Zero made a splash last year with the introduction of the Zero SR, the hot-rodded version of its flagship S model. This year’s news is a little more subdued, but is still highly relevant all the same. Three big improvements will be seen across the entire Zero line for 2015: Showa suspension will now become standard, as will Bosch switchable ABS and Pirelli tires.
The 41mm Showa fork comes in 2mm smaller diameter than the unit it replaces, but otherwise it and the rear shock will feature the same full adjustability and suspension travel as before (6.25in. front/6.35in. rear for the S and SR, 7.0in. front/7.3in. rear on the DS). Front brake rotors on the S, SR and DS increase to 320mm (from 313mm), but interestingly Zero chose to ditch the Nissin twin-piston calipers in favor of J-Juan units. Other than the addition of ABS, the rear 240mm disc and J-Juan single piston caliper remain the same.
On the tire front, the IRC rubber is gone from both the S and SR, replaced with Pirelli Sport Demons on the S and Diablo Rosso IIs on the SR. Sizes remain the same 110/70-17 front, 140/70-17 as before. The DS and FX receive Pirelli MT-60 rubber, with the former retaining the same 110/90-19 front, 130/80-17 as last year. For the latter, slightly wider wheels means slightly wider tires. The FX now wears 90/90-21 front and 120/80-18 rear.
In addition, improved battery cells in the S, SR and DS models provide 10% more capacity than before. Zero says that, combined with the optional Battery Tank accessory, which is essentially an additional 2.8 kWh battery used in the FX model, the S and SR are capable of up to 184 miles in the city and 94 on the highway at 70 mph.
That’s not all from Zero, however. Apart from new suspension and the addition of ABS and Pirelli tires, the S, SR and DS models receive new cast alloy wheels with a carrier-less front rotor and hollow front axle to reduce unsprung weight. Other revamps include new mirrors, a reshaped seat and a new “more robust” throttle. These upgrades aren’t free, however, especially considering the 2014 Zero SR was already a lofty $16,995. Then again, if you were already looking at buying a Zero, the $400 increase in price (across the entire model range) seems more than reasonable for the improvements.