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Thread: Motorcycle Consumer News tests the Zero SR/F

              
   
   
  1. #1
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    Motorcycle Consumer News tests the Zero SR/F

    The August 2019 issue of Motorcycle Consumer News has published a compete test of the SR/F. They gave it their highest rating in their Evaluation chart for all areas of the motorcycle. Oddly though, the comments in the text didn't seem quite that positive in some aspects. Also, no power/torque curve was included as they say that their their "dyno is currently challenged in reporting accurate EV numbers."

    One big negative was the short range of the SR/F. They experienced a maximum city range of 130 miles and a low of 46 miles when ridden aggressively on mountain roads and at high speeds on the freeway. Their average range was 88 mph under typical riding.

    Their bike seemed to have an issue with the Bosh Advanced MSC system. With the system on their braking from 60 to 0 mph distance was 135 feet. However their braking distance from 60 mph with the system turned off was 121.5 feet.

    The bike sure accelerates hard. 0-60 mph took 3.6 seconds, while the quarter mile was covered in only 11.72 seconds at a speed of 119 mph.

    The editors said that the SR/F has "excellent suspension" and then went on to say that the Showa Big Piston forks had harsh valving and was difficult to adjust because the adjustment screw was obstructed by the handlebars. They felt that the 24.5 degrees of fork rake was too aggressive and produced some oversteer at hard lean angles. They would like to see the fork trail increased to 3.7 inches and would also like to have a 10% larger chassis as they felt that the riding position was somewhat cramped.

    One big improvement over previous Zero models was that they only experienced battery overheating, which generated a dash warning, when the SR/F was ridden extremely aggressively. Under normal conditions the battery temperature was listed as "medium".

    The article said that: "The gauges reported inconsistently, especially those measuring range and state of charge. These need to be precise, since riders can't pull over just anywhere to quickly refuel. When range is off by as much as 20 miles, it could leave EV riders stranded."

    The editors said that they "also experienced many random trips of the ground-fault interrupt circuit (GFI) in the garage, which interrupted the nine-hour charge cycle."

    No mention was made of the gap in the front of the "tank".

    Their maintenance chart shows just one routine service at 20,000 miles, requiring 1.25 hours of labor and $135 for parts.

    The article ends with the following comments: "The Zero SR/F will meet the needs of more riders than its predecessors. It seems expensive up front, but long-term costs are comparable or even favorable to many gas motorcycles. Performance is amazing, about 50 percent better than previous Zero models in both top speed and range (?). However, range is still limited by the inconvenience of recharging. Electric is the future, though it's not yet as convenient as its traditionally fueled competition."
    Richard - Current bikes: 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield 500, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard230 View Post
    They felt that the 24.5 degrees of fork rake was too aggressive and produced some oversteer at hard lean angles. They would like to see the fork trail increased to 3.7 inches and would also like to have a 10% larger chassis as they felt that the riding position was somewhat cramped.
    Who did the review? This comment gives me the impression that they sent a cruiser guy out on a streetfighter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard230 View Post
    The article said that: "The gauges reported inconsistently, especially those measuring range and state of charge. These need to be precise, since riders can't pull over just anywhere to quickly refuel. When range is off by as much as 20 miles, it could leave EV riders stranded."
    This is a very typical comment from new EV users - a lot of folk just can't get their head around the fact that how you're riding and the terrain you're in affects the range estimation. The computer only knows what you've done, not what you're planning to do so until they can incorporate an AI to read the riders mind, and topographical data to inform wrt the terrain, this will always be the case. Truth is, it's the same thing with any other motorbike too once that yellow light comes on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard230 View Post
    The editors said that they "also experienced many random trips of the ground-fault interrupt circuit (GFI) in the garage, which interrupted the nine-hour charge cycle."
    That one is odd.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard230 View Post
    Electric is the future...
    Nice to see that acknowledged.

  3. #3
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    The road test editors who performed the evaluation for Motorcycle Consumer News were Russell Evans, the magazine's Managing Editor and Brant Wiwi, their Road Test Editor. To my knowledge neither of those people ride or seem to have much of an interest in cruiser models. Right now I can not recall the last time that the magazine tested a typical cruiser model. They seem to mostly prefer sport bikes, standard models and dual-purpose motorcycles. I might add that the magazine has performed a similar test evaluation for past Zero motorcycle models at least once a year, the last test occurred last year when they tested a Zero SR model. When they tested that bike they found that its batteries would easily overheat which resulted in the motorcycle shutting down and not charging until the batteries had time to cool off. I recall that this occurred when the internal temperature of the battery pack hit 130 degrees.

    A number of Zero owners have complained about the GFI garage power outlets have tripped when their previous Zero models have been charging. Apparently some older GFI units are sensitive about voltage variations. So that comment was not unexpected by me.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield 500, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

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