Archive for the ‘Vectrix’ Category

Dealernews Rides the Vectrix VX-1E & VX-2

January 24, 2009

Electric two-wheeler specialist Vectrix Corp. last week unveiled its VX-1E and entry-level VX-2 scooters, two units that join the flagship VX-1 in the company’s line-up. I rode the two new models this week during a visit to the company’s headquarters facility in Rhode Island.

Vectrix’s VX-1 was introduced in 2007. The 2009 VX-1 will have refreshing new graphics in four colors:

2009 VX-1

2009 VX-1

white/burgundy red, white/metallic silver, white/sapphire blue and white/acid green. The unit weighs in at 515 pounds, has a 60-inch wheelbase and 30-inch seat height, and is outfitted with premium parts like Pirelli tires, a Marzocchi fork, Sachs rear shock and Pro Grip grips.

The only highway-legal electric scooter, the bike has a top speed of 62 mph, acceleration from 0-50 mph in 6.8 seconds, and an average range of 30-55 miles on a single charge. The aluminum-frame unit also features regenerative braking, which uses the energy absorbed by braking to recharge the batteries.

The newly introduced VX-1E uses the same platform and drive train as the original VX-1, yet features a

2009 VX-1E

2009 VX-1E

lower price point and slightly less acceleration and top speed. The difference in price and output comes as a result of its lead-acid batteries versus the VX-1’s nickel metal hydride batteries. Both models plug into a standard 110V/220V outlet, but only the VX-1 also offers regenerative braking.

The VX-1 models are full-size scooters, and feature handling and ergonomics similar to many of the other maxi-scoots I’ve piloted. Since they’re electric, they’re not the fastest scoots, but power lost on the top end is made up in off-the-line acceleration.

I’m 5’10” with a 32-inch inseam and sitting on the stock seat had me balanced on the balls of my feet at a standstill. However, using the lower and narrower accessory seat allowed me to plant both feet firmly on the ground. As for storage space, there’s not much on either unit – due to the eight-foot electrical cord stowed under the seat – but there is room for one full-faced helmet and a top case is available as an accessory.

The VX-2 was designed to be the electric equivalent of a 50cc internal combustion engine bike. It has a

2009 VX-2

2009 VX-2

weight of 429 pounds, a wheelbase of 54.5 inches and seat height of 29.9 inches. It features a 40-50 mile range, 30 mph top speed, and a 48V/20A battery charger that plugs into a standard 110V/220V outlet.

Sourced from China, the VX-2 is similar to the E-Max electric scoot yet carries styling to make it an undeniable part of the Vectrix family. The ergonomics and output are similar to gas-powered four-stroke 50cc units – convenient for putt-putting along surface streets or first-time riders but lacking any real excitement for experienced operators. A “boost’ button that draws more power for increased output to aid hill-climbing ability is a welcome feature, although overuse of it will drain the unit’s battery in a jiffy.

Vectrix’s plans for 2009 also include a new line of accessories for its VX-1 and VX-1E, among them: the previously mentioned lower, narrower seat and top case, a sport windshield about 7 inches lower than standard for riders who like the feel of wind in their face, and a winter windshield nearly 9 inches wider than standard.

The VX-1E is expected to arrive at dealerships in April with an MSRP of $8,495. The VX-2 is to be shipped in June with an MSRP of $5,195.

The 3-wheeled prototype uses an "H" shaped front suspension initially designed by the former Italjet.

The 3-wheeled prototype uses an "H" shaped front suspension initially designed by the former Italjet.

The Superbike prototype was unveiled in 2006 at the EICMA show in Milan.

The Superbike prototype was unveiled in 2006 at the EICMA show in Milan.

Visit Vectrix USA for more information.

Vectrix Shows Two New Electric Units

January 16, 2009

Vectrix Corporation today introduced its “entry-level” VX-2 and 2009 VX-1E urban commuting model at the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show in New York. These two new scoots join the VX-1 in Vectrix’s model line.

Available in green, blue, red, yellow and white, VX-2 is expected to arrive at dealers in June 2009 with an MSRP of $5,195.

The VX-1E uses the same platform and drive train as the original VX-1, yet features a lower price point and a more urban commuter driver profile with slightly less acceleration and top speed. VX-1E is expected to arrive at dealers in April with a MSRP is $8,495.

I’ll be test riding the Vectrix VX-2 and VX-1E next week. Stay tuned for more company information and a review of the bikes here and at Dealernews.com
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Leno’s Garage for the Cycle Enthusiast, Too

December 18, 2008

Jay Leno is arguably one of the best-known gear-heads in North America, and owner of one of the finest car collections in the world. Housed in a 17,000 sq.-ft. former airplane hangar, Jay’s “Big Dog Garage” holds dozens upon dozens of vehicles in a collection that spans multiple continents and more than a century.

But Jay is more than a “car guy,” he’s also a collector of motorcycles. Among his prized possessions: a lenojetbike 1930 Brough Superior SS100, 1955 Vincent Black Knight, Ducati Desmosedici RR, 1966 Suzuki X6 Hustler, 1975 Suzuki RE5, 1931 Henderson KJ, the S&S Mobil 1 motorcycle, an Elvis Presley 30th Anniversary Signature Harley-Davidson, 1918 Pope motorcycle, 2008 Can-Am Spyder, Vincent Black Shadow, 1927 Harley-Davidson JD, 1946 Indian Chief, Honda 305 Super Hawk, 1924 Ace motorcycle, Vectrix scooter, Zero electric off-road motorcycle, Aprilia 850 Mana, Piaggio MP3 250, Boss Hoss V8, and the MTT Y2K Turbine Superbike made famous during an appearance on The Tonight Show.

Interested in learning more about the treasures in Jay’s garage? Check out the Jay Leno’s Garage web site for a ride-along in and on many of the vehicles he takes pleasure in owning.

Long Beach IMS — Motorcycles Galore

December 6, 2008

The Cycle World International Motorcycle Show is making it stop here in Long Beach this weekend and, as usual, the OEMs used this stop to show off its latest and greatest. Without further ado, here’s what we saw on Friday, the traditional media dog and pony show.

Ducati unveiled its Streetfighter for the first time before American audiences. In introducing the bike, Ducati media man John Paolo Canton says the Italian OEM jumped past some of the other OEs by posting sales that were up over last years. “We’re a good news story this year.”p1000395
Also unveiled the newest addition to the 16-year-old Monster family, the Monster 1100, and the 1198. Of the latter Canton says it looks a lot like its predecessor, but is in fact an entirely new bike under the hood. How does 170 hp and 97 ft. lbs. of torque sound? The Streetfighter will be available in June 2009 at an MSRP of $14,995.

p1000404

Anglada (left) is the man behind last year's LRG Hayabusa.

Kawasaki unveiled a new bike for stunter-man and 2Wheel Tuner editor, Jason Britton. Designed and built by Nick Anglada of Custom Sportbike Concepts, the 2008 ZX-14 is an anti-bling custom bike that you can actually ride, Britton says. “And, beat the crap out of it,” he adds. The bike features such goodies as an Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes and a Gregg’s Customs single-sided swingarm. The signals are glassed in, as is half the headlights, so that they can only be seen when lit up.
BMW’s Roy Olliemuller unveiled the 1300S and the 1300GT, the newest iterations of Bimmer’s K-bikes, which were first introduced 25 years ago. The S sports 175 hp and 103 ft. lbs. of torque. These are BMWs? Also showed off an early production version of the S 1000 RR superbike, which it will campaign in the 2009 World Superbike Championships. This inline-four, 1000cc bike is expected to be a 2010 model year release. When it hits the market, expect somewhere around 190 hp in addition to traction control and ABS.

Honsetly, the S bike isn't that blurry in person.

Honsetly, the S bike isn't that blurry in person.

Nice.

Nice.

Now that's a gentlemanly bike.

Harley-Davidson. The Motor Co. took the Long Beach show to introduce the XR1200 to the waiting U.S. public. Because I can’t get enough of this bike, here’s another shot. It really is a fine machine. H-D also showed off a customized trike that was, quite honestly, the nicest trike I’ve ever seen. Did I just say that.

p1000435

p1000434

The electric scooter people at Vectrix showed off the Vx-1, an all-electric, highway legal scooter. With an MSRP of $10,495, the Vx-1 reaches top speeds of 62 mph and offers acceleration from 0 to 50 mph in 6.8 seconds. You gotta love electric motors. It has an average range of 30-55 miles on a single charge, all of which is dependent on twisty your wrist is. The scooter can be plugged into either a 110v or 220v outlet. Vectrix reports that it saw 321 percent distribution growth in 2008 and expanded from 38 dealers to 160 dealers, mostly in the second half of the year. Sales grew 156 percent for year.

Anglada and E-Boz.

Yamaha showed off a custom V-Max conceived by Jeff Palhegyi. Over at its sportbike area, Yamaha unveiled a Bostrom Brothers custom R6 designed by Nick Anglada and built by Custom Sportbikes Concept. The build was part of the Boz Bros. tour organized by our sister publication, 2Wheel Tuner.

Kymco unveiled its Yager GT200, a 176cc fuel-injected scoot that will retail for $3,149. Also introduced was the Quannon, a 150cc entry-levelp10004811 motorcycle. You don’t know how excited I am that there are more entry-level bikes on the market. Nothing like seeing a beginner rider cruising off on a liter bike.

Suzuki used the IMS stop to show off two custom Burgman 400s. The first, dubbed “The Pimpster” was designed and build by chopper guys Todd’s Cycle. The other is the Sport Scooter concept, a Burgman 400 sporting the paint job of a GSX-R, with a Gixxer 600 muffler, B-King handlebars and wave-style rotors to name a few bits. If you’ve ever seen what the folks in Japan do to scooters, you’ll know that these two styling exercises were tame in comparison. What, no neon lighting?

The Pimpster. More metal flake than a fleet of 1970s speed boats.

The Pimpster. More metal flake than a fleet of 1970s speed boats.

Would you buy this?

Would you buy this?