Experimental Electric Vehicles

Zero Motorcycle Quick Chargers

Fast charging goals –

-Travel more than the 100 miles of the standard range allows.

-Add a reasonable charge rate without large sacrificing weight, style, reliability.

-Plug and play,  I want to arrive and just plug-in, not more than 10 seconds.

-Flexibility.  The system I designed here will allow for wattages of 1000, 1300, 2000, 2300, and  3300.  This allows for charging on MANY different, and multiple outlets.

-Eliminate the Calex (on-board 1,300 watt charger) as primary daily use charger. As these are failure prone.

 

 

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So heres what I did.

I waited patiently and eventually found someone parting ways with their Delta-Q chargers (you NEED to get the ones specifically designed for Zero Motorcycles, they have special software).  I got them for $300 each!

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YAY – New (to me) chargers.  In a UGLY yellow 😦

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Oddly enough the charger brackets literally align PERFECTLY with the front frame rail M5 threaded inserts (was this on purpose Zero?) But after some trail fitting I found my leg would likely hit the charger a lot and I don’t like bruised chins (ouch!!)… SO I devised a small aluminum bracket to move the chargers forward, down, and slightly angled.  This will allow for leg clearance (i’m 5′ 11″ for reference) and give them a better appearance on the bike, rather than 2 big ole’ boxes slapped on the sides.  I’ve found its very hard to make battery chargers look “Sexy” but i’m trying!

Tech Tip – All I used was a jig-saw with a metal blade to cut this out!  Patience, spare blades, and a file can work magic on Aluminum.  Source – McMasterCarr.com

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Unfortunately this left for one heck of an awkward rear bracket.  I decided to use one of my favorite materials for this, Sintra!  (Its PVC plastic board, I have a link on the site on how-to use this stuff).  With some CAD I was able to make a template.  I traced it on the Sintra and used a jig-saw to make the rear brackets.

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Now with some nice M5 and M6 stainless steel hardware and Nylon lock nuts (McMasterCarr.com) I installed the charger!  YAY, looks nice!

But wait… How’d it turn black?  Oh yea, I literally took it apart, taped everything and painted them.  It was a pain, but totally worth the effort.

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I removed the tops, 8 small screws and sanded them down with 400 grit paper.  I used VHT 500F roll-bar/Chassis satin black paint.  This stuff is VERY durable!

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Use a heat gun and remove all the CE and UL stickers… Yea we know they are safe and certified Yetta Yetta Yetta…

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Use LOTS of tape, and paint away.

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For a REALLY cool look add some (real!) Carbon fiber.  I found this stuff at https://dragonplate.com/

All you use is tin-Snips and you cut out the shape you want.  Then peel the adhesive layer and stick it on!  I covered two of the center screw holes, so simply back-drill them again for access.

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Now thats one SEXY charger 😀

Wiring up the chargers!  Here you actually have some options from simple to complicated.   But lets break down the wiring first… There are 2 sides to a charger, the AC input side, and the DC output side.

On the AC input side you have some options.

1- Simply leave the 120/240V IEC connecters in place, and make some adapters to use them on common plugs (or individual 120V outlets for each charger).

2- Wire them together to a J1772 outlet mounted on the bike using IEC cords.  This allows for the individual Delta-Q chargers to be disconnected for flexibility in system wattage, or adjust if there is a failure.

I chose the second option, as I like to arrive at a charge station and plug-in quickly.  I also MUCH prefer a sturdy mounted J1772 port not loose adapters that slide around in luggage cases, or sit in puddles.

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Mounting the J1772 outlet on the bike.  Again, Cardboard template and Aluminum cut by Jigsaw.

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There are 2X plastic plugs that are pushed into the battery housing.  These were for the Long Lost Chademo Level-3 connector we all long for… But they will suffice for a great Level-2 J1772 inlet.  $140 –  Source – https://shop.quickchargepower.com/J1772-Socket-with-40-Amp-cable-attached-JSC40.htm

 

 

On the DC side, again you have two choices.

1- Use the factory Zero “Y” cable ($250 OUCH!) and simply cram, zip-tie, and hide the wiring as good as possible under the tank area.  This is possible, but there is a LOT of extra wire on the DC side. But requires NO soldering, cutting, splicing etc… If you don’t have the tools or skills this is a great option.

Y-cable – https://www.zeromotorcycles.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=15_5&products_id=196

2- Cut the DC wiring, shorten it,  and splice them to a SINGLE brown Anderson AUX output plug.  Then fish the wires thru the tank area and down to the AUX input plug.  Yes, this is a PAIN, but will look much nicer and save you $250.

I chose the second method… Basically because i’m cheap and have the tools/knowledge to make custom cables.

Side Note:  If you are unsure what you are doing here, STOP.  You can hurt yourself or damage equipment.  There are plenty of helpful Zero forums to ask questions if you need assistance.

 

 

 

 

 

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