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Author Topic: What's involved with buying a Zero?  (Read 740 times)

atldinan3

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What's involved with buying a Zero?
« on: June 12, 2017, 02:48:20 AM »

Hola. I'm about 36 hours from pulling the trigger on a 2016 BMW F800R bike, and just now discovered the Zero bikes. WOW, I'm way intrigued. I've been driving a Nissan Leaf for several years, so I am very familiar with EV's in general. The 2016 Zero S is the same price-point for my current purchase, so it's totally doable.  There is a dealership about 50 miles way, and I'm planning to contact them tomorrow.  Before I do, I'm curious to get some background on their sales.  Specifically, whats involved with ordering one? The dealer doesn't have the S in stock, only an SR. Is there a national warehouse somewhere with available inventory? Or is there a backorder issue? Or something else?

Anything else I should know or ask?  In case it doesn't show, I'm somewhat giddy with excitement over the possibility. I'm ready to ride one home tomorrow if its available.  I do feel bad about not buying the Beemer from the nice folks from the other dealership, but hey, EV is the way to go!!
« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 03:15:15 AM by atldinan3 »
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Blotman

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Re: What's involved with buying a Zero
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2017, 03:32:40 AM »

Interestingly enough, I went from an F800R (2011) to a Zero S. The Beemer was a great bike as it was agile, powerful, fairly comfortable​ and has ridiculously good gas mileage. I switched over to the Zero because it beat my F800R in all these metrics. I dare (maybe more like beg) anyone to find me a better highway commuter. The upfront cost on the Zero is obviously higher, but the BMW would prompt me for service once, maybe twice, per year. Road tripping was more simplistic with the BMW, but the parallel twin's vibration become more like buzzing at 70mph leaving my limbs numb within an hour. Not sure I'd ever be interested in going cross country with that. Charging options for the Zero are getting very attractive though.

As far as stocking Zero's go, the dealer closest to me mentions they only keep demo bikes on hand. Customers would have to place an order to be built and delivered from the factory (Scotts Valley, California). Or the dealer might sell you a demo bike if they're done with it. Of course that dealer you're seeing might have a different situation.
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'13 Zero S ZF12.5, '15 Zero SR ZF12.5

Richard230

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Re: What's involved with buying a Zero?
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2017, 04:20:56 AM »

When I bought my Zero I put down a $1000 deposit with my dealer (who closed a couple of years ago due to Yamaha franchise issues), they then ordered the bike and it was built by the factory and shipped to the dealer for sale.  I think that process takes about 2 weeks. But things might have changed so you obviously need to check with the dealer for the current process.  I might add that I am surprised to hear of a shop being open on a Monday.  Around here most shops are closed on Sunday and Monday, probably due to the cost of keeping a small business open for 6 or 7 days a week.
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Richard's motorcycle collection:  2014 14.2 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

cep55

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Re: What's involved with buying a Zero?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2017, 04:55:36 AM »

Hey AtlDinan! I'm glad you discovered the Zero and are looking into it before you pulled the trigger on the BMW. (Not that the F800R isn't a great bike, but the Zero is really a breed apart!)

And, since you're already an EV driver, you have a good understanding of the advantages and things to consider about the Zero vs an ICE bike.

In the first 2 minutes of my test ride, I knew I had to have one.

There may be exceptions, but all the dealers I talked to don't stock bikes for immediate sale, only demos (which of course they'll eventually sell.) When they ordered my SR, it took less than a week to get it, but I'm just about 100 miles from Scotts Valley.

I looked at 2016 demos, but even given the savings, I ultimately went with the 2017 due to the ZF13 battery (if you're in fact looking at the ZF13, and the fact that 2017 models' software can be updated remotely, without having to go to the dealer.)

Hope you can test ride one this week; please keep us posted!


« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 08:01:58 AM by cep55 »
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Shadow

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Re: What's involved with buying a Zero?
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2017, 08:54:00 AM »

The Leaf and the Zero are about equal in terms of practicality in their respective mode of transport (Four-wheel and Two-wheel). The Zero is however quick as a Tesla Luxury sedan at 1/10th of the cost. You already have a Leaf and you know that 100mi (?) range is limiting where you can use it. Why did you get a Leaf?  Does a motorcycle need to have better range than the Leaf to be useful for you?

"What's the deal with buying a Zero" (in the USA)?:
I convinced my dealer to take $500 cash in my pocket as a down payment (they wanted $1000 or $2000 I think?) and they make an order for the bike you want, it gets shipped from Zero Motorcycles factory in Scotts Valley CA to the dealer, and then you go through the dealership for final payment + taxes + fees. I paid cash to the dealer because financing is completely stupid for me on a depreciating asset such as this. Zero Motorcycles does not have a license to sell to you directly so you have to do it this way through a dealership. The absolute best deal you could hope for is a dealer willing to sell you a bike just to look busy and move a unit through their shop, in which case you're looking at paying MSRP and an adjustment to include the taxes, plus some kind of ridiculous shipping and destination fee. You take possession of the bike as you would any other motorbike purchased from a dealership, subject to rules of the state i.e. insurance, registering at the DMV location for your county. Then you ride it as you like and if it is less than 30% battery state of charge when you're done riding for the day you just plug it into a wall socket or it can void the warranty leaving it less than 30%. The suggested state of charge to mind for best long term pack health is 60%-80%, though when you recharge just let it go to 100% and there is some firmware and battery management magic that works only above 90%. Leaving the pack at 100% doesn't have the drastic negative effect like it might on some early Nissan Leaf vehicle batteries. Keeping battery state of charge at least 60% is known to be helpful for long term pack health. The battery itself can take a 3C charge but the bike will prevent you from charging more than 1C, which effectively limits you to a 1-hour charge 0% to 95% if you can get enough charging electronics hooked up - Zero Motorcycles has difficulty to qualify all these electronics around the world so if you need a fast charging then you will look to aftermarket products for your part of the world.

On the matter of purchase price, warranty, and insurance. If you really truly want a purely practical ev motorcycle and don't need the "snap" of a performance model, know that the performance "-R" models are classed as sport bikes or super bikes by insurance underwriters, and cost $100's more to insure. I own and think a 2016 performance model is great, and suggest a 2017 "standard" model is just as fun. The 2017 performance model is wholly unnecessary loads of torque and performances I think you might find interesting if you don't mind the extra insurance premium. This may also be reason enough to consider a used 2016 Zero SR and compare to a new 2017 Zero S which is approximately equal amounts bike but perhaps different purchase price and insurance costs.

The key feature of 2017 models for long term ownership is they are built to allow a firmware upgrade at home without any dealership and this is great because dealerships tend to fuck up the service on Zero bikes, I don't know why, but it seems to be a trend at any traditional motorcycle shop they forget completely how to do their job instead of blame everything on the factory, whenever they see "Electric Vehicle" they just lose their minds completely and turn into stumbling idiots who cannot change a tire correctly. Ten out of ten times, in my experience, it would have been quicker and cheaper (even for a warranty-covered service) to avoid completely the dealership and just figure it out yourself. Thankfully the community is very active and we make our own Unofficial service manual:   http://zeromanual.com

Parts are not easy to figure out and then there is a one-in-three chance that even if the dealer orders correctly on your behalf, and the factory fulfills that order in good understanding of what you wanted, that the warehouse will just completely fuck it up and send out the wrong part. It happens all the time to me. I imagine that it will be a long time before all the problems of the past are uncovered, so you just have to kind of expect this if you ever order a part. Great dealerships who know how to interact with Zero Motorcycles will know better than to expect any part delivered to be the part that was ordered.

The bike itself is easy but a new bike will not have any fancy technology gadgets. I've added a windscreen, handlebar guards, heated grips, handlebar 2-in riser, 10kW of charging electronics on-board (for a 1C charge rate), top rack, top case, auxiliary J1772 EV charging inlet, primary J1772 EV charging inlet bracket and cowl plastics, and 12V accessory power port. I'm about $20k usd into this $15k usd bike, and it is about par in my mind to a Nissan Leaf. A Leaf would be more useful on snow and ice roads. The Zero charges pretty fast the way I have it now and I can do a 300-500mi day if I want to.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 09:29:25 AM by Shadow »
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atldinan3

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Re: What's involved with buying a Zero?
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2017, 06:32:03 PM »

Hey gang,

Thanks for all the helpful and supportive responses.  I think the best way for me to explain my intended use is to copy/paste the content I posted on several Beemer forums (that eventually led me to the Zero).  I'm curious for any feedback:

Quote
So I’m getting back into riding after taking several years off.  Based on my life circumstances, my riding will be along the “Sunday driver” style - i.e. An occasional jaunt around town, for only a few miles. I won’t be able to ride with any regularity, however, I like the idea of being able to sometimes enjoy a short ride.

Initially, I was planning to purchase a late-model K75 w/ ABS. That was the last bike I had (sold about 5 yrs ago), and it fit me very well - low, lightweight(ish), maneuverable(ish), very reliable, and even though it is 20+yrs old, it had innovative tech for its time. I particularly liked the fact that it has ABS. And they are very LOW MAINT. The bricks seem to go forever.  And at a great price point these days.

Along the lines of innovative tech, however, my attention has been drawn to newer Beemers. I’m considering spending a bit more and going the new bike route, specifically for the advances in tech. Most specifically, for the ASC.  So I’m currently negotiating on a 2016 F800R.

Here is the concern: When I was talking to the folks at the dealership, they indicated that modern Beemers can be finicky if they aren’t ridden enough.  I think someone said “BMW wants owners to put at least 100 miles per week on the bike.”  Thats a problem, and it will likely never happen. I live in a small town, and my office is only 5 miles away from my house, so I sometimes don’t put 100 miles per week on my cage.  In fact, I only log about 12k yearly on my primary driver.  Again, my intent for having a bike is to take an occasional zip around town for an errand, or an infrequent loop through the country backroads on a nice Sunday afternoon. 

Realistically, I will put maybe 100 miles per month on the bike in nice weather.  In the wintertime, I doubt I’ll log 100 miles in an entire quarter.  The bike will spend most of its life sitting safely in the garage. I kept my 1994 K75 on a trickle charger, cranked it regularly, and once a month or so in the winter rode it up and down the cul-de-sac.  Never had a problem.  I’m becoming concerned, however, that this is a sub-optimal environment for a new Beemer.

The nice folks at the dealership somewhat dismissed the concern, stating “Oh don’t worry, once you have a bike again then you’ll probably ride it a lot more than you think!”  Incorrect. Its not realistic (or appropriate) to ask someone to change their lifestyle to meet the needs of the bike. Rather, I need to pick the right bike that meets the needs of my lifestyle.

So my question is:  Is mine an appropriate application for a new Beemer? A new bike with the latest tech sounds like a good idea from a safety perspective.  However, it makes less sense if it results in a decrease in reliability. Especially considering the fact that the closest dealer is almost 50 miles away, so purchasing a bike that will require regular tweaks at the dealer will quickly become very cumbersome.

Thoughts?
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tamjam

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Re: What's involved with buying a Zero?
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2017, 07:09:39 PM »

You should ask your dealer to check Zero's "COV" list (Company Owned Vehicles). I learned about this list when shopping for my DSR...at the time it was full of bikes that were used by the press, etc. Bikes on this list have not been registered so are eligible for all of the rebates, but do have less time left on the warranty because they are often at least one MY old. Could be a way for you to save a few bucks as well as get you one without needing to order.

But be careful on the test ride...all it took for me to decide to ditch my Triumph Tiger was one 20 minute ride on the DSR I ended up purchasing. It was that nice.
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SR2016

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Re: What's involved with buying a Zero?
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2017, 09:15:13 PM »


I test drove a Zero a while back and put my BMW F800 street bike up for sale that afternoon.  I bought the Zero a year ago.  Now, if BMW (or anyone) offered me two gas bikes for my Zero I would say no.


Do you remember how we had these wonderful film cameras and then digital cameras started getting really good?  In a matter of 5 years your $1,000 film camera was worthless.  You ICE bike will be the same, its just a matter of when.
When batteries go solid state everything will change.


good luck

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Blotman

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Re: What's involved with buying a Zero?
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2017, 10:37:36 PM »

You should ask your dealer to check Zero's "COV" list (Company Owned Vehicles). I learned about this list when shopping for my DSR...at the time it was full of bikes that were used by the press, etc. Bikes on this list have not been registered so are eligible for all of the rebates, but do have less time left on the warranty because they are often at least one MY old. Could be a way for you to save a few bucks as well as get you one without needing to order.

This is how I came across my Zero SR for a pretty sick price. You're still considered the original owner which makes you eligible for incentives if offered in your state.
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'13 Zero S ZF12.5, '15 Zero SR ZF12.5

ticobrahe

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Re: What's involved with buying a Zero?
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2017, 10:44:15 PM »

As far as price paid, I recommend shopping around and seeing what is available. Should you not find a demo or company owned MC, you can still shop around and price dealers against each other on a new unit that must be ordered from the factory. I am fortunate that here, in SoCal, there are three dealers within a couple hours. I contacted all three of them and asked for their lowest price on a 16 SR. The lowest of the three was just south of $1000 off MSRP. Just like any vehicle transaction, price is negotiable. Just need to figure out which dealer is most willing to take a bit of a haircut to move a unit. And need to be lucky enough that there are a couple or more dealers in your area to make it happen.

As far as the bike... this is my fourth MC purchase and the one I enjoy the most by far.
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BrianTRice

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Re: What's involved with buying a Zero?
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2017, 12:27:55 AM »

The unofficial manual does have a page just for this, but as usual there are a lot of good posts here worth incorporating:
http://zeromanual.com/index.php/Potential_Buyers_Guide
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Zero: 2016 DSR, 2013 DS
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MrDude_1

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Re: What's involved with buying a Zero?
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2017, 12:30:22 AM »

What's involved with buying it?
Fairly similar to buying any other dealership motorcycle that is not on the floor. They take some money, order it, and when it comes it you come back and finish the paperwork. The date of sale is when you pick it up, not the downpayment.

There's some more info in buyers guide on the Unofficial Zero Manual website:
http://zeromanual.com/index.php/Potential_Buyers_Guide
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MrDude_1

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Re: What's involved with buying a Zero?
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2017, 12:31:10 AM »

The unofficial manual does have a page just for this, but as usual there are a lot of good posts here worth incorporating:
http://zeromanual.com/index.php/Potential_Buyers_Guide
You beat me by 2 mins while I was writing a response at work.. LOL.
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atldinan3

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Re: What's involved with buying a Zero?
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2017, 02:16:45 AM »

Thanks, all, for the continued feedback. I go to visit my local dealer tomorrow - he has a SR in stock that I will use as a tester. My plan (largely budget based) is to buy/order an S. To be more specific, an S ZF6.5.  I'm looking at the comparative specs, however, and wondering if the bike is too "weak" (for lack of a better term). The 34 hp number is pretty meager. Almost 50% less than the next model up.  I know HP is much less important than torque in an EV, but I'm still worried that 34 might not be too "wimpy".

Sorry to use words like "weak" and "wimpy". I suppose they were put in my head by my riding friends when I told them I'm considering going electric.  I'm not looking for anything super-sporty, but I do want to have fun on my rides around town.

Long story short, thoughts on the sufficiency of a 34hp Zero S ZF6.5?
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dukecola

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Re: What's involved with buying a Zero?
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2017, 02:29:09 AM »

My bike arrived 3 weeks from the day I ordered it, however, all the accessories including power tank did not come with the bike. Took another month for those (yes, that's F'd up but that's how they do it.) Demand that everything come at once.  I'm still upset that they coudnt install power tank at the factory, instead forcing me to pay dealer $300 to put it in.
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