Well, I told him about my new purchase of the zero and that it came with an "extension cord" style charging cord, that I am definitely using without being in the room for hours to watch.
What Zero provides is not an extension cord. It's a power cable that is probably regulated by the NEC. An extension cord attaches to what they provide, and adds to the voltage drop and adds to the resistance possibilities and wear at the connection.
(Found ref via UL: http://productspec.ul.com/document.php?id=FFSO.GuideInfo
He asked if it came with the bike and that I'd be able to shift the case towards Zero if it would happen, since they would send the cord in for forensic analysis after an incident.
Any take on this here?
If my house burns down because of me charging my zero, is my insurance going to balk?
If you use a cable not to the spec that Zero insists on in the owner's manual (see: Power Pack and Charging for the extension cable spec: "grounded, 3-wire 12-AWG cord no longer than 25ft" also saying not to share the Zero charging with any other device on a single 15/20A circuit), I'm sure you'd be assigned fault if investigators found it to be relevant.
If you use an extension cable in addition to any other cable that plugs into a Zero, you'd better make sure it fits the specification.
My first reply was really too vague. The answer to your original question just "No.". Using a 16AWG cable is risky and an accident with one will be your fault. Don't treat electricity casually.