Zero finally unveils its fully faired, electric SR/S sports tourer
California's Zero Motorcycles is turning 14 this year, and for as long as we can remember, people have been crying out for this electric motoring pioneer to make a bike with aerodynamic fairings on it. Well, the day has finally come. Based on the class-leading Zero SR/F, meet the new SR/S sports tourer.
Range is still proving a bugbear for electric motorcycles, thanks to painfully slow progress on battery energy density and the general inability of a motorcycle chassis to carry much more battery than the Zero bikes already do without ruining their handling and extraordinary acceleration. One simple way to add range: make the bike more efficient with a smooth, aerodynamic fairing like the super-fast race bikes use. But the expense of adding and compliancing a fairing has been a tough hurdle for Zero, and the company has always wanted to do a proper job of it, so this new SR/S is a huge bike for the company.
It doesn't look like a half measure. The new fairing has an integrated headlight, mirrors, indicators and a tallish touring screen. It extends about as far back as the rider's legs, wrapping around the battery pack. It's less of a supersport look than people might've expected, and more of a sports tourer. The comfort equation is improved with lower footpegs and higher handlebars than the naked SR/F.
Does it make a difference to the bike's range? Yes. If you tuck yourself down chin to tank, Zero says it'll extend your highway range by as much as 13 percent. Where the SR/F will give you 80 miles (132 km) of range at 70 mph (113 km/h), the SR/S will give you 90 miles (145 km) from the same 14.4-kWh battery pack – provided you fold yourself into an aerodynamic shape. Ride it around town at slower speeds, and you'll get as much as a 201-mile (323-km) range, although this requires you to add on an optional extra "Power Tank" accessory.
Otherwise, it's much like the barnstorming SR/F. The motor gives you a whopping 140 lb-ft (190 Nm) of torque from a standstill, and 110 peak horsepower. This pony gonna gallop. Charging can be upgraded with up to three independent modules, which would allow a 0-95 percent charge in 60 minutes.
Like the SR/F, it features a full electronics suite including cornering ABS, stability control, traction control, drag torque control, a bunch of different ride modes, and Bluetooth connectivity through to your phone for monitoring, system upgrades, bike status, ride data sharing and more. This is sure to be another well-sorted motorcycle from one of America's great electric vehicle pioneers.
Price-wise, it's a thousand dollars up on the naked SR/F at US$19,995 for the standard model with 3-kW charging. Move to the premium model with a 6-kW rapid charger and heated grips, and you're looking at $21,995, and the power tank 3.6-kWh extended battery module costs an extra $2,895. You can get 'em in silver or blue. The prices are inarguably steep compared to gas bikes, but the comparison can be a little deceptive given that you'll almost never need to service the bike, and fuel costs are just about negligible.
We have a lot of admiration for Zero. Every time we've ridden one of this company's bikes, it's been a revelatory experience, and this SR/S looks like a mature and well thought through stablemate to the nutty SR/F, without losing any of its prodigious performance. Time will tell if the market will come out for premium electric bikes at this price point, but you can be assured the product and experience will be better than ever.
Check out a video below.
Source: Zero Motorcycles