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Author Topic: 2012 Zero Performance Upgrade  (Read 5374 times)

Harlan

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2012 Zero Performance Upgrade
« on: November 30, 2012, 11:00:17 AM »

Hello everybody.  I just wanted to share some dyno data I took yesterday to give you some real numbers on the performance improvements of our controller upgrade.

Two bikes were tested on the dyno: a completely stock Zero S ZF9 (for a baseline) and a Zero S ZF9 with our controller upgrade installed.  Both bikes were more or less the same state of charge, (nearly fully charged) and data was taken under the same conditions within a few minutes of each other.

As you can see, hp is boosted about 20% from about 30hp to over 36hp.  Torque increases about 34% from 48 ft-lbs to nearly 65 ft-lbs. 

The torque is really what makes the difference, improving acceleration drastically.  I'll post more pics and performance metrics soon.
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Harlan Flagg
Hollywood Electrics
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protomech

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Re: 2012 Zero Performance Upgrade
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2012, 12:49:18 PM »

Huge upgrade. If that's not as much torque as the 2013 bikes, it's very close.

I wish Zero had sent down the TTX Zeros to the world championship, would have been neat to see them vs offthegrid's size 6 bike.

Now that the controller is removed as a limiting factor.. what can we do about cooling the motor? : )
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NoiseBoy

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Re: 2012 Zero Performance Upgrade
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2012, 04:26:16 PM »

I wouldn't worry too much, 600A isn't that much for that motor. For prolonged use at high speed a simple duct to blow air across would suffice from what I have seen on other bikes.
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CliC

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Re: Re: Re: 2012 Zero Performance Upgrade
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2012, 02:55:15 AM »

I wouldn't worry too much, 600A isn't that much for that motor. For prolonged use at high speed a simple duct to blow air across would suffice from what I have seen on other bikes.

I'm not so sure. There have been reports of thermal cutouts/limiting at high speeds (~75 mph or so) with the stock controller. The motor is probably robust enough, but its sitting in an air pocket behind the battery box probably doesn't help much. Then there are the low-speed, high-torque situations like corner exits in racing. I think the duct at the least would be useful, and maybe additional forced air for racing.
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protomech

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Re: 2012 Zero Performance Upgrade
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2012, 04:17:11 AM »

The thermal cutouts seem to be due to the (stock size 4) controller reaching its thermal limit. The motor has its own thermal limit which is normally not reached with the size 4 controller.
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manlytom

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Re: 2012 Zero Performance Upgrade
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2012, 07:08:30 AM »

The thermal cutouts seem to be due to the (stock size 4) controller reaching its thermal limit. The motor has its own thermal limit which is normally not reached with the size 4 controller.

yeah, Zero seems to size their controllers tightly. I used to get thermal cut outs on my controller in quick accell situations on my 2011.

Wondering what the range ends up being with the size 6 controller....
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NoiseBoy

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Re: 2012 Zero Performance Upgrade
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2012, 07:26:36 PM »

The thermal cutouts seem to be due to the (stock size 4) controller reaching its thermal limit. The motor has its own thermal limit which is normally not reached with the size 4 controller.

yeah, Zero seems to size their controllers tightly. I used to get thermal cut outs on my controller in quick accell situations on my 2011.

Wondering what the range ends up being with the size 6 controller....

The same as the Size 4 if you ride at the same speed, thats the beauty of electric.  Tuning doesn't mean you have to reduce your range if you dont want to.  I doubt it would actually decrease range by the 30% increase in current because you wouldn't be using all of that increase in available power all of the time.
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Harlan

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Re: 2012 Zero Performance Upgrade
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2012, 10:49:42 PM »

There are motor thermal "cutouts" and controller thermal "cutouts".  "Cutouts" is probably not the best descriptor as the bike keeps running, just with reduced power.  Unless you are on the freeway at top speed, they can be hard to notice.  Controller thermal "cutouts" are much less an issue with the size6, in fact Terry is running his with no heatsink at all (his choice, not mine) and he has reported few thermal issues, probably mostly motor related.

When ridden side by side with the stock bike, you shouldn't lose range at all.  Hammering the throttle the way us motorcyclists typically ride, there may be a slight decrease in range but I don't think it will be significant until you're hitting top speed on the freeway.

If you're following Terry's trip riding across the country, you may have seen a post early on about getting 111 miles on a single charge.  It may be possible that the size6 (and I think he's got the bike regeared with a 25 tooth front sprocket) has given the bike a sweet spot in range at the speeds he is traveling.  I'll have to get more details from him when he gets to LA.
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Harlan Flagg
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trikester

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Re: 2012 Zero Performance Upgrade
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2012, 08:53:24 AM »

One thing to remember is that the higher the current rating of the controller the more efficient it will be at lower currents. In order to get a higher rating they either have to put more MosFets in parallel or use spec lower "R-on" MosFets as the drivers. Either way there is less voltage drop in any controller rated at a higher current. This means that for normal riding there is lower loss in the controller, which equals longer distance on a charge.

BTW - Had a great 9 1/4 mile desert hike today. Wonder why my legs are more sore than they were yesterday riding my 2012 DS? ;)

Trikester
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Harlan

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Re: 2012 Zero Performance Upgrade
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2012, 02:01:50 AM »

A couple of questions I want to address:

The kit comes with the controller, heatsink, new rear tail subframe, and motor leads.  I will post pics shortly, just waiting on some parts to get back from anodizing and powdercoating.  In my opinion, and I think anyone would agree, the new heatsink is more attractive than the stock one, albeit a bit larger.  Other than the larger heatsink, the upgrade is hardly noticeable.

To install, the existing rear controller lugs must be removed from the frame to make room for the larger controller.  The new rear subframe does double duty supporting the existing tail section and the heatsink.

The controller uses the latest firmware and I have kept the performance settings mostly stock, e.g. current in sport mode is 100%, eco mode is 70%, but I can custom tailor some of the settings to the customer at no additional cost.  The regenerative braking is proportionally increased with the controller size so it is stronger in both sport and eco mode.  Top speed increases slightly.

I have not changed any voltage safety cutoffs.  Although in our test bikes, we have not altered the temp settings (with no noticeable performance decrease over the last few months), I plan on lowering the motor temperature cutoff for customer bikes as the motor will heat up faster with the higher current and may need a little extra time to respond to increased temperature and ensure the motor will continue to perform long term.

To properly configure the size6 controller, I will need the customer to send me their existing controller so that I can calibrate the encoder properly.
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Harlan Flagg
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lolachampcar

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Re: 2012 Zero Performance Upgrade
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2012, 03:17:19 AM »

Ballpark pricing please.
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ZeroSinMA

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Re: 2012 Zero Performance Upgrade
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2012, 09:10:59 AM »

A couple of questions I want to address:

The kit comes with the controller, heatsink, new rear tail subframe, and motor leads.  I will post pics shortly, just waiting on some parts to get back from anodizing and powdercoating.  In my opinion, and I think anyone would agree, the new heatsink is more attractive than the stock one, albeit a bit larger.  Other than the larger heatsink, the upgrade is hardly noticeable.

To install, the existing rear controller lugs must be removed from the frame to make room for the larger controller.  The new rear subframe does double duty supporting the existing tail section and the heatsink.

The controller uses the latest firmware and I have kept the performance settings mostly stock, e.g. current in sport mode is 100%, eco mode is 70%, but I can custom tailor some of the settings to the customer at no additional cost.  The regenerative braking is proportionally increased with the controller size so it is stronger in both sport and eco mode.  Top speed increases slightly.

I have not changed any voltage safety cutoffs.  Although in our test bikes, we have not altered the temp settings (with no noticeable performance decrease over the last few months), I plan on lowering the motor temperature cutoff for customer bikes as the motor will heat up faster with the higher current and may need a little extra time to respond to increased temperature and ensure the motor will continue to perform long term.

To properly configure the size6 controller, I will need the customer to send me their existing controller so that I can calibrate the encoder properly.

"Torque increases about 34% from 48 ft-lbs to nearly 65 ft-lbs."

That certainly explains the crazy acceleration I experienced when I rode it in LA 2 weeks ago vs my stock ZF9.

The heat sink does look better. In fact, the whole treatment including the tail tidy mod makes the bike look and feel much more like a real motorcycle.

I could swear the bike is lower to the ground and handles better than my stock ZF9. No mods to the suspension?

Nice meeting you, by the way, and thanks for the detailed description of the mods.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 09:20:45 AM by ZeroSinMA »
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Harlan

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Re: 2012 Zero Performance Upgrade
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2012, 02:54:14 PM »

Ballpark pricing please.

Price for the full kit is $2500.  Trading in your old controller will bring the price down to $2000.
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Harlan Flagg
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Harlan

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Re: 2012 Zero Performance Upgrade
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2012, 03:00:21 PM »


"Torque increases about 34% from 48 ft-lbs to nearly 65 ft-lbs."

That certainly explains the crazy acceleration I experienced when I rode it in LA 2 weeks ago vs my stock ZF9.

The heat sink does look better. In fact, the whole treatment including the tail tidy mod makes the bike look and feel much more like a real motorcycle.

I could swear the bike is lower to the ground and handles better than my stock ZF9. No mods to the suspension?

Nice meeting you, by the way, and thanks for the detailed description of the mods.


It was great meeting you too!  Thanks for stopping by!

The bike you rode didn't have our final CNCed heatsink.  It is much nicer.  I will post pictures once it is back from getting anodized black.

The tail chop is IMHO compulsory, especially in LA where we hardly need the protection the rear fender provides.

We haven't made any modifications to the suspension, just some tuning.  I think the modification enhances the overall quality of the riding experience.  I especially appreciate the added stopping power of the increased regenerative braking.
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Harlan Flagg
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Electric Terry

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Re: 2012 Zero Performance Upgrade
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2012, 05:06:59 PM »

Anyone thinking of a size 6 upgrade, do it!   I have almost 5000 miles on the new controller now and have loved every minute of it!  You will only have less range if you choose to ride real hard and use it, knowing there is a recharging spot close by.  It makes the bike so fun to ride!  Even on my trip carrying hundreds of pounds of gear (check some pictures, I seriously have 400 pounds of stuff), it makes pulling out in traffic, passing and weaving through traffic so easy your confidence is boosted as you know the bike has the power to get you out of any sticky situation.  The bike with 400 pounds of gear feels so nimble with so much torque.  

(See pics of the size 6 on the bike, and all the luggage and follow the trip here:  http://www.facebook.com/lifeoffthegrid)

As I said, if you ever wished your zero had a little more power, this is the simpliest upgrade.  I rode home with the size 4 in the bike to see the package from Hollywood Electrics at my door, and less than an hour later, I rode it to the beer store with the size 6 installed and almost scared myself it was so fast.  (Although the next day I did take it back out and remove 1/2 of a bolt hole on each side of the frame and then put it back it for a nice snug fit like the bike was designed for the size 6 and not the size 4 to begin with.

Still on track to hit Los Angeles by Friday if all goes to plan.  Need to average about 500 miles a day on the Zero for the next 4 days like I did the first day of the trip.   Stopped to see 2 good friends in Louisania I hadn't seen in 2 years and it stalled the trip a little, but back on the road this morning.  Should hit Texas later today!  When charge stations are close by ~50 miles or less, with the size 6 controller, the trip goes quick.  Unplug, Zip through traffic fast in random towns with the torque feel of a 600cc sportbike, bulk charge only for 45 min, repeat.

As your doctor, I'm prescribing 660 amps to all of you.  Take at least twice a day, and what ever ailment you may have, you will at least have a huge smile on your face you can't control when you twist the throttle.  And as modern medicine believes, the more you smile and happier you are, the better the body can heal itself.  So get the size 6!  Doctors orders!  :)
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 05:12:42 PM by offthegrid »
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