Motorcycles

Zero motorcycles announces improved 2016 models

Zero motorcycles announces imp...
2016 Zero Motorcycles lineup: The FXS supermotard, with the SR and S streetbikes, the DSR dual-sport and the FX dirtbike.
2016 Zero Motorcycles lineup: The FXS supermotard, with the SR and S streetbikes, the DSR dual-sport and the FX dirtbike.
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2016 Zero S and SR
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2016 Zero S and SR
2016 Zero FX with its new FXS supermotard brother.
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2016 Zero FX with its new FXS supermotard brother.
2016 Zero FX, DS, SR and FXS
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2016 Zero FX, DS, SR and FXS
2016 Zero DS (right) and the new DSR, which brings 25% more power and 50% more torque to the table.
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2016 Zero DS (right) and the new DSR, which brings 25% more power and 50% more torque to the table.
2016 Zero SR - with new, denser energy packs, the SR's city range jumps from 185 to 197 miles with a Power Tank fitted.
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2016 Zero SR - with new, denser energy packs, the SR's city range jumps from 185 to 197 miles with a Power Tank fitted.
2016 Zero SR: slightly improved range, US$1350 price drop and an improved cooling system that allows more hard riding without thermal cutout
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2016 Zero SR: slightly improved range, US$1350 price drop and an improved cooling system that allows more hard riding without thermal cutout
2016 Zero S - improved range, better thermal management and triple-speed charging thanks to a J1772-compatible Charge Tank accessory.
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2016 Zero S - improved range, better thermal management and triple-speed charging thanks to a J1772-compatible Charge Tank accessory.
2016 Zero S - evolutionary changes improve the 2016 model without relegating the 2015 stock to obsolescence.
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2016 Zero S - evolutionary changes improve the 2016 model without relegating the 2015 stock to obsolescence.
2016 Zero FXS - the crazy-fun FX bike gets the supermotard treatment
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2016 Zero FXS - the crazy-fun FX bike gets the supermotard treatment
2016 Zero FXS - street suspension and Pirelli Diablo Rosso tyres give the FX a focus on street hooliganism
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2016 Zero FXS - street suspension and Pirelli Diablo Rosso tyres give the FX a focus on street hooliganism
2016 Zero FXS - grippy tyres and firmer suspension should make this a hoot around a short track
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2016 Zero FXS - grippy tyres and firmer suspension should make this a hoot around a short track
2016 Zero FX - gets 14% more energy due to battery improvements
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2016 Zero FX - gets 14% more energy due to battery improvements
2016 Zero FX - power and torque are unchanged from 2015, but a new motor design allows the FX more time at full throttle before thermal management limits the power
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2016 Zero FX - power and torque are unchanged from 2015, but a new motor design allows the FX more time at full throttle before thermal management limits the power
2016 Zero DSR - the dual-sport DS gets an R model brother, with the same 67 horsepower and 106 ft-lbs of torque as the SR.
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2016 Zero DSR - the dual-sport DS gets an R model brother, with the same 67 horsepower and 106 ft-lbs of torque as the SR.
Zero's 2016 S, SR, DS and DSR all benefit from a new Charge Tank accessory. The Charge Tank costs US$1988, and uses J1772 standard chargers to charge at three times the speed of a standard Zero bike.
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Zero's 2016 S, SR, DS and DSR all benefit from a new Charge Tank accessory. The Charge Tank costs US$1988, and uses J1772 standard chargers to charge at three times the speed of a standard Zero bike.
2016 Zero DSR brings SR-level power to the dual sport bike
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2016 Zero DSR brings SR-level power to the dual sport bike
2016 Zero DSR - 67 horsepower and 104 ft-lbs of torque in a dual sport package
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2016 Zero DSR - 67 horsepower and 104 ft-lbs of torque in a dual sport package
2016 Zero DS - power and torque remain the same, but range is slightly bossted up to a maximum 197 city miles per charge
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2016 Zero DS - power and torque remain the same, but range is slightly bossted up to a maximum 197 city miles per charge
2016 Zero DS - this guy has road gear on
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2016 Zero DS - this guy has road gear on
2016 Zero DS - this guy has a dirtbike helmet
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2016 Zero DS - this guy has a dirtbike helmet
2016 Zero Motorcycles lineup: The FXS supermotard, with the SR and S streetbikes, the DSR dual-sport and the FX dirtbike.
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2016 Zero Motorcycles lineup: The FXS supermotard, with the SR and S streetbikes, the DSR dual-sport and the FX dirtbike.
View gallery - 21 images

California-based Zero Motorcycles has unveiled its 2016 model lineup in preparation for the American International Motorcycle Expo in Orlando, Florida. If you were hoping to see a long-range Zero electric motorcycle with an aerodynamic fairing, 2016 is not your year. Instead, there’s an all-new motor and increased battery efficiency to improve range and battery capacities across the board, triple-speed charging with the new Charge Tank accessory, and a couple of new models to add to the family.

2016 Zero SR: slightly improved range, US$1350 price drop and an improved cooling system that allows more hard riding without thermal cutout
2016 Zero SR: slightly improved range, US$1350 price drop and an improved cooling system that allows more hard riding without thermal cutout

New Z-force motor for 2016

For 2016, most of the Zero range gets an upgraded motor that operates at slightly increased efficiency and handles heat better than the old units. If you rode the 2015 models hard for a long time on a hot day, you could overheat them and trip a thermal management mode that would cut your power back to save the engine and battery from thermal damage. The new motor promises to give you full performance for longer.

The new motor appears on the S, DS and SR as well as the new DSR and FXS bikes. It won’t be fitted to 2016 FX models.

Improved batteries

Zero invests a lot of time and expertise into its high-density battery system. Across the range, Zero’s 2016 batteries pack in a bit more power, both for the big "monolith" boxes used on the S-series bikes and the modular removable batteries of the FX line.

Improved battery chemistry has boosted the monolith batteries’ capacity by around 4 percent, taking the largest pack from 12.5 to 13 kWh and boosting the S bikes’ city range from 185 to 197 miles (298 to 314 km) if you have a Power Tank installed.

Improvements are more dramatic on the FX series bikes, which get a 14 percent boost in capacity. A fully loaded FX with two battery modules now gets some 82 city miles (132 km), where the old bike got 70 (113 km).

Triple-speed charging with the Charge Tank accessor

Zero's 2016 S, SR, DS and DSR all benefit from a new Charge Tank accessory. The Charge Tank costs US$1988, and uses J1772 standard chargers to charge at three times the speed of a standard Zero bike.
Zero's 2016 S, SR, DS and DSR all benefit from a new Charge Tank accessory. The Charge Tank costs US$1988, and uses J1772 standard chargers to charge at three times the speed of a standard Zero bike.

If quicker charging is your priority, you can install the US$1,988 Charge Tank accessory, which works with all 2016 S, DS, SR and DSR bikes, as well as their 2015 counterparts.

The Charge Tank enables you to hook into a public J1772 spec charger to power your bike up some three times faster than on a regular outlet. It’s still not gasoline levels of touring convenience, with a full Level 2 charge on the large 13 kWh monolith battery still taking three hours. But an hour on the charger will now get you up to 53 miles (85 km) of riding, and the vast majority of charging will still be done at home, for next to nothing.

There are thousands of J1772-spec chargers in the United States, and committed electro-tourers can continue to beef up their onboard charging systems with third-party gear from companies like Hollywood Electrics to bring charge times down even further.

The new 2016 Zero DSR

2016 Zero DSR - 67 horsepower and 104 ft-lbs of torque in a dual sport package
2016 Zero DSR - 67 horsepower and 104 ft-lbs of torque in a dual sport package

New for 2016 is the DSR, effectively the DS dual-sport bike with the beefed-up 70-hp (52-kW), 106 ft-lb (144-Nm) powertrain from the awesome Zero SR. That’s some 25 percent more horsepower and a whopping 50 percent increase in torque from the DS. Range and battery capacities are the same for the DS and DSR bikes, although it stands to reason that in real-world conditions where you tap into that extra torque, you’re probably going to drain the battery quicker on the R model.

As a big boofer of a rider, I preferred the roomier DS to the S bike – even if the wider handlebar did make me a bit more of a wind sock – so it’s nice to see the DS body get Zero’s best powertrain. I’m sure it’ll be great fun, although that SR powertrain packs a lot of punch. You’ll want to know what you’re doing before yanking that throttle on a loose surface.

The new 2016 Zero FXS

2016 Zero FXS - grippy tyres and firmer suspension should make this a hoot around a short track
2016 Zero FXS - grippy tyres and firmer suspension should make this a hoot around a short track

When I rode the FX dirtbike at last year’s model line launch, it was clearly the liveliest and most fun bike in the Zero stable. The 44 horsepower (33 kW), 70 ft-lb (95 Nm) of torque and a curb weight of just 289 lb (131 kg) makes it a wheelie-happy trail monster for off-road kicks and the odd commute.

In 2016, it’ll be joined by the FXS, effectively the same bike but in supermoto form. Pirelli Diablo Rosso tires, 17-inch wheels and firmer, shorter-travel suspension are the main changes, but in anticipation of the FXS being ridden flat-out more of the time, it also gets the new Z-force motor with its improved heat management capabilities.

Even if there’s no power or torque improvements for 2016, one of these things on a go-kart or supermoto track would be a hoot!

2016 model pricing

Zero cut the prices of its 2015 range back in May to reflect the falling cost of batteries, which are by far the most expensive component on an electric vehicle at the moment. In a nice move, the company also looked after customers who’d bought a 2015 bike before the price drop by giving them nearly $1,000 worth of accessories.

Those prices more or less hold for 2016, despite the latest models packing in more power – and if you’re interested in an S or DS bike with the smaller 9.8 kWh battery pack, you can actually pick it up a thousand dollars cheaper than the 2015 9.4 kWh bikes.

2016 Zero S or DS, with the 9.8kWh battery pack: $10,995

2016 Zero S or DS, with the 13kWh battery pack: $13,995

2016 Zero SR or DSR, with the 13kWh battery pack: $15,995

2016 Zero FX or FXS, with the 3.3 kWh battery module: $8,495

2016 Zero FX or FXS, with the 6.5 kWh battery module: $10,990

Charge tanks for the S-series bikes cost $1,988, and power tank additional batteries cost $2,674.

Source: Zero Motorcycles

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7 comments
gizmowiz
Disappointing. Still no eCruiser for us old farts.
Dziks
any news regarding traction control? With such high torque it would be nice to have some assistance on slippery surfaces.
chec
Yes, I totally agree with gizmowiz and have been waiting for the day that Zero finally comes out with an eCruiser with full fairing, which I would buy in an instant! These present models with their off road, dirt bike look and overly high fenders, are just plain ugly.
DaveMcMurtry
I suppose @chec, @gizmowiz and I are representative of the trouble that Zero and other electric motorcycle product development teams face given their relatively minimal capital resources. I have absolutely no interest in a long-range electric tourer (IMO that's what Harleys are for) and am very excited to ride the FXS! Their whole lineup is beautiful. Good luck to Zero satisfying us all...
Scion
The pricing is getting close to where I can afford. Still a little way to go yet. Maybe in five years time. BTW: a 314km range would last me a little over 3 weeks between charges as my daily commute is only 15km. My longest commute is a 160-180km round trip to Perth. So the range is there, the performance is there I'm just a little tight on the cash is all.
swaan
I hope they will sell well.. I too need them in 5 years when the battery prices are lower and hopefully DC charging is present. Then an FX would look really neat beside a Model 3 in my garage :3
JimmyAllison
Stopped by your Demo both to ride the Zero motorcycle this morning at the AIM EXPO but no one was there manning the booth. Myself and the other 4 people there experienced Zero test rides on the Zero motorcycle. Makes no sense to me why you'd rent a space, offer rides and have no one there. Disappointed to say the least.