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Re: The Electric Motorcycle Topic

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:15 am
by LeftieBiker
I have negotiated a deal with a Vectrix VX-1 - converted to Leaf cell power - owner, and hopefully this weekend we will be trading bikes, plus some cash to me. I want an electric bike I can actually ride, and the the Vectrix owner wants a Zero SR but can't afford one otherwise. Hopefully we will both end up happy with the deal. He will be trailering the bike directly to a Zero dealer near him, for immediate repair under the transferable warranty. I also negotiated a refund of the dealer prep fee and freight charge I paid, to cover my shipping expense if I have to keep the bike, and partially make up for my substantial loss otherwise.

Let this be a lesson to prospective Zero buyers. Do not buy a Zero unless you live near at least one, and preferable several, Zero dealerships!

Re: The Electric Motorcycle Topic

Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 11:20 pm
by LeftieBiker
I am now the cautiously-happy owner of a 2009 (I think?) Leaf-powered Vectrix VX-1! My troubles with the SR hopefully being over now, I'd like to start writing - but mainly reading! - about pleasant electric motorcycling experiences. I actually had my first one today, when I got to ride the VX-1 while the SR's new owner rode it. We took my electric bicycle route over paved country roads, and it was a nice ride. The seating position of the Vectrix will take some getting used to (think "sitting in a Barcolounger, with two wheels and handlebars, that goes 68MPH") but it's a nice smooth ride, with very adequate power. The bike also has a surprisingly loud turbine-like whine, especially at low speeds and while accelerating, but this is one EV that definitely sounds like what we expected EVs to sound like back in the Sixties! The variable-regen throttle and integrated Reverse function are fantastic, giving much more control over riding this roughly 450lb bike than I've had with lighter ones. I can't wait to get it registered here in NY, and to take some more back road rides. I'll add a photo when I get some uploaded to Photobucket.

Re: The Electric Motorcycle Topic

Posted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:45 am
by jjeff
LeftieBiker wrote:I am now the cautiously-happy owner of a 2009 (I think?) Leaf-powered Vectrix VX-1! My troubles with the SR hopefully being over now, I'd like to start writing - but mainly reading! - about pleasant electric motorcycling experiences. I actually had my first one today, when I got to ride the VX-1 while the SR's new owner rode it. We took my electric bicycle route over paved country roads, and it was a nice ride. The seating position of the Vectrix will take some getting used to (think "sitting in a Barcolounger, with two wheels and handlebars, that goes 68MPH") but it's a nice smooth ride, with very adequate power. The bike also has a surprisingly loud turbine-like whine, especially at low speeds and while accelerating, but this is one EV that definitely sounds like what we expected EVs to sound like back in the Sixties! The variable-regen throttle and integrated Reverse function are fantastic, giving much more control over riding this roughly 450lb bike than I've had with lighter ones. I can't wait to get it registered here in NY, and to take some more back road rides. I'll add a photo when I get some uploaded to Photobucket.

2009.......Leaf....... :? so is this bike/trike?? custom build using a Leaf drive train? Sounds interesting, can't wait for the photos because I haven't got a clue what you've got. Wish you much better luck though that what you had, sounds like a real fiasco :(

Re: The Electric Motorcycle Topic

Posted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:17 am
by LeftieBiker
2009.......Leaf....... :? so is this bike/trike?? custom build using a Leaf drive train? Sounds interesting, can't wait for the photos because I haven't got a clue what you've got. Wish you much better luck though that what you had, sounds like a real fiasco :(


Heh. This is a 2009 Vectrix VX-1 motorcycle that has had the disastrous Vectrix NiMH battery pack replaced with 18 (IIRC) Leaf lithium cells. It has about a 60AH capacity at 142 volts, although the bike "thinks" it has 40AH, giving me an invisible reserve. The battery cells are the only Leaf parts on the bike. Just search "Vectrix VX-1" and if you see a white one, that's what mine looks like.

Re: The Electric Motorcycle Topic

Posted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:32 pm
by LeftieBiker
This is a photo of the actual bike I now own. Click on it for a larger image.

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Re: The Electric Motorcycle Topic

Posted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:51 pm
by jjeff
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vectrix
Interesting, I wish you luck :)

Re: The Electric Motorcycle Topic

Posted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:38 pm
by LeftieBiker
jjeff wrote:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vectrix
Interesting, I wish you luck :)



If you are trying to let me know gently that the company went bankrupt, don't worry - I knew that. I've followed the travails of Vectrix owners at the V is for Voltage website for years. Once it became clear that the battery packs were poorly designed and unevenly built, and that the onboard chargers were in effect programmed to kill them with overcharging (the pack would also die if not charged for a whole...week), the bikes became nearly worthless. They still are, with the original batteries. But people began converting them to lithium battery power, and then a few years ago it was discovered that Nissan Leaf battery pack cells would fit perfectly into the Vectrix battery box, so now there are a few "reborn" VX-1 bikes with more range than the original pack ever allowed. The bikes are not problem-free, but as a 16 year veteran of two-wheeled EVs I understand that no such vehicles are problem free. None....

Re: The Electric Motorcycle Topic

Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:33 pm
by LeftieBiker
A couple more photos of my new bike. I'll be registering it (her?) this week, hopefully, and may take another slightly chilly ride again this coming weekend. I'll probably put the "Winter" windshield on first. I've already ordered an overpriced Givi backrest for the top box, and my GF seems enthused about riding on the back. I'm glad I have lithium heated gloves for Winter bicycling, as Spring seems to have had second thoughts here.


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Re: The Electric Motorcycle Topic

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 2:09 am
by Evoforce
I had thought about converting one of these but it still wouldn't have the range that I was looking for and the heat in my region would shorten its life. They are an excellent conversion platform at a very good price. I was extremely close to doing this project. I was going to do it with Headway batteries initially then later eyed Leaf batteries. Have fun and enjoy your new ride!

Re: The Electric Motorcycle Topic

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:27 am
by LeftieBiker
You should still be able to do a conversion with different, more heat-resistant cells. Before Leaf cells were found to fit, several other commercially available lithium pack types were used. I think I've seen the name "Headway" but don't know anything about them.The website VisForVoltage.org is a great resource for Vectrix-related info. What kind of range do you need?

There is a 2008 VX-1 for sale about 10 miles away from me, with 250 miles on the odometer and a dead (or hibernating) pack. It's $500. I may buy it for parts, but if someone is looking for a bike to convert, this one looks nice. Gorgeous red one.