DIY : Bench testing a 2010 Zero S Electric Motorcycle – Ryan McNeely – Medium


I’ve been restoring 2010 Zero S motorcycles. For my first restore I built a new battery and would have to mount and unmount the battery to test it and the bike electronics. The mounting of the battery isn’t easy on this model. I now have three of the 2010 Zero S motorcycles, so there has got to be a better way!

Battery Extension Cables

The battery case consists of multiple external connections. It has a 12-pin connector to the bike harness, 2-pin connector for power for the display/lights/etc. (12V?), kickstand connection, motor temperature connector, 4-pin charger connector and main power connections to the motor and motor-controller.

I was mainly concerned with the 12-pin and the 2-pin, hoping that getting those connected to the battery would allow me power on the display of a Zero without a battery in the frame.

I managed to find the connectors on Digikey, part of the Molex MX150L series of automobile connectors (I’ve linked them below). I’ve also linked the crimper I used. Below is the table of the wire gauges I used.

Battery extension cables wire gauges

I followed Molex’s assembly instructions to attach the crimped cables to the connectors. The male side of the cable was the most tedious to get them to click into the connector housing… I then hooked up the 12-pin and 2-pin cables to the battery (on my bench) and bike, slide the power cut-off up and turned the key.

And… it didn’t work. There was no lights to the display, and the warning light was flashing red five times. Looking up the code in the manual, it says that it means “Motor temperature sensor not detected”, guess it’s required… I plan to make another cable for the motor temperature sensor, but as a temporary fix I stuck a temperature sensor into the temperature sensor cable.

Turned the key again, this time the bike powered up! Now I have a simple way to check most of my bikes (and future bikes?) functionality.


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