fixing electronics and electrical things, C) currently without a motorcycle.  

So the Zero isn't dead, it's just resting until he breathes life into it again. He has all sorts of ideas for hotting it up, but I've suggested he get it working first and see if it even needs hotting up. We'll see what happens.


  1. If your brother decides he's not interested in taking on the project, let me know. I'm keen to get a brushed motor era Zero which is road registered in rolling chassis or non-functioning form to install an updated power train on.

    1. He's pretty excited at the moment. He's got it running again and has ridden it up and down the street. Looks like the brushes overheated.

    2. I am aiming to keep the DS as original as possible. In Australia, Zero is offering a $3500 trade in deal on the 2010, which seems really stingy, since they offer $5000 in the USA, plus they charge $23 500 for a new DS here and there are no rebates at all, minimum trade in value on price guide is $6000!, not that you could ever get that. This bike has only done 2400 kms and is less than 5 years old. Yet the only spares are aftermarket or non existent. This bike was sold like a month before the laws really cracked down on keeping spares and providing service but there were still reasonable expectation clauses in the law prior to Jan 2011. I have contacted all the Zero Dealers in Australia but so far have not had any help, or reply from most of them.

    3. Zero Motorcycles Australia has announced pricing on its 2014 model range, which has now arrived in Australia. The rideaway pricing is as follows:
      Zero S 8.5 $20,490
      Zero S 11.4 $23,390
      Zero SR $25,490
      Zero DS 11.4 $23,490
      Zero FX 5.7 $19,490

      I think these are what they are offering a trade in on. $3500 off.

  2. Hi guys, I am Cam, Jason's brother. I took the Zero for another test ride today. The good news was I broke the land speed record of 94 Kph. Then a couple of new features not in the manual showed up. Whisper quiet motor, after a clunking noise and my favourite, the hidden exercise bike feature, as I pushed it from Town a few miles back home... Though I thought exercise bikes usually had pedals, that would have been very useful.... Well I got my exercise quota for this millennium today anyway. Now I have to take the motor out again, no choice.

  3. The difference between Jason's experience with a factory fresh 2010 DS and mine with a 4½ year old free DS to look at for the fist time but now dead with a burned out Agni 95, is that the experience so far hasn't been as endearing. That and my perspective is different from your average electric bike rider. My last serious motorcycle was a Yamaha RZ 500, I felt a motorcycle was doing enough for my environmental footprint.

    Since I have had to push the bike so far for about a third of the distance that I have actually been able to ride it, we are not off to a great start together!

    I am waiting to see what Zero will do for me. Zero in Australia are slow to respond so far but we are in Australia so that is not unusual. I will be interested if the trade in is all that they are really willing to offer in terms of help. We will see.

    In the meantime, I will try again to fix it myself with local resources. It seems Jozztek, can't supply new brushes until October, same for the brush holder, they then would have to come from the UK to Australia. That is if the armature isn't fried, which would explain the brush burn ups. I need to take the motor further apart this time.

  4. One thing I forgot to mention that my wife pointed out, was funny, thanks Mel... Was that when the Zero decided to die right in the middle of the intersection I was in. I happened to be just passing the Lion Rampart Hotel (Pub) with at least 30 bikes and their riders outside milling around, who were watching me at the time.. Oh look a funny bike.... They then watched me as I proudly wheeled my Zero towards home, dead out of the intersection, down the main street of town. Pushing it up and down hills for the next 3 kilometers home again (I measured it). I don't think any of them are going to be racing out to buy an electric motorcycle after witnessing that fiasco...

  5. http://www.bikesales.com.au/content/news/2014/electric/zero-%E2%80%98early-adopter%E2%80%99-rebate-44537

    It seems the early adopter rebate may have finished anyway according to the people on the electric motorcycle forum.

    From that page, so it is here if they take it down:
    A whopping $3500 off the normal rideaway price for selected models in the electric bike range, with the Zero FX 5.7 now selling for $15,990

    Zero Motorcycles Australia has announced an ‘early adopter’ rebate to the tune of $3500 on a limited number of FX, Zero S, and Zero DS electric bikes.

    For a limited time, the rideaway prices will be as follows:


    S 8.5 $20,490 $16,990
    S 11.4 $23,490 $19,990
    DS 11.4 $23,490 $19,990
    FX 5.7 $19,490 $15,990

    That was the deal, in July 2014

  6. Oh too, the bike must have stopped working before Nov 29th 2012 around the bike's two year birthday from when you bought it. That is based on the email paper trail of when you first asked Zero for help.

  7. I just had confirmation from Zero. The offer of the $3500 trade in for Early Adopters in Australia, finished last year.

    I had a quote on a battery pack replacement. $11,000, for a new custom made battery pack. They can't supply parts for the motor from Zero directly, nor does the Zero dealer I asked, work on the Agni motor, they said they could try and buy one and fit it for me, even if mine just needs 8 new brushes?..... I am waiting to see what kind of trade in they will offer for a dead 2010 DS on a 2014 DS they have... Judging by the customer service so far though, unless the new bike works out for free or they pay me to take it, I don't think I will be throwing anymore family money down the Zero pit, Jason, being out 14 000 for less than 2 years of riding or about 1500 miles is enough to waste on Zero IMHO. Jason seems much more tolerant of the lack of support for the bike than I, but then I am not as environmentally conscious as my brother.

    Well $11 000 for a battery, or I saw an RZ 500 Yamaha from 1984, fully restored! For only 10K and the good thing is that I can still buy parts for the RZ relatively easily at a fair price and take it to any mechanic and get it serviced, now would that be a pleasant change....

  8. Was just told by a Zero dealer, they won't trade in my dead DS 2010 for anything, but then he made a point to say that they don't want a 2010 even if it was going, when he noted my shock at that, he went on to make an excuse that they were overstocked right now anyway. The recommended trade in price, in the guide is $6000 which I suppose is what a DS should at least now have been worth. I can't buy any parts for the bike from Zero it seems, without spending hours on the phone and finding people who might know people.... The dealer went on to tell me how great Zeros were at which point I got to the "you have got to be kidding me" response.... "Your workshop just told me, they don't fix 2010 models really, they might swap the motor for me is all, I can't sell it for more than scrap, I can't trade it in at all, I can't get the parts from the company who made the bike to fix the bike, parts I can get like the battery pack are $11000.00 if you can get them, all on a bike that is now 4 years old and you are telling me how good Zero is..." I hope they do a better job in the future.

  9. I was finally able to speak to someone in the USA. Manny, as it turned out he was from Australia... He was very understanding and sympathetic to trying to fix an old Zero (4 years old. I shouldn't have to call it that... Electric bike evolution is such that 4 years may as well be 40 years to a petrol bike.) I have some hope now that the Zero may live again.... I will keep you posted.

  10. This is quite different from my experience here in Australia.. In Australia when I asked about parts to keep Jason's Zero running... I was told by the Zero dealer I could buy a battery system for the DS for 11k or I could get a new Benelli 600 for 9k.... He wanted to sell the Benelli.... Zero needs to talk to its dealers about how to sell their bikes.

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