Zero Motorcycles Offers “Early Adopter Upgrade”

AUG 17 2015 BY TDILLARD 11

2014 Zero SR

2014 Zero SR upgrade offer

In an interestingly unheralded move, Zero has offered a package to reward its early adopters, (or get older, troublesome models off the street, depending on how you want to look at it). This is a trade-in allowance for 2010, ’11 and ’12 bikes (as listed) towards available 2014 models.  We’ve contacted a few people to get more details, but not much is forthcoming, either from dealers or from the Zero homeworld.  We’d suggest you contact your dealer for more details.

Zero's Early Adopter Upgrade

Zero’s Early Adopter Upgrade

This is interesting because of several things.  First, we’ve been wondering what Zero might do to fix some pesky problems they’ve had with legacy bikes – motor issues, general glitches, overall due to products that can best be described as “in development”.  Many would describe them as the common practice of beta-testing your client base, but we’re not going to jump on that train.  Beta-testing your client base, as a corporate practice, is a more despicable practice in various sectors when done by established companies with resources – but that have elected to spend those resources on production runs rather than focus groups and testing.  Zero, on the other hand, we prefer to assume was acting in good faith and just trying to get out products the best it could, and has legitimately improved their performance and reliability.  (We still believe in the Easter Bunny, too.  Though his name is “Energizer”.)

In any case, Zero was faced with increasing tech support pressure for these bikes, stocking parts that were not current, and getting thrashed on social channels for a pattern of early-bike problems.  What’s an innovative company to do, when it out-innovates itself?

Second, this is an offer for last-year’s model in stock bikes, which would suggest they still have a bunch of them, and they, in fact, are much better than the previous years as we suspected.

By all accounts, this offer has come directly from Zero to its dealers, and it’s up to the dealers to promote it.  We’re unable to determine if Zero is offering a buyback plan to those dealers who take trade-ins, or who ends up with the orphaned bikes, or what will become of them.  Is there an upgrade that Zero is planning, with the Z-Force powerplant?  Are they going to the crusher?  We can only guess.

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11 Comments on "Zero Motorcycles Offers “Early Adopter Upgrade”"

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The Early Adopter Upgrade sounds like a really smart move by Zero.
The early adopters are your keenest customers, and the upgrade offer will probably make them happy if it is generous enough. By contrast, leaving your early adopters with early versions of an emerging technology would sour the experience for the people you most need as advocates.
The loss Zero takes on the deal might be offset by lower support costs & higher sales resulting from referrals and positive reports of good customer care.

The Zero FX is on my shortlist for my next bike. I am more likely to buy from Zero after reading about this positive approach to its customers.

I bought my 2015 FX just before the price cut and got the special offer for jacket, gloves, and quick charger. I don’t have any use for the charger, but I appreciate the company making the effort for good PR. The FX is the Most Fun bike I have ever owned.

Like Ted said, you really have to wonder what will happen to the early-model bikes that are traded into the dealer. Considering that they cover three years of production and that buying replacement parts, batteries and motors for those bikes from Zero is likely impossible, I would think that the trade-ins are heading for the crusher.

A solid supply of refurbished spsre parts for those that choose not to take the offer perhaps…

I was told my 2012 will be sent to Alkmaar (or CA I assume for US customers) to be scrapped before I can receive a new bike. I have to assume they will strip it for parts first.

I have been interested In a zero for years. I found a 2010 S on eBay a year ago with a dead battery real cheap. I called zero to get the price of a replacement battery and they said they don’t support that battery anymore. I would still love to own a zero but I’d hope they support their customers better. This deal seems like a good effort to me. If anyone has had a better experience than me I’d love to be convinced that they’ll make good by their customers.

I think it’s a fantastic way for the company to disect and study a great number of early bikes to learn where they need the most improvement, while boosting their reputation at the same time.

the dealer where my 2012 ds sat for 6 months waiting for a new motor offered a trade in deal for my 2010ds which is dead, that i bought new, plus my 2012 which i still owed 4000$ on. he would give me about 4000 for both bikes toward a new 2014 demo model, and i would only owe 17g on the new bike. So after wasting 26g on 2 bikes I would have to spend another 17g for a bike that works? Very insulting, and i would never spend another penny on a zero.

i don’t think zero is doing this because they actually give a hoot about their customers, but rather because it will cost them less to offer half of what the bikes cost originally that being forced to buy them back at full cost after the law suit.

I just found this thread. They even mentioned this article in the beginning. 🙂

Not avail in Canada….. puff like if the bike were different….. Dont ever bye a Zero…