After spending a full morning with the 2015 Zero S and DS
on the gorgeous, twisty roads of California, and tucking into a Kawasaki burger for lunch at Alice's, it was time to ride the jewel in Zero's crown: the 2015 Zero SR. While it stops short of all-out sportsbike performance, the SR still unleashes more torque than any petrol-powered superbike you can buy. Enough, as it turns out, to catch an experienced motorcycle tester by surprise. Enjoy the last of our 2015 Zero fleet reviews.
Having become acquainted with the tiny but mighty Zero FX
, and struggled through a thorough technology briefing at the Zero factory
, it was time to try the "base models" of the 2015 Zero range. The Zero S (streetbike) and Zero DS (dual sport) both share the same platform in terms of frame, motor and the giant monolith battery pack. And despite the fact that they're significantly down on power and torque compared to the high-performance Zero SR, this pair of electrics offer a surprisingly good time.
Regular readers will know I'm a bit of a fan
of Zero's electric motorcycles – as the market leader in performance electric two-wheelers, Zero offers a glimpse into a future where gasoline engines feel frankly archaic. So I was very excited to score myself an invitation to come and visit Zero's head office and factory to see where the company is at, get to know the Zero team, and ride the company's entire 2015 range through the breathtaking mountain ranges of California. It was a great chance to talk about batteries, production lines, the 2015 Zero range and how America's fast-charge infrastructure is letting riders down.
High-performance electric motorbike manufacturer Zero Motorcycles has released its 2015 model lineup. Updates to its existing models include improved suspensions, braking systems and batteries. A new model, the FXP, is also being introduced Zero's fleet line-up.
Last week, we rode the 2014 Zero SR
, and its awesome electric performance made us question everything we thought we knew about motorcycling. Here's our road test video.
It's been about three years since we last tested one of Zero Motorcycles' electric bikes, and in that time, the company has been very busy. Compared to the 2011 Zero S
, the 2014 Zero SR has between 200-400 percent more everything
– riding this bike was an absolutely shocking progress report on the state of the art. The SR represents a liminal moment in motorcycling. We may look back in years to come and see this as the first time an electric motorcycle stood shoulder to shoulder with petrol powered bikes, and made them feel like yesterday's heroes.
Although electric bikes definitely are
more eco-friendly than exhaust-spewing cars, some people quite rightly point out that the electricity used to charge their batteries typically comes from not-so-green sources such as coal-burning power plants. That's why Santa Cruz-based NTS Works created its NTS SunCycle pedelec cargo bike. Unveiled this Wednesday, it features an integrated photovoltaic panel that's reportedly capable of fully charging the bike's battery within eight hours.
Cargo bikes are nothing new, nor are electric-assist bikes, nor even two-wheel-drive
models. NTS Works’ 2X4 Cargo Bike is definitely unique, however, in the way that it combines all three.
Zero Motorcycles has followed the launch of its 2013 consumer range
with special versions of its Dual Sport and Street models designed for law enforcement and security patrols. The 2013 Police/Security models feature a powerful new motor, front protection bars with a built-in siren system, and a four-way emergency flasher system.
With more of 2012 behind than in front of us, Zero Motorcycles has provided a look at what to expect of its model line up in 2013. Along with the traditional annual increase in performance, Zero has ditched the Zero X, which makes way for a new FX “Stealth Fighter” model. Current models also receive some cosmetic changes, while a new optional CHAdeMO charging accessory will charge all models up to 95 percent of battery capacity in under an hour.