Electric motorcycle manufacturer Zero has followed up the success of its X and S ranges with the Zero DS – a combination dirt/street machine the company says can “handle any surface you can throw at it.”
This new option for those looking to ditch their noise-polluting, emission-spewing internal combustion bikes looks very similar to the S model, but has a bigger front wheel (17 inch), chunkier tread on the back tire and a nobby on the front, specially-designed wheels and suspension and a distinctive naked round headlamp without the windshield found on the S.
Other notable changes compared with the model S spec sheet are a higher rake (26 degrees as opposed to 24 on the DS), a 2-inch longer fork and a slightly longer wheelbase.
Performance specs remain the same as the S - a range of 50 miles (80kms) between charges and has a top speed of 55mph (90kph) through its single-speed clutchless motor.
The DS also shares the company’s Z-Force™ lithium-ion powerpack which has a capacity of 4 kWh (58volts @ 70Ah) and can be recharged in less than 4 hours via a standard 110V or 220V outlet.
Designed and built from the ground up, the lightweight and rigid twin spar frame is made from aircraft-grade aluminum. Zero says the DS's low center of gravity makes it highly maneuverable and responsive.
The suspension on the Zero DS was developed to take advantage of the motorcycles’ lightweight design. The company says its inverted front fork is among the lightest in the industry and can be externally adjusted to dial in compression and rebound damping.
The suspension has been tuned to absorb bumps both on and off-road via a rigid double diamond rear swing arm which keeps the wheel planted using a custom rear shock with a fully adjustable spring preload and easily tuned damping.
Wheels and brakes
The Zero DS has specially designed wheels which have been engineered to minimize unsprung weight and reduce rotating mass and includes custom hubs, spokes, and rotors.
The Zero DS costs USD$9950 but riders may be eligible for a USD$1000 with the U.S. 10% federal tax credit for plug-in vehicles. There's also the miserly $0.01 per mile running cost to consider along with the advantages of the low-maintenance, instant torque electric motor... and we suspect it wont be long before performance can be added to this list of advantages
The Zero range now includes the track oriented MX, the trail ready X, the street going S and the new DS.
Zero DS specs:
- Type Brushed permanent magnet electric
- Top Speed 55mph (90 kph)
- Type Patent-pending lithium ion array
- Capacity 4 kWh (58volts @ 70Ah)
- Range Up to 50 miles (80 km)*
- Recharge time Less than 4 hours
- Input Standard 110V or 220V
- Transmission Clutchless one speed
- Drive system 17T / 61T, 420 Chain
- Chassis / Suspension / Brakes
- Front Suspension Travel 10 inches (254 mm)
- Rear Suspension Travel 9 inches (229 mm)
- Front Brakes 2 Pot Hydraulic, Stainless Rotor, Hand Actuated
- Rear Brakes 1 Pot Hydraulic, Stainless Rotor, Foot Actuated
- Front Tire 3.25-17
- Rear Tire 110/90-16
- Front Wheel 17 x 2.15
- Rear Wheel 16 x 3.0
- Wheel base 56.75 inches (142.9 cm)
- Seat height 35.5 inches (90.2 cm)
- Head angle 26 degrees from vertical with 10 inch fork
- Trail 3.26 inches (82.8 mm)
- Steering Angle +35 Degrees, -35 Degrees