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Old 03-01-2012, 12:06 PM   #1
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Default 2012 Zero DS Review


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2012 Zero DS Review

Please discuss the Motorcycle.com article 2012 Zero DS Review in our Motorcycle Forums below. Use the reply button to let others know your comments or feedback on the article. Constructive criticism is always appreciated, along with your thoughts and personal opinions on the bikes and products we have tested.
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:25 PM   #2
Buzglyd
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I think most of our opinions of electric vehicles are well known.

I just wanna know if the Zero guys ride Zeros to work?

That would add a lot to the discussion.
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:38 PM   #3
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I've made arrangements with a new Zero dealer in Central Florida to demo the new "S." I'm really interested in seeing how far the bikes have come since I rode one two years ago. Back then they were really just mountain bikes with batteries and motors.

The new dealer is pretty excited about having these bikes to sell. The saleslady I spoke with is riding a DS to work every day and raves about it. But...take that for what it's worth....she IS a sales lady!

It's great to be here for the beginning of this new transport paradigm. In some ways, it reminds me of when I was unboxing some of the very first IBM PC's back in 1981. We didn't know where it would all end up, many people thought it was stupid or a fad, but we knew things were going to change in a big way.
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:22 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by The Spaceman View Post
I've made arrangements with a new Zero dealer in Central Florida to demo the new "S." I'm really interested in seeing how far the bikes have come since I rode one two years ago. Back then they were really just mountain bikes with batteries and motors.

The new dealer is pretty excited about having these bikes to sell. The saleslady I spoke with is riding a DS to work every day and raves about it. But...take that for what it's worth....she IS a sales lady!

It's great to be here for the beginning of this new transport paradigm. In some ways, it reminds me of when I was unboxing some of the very first IBM PC's back in 1981. We didn't know where it would all end up, many people thought it was stupid or a fad, but we knew things were going to change in a big way.
Kind of a big difference there Kmo.

There wasn't a superior alternative to IBM PCs at the time.

Let's say electrics can be as good as gas for sake of argument. They're all gonna sound the damn same. Whizzzzzzzz

We'll all be little homogenized robot riders. I'm not willing to forsake the boom of a Ducati twin or the sizzle of a BMW six for a few dolphins.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:23 PM   #5
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Wink Zero exhaust note (pun intended)

If you Zero owners want, I could sell you an ap of my Moto Guzzi Le Man's track only, titanium exhaust note. 0-130 mph, 15 second clip; for only 200.00 dollars! You could wire it to an amp mounted on the swing arm. Should have plenty of juice.
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:07 AM   #6
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If you Zero owners want, I could sell you an ap of my Moto Guzzi Le Man's track only, titanium exhaust note. 0-130 mph, 15 second clip; for only 200.00 dollars! You could wire it to an amp mounted on the swing arm. Should have plenty of juice.
Great idea! But....

Audi's Electric-Vehicle Sound Effects May Stem From Will Smith's 'I, Robot' Film - AutoObserver

Nissan add sound effect to LEAF electric vehicle | LEAF-Age

Now, how about installing a paint shaker like they use in Home Depot? Turn it on at the stoplight and you've got a Harley!
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:23 AM   #7
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Default Price short circuits the deal.

I'm glad you left the price till last. For $12K you should also get a radio with digital Harley sound effects you can play out of speakers on both sides, for riding in traffic.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:31 AM   #8
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Despite the tall seat height this looks like a small motorcycle. To take its picture I notice that the camera was simply placed on the ground. How does the weight compare to a ICE bike? Weight and height are intimidating to new riders.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:29 AM   #9
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With the price as it is, there's no question E-bikes are still exclusive vehicles. But, as with any new technology, as time goes on prices will eventually come down and performance will come up. The 2012 Zero DS (and S, which we haven't ridden...yet) are signs of the latter. Now we're just waiting for the former.

As far as noise is concerned, speaking only for myself, the lack of an exhaust note wasn't something that bothered me. Mainly because I was having so much fun simply riding the motorcycle. You start to find other things to listen and pay attention to that you never registered before.

Comparing the DS with the ZF9 power pack, which is what we tested, to the Kawasaki KLX250S, the DS weighs 341 lbs (297 with the ZF6 power pack) and has a wheelbase of 57.3 inches. The Kawasaki weighs 297.7 lbs with a 56.3-inch wheelbase and 35.0-inch seat height. All of these numbers are according to the respective manufacturer's websites, but having seen each bike, I can tell you that the Zero DS has similar dimensions to ICE competitors in its category. I think the picture might be deceiving.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trizzle View Post
With the price as it is, there's no question E-bikes are still exclusive vehicles. But, as with any new technology, as time goes on prices will eventually come down and performance will come up. The 2012 Zero DS (and S, which we haven't ridden...yet) are signs of the latter. Now we're just waiting for the former.

As far as noise is concerned, speaking only for myself, the lack of an exhaust note wasn't something that bothered me. Mainly because I was having so much fun simply riding the motorcycle. You start to find other things to listen and pay attention to that you never registered before.

Comparing the DS with the ZF9 power pack, which is what we tested, to the Kawasaki KLX250S, the DS weighs 341 lbs (297 with the ZF6 power pack) and has a wheelbase of 57.3 inches. The Kawasaki weighs 297.7 lbs with a 56.3-inch wheelbase and 35.0-inch seat height. All of these numbers are according to the respective manufacturer's websites, but having seen each bike, I can tell you that the Zero DS has similar dimensions to ICE competitors in its category. I think the picture might be deceiving.
My mind can't wrap around the idea of 250cc dirt bikes that weigh 300 lbs.
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