how crap! This thing sounds soooo bad-ass. Awesome article Loz... makes me wish I was one of your motorcycle buddies, then maybe I would have gotten a hot-lap around the block. ;-)
I hope Brammo will Evolve their Empulse-R electric guts in the same fashion... I find Empulse-R style, components and presence of 6 gears much more intriguing than this (still interesting) Zero.
So something like an 8 hour refueling for every 2 hours of riding. So much for a weekend trip to grandma's.
Jason Catterall
Great review and fantastic bike, but shame on you for not keeping up with arguably the fastest growing and changing segment of the motoring world. 3 years???
That moment of realization that electric bikes were starting to make real progress came for me when Lightning Motorcycle won Pikes Peak in 2013 against combustion bikes. It looks like they are going to debut a street version of that bike (LS-218) on the 17th in Carmel, CA
For Zero the S has gone up in price from ~$10k from 2011 but its definitely still for the better and even the current sub 10k FX crushes the 2011 S in every area:
Zero FX - $9,495 Zero S - $12,995 Zero SR - 16,995 Zero DS - $12,995
The range of the FX in 2011 was only 20 miles and it's 70 now.
Rocky Stefano
"all with an addictive, turbine-like electric whine from the motor."
And with that battery requiring 8 hours to charge for every 2 hours. Sorry I'll skip it now and forever for a petrol bike.
Yes I like the sound.
I think that is way cool. The price is on the high side but I think that will come down when the technology improves. There are small fuel cells that can be fitted to electric motorcycles that can extend the range plus give extra power when needed. There are progress in batteries too.
I think it is cool how the technology is progressing to the point where electric vehicles are becoming both more practical and more appealling.
Batteries are the limiting factor for an oil-free world. A battery with the same energy density as gasoline would be the first step towards a Star Trek type future.
So come on scientists, bring on those batteries. :-)
2015 could be a good year. Maybe Zero will bring back the off-road variant with all the latest tech SR has on offer.
Also I know it sounds a little ridiculous, but the shape of a chopper/cruiser would lend itself better to placement of a larger motor and battery bank. And because those things are designed low and heavy, it would not matter that much to begin with.
Great article Loz; you carried the reader with you and made everyone experience what must be an illuminating ride. I was right there with you on the bike when you described the contrast after getting back on your FZ1.
Electric bikes will be the last bastion for those that still want to have fun on the roads. 17,000 USD is a lot, but in contrast, an electric car with some character runs north of 70,000 USD.
Zero is getting a bit good, too good. Pessimist-me says someone will acquire them. Maybe instead they'll work out licensing deals for other bike manufacturers.