Vetrix Test Ride
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Vetrix Test Ride
By Lawrence Rhodes
I showed up at British Motor Cars in San Francisco & meet Tansy Brook for a quick demo of the Vectrix & its controls. It has reverse which is also a very controlable regen function. To start you turn the key, put up the kickstand, hold the left brake and tap the right brake. It then says GO.
The main speedometer is in KPH with MPH in smaller lettering below. The bike feels light. I took it out on the street up a hill and it had plenty of power. I cruised up Eddy or Ellis (I can't remember which) & went down Gough I got tremendous regen but halfway down the hill it cut out. I'm assuming that regen on a full charge isn't reliable. I grabbed the brakes and bounced down the hill. I weigh 242. The bike never felt out of control. I'm sure the wheelie poppers will like this soft but controllable suspension.
On the rest of my ride I hardly used the hand brakes at all. I'm 6'2' with a 30 inch inseam. The Vectrix handled great. I was just a little cramped compared to the memories of my Honda Helix. The foot rests were just a little closer with a steeper angle than the Helix. I did get used to it and felt comfortable after a while.
the line the Helix might be a little faster but at about 15 mph the Vectrix
takes off like some of the performance oriented EV's I've ridden in. (Blue
Meanie, Otmars California Poppy Porsche & Deafscooters rocket rides come to
mind) The 250cc
Helix probably wouldn't be able to catch up for a while.
The pack is NiMH & had 48 miles registering when I left BMC. After a ride in wet fog to Taraval street going over twin peaks I then hit the freeway at Daly City Blvd. I dusted a BMW at the on ramp and zipped up to almost 65mph. But wait this vehicle has a capped speed of 62mph. It seems to me an engineer had something to do with this. This is where the Honda Helix and other 250cc class scooters could catch up. However the bike cruised just fine at this speed the four miles to my off-ramp.
home I opened the garage door, parked the Vectrix & cleaned out the parking
area. The Vectrix is larger than my Lepton & needed a little more room. I
popped the trunk which is held up by a stiff spring. Touch the spring and the
trunk closes. Very
cleaver & cost effective I'm sure.
I gotta say WOW. This vehicle went 14.5 miles & registered 29 miles left. This was up and down hills and zipping around. I really didn't try to save any amp hours. I would never drive any of my electric vehicles like this. The 4.5 mile penalty for hills and fast acceleration was very acceptable as most evs are designed to register flat ground as the basis for range. Anyone who drives two wheel vehicles will be impressed with this bike. I just checked the pack after setting over night & fully charged it registered 52 miles.
The Vectrix Corp. has done their homework & produced a very acceptable EV. There are few things I'd do differently. This vehicle is perfect for going across the Bay or Golden Gate Bridges. As a commute vehicle it has everything you need for a safe & fast ride into San Francisco. .I replaced the energy I used in less than two hours at 120vdc. .I'm sure a full charge can be had in 4 hours or less (Vectrix claims 80% in two hours) which means with the NiMH batteries you could be 40 to 50 miles from your work and safely recharge for the ride home.
you are looking for a fully finished vehicle the Vectrix is in the same class
with the EV-1, Honda EV Plus or the Lepton scooter. A turnkey solution to the
end of commuting pollution.
Contact: Tansy Brook
British Motor Car Distributors, LTD
901 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 351 - 5114
(415) 776-7700 Main number