Electric motorcycles. Love ‘em or no? While I can get as excited as the next guy (or gal) about being projected along the road by a series of explosions, internal combustion isn’t the reason I ride. Heck, you could even relieve my left foot of gear shifting duties, and I’d be just as happy. So I follow the exciting developments of any alternative methods of propulsion in the motorcycle world. One doesn’t talk about electric motorcycles for very long before the name “Zero” comes up. Zero is the California-based company that has been working on bringing electric motorcycles to the mainstream for ten—yes, ten—years now.
Zero just announced an expanded line of models and technology for 2016. This announcement adds two new models (which brings their total model range up to six), a new motor design, faster battery charging and the highest battery capacity and efficiency to date. They have also lowered the price of two of their base models.
The supermoto-inspired Zero FXS (pictured above) features 70 ft-lb of torque, weighs less than 300 pounds and boasts components specifically tailored to provide exceptional control and responsiveness on the street. It also features advanced ABS, fully adjustable suspension, dual projector beam headlights, alloy wheels and high performance street tires. All of this promises to project the FXS from zero to 60 MPH in 3.8 seconds. Not too shabby!
Adventure riders demanding maximum performance should enjoy the new Zero DSR. With 106 ft-lb of torque, the versatile dual sport is quick on the pavement and demonstrates greater prowess on dirt roads and trails. It also features custom tuned Showa suspension and Bosch ABS. Similar to its decidedly street-focused stable mate, the Zero FXS promised a 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds. 82 MPH is the top speed on both models.
Of course, the question on everybody’s lips is bound to be concerning the range. It seems that progress is being made in this area too. The base models boast a combined range (a standard combination of urban and highway riding) of 68 miles, while gains in technology have pushed the range up to 197 miles in the city and 98 miles on the highway (at 70 mph) with the optional Power Tank accessory.
Prices range from $8,495 to $15,995, depending upon model. More details can be found at http://zeromotorcycles.com
Here’s a video of a Zero motorcycle featuring “natural sound”.
Could it be that electric motorcycles are nearing prime-time? I think so, and I wholeheartedly welcome it. How about you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.