Roper ZAP PK Xero Existence Log for March 2007

L. David Roper

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ZAP Xebra PK review

Unless stated otherwise all miles driven are odometer miles. To get actual miles multiply by 0.86 according to a ZAP technician and my Garmin GPS.
9 March 2007
My ZAP Xebra PK Xero left Santa Rosa CA.

15 March 2007
Pulled Vehicle off of truck (in Lansing KS). Checked tire pressure and charged till vehicle was fully charged.

  • Drove 4.9 miles
  • Notes:

o       A bit more peppy compared to my PK

o       I like the acceleration curve on the Curtis better than the Alltrax.

o       Brakes are a bit mushy. Need adjustment. May also need to be broken in. Will do brake relay jump tomorrow. I forgot how much I hate that.

o       All lights and turn signals functional.

o       Motor noise much less than my PK.

o       Speedo seems to be accurate though it was not checked with a GPS. (Mine is way off.) Speedometer has a different look than mine. It is not as "cluttered" looking.

o       First impression is that the vehicle is a bit "tighter" and "new feeling" than mine.

Mark Higley

Mar 15, 2007 7:33 pm (PST) on

  • Dave’s PK arrived safe and sound today (in Lansing KS). I got my PK Rhino lined today and will get Dave’s done on Monday.
  • I got his LEDs in tonight, tires checked and his brake relay done.
  • I'll check voltages tomorrow when I have some more sunshine.
  • His speedo looks different than mine. I believe it is accurate. I will check it in the next couple days.
  • The windshield does not have the red light problem; it is clear with no tint.
  • I will be adding pictures of the new components to Xebra World tomorrow.
  • I gave it a full charge when it got here and drove it the first 5 miles as the manual suggests and I can already tell there is a set of those big Discover batteries in my not so distant future.

Mark Higley

16 March 2007

  • Let vehicle fully charge over night.
  • Drove 10.1 miles
  • Will let charge fully and drive it more tomorrow.
  •   I have included up close pictures of the controller today.

Mark Higley

17 March 2007

  • Drove 12.1 miles today.
  • Put back on charger and will charge fully over night.

Mark Higley

19 March 2007

  • Your PK is being Rhino lined right now. I drove it on to the flat bed and followed it over to the town where it is to be done and drove it off the truck.
  • I'll be getting your paperwork in the mail in the next hour.

Mark Higley

20 March 2007

Just got your PK back from the Rhino Liner shop. It looks great! I am told that since your bed had no rust on it when it was lined, it will never rust on the bottom.

Mark Higley

22 March 2007

I just wanted to chime in on the oil plugs on some of the vehicles being impossible to get out. I had to drill Dave’s out as well and replace the plug.

1) I spoke to Richard at length today about your solar panel. He said when you get your mounting hardware, they will send you the connections and there will be no rewiring to do, just a plug in situation.

2) Richard confirmed that the speedometers seem to be dead on, but the odometer reads 14% high. He said he multiplies his range by .086 to get the accurate reading.

Mark Higley

Insurance and Virginia title and registration for my PK:

I got the Certificate of Origin, Sale Bill and Odometer Disclosure Statement for my new PK from Mark Higley (Midwest EV) today. (The vehicle is to leave Kansas on Sunday and arrive in Blacksburg, VA on Wednesday.

I then went to my local State Farm Insurance office and actuated insurance for the PK as of next Wednesday. The yearly cost is $206.94 . (Later correction: I got a refund; it is really $181.12: Bodily injury liability: $24.06; $50 deductible comprehensive: $23.22; $100 deductible collision: $64.45; Uninsured motorists coverage: $69.39.)

Then I went to the DMV and got it titled and registered with no hitch. The cost was $10 for the title and $27.50 per year for registration. I also added a special plate for $10 per year. I did not have to show any proof for the odometer reading or for the insurance; I just wrote in the reading and checked the box for insurance.

I chose SUNRPR for the license plate, since the xebra-ev poll and I both chose "Sun Roper" (Sunny for short; SUNNY was already taken.) as the name of my PK. (Dale Gunter is sending me a gold graphic of an Oklahoma, my home state, cowboy roping the Sun to put on both sides of my blue PK.)

To be perfectly legal driving the PK I must get a motorcycle learner's permit for 30 days and then take a motorcycle-skills driving test, which should e interesting. There are 4 exercises in the skills test:
(1) Turn 90 degrees twice and stop within a box drawn on the pavement.
(2) Weave through 5 cones at low speed and then make 2 U turns, without putting a foot down on the pavement.
(3) Brake quickly, evaluated on stopping distance in relation to speed.
(4) Swerve quickly to avoid an obstacle in the path, evaluated to stay within the path of travel and swerve quickly without touching a boundary line.

I plan to take the Virginia motorcycles learner's permit written test tomorrow.
Dave Roper

23 March 2007

Took the written test for the Virginia motorcycle learner’s permit and failed it. There are 25 questions and no more than 5 can be “incorrectly” answered. My test was stopped at 13 questions because I had missed 6 by then. I had carefully studied the motorcycle manual ( and taken several of the on-line sample tests ( Some of the questions asked to me are not discussed in the manual. The on-line sample test only use a small fraction of the actual test questions.

I received from Dale Gunter the Sun Roper gold graphic to put on each side of my blue PK behind the doors. See pictures below.

24 March 2007

The brake job went great. Yours are way better than mine now.

Mark Higley

Mark discovered today that one of the sealed Discover batteries is leaking gas (hissing). So the delivery will be delayed a few days while a new battery is sent to Mark. I guess I will have to start the battery conditioning over again.

Dave Roper

25 March 2007

How did the brake job go on my PK? (LDR):

They bled the brakes to remove any air (that was the mushy I was feeling) and they adjusted the emergency brake so it will hold the vehicle on a steep incline. I still highly suggest that you curb the vehicle when you park it on an incline since we don't have a transmission holding us. Yours holds a lot better than mine now though.

Mark Higley

Will I have to start over conditioning the batteries? (LDR):

Yes, we will have to start over, but I will try to get as many stages in as I can before it comes to you. I will want to check the pack after a 5, 8 and 12 mile trips to see how they are charging. If I can get them all in I will. I can say that by the time your PK is ready to go, it will have been checked out thoroughly to say the least.

Mark Higley

I have a top-notch bicycle cable lock to lock the bed down on my PK. Is there a natural way to do that, or do I need to drill a hole or two? (LDR):

I think you could find a way to chain it with a long bike chain through the handle in the side of the bed and through the frame.

Mark Higley

26 March 2007

I spoke to the people at Discover battery today. They told me that the battery is fully functional as it is but it has a valve that is open and it is letting gas escape. They want to replace it. They will either be shipping the battery to me directly from California or shipping one from Ohio, it just depends on who can get it here the fastest. He will be calling me tomorrow to let me know when it will arrive.

Mark Higley

Took the written test for the Virginia motorcycle learner’s permit and passed it this time with 3 missed out of 23. I showed the picture of the Xebra PK to the DMV supervisor and asked if I would have to wear a helmet for the skills test and was told that I would. I have to wait at least 30 days before I can take the skills test. A pamphlet can be obtained at a Virginia DMV that describes the driving-skills test.

28 March 2007

I am in the final stages of getting your PK out tomorrow. I spoke to Discover and convinced them to send your battery to me 2-day air and I am driving down to Kansas City in the morning to pick up your battery at the UPS warehouse so I don't have to wait for the UPS driver to get it to me tomorrow afternoon. The shipper wants to leave tomorrow morning so I will
not have time to condition the new battery. I will just have time to get back home and install it before the driver gets here.

Mark Higley

29 March 2007

It was loaded on Don's truck at Lansing, KS this morning:

The solar panel is in the bed.

It is due in Blacksburg, VA tomorrow evening, but I will be in NYC for the next four days. So I will not see it until Monday evening 2 April.

Here are a few tips I thought I'd mention.

  • Acceleration Curve: As you probably know there is quite a bit of play in the accelerator. You need to press down pretty far to get it going. I think we will be able to reprogram this later.
  • Brake Relay: Don't forget to always turn the vehicle off or put it in N every time you get out. If you get back in and accidentally hit the accelerator the vehicle will try to take off. Your emergency brake will probably hold the vehicle still, but it's something to think about.
  • Weight of the bed: The bed is pretty heavy so plan on having someone help you lift it. I have gotten used to the weight, but I won't fight someone if they want to help. At first it seemed really heavy and I had someone help me every time. Now I'm used to it and I can lift it pretty easy.

Mark Higley

31 March 2007

My PK arrived while we were in New York City. House and dog sitter Drew Williams had it put in the garage and plugged it.

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