Motorcycles

Zero Motorcycles' 2018 models boast faster charging, more range

Zero Motorcycles' 2018 models ...
Zero Motorcycles rolled out its 2018 line-up with beefed-up batteries and new fast-charging options
Zero Motorcycles rolled out its 2018 line-up with beefed-up batteries and new fast-charging options
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The 2018 Zero DS
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The 2018 Zero DS
The 2018 Zero DSR
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The 2018 Zero DSR
The 2018 Zero FX
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The 2018 Zero FX
The 2018 Zero FXS
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The 2018 Zero FXS
The Zero ZF3.6 battery
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The Zero ZF3.6 battery
The Zero ZF7.2 battery
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The Zero ZF7.2 battery
Zero's new big boy, the ZF14.4 battery
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Zero's new big boy, the ZF14.4 battery
The 2018 Zero S
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The 2018 Zero S
Using the optional 6kW Charge Tank can make charging six times faster for Zero's 2018 motorcycles
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Using the optional 6kW Charge Tank can make charging six times faster for Zero's 2018 motorcycles
Zero Motorcycles rolled out its 2018 line-up with beefed-up batteries and new fast-charging options
10/11
Zero Motorcycles rolled out its 2018 line-up with beefed-up batteries and new fast-charging options
The 2018 Zero SR
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The 2018 Zero SR

There may be no new models for Zero Motorcycles, but there is some very interesting news regarding its 2018 line-up. Three new Z-Force batteries, named after their nominal energy capacities in kWh as ZF14.4, ZF7.2 and ZF3.6, will provide at least 10 percent longer range. Their abilities can then be further enhanced with the application of the range-extending Power Tank and, to top it off, recharging can be considerably sped up if they're outfitted with the new Charge Tank.

The bigger pack of the three, the ZF14.4, will come as standard in the 2018 SR and DSR models, replacing the ZF13.0 that is currently in use. Both models' power figures remain unchanged, with 70 hp (52 kW) peak power at 3,500 rpm, and 116 lb-ft (157 Nm). Both the ZF14.4-equipped bikes are announced as 6 lb (2.7 kg) heavier than the ones with the ZF13.0 units.

The basic S and DS models will continue to run on the existing ZF13.0 battery, while the half-battery options will now be equipped with the new ZF7.2, instead of the ZF6.5. Zero points out a gain of 11 percent in torque at the rear wheel for motorcycles outfitted with the ZF7.2 batteries, while the ZF13.0 has undergone a fine tuning process that resulted in a very generous 30 percent gain in both power and torque at highway speeds.

The 2018 Zero DSR
The 2018 Zero DSR

According to Zero, all its batteries now pack at least 10 percent more energy capacity than their precursors, translating to equally longer range. This can climb even higher with the addition of an optional range extender. The ZF3.6 Power Tank throws in an extra 3.6 kWh of juice to whichever pack is used.

The 2018 SR, with the ZF14.4 battery coupled with the Power Tank for a total of 18 kWh, results in a city range of 223 miles (359 km) – which Zero claims is the longest for any two-wheeled EV in the market. Without the extra battery pack, the standard SR can still cover up to 179 miles (288 km) in the city, 90 miles (145 km) doing 70 mph (113 km/h) on the highway, or a combined average of 120 miles (193 km) on a single charge.

In comparison, the 2018 S with the ZF7.2 battery will do 89 city miles (143 km), 45 highway miles (72 km), or 60 miles (97 km) combined.

Zero's new big boy, the ZF14.4 battery
Zero's new big boy, the ZF14.4 battery

Charging times can also become significantly faster with the new 6 kW Charge Tank, a factory-installed on-board option that adds US$2,295 to the price tag and slashes charge time by a factor of up to six. Connected to a Level 2 outlet, and used in tandem with the standard charger, the Charge Tank will fill a ZF7.2 battery up to 95 percent in one hour, and a ZF14.4 battery in two.

Apart from some new color options, Zero informs that the bike's firmware can now be updated through the smartphone app that it introduced last year. Available for all 2017 and 2018 models, this means that the rider can keep their bike's software up-to-date without the need to visit a dealer.

Zero's 2018 models will start arriving at North American dealerships later this month, and the good news is that, despite the announced upgrades, price tags remain unchanged for 2018. The only exception is a $500 hike for the SR and DSR models, apparently for replacing the ZF13.0 battery with the new ZF14.4.

Source: Zero Motorcycles

7 comments
usugo
still uninspiring, both performance and style wise
vince
Still no cruiser style bike like the new Honda self balancing EV bike. Three years and counting with written requests to Zero with claims their working on it. But nothing to show for it. Not even a concept.
Daishi
The level 2 charger option addresses a huge requirement for a lot of motorcycle riders that use them for recreation. I haven't seen many Zero's on roads but their pace of improvement seems pretty steady. The level 2 charger brings the 95% charge time from 9.3 hours to 2 hours. Medium distance recreational riding still isn't convenient but at least now it's possible.
Mzungu_Mkubwa
@usugo, every year NA does another piece on Zero, and every year I'm inspired by the gains that this company is making. However, on the style side, once again, I'm disappointed. *Still* the only option they sell is the high-fendered dual-sport inspired format. They have the tech down, now. Its time to move on to putting that tech into designs that a variety of people will connect with: bobber, cafe, cruiser, c-rocket, bagger, tourer, even a standard with a touch of chrome might be nice! The engineers have done their bit... now hire in some designers and let 'em go to town, y'all! (The engineers can still be doing their thing in the background, btw... not condoning layoffs here... ☺ )
notarichman
i'd love a duo-sport that will last all day on one charge. mostly for dirt/gravel/easy trail riding. style? who cares! i want quiet. speed? who cares! 35mph in trail riding mode would be great.
ljaques
C'mon, Zero. Don't make them more powerful. Make smaller motors so they can sell for lower prices and get them on the road into our hands, please. Smaller bikes with greater range and lower prices is what we want.
guzmanchinky
I am 100% ready to buy an FX (I just bought 3 inboard M1 skateboards last year, so I'm serious about this stuff!) And I have a WR250R, which is a great dual-sport, but I just can't seem to get a straight answer as to what kind of range people get off road with the FX. If it's truly 100 miles or so off road, fine, but if it's 30...