Unofficial Zero Manual:About
Zero motorcycles is a small but growing electric motorcycle company. While they build excellent bikes, like all vehicles they need to be maintained by their owners to remain in peak condition.
- No OEM Service Manual
Being a small company means there are some compromises that larger companies don't have to make. One of these is an official service manual. Zero does not currently have one. They have some dealer-only information, but they have only a basic Owner's Manual for customers. There are also liability concerns in directly revealing system details; if a third party investigates and reports, Zero doesn't have to be responsible for the results. While helpful, direct contact with Zero (via customer support email or hotline) sometimes results in a response to "ask your dealer".
This is not a problem if you have a local dealer, but you may not have a licensed dealer within 100 miles of you. You may want an unlicensed service shop to work on your bike and need some information they can use to understand its systems. You may be mechanically or electrically inclined and want to do it yourself. That is where this wiki comes in.
- Inadequate Owner Experience
Zero's Official Owners Manual lacks a basic block diagram laying out the vehicle's systems and components, the troubleshooting guide is extremely limited, and the Official Mobile Application is not illuminating and provides no insight into the vehicle's current state of operation, quick interpretation of error codes, or even the on-vehicle indications.
Furthermore, Zero's public-facing interactions with owners can be confusing and contradictory, which in combination with inadequately effective documentation and a permanent prohibition on employees interacting with customers, has produced a great deal of unnecessary speculation and guesswork about vehicle behavior and upkeep.
- Clumsy Repair Process
It has been inferred that Zero's customer success strategy is to allocate a budget to get customers back on the road when there is trouble by any means justifiable (under the generous warranty policy), which means large components are often swapped without triaging their failures and aggregating those outcomes into a revision process for either the designs, their protections, or preventative maintenance guidelines.
Whether this cost is burdened by the customer, the dealer, or the manufacturer, it is wasteful and implies that opportunities to improve these vehicles' longevity and repairability have been missed and will continue to be missed. It is our position that these vehicles will have more value if we can equip anyone with an enlarged but stable/safe understanding of how to ensure long life in every component, keep the vehicle maintained, and quickly and in a cost effective way handle failures as they arise while also transmitting those lessons back to the dealers and manufacturer for improvement.
Sometimes it helps to replicate published data to provide some redundancy. Zero often depends on third party component providers who for whatever reason might stop providing public data on something they previously delivered in favor of newer products. Maintaining our bikes as they age will require having this information somehow.
- Knowledge Sharing
You are probably not the first person that needs to do whatever it is on your bike. Over time every regular (and irregular) service point should be addressed here, allowing you to easily lookup how to perform maintenance tasks. For example, replacing the drive belt or changing the steering head bearings. Even when manufacturers provide service manuals, they aren't always the easiest to follow if you're not an experienced professional.
Or you'd like to know how to do something unofficial! Modifying or customizing a motorcycle won't get a nod from the manufacturer, but may not void the warrantee, or maybe your warrantee has expired and you're okay with pushing some limits.
Copyright law is tricky, and we make our best effort to responsibly draw a line at what we host. For this reason, please do not upload PDFs or direct copy of manufacturer text or media here. Definitely link to it or instructions on how to get it, and retain it privately. If something goes missing, inquire to the community about backups or retained resources to keep up documentation. We're definitely considering what to do about "abandonware": what happens when a manufacturer stops offering information about a product because it has been discontinued.
If you learn something really insightful from OEM documents not publicly shared, what is okay is to document what you did as a result or what concept was revealed, as your own work.
Of course, anything you undertake because you read it on this site is entirely your own responsibility. As a wiki, anyone can post instructions or system descriptions that may not be fully accurate or may be dangerous. Contributors will try to be alert for mistaken or irresponsible content, but this process is imperfect at best, and you should make your own assessments or ask an expert for advice.
If you have something to add, add it! Don't be shy, this is open for all. Just try to stick to normal wiki guidelines.