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Author Topic: Unexpected Goldilocks problem while trying to select a model to purchase  (Read 477 times)

atldinan3

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(this is a follow-up to a prior thread that is unique enough to be its own topic http://electricmotorcycleforum.com/boards/index.php?topic=7013.0 )

Well, I just got home from my local Zero dealership. I went with full intention on buying a Zero, but came home disappointed. Here's why:

As you may recall from the prior thread, my interest is in the S 6.5, however they only have an SR available to test.  The salesman's suggestion was to first ride the DS 6.5 in order to get a feel for an electric bike, and as a representation of the power delivery of my eventual assumed purchase.  Then, I would ride the SR, in eco mode, in order to get a feel for the handling of the S model.  So thats what I did, and here's what resulted:

The DS riding experience was great (with one exception below). I found the 6.5 to produce plenty of power to create a thoroughly enjoyable riding experience.  Further, the riding position was nice and upright.  The downside was the seat height. I'm inseam challenged at 29', so it was tedious tippy-toeing the bike at lights or in a parking lot. Enough so that I wouldn't feel always feel comfortable handling my own bike.

So then I switched to the SR, and the experience wasn't so great.  The seat height was perfect, and I was nicely flat-footed. Unfortunately, the riding position is somewhat forward, enough to agitate the deteriorating disk and pinched nerves in my lower back.  After a 5 minute ride, I could feel the spot on my back starting to warm up. Deal-breakingly so.

Hence the following Goldilocks problem:

*  The S has a nice seat height, but the forward riding position is bad for my back.

*  The DS has a nice upright riding position, but the seat sits to high for my comfort level.

I spoke with the service guys, and found the options to be limited. Here is what we came up with:

*  Put bar risers on the S, in order to raise and pull-back the arm position. They couldn't guarantee that there will be enough slack in the cables, but were hopeful that it would work. A risk of this option would be that I would have to purchase (via order, since nothing is on the lot) the bike first, and then make the mods. If the mods weren't enough, I'd be stuck with the bike.

*  Find a way to lower the riding position of the DS. There is no suspension lowering kit, other than installing aftermarket lowered shocks, which is prohibitively expensive.  I suggested swapping the knobby'ish stock DS tires for a more low-profile road tire. Their concerns about this were, a) not sure if a matching set could be found (based on wheel sizes), and b) the change could be drastic enough to impact the ABS (which is programmed to assume stock wheel/tire specs).  There is no low-seat available, but they suggested I could remove some padding from a stock seat. Again, the risk would be mine, as it would have to be done post-purchase.

I told them I wasn't ready to make a decision based on that amount of speculation. Sadly, I drove home with my pocket full of cash... I was so ready to own a Zero...

Anyway, I'm putting the problem out to you nice and knowledgable folks on the forum. I'm open to suggested solutions for this Goldilocks problem.

Thx!
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Fred

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Not sure how the seat height on the FXS compares to the DS, but the riding position is fairly upright and I'm fine with a fairly short 30" inside leg.
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MrDude_1

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Never let the position of the bars, pegs or controls dictate what bike you ride. They're all adjustable and swappable.
I am not a fan of lowering motorcycles at all... And it's easier/cheaper to move the controls than swap suspension parts.
I would go for the S if I was you, and then change the bars to some you like better.
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Dahtunnel

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I too suffer from a 29" inside leg and was worried about tip toes to begin with.  Very quickly got used to it and have no issues.  Depending on road cross slope occasionally a slight shuffle sideways to give a bit more reach but otherwise no issue during daily twenty mile commute through city traffic, lots of traffic lights, on my DS
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atldinan3

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Ok, so from what I can tell via this thread (below), the Rox risers will bring the handlebars on the S up about 1" and back about 2". Is that correct? And without negative ramifications on the cabling?

That sounds good, however, its soooo hard to know how much of a difference it will make when actually riding the bike. I'm sitting here in my desk chair bending and straightening and flexing in all sorts of ridiculous nuances  :P , not sure what is the "sweet spot" for adjustment.

http://electricmotorcycleforum.com/boards/index.php?topic=6415.15
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Erasmo

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Several users here have road tires on their DS without problems. Corbin makes nice aftermarket seats.
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Shadow

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Yep, you're looking for:

Custom seat $500 http://www.corbin.com/zero/zero13.shtml
Rox Speed FX 2" risers $100 https://roxspeedfx.com/collections/adv-dual-sport-dirt-bike-handlebar-risers/products/2-pivoting-bar-risers-for-1-1-8-handlebar

The seat can be cut lower and further back to complement the risers. Both of these are bolt-in parts. Start with the risers, and then figure out how you want your seat to be.
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atldinan3

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I'm not quite clear on this. Are you suggesting two independent possibilities, one if I choose the S (risers) and the other if I choose the DS (seat)? Or are  you saying the combination of the two would make the S most doable?

Thx
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Shadow

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I'm not quite clear on this. Are you suggesting two independent possibilities, one if I choose the S (risers) and the other if I choose the DS (seat)? Or are  you saying the combination of the two would make the S most doable?
I'm about the same height and inseam within an inch or so of what you mentioned. When I got taller boots (btw Nicks Boots in Spokane WA love their product) then I could flat foot the DSR. My back would be in pain after long rides (200mi+) and that's been largely reduced since installing the risers. Now I don't like how the stock seat puts me so far forward it hurts my knees on those long 300mi+ rides, so I will eventually get a Corbin seat to replace the stock seat and have it made to sit further back - I've sat on a few Corbin seats most of the long riding Zero owners have one, it's very nice.

The difference you feel in riding position between the S and DS is the handlebars are a different shape.
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atldinan3

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Looking at pics side-by-side, I see that now. The service guy also mentioned it. He then went on to suggest the Rox risers on stock S bars would be easier (and cheaper) to install, and would give the same effect.

Has anyone ever swapped bars? Easy to do?

---
FWIW: While typing this response, I received an email from the dealership sales guy stating that he spoke with the Zero East Coast Sales Rep who informed him that "The DS models are readily available, while the S model will require more time to procure, but not impossible. It is a popular model." Not sure what that means yet.
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Chief_Lee_Visceral

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Any fat or 1 1/8th bar will work but there are 3 holes in the original bar that will not be on any non-Zero after market bars. I think only two are actually required. I think this is in the non-official zero manual. You will need a drill press to locate the holes properly.

I installed a ProTaper EVO Adventure 1 1/8" Handlebar Adventure low bend which is almost exactly the same shape as the OEM just a little wider but you can of course cut them.

You might want to look at the high bend of this bar. Kind of wishing I had gone that root.
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Current bikes:

2016 Zero DSR
2014 KTM 1190R
2011 Husaberg FE570S
2012 KTM 500EXC
2008 Yamaha WR250R
2007 Honda CRF450X Rally
1987 BMW K100RS

gyrocyclist

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Never let the position of the bars, pegs or controls dictate what bike you ride. They're all adjustable and swappable.
I am not a fan of lowering motorcycles at all... And it's easier/cheaper to move the controls than swap suspension parts.
I would go for the S if I was you, and then change the bars to some you like better.
I think moto dealers should take a lesson from bicycle dealers. When you buy a mid to top of the line bike, you get (or should get) a bike fitting. This includes, but is not limited to, changing the stem length (especially important for women, which is why companies are finally offering women-specific geomtries); adjust seat height, etc, etc. In sum, if you're paying thousands of dollars for a bike (with or without a motor) the dealer/manufacturer should offer alternatives to ensure the bike fit is appropriate for you. I personally would never buy a bicycle from a dealer if a fitting was not included in the price.
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grmarks

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Never let the position of the bars, pegs or controls dictate what bike you ride. They're all adjustable and swappable.
I am not a fan of lowering motorcycles at all... And it's easier/cheaper to move the controls than swap suspension parts.
I would go for the S if I was you, and then change the bars to some you like better.
I think moto dealers should take a lesson from bicycle dealers. When you buy a mid to top of the line bike, you get (or should get) a bike fitting. This includes, but is not limited to, changing the stem length (especially important for women, which is why companies are finally offering women-specific geomtries); adjust seat height, etc, etc. In sum, if you're paying thousands of dollars for a bike (with or without a motor) the dealer/manufacturer should offer alternatives to ensure the bike fit is appropriate for you. I personally would never buy a bicycle from a dealer if a fitting was not included in the price.

A bicycle has a simple frame, a motorbike is far more complicated and all the additional parts they need are designed (or purchased) to fit together in the frame. It is not economically possible to have multiple frame sizes and then multiple of all the parts to go in it.

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grmarks

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atldinan3 the frame of the DS and S are identical, so adding the DS bars to the S will give you the DS riding possition. At worst you may have to buy the DS cables too, but looking at my SR the brake line would seem to be long enough to cope.

I would put it back on the dealer, "I will buy an S if YOU put DS bars on it" and agree on a price first. Otherwise if you are prepared to wait, I think a bike can be put together at the factor with the things you want.  I believe you can get an FX with chain and nobby tires by ordering it from the factory, so why not an S?

Try contacting Zero customer support and ask what can be done for your special needs, I am pretty sure they will help.
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MrDude_1

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Never let the position of the bars, pegs or controls dictate what bike you ride. They're all adjustable and swappable.
I am not a fan of lowering motorcycles at all... And it's easier/cheaper to move the controls than swap suspension parts.
I would go for the S if I was you, and then change the bars to some you like better.
I think moto dealers should take a lesson from bicycle dealers. When you buy a mid to top of the line bike, you get (or should get) a bike fitting. This includes, but is not limited to, changing the stem length (especially important for women, which is why companies are finally offering women-specific geomtries); adjust seat height, etc, etc. In sum, if you're paying thousands of dollars for a bike (with or without a motor) the dealer/manufacturer should offer alternatives to ensure the bike fit is appropriate for you. I personally would never buy a bicycle from a dealer if a fitting was not included in the price.
I think if you're going to own a motorcycle, you should know how to adjust the controls yourself anyway... so a "fitting" would be moot.  Besides, all the motorcycles in your local dealership, from the flagship 300kph  sportbikes down to the mopeds are removed from the crate and assembled by the make-ready in the back... this is usually a young kid with only very basic mechanical skills getting paid just above min-wage.
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