Zero Motorcycles steps up and makes its service manuals free
The most sacred of car parts isn’t even really a car part, it’s the service manual. That wonderful stack of pages outlines a plethora of tasks, specifications, and procedures that people like us need to keep our cars, boats, and motorcycles healthy so we can enjoy them for decades to come. Sadly, the service manual has been flirting with the endangered species list for a while.
The battle over right-to-repair and the end users’ ability to maintain and service vehicles properly at home or without the need for proprietary tools and technology has been hotly contested in recent history. Factory repair manuals likely fall in a gray area of that debate since they are both a tool and not a tool at once. Often times these books and manuals have to exist as a reference for dealers and licensed technicians but with time, the manuals and materials leak out into the public and become the holy grail for those who dedicate their time and talent to keeping aging transportation on the road.
At least one brand is looking out for us though, and it is not who I would have expected. The two-wheeled creations from Zero Motorcycles may be battery-powered and relatively simple compared to gas-burning equivalents, but there are still best practices that are better to learn from the engineers who designed the things rather than through trial and error at home. Hence why Zero Motorcycles has elected to give away all its service literature to anyone, for free.
For instance, the Zero SR/F model has a Gates carbon belt drive that has to be tensioned a lot differently than a standard chain drive. The manuals cover everything from that complicated tensioning procedure to how to properly disconnect and disassemble parts and pieces of a highly-advanced electric motorcycle. Yet again, required? No, but it sure makes literally every job easier.
Kudos to you, Zero Motorcycles. We hope that more manufacturers follow your lead. It may seem like a small thing, but making vital information like what’s contained in a service manual available to any interested DIY-er plays a big part in making our cars live longer and allowing us garage-dwellers to do what we love.