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Author Topic: 2011 XU died on me  (Read 2683 times)

pinaz

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2011 XU died on me
« on: January 11, 2013, 07:21:08 AM »

I bought it last month new from the dealer (yes, the 2011 XUs must have been very unpopular), and it cut out on me during my commute home.

The dash remained illuminated, but the throttle ceased to influence the bike and it just coasted to a halt.  I then had to hope that cars wouldn't hit me until it eventually started working again a minute or two later.

Zero support wasn't helpful.  Telling me that the 2013 models have much better error reporting isn't what I call useful.

Basically, the only salient piece of information was that I have to wait for the problem to happen again and hope for a blink code on the red hazard light whilst the problem is present.

What really annoys me is that this is PRECISELY the problem OBDII was designed to solve.  No proprietary tools or blink codes... just a standard interface that anyone can pull logged error codes from.

All cars sold in the USA since 1996 have had this interface... by law.

I don't know what the legal requirements are for adoption of OBDII motorcycles, but my gas motorcycle has an OBDII port (and it actually works).

Zero's OBDII is just a fake; it has the connector but they implemented their own custom interface.

I'm not happy.
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dahlheim

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Re: 2011 XU died on me
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2013, 02:39:07 PM »

any chance the ambient temperature was too low?
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cirrus pete

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Re: 2011 XU died on me
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2013, 07:41:12 PM »

Has the dealer been helpful?
Can you describe the cutout situation more fully? Were you at full throttle? Did the bike reset after a few seconds or a few minutes? How many bars of charge did you have? etc...
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NoiseBoy

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Re: 2011 XU died on me
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2013, 10:54:17 PM »

You bought it new so take it back to the dealer and tell them to fix it or refund it.  That is the main advantage of buying new.
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Rossi46

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Re: 2011 XU died on me
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2013, 12:01:36 AM »

Hi Pinaz,

I've had good luck contacting Customer Service, I would suggest you contact them again, I know for a fact the read the forum and dedicated to resolving issues.
The OBDII on the bike will not work with an off the shelve reader and it only works with propriety ZMC software. The 2011 XU has two diag ports, one off the Main bike board the other from the Battery Management System.
I've had good luck calling 888-786-9376 ext 52 or go to your local dealer who will have a Zero Diag PC and ask them to pull the MBB and BMS logs and send them to Zero.

good luck this should get you an answer.

Rossi 46
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protomech

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Re: 2011 XU died on me
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2013, 12:29:16 AM »

There was an earlier thread on 2011 glitches:
http://electricmotorcycleforum.com/boards/index.php?topic=2329.0

The XU uses a Perm motor, the other 2011 bikes all use Agni 95 motors. It seems like half the issues in the 2011 glitch thread were motor issues (Agni), half the issues were contactor issues.

Definitely worth contacting customer service. When you say "it eventually started working again a minute or two later", did the error persist across turning the bike off and then back on? Did you have to do anything to get it work, or did it just start working for no apparent reason?
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pinaz

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Re: 2011 XU died on me
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2013, 09:37:56 AM »

Thanks for the responses.  To address the various questions posed:

What ambient temperature is too low?  Minutes before the failure, the bike was full charged in a garage (e.g. probably 60s F or warmer).  Looking at the historical weather data, the temperature was 55 F at the time, which doesn't seem particularly cold.

The bike started working a few minutes after it stopped working.  I was not at full throttle; I had just started from a stop sign and only reached, say, 10 MPH or so before it cut out.  The charge indicator showed all bars.

The nearest dealer is a 10 hours drive away, so they will be of little help.

When I called Zero customer service they said they would email me, which seems a pretty neat trick given I hadn't given them my email address.  Needless to say, I didn't get that email.

Yes, the error persisted across turning the bike off and then back on again.  After a minute or two, it just started working again for no apparent reason.

Beyond the product failure itself, there is just no getting around Zero's illogical engineering decision to forgo an OBDII port.  Even if they managed to not run afoul of a legal mandate, why would it make sense to engineer and distribute a proprietary scan tool to dealers?  One could achieve much, if not all, of the same thing within an OBDII compliant implementation.  That way, dealers (or any auto or motorcycle shop assisting the Zero owner) can use a scan tool they already have or buy one at the local auto store, and Zero could have better spent its development dollars on improving their product instead.
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Richard230

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Re: 2011 XU died on me
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2013, 09:35:21 PM »

I had a similar problem when my 2012 S was new.  It was fixed at the factory by replacing the throttle assembly.  I gather that some of Zero's throttles had "issues".

Once the throttle was replaced, that problem never returned.
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pinaz

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Re: 2011 XU died on me
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2013, 06:41:13 AM »

For anyone interested in my XU failure saga, through some testing on a side street, I've found a design fault... which perhaps might also be the cause of the problem that I reported at the start of the thread.

If, whilst operating the bike, I switch from ECO to SPORT or visa versa, it intermittently produces a 1-3 error code, which the manual indicates as a "High Throttle Disable".

If so, that label is a complete mischaracterization, as it seems to have nothing to do with the throttle, particularly high throttle.

I can make it happen whilst inching along at 1 MPH, as well as at 10 MPH, 15 MPH, 20 MPH.

Sometimes, it will clear before the bike completely coasts to a halt.  Other times, the bikes roll to a stop and will not allow resumption for maybe 10 seconds or so.  There also seems to be some sort of 'fully return throttle to the off position before re-enabling' logic involved in the timeout too, so perhaps that might explain the longer timeout I experienced days prior.

Before you say "just don't operate the switch", keep in mind that Zero used a really flimsy switch, and even if it wasn't so flimsy, it wouldn't surprise me that the slightest bump or pothole might cause the switch to momentarily bounce.  That might explain the original event, since my hands were nowhere near the switch.

Electronics 101: de-bouncing switches

So, the MBB is likely part of the problem (since it re-interprets the throttle based on motor speed and the ECO/SPORT setting).  The possible good news is that it could be part of the solution with a firmware change.  Now, if only I can get them to take me seriously.
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trikester

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Re: 2011 XU died on me
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2013, 09:32:53 AM »


As this forum knows, I have a momentary switch on the handlebar of my 2012 DS with which I switch from Sport to Eco and back quite often while moving, so unless the 2011 is different, then I don't think switching on the move is the problem. However, you mention the possibility of a bad switch. When the rocker switch is in Sport mode there is no contact being made. The switch is a single pole single throw and only closes the circuit when in the Eco mode. If the problem occurs while the switch is in the Sport mode then it could not be the fault of the switch, which is open at the time.

That said, I did change my rocker switch to a waterproof toggle switch, mainly for convenience in seeing its position and reaching it while riding.

Trikester
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cirrus pete

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Re: 2011 XU died on me
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2013, 11:10:12 PM »

I didn't know that the 2011 models had eco vs sport modes. Were they available on the XUs the year before they became available on the S/DS line?
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Rossi46

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Re: 2011 XU died on me
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2013, 11:42:17 PM »

Hi Pinaz,

    I just called Customer Service as I needed a turn signal (low speed error from 'used to be' friend:)  :P
I let them know you were struggling being so far from a dealer, they advised they couldn't give me details on other cases but they had reached out to you.

Good luck, if you work with them they should help you fix your issues.

Keep us posted.

All the Best

Rossi46
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triplerider

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Re: 2011 XU died on me
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2013, 09:46:27 PM »

Hi Pinaz,
The reason OBD2 doesn't work on these, the same way it does in cars, is that the OBD2 protocol was based around fuel injection and not electric vehicles.  While the connector is the same it is a completely different software interface.  All the "DTC" information in a standard OBD2 tool is standardized EFI with small variances and additions allowed by individual manufacturers to meet their needs if the standard info doesn't apply.  For example, an O2 sensor is an O2 sensor industry wide so the codes are all the same.  However, if a manufacturer uses a different method for monitoring the oxygen content then the codes wouldn't work so they could create their own for their method.

Since the EV industry is still so new, there really isn't much standardization with the software and coding.  The fact that Zero chose to use the OBD2 connector is good due to the fact that at some point there will be standards and they'll be ahead of the game.  They could have easily used some other connector that carried the number of wires they needed for communications.  Making it very manufacturer specific.

I hope this helps shed some light on the "OBD2" issue here.

 :)Triplerider
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Harlan

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Re: 2011 XU died on me
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2013, 10:12:11 PM »

For anyone interested in my XU failure saga, through some testing on a side street, I've found a design fault... which perhaps might also be the cause of the problem that I reported at the start of the thread.

If, whilst operating the bike, I switch from ECO to SPORT or visa versa, it intermittently produces a 1-3 error code, which the manual indicates as a "High Throttle Disable".

This doesn't sound unusual, or like a design fault, it's a safety feature.  When switching from one performance mode to another, the throttle needs to be returned all the way to the zero position to prevent a sudden unexpected performance change the rider may not be prepared for.
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trikester

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Re: 2011 XU died on me
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2013, 12:21:12 AM »

I beg to differ, Harlan. You can switch modes with the throttle open but the mode change won't take place until the throttle is closed. Even though the mode switch has been changed, nothing happens until the throttle is rolled to the closed position.

I do this frequently with my handlebar momentary switch. When I'm riding in Sport mode, and I'm approaching a point at which I know I'm going to want regen, I actuate the switch while still on the throttle. Then as soon as I release the throttle the mode switches to Eco and I have the regenerative deceleration I want. Also, if I change modes while the throttle is closed, I have to briefly open the throttle and re-close it to make the mode change take place. I've gotten very used to doing this.

Yes, it is a safety feature but it doesn't mean you can't switch while on the throttle it just means nothing will change until you roll off the throttle. Same thing for going from Eco back to Sport. I don't think this has anything to do with the problem he is experiencing.

Harlan, I'm wondering if he is having the same problem my 2012 DS had (when it was brand new) in Eco mode, before you replaced the circuit board? Remember that?

Trikester
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 12:29:52 AM by trikester »
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