View Full Version : ZEV introduces electric motorcycle

04 November 2015, 2148
Not sure if you guys saw this, but ZEV electric vehicles introduced a new hub-motor electric motorcycle. Their specs are a bit hard to believe like, "206 ft/lbs of torque" and what looks like the motor controller mounted externally like a sport bike exhaust makes me question the durability, looks like a cheap china bike with a hub-motor slapped on it. I'm very active in the 2-wheel EV world and JUST learned of this company.

ZEV webiste motorcycle link- http://www.zelectricvehicle.com/30.html

They also take some pretty good (and inaccurate) stabs at ZERO motorcycles on their website here (scroll down)- http://www.zelectricvehicle.com/22.html

Does anyone on here have experience with one of the ZEV vehicles? It appears they have some very negative customers on VisforVoltage.com


Thought I'd share.

04 November 2015, 2210
They've been around for a while. I know one person who has a ZEV scooter and liked it a lot. Same overseas built chassis as my R Martin EVD scooter, but with their own motor (which is nicer I admit), and GBS cells. Their marketing is definitely - um - overstated. I remember another thread on here somewhere criticizing some overblown claims about one of their scooters and their bashing of other companies.

206 ft-lb seems like a lot, but keep in mind that is at the wheel. If you had a motor in the frame with 5:1 and 41 ft-lb at the shaft, you would have 205 ft-lb at the wheel. It's just wound for low speed / high torque.

05 November 2015, 0344
oh please - it's like they're not even trying to hide it.

That first one is, quite literally, just this (http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/2015-new-electric-sports-motorcycle-HONDAGT_60348908211/showimage.html) with an uprated motor.
How the hell can they claim to be a US manufacturer???

There's a crowd called volt over here doing pretty much the same thing.

05 November 2015, 0729
You might find this thread on the Electric Motorcycle Forum regarding the newly announced ZEV electric sportbike interesting. There are quite a few comments by the designer of the vehicle responding to a number of questions regarding the ZEV EV - not the least of (the questions, not the questioner) which come from Ted Dillard. :O


05 November 2015, 0735
there was a zero motorcycle at the last National electric drive week show, as the folks there wanted us to demonstrate our bikes a bit - first of all i need to say my bike blew the doors off a custom harley bobber, but that zero motorcycle blew my doors completely off, i wouldnt of thought that bike would of had that kind of torque, but it did...


05 November 2015, 0825
Yep, my bike is quick with a 0-60 in the high 5's and top speed of 70mph. However.....I test drive a Zero SR this summer....quicker than mine for sure, I was VERY impressed! Course it also cost 4x as much!

05 November 2015, 1058
There are quite a few comments by the designer of the vehicle responding to a number of questions regarding the ZEV EV - not the least of (the questions, not the questioner) which come from Ted Dillard. :O

Ted's like a gun. You want to say he's a whole lot of fun when pointed at someone else, but then you think back and compare to the social and political ramifications associated with firearms, and you realize, that really, my first statement is all that needs to be said.

06 November 2015, 1019
As an experienced automotive tech and motorcycle builder, the more I thought about this the more it bothered me. Adding 15~25 lbs of (un-sprung) hub-motor weight to a cheap non-reinforced swing arm with a cheap Chinese shock assembly coupled with extremely poor quality tires is literally a recipe for disaster. The first person to ride one down a bumpy road, or hit a little wash-board will wipe-out faster then riding on ice.

Another way to imagine un-sprung weight is the old hammer trick. If you were asked to swing a hammer as fast as possible for a minute straight, would you want a 3 pound carpenter hammer? or a 15 pound sledge hammer? Obviously the lighter one will prevail. The job of the spring and shock is to keep the tire on the ground, much like your arm in the illustration above. With a massive hub-motor added, the wheel will now erratically bounce up and down, losing and gaining traction. possibly to the point where the shock (of poor quality mind you) would catastrophically fail. It will also make the rear braking (and regen in this case) will lock up the rear wheel when the suspension radically jumps upward.

Mark my words, this bike is a death trap and will injure or kill someone.

Oh, and not having a charger installed on the bike is stupid too. At least make it detachable or something...

06 November 2015, 1050
Well quite a statement I have thousands of miles on a Hub motor based motorcycle and my customers have 10 of thousands of miles on Hub motor based motorcycles Kraig Schultz (https://www.facebook.com/kraig.schultz.1?fref=nf)
has 16,000 miles on his Hub motor based motorcycle Many others have thousands of miles and not one has wiped out amazing we must of broken the laws of physics. We raced a Dual motor bike, we fine tuned the shock rebound, this was the major parameter that was needed to adjust for the weight and at the time the bike was very competitive even on a washboard race tracks.

And I guess every Harley out there with a steel rim and 40 spokes on a massive hub and steel rotor wheels weighting with the tire about a 100 pound wheel is a death trap.

I have a major study on wheel motors from a well respected car company and they did the math figured out how to compensate for the added weight and created a prototype car that handled in most metrics as well as a car with an inboard motor.
here is a link to the one of three studies I have

https://www.sugarsync.com/pf/D336079_7141548_679580 (https://www.sugarsync.com/pf/D336079_7141548_679580)

06 November 2015, 1407
Mark, I personally know and ride with Kraig Schultz quite often. I've even ridden his Entertrac powered bike. Please don't misinterpret my statement as "all hub-motors are bad" I highly respect many of their attributes. Their efficiency, maximizing space for batteries etc... I even rode your Hub-Motor bike in 2009 down at Mid-Ohio. I actually have a lot of respect for the Entertrac product. It's bar none the best hub-motor on the market for 2-wheelers!

My gripe here is that it appears that ZEV vehicles is just slapping a hub-motor on a cheap Chinese bike. And without fine-tuning the suspension with high quality suspension / tires and some good durability testing is a recipe for disaster!

I have seen the Catavolt hub-motor bike, I think it's really cool! But they used quality name-brand tire's, coupled with a fine-tuned and quality suspension, They should have combined the knowledge of Entertrac's experience with Catavolts race experience and made a REAL motorcycle that would be competitive.

Similar to Kraig's bike, he spent a lot of time measuring and calibrating the suspension to compensate for the much heavier un-sprung weight. He also used quality re-built Kawasaki parts. In turn he now has a wonderful bike with good handling.

If ZEV vehicles released an Entertrac powered bike with a tested, tuned, and name-brand suspension & tires, I'd have a totally different attitude. But releasing a cheap bike like this with what appears to be garbage components and tires is plain careless.

06 November 2015, 1538
Based upon my experience with BMW and Ohlins suspension components, a premium shock and corresponding fork, that can be fine tuned for various applications and riding environments is likely to cost almost as much, if not more, than the entire ZEV motorcycle. Also, I don't think I have to tell anyone that the Taiwan-manufactured FastAce fork and rear shock that Zero used in their early models didn't do that bike any favors in the handling and ride department. When it comes to suspension, you get what you pay for and I agree with Tony that keeping the weight of a hub motor under control on a bumpy road requires a premium shock set up just for that application. Something you are not likely to get from a Chinese-made motorcycle.

06 November 2015, 2029
Eh...it's a cheap Chinese frame with their hub motor and some GBS cells in it. Same as their scooters. Not exactly cutting edge. You can get a Zero ZF9.8 for $11k, with a bigger battery, more power, and much better build quality for $1500 less than the ZEV. Who cares about the unsprung weight. Nobody in their right mind would buy this bike based on the price and spec alone.