The seat is uncomfortable and poorly engineered, the mirrors are nearly useless in their original configuration and only minimally adjustable. The right mirror assembly is integrated into the brake handle, meaning that if you re-position the mirror, you also re-position the brake handle inaccessibly. The headlight seems inadequate and a poor choice, given how much better and modern LEDs would have been. I find the side stand doesn't inspire confidence and anticipate that, sooner or later, it will fall over if the ground surface isn't perfect. While a center stand might require some thought, some thought would have been a worthwhile investment when it comes to a safe, stable center stand.
I do appreciate your attempt to analyze a product, but would like to point out that I think you don't understand why Zero is actually so successful in the first place despite some of your very justified criticism, which I in part agree with and in part I think is ridiculous of you to even bring it up.
Zero is very successful because of people who don't analyze a product like you do, but who's decision to support endeavors like theirs is driven by conviction and passion for the overall idea and way overdue final push to get a smarter concept realized.
Your section of critisism of the mirrors, the side stand and the seat is clearly showing that you don't have a lot of experience with motorbikes.
I have been riding the complete lineup of all Ducati motorcycles last year which is equally expensive and exclusive, and all of them had the absolutely typical uncomfortable seats, almost useless mirrors and other things that one would think is impossible to get away with for a pricy and prestige laden product like that.
Given that traditionally Italian motor vehicles get away with more of those flaws than let's say BMW for example.
In 33 years of riding on a varity of motorbikes I have found that mirrors in their traditional configuration are all very limited in their usage.
I have never come across a different setup on the throttle side that would separate the mirror and the brake assembly, and the limit of adjustability lies in the range of montion of the ball joint of the mirror rather the attachment point of the mirror itself.
I am glad Zero is not trying to develop their own peripheral components, since it would take away time and resources that are needed for drive train and chassis integration etc.
They have to deal with the cards they are dealt with from the peripheral industry.
And I am not saying that it is a perfect solution, but as far as motorycles and a reason to add uncecessary criticism to the zero bikes, they almost all have this configuration and it is not a problem whatsoever.
Anybody who has tried bar end mirrors finds out that that is the way to go anyway.
They are small, but mighty.
The convex type allows you to see the entire street behind you from both mirrors, they never block the view, you can fold them up for lane splitting and they don't look stupid like mikey mouse like all the stock mirrors.
Seat, really, the seat looks slick, nicely designed and engineered, but is uncomfortable.
Would you want a better seat on a 17,000 dollar bike, yes, but I can care less, since I got a superb drive train, a superior technology to everything else out there at this point and the aftermarket industry traditionally takes care of those issues.
And lastly, I am not sure if I need a bunch of money driven venture capitalists to be involved in this industry. That sounded harsher and meaner than I feel about it, but I simply don't care for money driven people and their input.
You do seem to be an articulated, intelligent and nice person, so please, don't let my aversion to money "capitalists" insult you personally, that is not my intention at all.
But in my opinion, this industry lives and dies with their groups of supporters and small time investors like me, and not groups that jump on profitable ideas for the sake of making money.
We Zero owners are in this for the concept, the conviction, the passion, the right thing to do you name it, a million reasons but the money.
So, I do commend your efforts, I do see the value of what you are trying to do, I appreciate the what seems to be an honest approach, but some of your criticism is completely unjustified since it holds true for the entire motorcycle industry and shouldn't be pointed out on bikes that need support and not hair splitting, penetrantic unecessary and actually flat out untrue statements like for example your side stand issue.
This side stand looks like it is holding the bike together. It looks like is is responsible for half the energy consumption of the battery pack, it is the strongest and most overengineered side stand I have ever seen and the foot is larger than most I have ever seen as well, and for the fact that it would sink in on lose ground, that holds true for every single bike out there and they sell a thing for that if you happen to park on soft ground all the time.
So, no hard feelings, I ectually enjoyed reading your report, but to be really honest, a venture capital group is irrelevant for the success of this product and is irellevant for pretty much any project that is driven by passion. Those will prevail no matter what, with your money or without it. It gets my money any day.
Oh, I do agree with you that Zero could, with very little effort build up a better customer relation department (just hire a nice professional front desk person who welcomes new owners with a phone call and make them feel at home) that would make owners feel a bit more welcome etc, but I cannot help it but be ok with all that, since I know they are hunkered down writing code and picking new components to make my next Zero even more impressively performing.
To close this up, overall I really appreciate your efforts and the time you are investing into this and your openness to share your opinion and experiences with all of us.
It is important to get the views of outsiders and I simply wanted to express some of our views, or at least mine, that make the flaws that these bikes have, which are actually not relevant and again, applicable across most of the bike line ups from other brands, well... irrelevant.
If you find spelling mistakes, you can keep them