Advanced Modifications

From Unofficial Zero Manual
Jump to: navigation, search

Procedures on this page generally involve fabrication or some modifications to the motorcycle that involve some risk.


Custom Windscreen Mount

The OEM windscreens are all MRA windscreens mounted via two points to the handlebar risers. They're attached to the windscreens below their center of pressure (CP) so have a tendency to wobble in highway speed winds and sometimes even fold.

Alternatively, you may choose a larger windscreen not designed for the OEM mounts, and want to secure it so it doesn't have this problem.

Windscreen mount improvement options
  • Acquire a longer set of MRA stalks that go around the handlebars (they all match the OEM mount) and change the angle of the mount to balance the windscreen forces better.
    For a mount with existing holes, you can pick the upper holes to re-use and make a new pair above those at the right distance, then secure the mount to those, to minimize the modifications to the screen.
  • Brace the windscreen at a third point (or second pair of points) near the headlamp.
    A little metal bracket from the headlamp mount bolts up to the screen with a little clip or such might do the trick.
If you drill through the windscreen to make a mount point, use drill bits meant for plastic so they won't catch and crack the plastic.

Quick Seat Release

Footpeg Relocation

Footpeg Relocator Adaptors for the FX model.

Left Hand Controls

High Beam Switch Improvement/Mod
This fixes a design/ergonomics issue with 2015+ models, where the high beam toggle is difficult to manipulate. Prior to 2015, a large rocker switch operated the high/low beam selector, and no hazard warning toggle was available.
Form a nub shape of Sugru putty and adhere to the lower end of the High Beam Switch slider.
20161001 155200 Left Hand Controls mod High Beam Switch Improvement.jpg
Demonstration video:
{{#ev:youtube|YS4_EOVrO9I}} (use YouTube link: if embedded player not working)

Handlebar Riser Adapters

Handlebar Riser Adaptors

These adaptors tilt the risers 20° to move the bar-clamp centers back about 45mm from the OEM location, and up @ 10mm or so. They also greatly reduce the steering-stem-to-riser-bolt offset on the '14 FX, from 34mm to 12mm (all my ICE bikes have 14mm to 18mm offsets). Modern MX/offroad bars tend to be low and straight for the most part, and adding a bit more rise and setback allows me a greater choice than before. It's hard to tell from the photos at the Zero site, but it looks like these should work on any Zero that has removable risers with M10 riser bolts.

Helmet Lock Relocation

Most motorcycle locks place a helmet on the side of the tail section. Zero has a stock lock on the frame behind the front forks, for locking in the tank bag but is also somewhat usable for helmets.

How to use this lock with a flexible cable loop to lock a helmet

When replacing the tank bag with a Power Tank, Charge Tank, or other tank replacement, the lock can be repositioned as it is no longer as accessible or uniquely suited for that position.

Ian Semple described a relocation on Facebook which is worth repeating:

  1. Pick a spot on the (left side of the) frame where there are no wires.
    NOTE: Figure out more specific ways or places to do this.
    WARNING: Be very careful when drilling holes in the tail; the Sevcon motor controller and cabling are inside and should not be compromised for any reason!
  2. Tape the frame for drilling.
  3. Use the lock to mark the hole positions on the tape.
  4. Keep it (drill speed) down a bit so the screw head will go in.
  5. Drill 2 small pilot holes then enlarge (up to 3/16 or 3mm; need to get more specific here).
  6. Position the lock in a hook-down orientation over the holes.
  7. Insert the same screws and tighten.

The existing holes in the frame might be worth re-using or filling in?


Throttle Upgrade

Ted Dillard tried out and prefers the Domino throttle to the stock Magura to reduce wrist twist for ergonomic reasons, published with a howto:

Models from 2015 and onwards (for reasons that were published but need citation) have an incompatible throttle interface and require Sevcon controller reprogramming to switch throttles.


Rear Axle Sliders

The rear axle is hollow and can accommodate sliders like the ones R&G Racing sells for 2013-2014 Zero models, but R&G doesn't offer a 2015+ fitment.

Suggested Materials
  • ¼" x 36" all thread rod ($2.27)
  • ¼x20 lock nuts, 4 ea. ($2.36)
  • M10x1.25 40 mm bolts, 2 ea ($1.82)
    tried drilling the stock bolts but they beat me so I bought these and drilled holes for safety wire.
    Not sure why I couldn't drill the OEM bolts, could just be crappy bits?
  • ¼" washer, 4 ea. ($2.46)
  • Blank skateboard wheels, 4 ea. ($12.70)
rear axle slider how-to


Left Hand Rear Brake

A small number of Zero owners have installed a left brake lever to replace the rear brake pedal, particularly racers.

One forum member provides some details of their installation


Variable Regen

This requires installing a connection into an unused analog input on the SevCon controller's 35-pin AMPSeal connector, and using DVT to configure the software to read it and map it appropriately.

A handle or switch that provides a variable voltage output on the handlebar then needs to be wired up and amplified or tuned to match the input requirements.

Variable/step-less regen

More install details

Change regen while riding?

Illustrative video of the connections

Related: Regen Braking kit for 2011 XU

Left Hand Variable Regen Lever

EVtricity racing installed configured a variable regen lever] on the left handle. This requires some Sevcon settings changes.

How to make a powerful regen lever for your Zero
ZERO SR Race Mods

Reverse Mode

Sevcon's market primarily consists of forklifts and tractors, so the Sevcon is already set up for reverse operation. Naturally, a reverse mode is unsafe for motorcycles beyond a very limited speed.

Trikester worked with Harlan to install a reverse mode switch on a 2013 FX.

Recent Zero models (2016? seems IPM-related) have a glitch when reverse mode is configured using the standard Sevcon recommendation.
Zero custom firmware could be interfering, or it could be a custom setting; unclear which yet.
How It Works
The Sevcon controller can be programmed to take a digital/binary input as a reverse mode directive.
The Sevcon as used by Zero has some unused pins; one of the digital inputs will be needed for the extra signal. Use SevCon's DVT software and IXXAT cabling to configure this.
Since Zero programs the Sevcon to operate in torque mode instead of speed mode, the reverse mode allows the throttle to operate like a variable regen that transitions to reverse from 0mph.
The transition to reverse can be configured a bit for some motorcycle-specific safety, but mainly to avoid a jerky transition.
Torque and speed limits can be set separately for reverse operation (40% and 5mph are good to start with).
The enable needs to be dual-throw to turn off the forward input signal and turn on the reverse input signal, so use a DPDT or SPDT switch, or a SPST switch that drives a relay.
A momentary push button switch is better for control safety, since any instability while moving in reverse should be resolvable by letting go of the control.
Any kind of binary switch can be used (toggle, etc), technically, but getting into a stuck reverse situation could be dangerous.
Mounting the switch should account for keeping the wiring protected and secure, and the switch should either be weather-rated or in a protective enclosure.
Mount location should be accessible from the left handlebar but not where it can be accidentally engaged.
Trikester's mount placed it in front of the handle, requiring the index finger to extend to reach it.

Electrical Accessories

Always-On Accessory Power Supply

Always-On 12V Power Supply
Burton's howto with a video and disclaimer
Always-On 5V Power Supply
Two lines to the DC/DC converter are always on at main battery voltage (see Burton's wiring diagram). Doctorbass observed in the above thread that many USB charging adapters can run on DC as easily as AC. It may be risky to try this.
Always on power could be used to power an Arduino etc, implement keyless unlocking, antilock devices, locators etc.

Givi Top Case RGB LED

Givi V47NN Tech Top Case + Arduino + WS2812 custom RGB LEDs
The Givi V47 series top case has an optional LED kit that adds an extra stop light, but if you buy the top case without the LED kit option you can add your own RGB LEDs using some hot glue and a soldering iron and use an Arduino to hook it up to the bikes wiring and make it all light up.
Givi-topcase-LED-mod.jpeg Givi-topcase-LED-mod-arduino.jpeg
Check the video to see it in action:

Sound System

This plugs into the 12V accessory port (OEM or otherwise) and provides a small fake ICE vehicle sound for your Zero.
This is meant for cars so it uses a radio frequency for a car radio to tune to.
A mobile app is provided for customization and control.
No reported Zero installs, for the obvious overhead of installing a stereo system on one's motorcycle.
SoundRacer EVEESS
This sound system is definitely DIY: be prepared for some light crimping work and to pin connectors and install a speed sensor on the front axle.
For the Zero, mind the size of the speakers; the smaller speaker pair are easier to mount than the single large speaker, unless you have the OEM crash bars.
Preparing a custom sound file involves using a simple utility to process it for the embedded computer. Prior to that, you'll want to use an audio-processing tool like Audacity to fit your sample into its requirements.
NanoMech's installation report


Cycle Analyst

Farfle wrote a great Cycle Analyst install howto.

This allows datalogging of a variety of parameters tracking voltage, current, and regen for trips.


Top Case Charger Install

Diginow 6.6kw Supercharger in top case install project

Charging Through Sevcon Controller

The officially recommended charging inlet is the Accessory Charging Port, which is fused to less than the 1C limit.
In order to achieve 1C charging, some bypass is required for at least one charging subsystem.
One may run one charging system through the port and one through the controller.
The Sevcon Gen4 controller has a series of terminals: M1, B-, M2, B+, M3.
B+ and B- are battery side terminals used mostly for input power but also supply power back to the battery via regen.
Red and black cables (4AWG rated for 80A) crimped to appropriately-rated terminal lugs.
Anderson SBS75X brown or red for charger connection, again the cables require impeccable professional crimping.
Planned route and matching cable length from the controller to the charger.
  1. Key off the bike and unplug it to open the contactor.
  2. Wait 10 minutes for voltage to dissipate from the powertrain.
  3. Remove the seat.
  4. Remove the philips-head screw aft of the controller that is retaining the cover in place.
  5. Lift the Sevcon motor controller cover.
    Take care not to chafe cabling with the cover's edges.
  6. Verify that the powertrain is de-energized with a voltmeter across B+ and B-.
  7. Gently loosen the bolts fastening the leads on B+ and B-.
  8. Place the cable leads over the terminals. Red to B+ and Black to B-. Form a stack from bottom to top of:
    1. Battery lead.
    2. Charger lead.
    3. Washer.
    4. Terminal bolt.
    Controller charge connection lead stack.jpeg
  9. Ensure that the route for the battery leads is the same as before.
  10. Ensure that the route for the charger leads minimizes bending and does not contact the protective riser brackets around the terminals.
    Controller charge connection routing.jpeg
  11. Gently but firmly re-tighten the bolts on B+ and B- (confirm torque specs, should be 7-12 ft-lbs).
  12. Confirm connectivity from each terminal to the Anderson port that terminates the other end of the charger cable leads.
  13. Test first without the charger by powering the bike on and ensuring the contactor closes.
  14. Test charging.
  15. Re-fasten the controller cover, ensuring that the new cabling cannot be chafed by the edge of the cover.
  16. Re-install the seat.

Hard-Mounting Chargers

Impersonating a Beemer with QuiQ Chargers
Mount QuiQ chargers on the side of the S platform power pack in the lower forward quarter to get the "BMW boxer" look.

Leave-In Kettle Cord

MONOPRICE7683 MY2016DSR overview.jpg
Convenient modification for model year 2016 DSR with digiNow SuperCharger v2 installed and pigtail option to split one phase of the J1772 input to an edison plug pigtail.

  1. Remove onboard charger rubber dust cap
  2. Remove the plastics if you want to route behind them.
  3. Insert the leave-in kettle cord. (Used: 3ft 14AWG Right Angle Power Cord #7683 from Monoprice retailer.)
    MONOPRICE7683 MY2016DSR ziptiehole.jpg
  4. Affix zip ties as needed and reinstall the plastics.

Charger Y-Cable

One can combine up to four Quick Chargers to the 2014+ S platform models (up to 2 chargers prior to 2014).

To connect more than one charger, at least one Y-Cable is required.
This cable is available from Zero for $250, but can also be easily fabricated if you have the tools.
  • (3) Anderson Power Products SBS75X connectors, Brown. (Mouser PN 879-SBS75XBRN-BK)
    Color matters, since it also reflects the voltage and is keyed.
  • (4) Anderson Power Products SBS50 #10 AWG connectors (Mouser PN 879-1339G3-BK)
  • (6) Anderson Power Products SBS50 #6 AWG connectors (Mouser PN 879-1339G2-BK)
  • (4) Anderson Power Products SBS75X aux socket connector (Mouser PN 879-PM16S1416S32)
  • (2) Anderson Power Products SBS75X aux pin connector, standard sequence (Mouser PN 879-PM16P1416S30)
  1. Choose one connector to be the common, to connect to the bike; the other two will connect to the Delta-Qs
  2. Using an appropriate crimp tool, use the #6 AWG connectors to crimp two red #10 wires. Repeat with two black wires.
  3. Click the #6 connectors into the common SBS75X connector, observing the polarity marked on the connector.
  4. Crimp the #10 AWG connectors onto the other ends of the red and black wires and click them into the other SBS75X connectors, again observing polarity.
  5. Use a #16 - #14 wire for the charge enable pins. Connect one end to a pin-connector, and insert into the recessed hole in the common connector.
  6. Connect the other end to two socket connectors, and insert into both not-recessed holes in a downstream connector. Stripping back the wire and using heat-shrink tubing may make for a better fit.
  7. Repeat using the other charge enable pin for the other connector.

The seemingly-odd charger enable connections are due to the MBB only being able to drive two Delta-Q chargers per output, and allow a single Y-Cable design to be used as either the first or second in a fan-out.

I made my cable the naive way with a single charger-enable pin to both connectors before I was told this.
If someone has an official cable and can verify the wiring, that would be appreciated.