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Author Topic: Zero and Brammo will only thrive with more Dealerships.  (Read 3458 times)

frodus

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Re: Re: Zero and Brammo will only thrive with more Dealerships.
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2013, 01:24:22 AM »

I can't say that I have hard numbers. However, considering how many Zeros are on the road and how many Brammo bikes are on the road, I seem to hear a disproportionally high amount of failures from the Brammos. Again, totally unscientific.

High amount of failues? There are only a couple I've seen on any of the forums (or heard third party):
- One person had some issues with water in a harness during heavy rain... I haven't seen others and it was remedied by some sealant tape. Seems it might be one isolated issue. One failure that went away.
- One person had his tail assembly fail (weld cracked). This might have been cracked from stress (someone, either him or a passerby, leaned on it and fatigued the metal). Even so, Brammo issued a voluntary recall and replaced all of the current Empulse tail assemblies out there. One failure, preventative recall.
- I've seen people have various error codes but they go away with a power cycle, and most of them are normal errors (high/low temp, incorrect startup order, bike is moving when you try to start it). I've gotten 0 unexpected errors and I've had smooth rides without glitches. I haven't seen any failures though with the electrical systems. Low amount of issues, most resolve themselves, or were old firmware revisions.
- There was one recall to inspect 5 bikes that were engineering bikes.... these were Engineering bikes bought direct from Brammo (mine being one of them) and they wanted to inspect alignment of some battery cables. This does not effect any production bikes. No failures, only proactive inspection.

From what I can see with the 2013 Zero bikes, people have reported:
- Controller glitches
- FX battery pack recall
- Rusted suspension components
- Leaking forks/shocks
- Dead bike after a rain
- No charging/charging stops
- Driveline clicking (keyway slop?)
- Faulty Fuseholder

Now, This isn't to say Zero has had that many either (or that they're all that bad), but to say there was a high amount of failues on the Empulse is a little misleading. There have been minimal failures of the bike and any issues have been proactively resolved directly with the dealer and Brammo themselves are very active with making sure we get firmware updates and recalls done.

Both of the bikes are great bikes, and yes there are more Zero (all years) on the road.... but I don't know how many 2013 Zero's there are on the road versus Brammo E1/R bikes on the road..... so people speaking about numbers of zeros and brammos on the road are assuming a lot....

However, my point is not that either is necessarily superior, but rather that there is no major disparity, and that the bikes are generally still more reliable and require less maintenance than a gas bike.

I agree there. My SV650 required carb maintenance/balancing, more oil, winterizing, cleaning the air filter.... and that's not to mention having to wait for the thing to warm up when its cold. My Empulse starts right up and off I go.... and my neighbors love me.


CliC

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Re: Zero and Brammo will only thrive with more Dealerships.
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2013, 03:43:21 AM »

I don't disagree with the assertion made by this thread's title. My concerns are somewhat related:

1. The dealers are still dealing with a very unfamiliar beast. The last dealer I took my DS to for service commented that they had not worked on the electrics in a Zero yet, and didn't seem confident in doing so. Hollywood Electrics appears to be one of the few dealers that is interested and highly experienced in that area, likely because they started as an EV dealer.

2. Zero isn't making DIY repair information available to customers, which exacerbates issue 1.

3. I'm afraid that as my bike gets older, replacement parts will become scarcer, or will take a long time to get. This appears to be happening already on 2010s and 2011s.

These issues make it uncomfortable (to me) to keep my Zero long-term, even if it runs fine and the 300,000 mile batteries are in good shape. And I don't look forward to buying one every 2-3 years.

I don't think Zero is doing this intentionally, it's just something they have to sort out. Stability of 2013+ platform is a start. But these things, which generally aren't nearly as severe problems with ICE bikes, will have to be addressed - along with getting more dealers on board.
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grindz145

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Re: Re: Zero and Brammo will only thrive with more Dealerships.
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2013, 07:56:28 PM »


High amount of failues? There are only a couple I've seen on any of the forums (or heard third party):
- One person had some issues with water in a harness during heavy rain... I haven't seen others and it was remedied by some sealant tape. Seems it might be one isolated issue. One failure that went away.
- One person had his tail assembly fail (weld cracked). This might have been cracked from stress (someone, either him or a passerby, leaned on it and fatigued the metal). Even so, Brammo issued a voluntary recall and replaced all of the current Empulse tail assemblies out there. One failure, preventative recall.
- I've seen people have various error codes but they go away with a power cycle, and most of them are normal errors (high/low temp, incorrect startup order, bike is moving when you try to start it). I've gotten 0 unexpected errors and I've had smooth rides without glitches. I haven't seen any failures though with the electrical systems. Low amount of issues, most resolve themselves, or were old firmware revisions.
- There was one recall to inspect 5 bikes that were engineering bikes.... these were Engineering bikes bought direct from Brammo (mine being one of them) and they wanted to inspect alignment of some battery cables. This does not effect any production bikes. No failures, only proactive inspection.


That's really good feedback Travis. I've heard of several transmission failures. Again this is just heresay. Have you not had any transmission issues on your bike? That's good to know that you're bike is running well with few issues. How many miles have you racked up?

benswing

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Re: Zero and Brammo will only thrive with more Dealerships.
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2013, 08:24:10 PM »

I don't disagree with the assertion made by this thread's title. My concerns are somewhat related:

1. The dealers are still dealing with a very unfamiliar beast. The last dealer I took my DS to for service commented that they had not worked on the electrics in a Zero yet, and didn't seem confident in doing so. Hollywood Electrics appears to be one of the few dealers that is interested and highly experienced in that area, likely because they started as an EV dealer.

2. Zero isn't making DIY repair information available to customers, which exacerbates issue 1.

3. I'm afraid that as my bike gets older, replacement parts will become scarcer, or will take a long time to get. This appears to be happening already on 2010s and 2011s.

These issues make it uncomfortable (to me) to keep my Zero long-term, even if it runs fine and the 300,000 mile batteries are in good shape. And I don't look forward to buying one every 2-3 years.

I don't think Zero is doing this intentionally, it's just something they have to sort out. Stability of 2013+ platform is a start. But these things, which generally aren't nearly as severe problems with ICE bikes, will have to be addressed - along with getting more dealers on board.

Those are valid concerns, and seem to be based primarily on the fact that these bikes are so new.  There are a couple of things Zero is doing to address some of these issues:

1.  Dealers are not familiar with the electronics, but Zero does a lot of the work remotely.  It will be some time before there are enough electric motorcycles out there for electricians to get into the motorcycle business.  Also, I believe Harlan has a degree in electrical engineering, which is what makes him particularly suited to this industry.  Hope to see more people with backgrounds in electronics get into the motorcycle industry.

2.  It appears that Zero is ALMOST doing what Tesla is, but not quite.  With Tesla, they can download info directly from your car and diagnose almost any problem.  With Zero, you currently have to take it to a dealer to run diagnostics on the bike.  With the new iPhone app, hopefully Zero will figure out how to go to more of a Tesla customer service approach. 

3.  There is nothing comforting I can write about number 3.  The issue of parts getting scarce is part of being an early adopter.  I would love to see more companies go modular with their components, especially with batteries, so you could buy better batteries in the future instead of a new bike. 
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frodus

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Re: Re: Re: Zero and Brammo will only thrive with more Dealerships.
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2013, 09:49:01 AM »


High amount of failues? There are only a couple I've seen on any of the forums (or heard third party):
- One person had some issues with water in a harness during heavy rain... I haven't seen others and it was remedied by some sealant tape. Seems it might be one isolated issue. One failure that went away.
- One person had his tail assembly fail (weld cracked). This might have been cracked from stress (someone, either him or a passerby, leaned on it and fatigued the metal). Even so, Brammo issued a voluntary recall and replaced all of the current Empulse tail assemblies out there. One failure, preventative recall.
- I've seen people have various error codes but they go away with a power cycle, and most of them are normal errors (high/low temp, incorrect startup order, bike is moving when you try to start it). I've gotten 0 unexpected errors and I've had smooth rides without glitches. I haven't seen any failures though with the electrical systems. Low amount of issues, most resolve themselves, or were old firmware revisions.
- There was one recall to inspect 5 bikes that were engineering bikes.... these were Engineering bikes bought direct from Brammo (mine being one of them) and they wanted to inspect alignment of some battery cables. This does not effect any production bikes. No failures, only proactive inspection.


That's really good feedback Travis. I've heard of several transmission failures. Again this is just heresay. Have you not had any transmission issues on your bike? That's good to know that you're bike is running well with few issues. How many miles have you racked up?

I've not heard of any transmission failures... Just people having a rough time getting into gear when they first start riding. There is some transmission slack... Which is normal for just about any motorcycle. It shifts different than an ice bike that has a continually forward moving flywheel...Which takes up that slack naturally. But I have no problems. I barely use the clutch and find the transmission pretty smooth. I've got 2500 ish miles on it.

And.... I've actually had no issues... Not a "few issues"...... Mine was only inspected.... And the tail recall done. I haven't actually had any problems.

grindz145

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Re: Zero and Brammo will only thrive with more Dealerships.
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2013, 06:38:13 PM »

Thanks for that data Travis, I don't have enough exposure to the Brammo world and it's intriguing.
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