Riding the Zero DSR quickly turned me into a child. Laughing hysterically as I sneaked through traffic and by unsuspecting pedestrians, getting a kick out of the shocked faces on these innocent bystanders was one of the first reasons I enjoyed the Zero DSR, the second involved the R part of its model designation. I came for the ninja-like stealth, but stayed for the claimed 116 lb-ft of torque. Any time there was dirt in sight, a patch of gravel, an unbordered planter in a parking lot, I would bee-line for it, lighting up that rear tire quicker than the aforementioned innocent bystander could shield themselves from the dust. I’d like to say I’m sorry to the man in that car at the Rose Bowl parking lot who endured a large cloud of dust blowing into his open car windows.
Today at EICMA 2016 Zero Motorcycles unveiled its 2017 lineup of electric motorcycles. Although the company didn’t announce any new models, per se, there are some spinoffs of existing models to better suit price points – a request from customers that Zero paid attention to. We’ll cover the model improvements and spinoffs in a moment, but first we’ll start with big news that affects the entire 2017 line.
I really like these things. Riding a Zero FX along a babbling brook and over some granite outcroppings a few years ago while hearing the water gurgle and the birds chirp was a come-to-Jesus moment that showed me the potential of silent running and instant torque. But I haven’t spent any time on electric bikes since that one.
One-hundred and six pound-feet of torque is an addictive drug if you can get your hands on it, and it’s even better when it’s available to you almost instantly. Thankfully for us this dream has been a reality since 2014, in the form of the Zero SR. It accelerates like few other bikes can thanks to its 660-amp motor controller and higher-temp magnets. Couple that with new-for-2015 bits like Showa suspension, Pirelli tires, and Bosch ABS, and you have the makings for our Best Electric Motorcycle of 2015.
I still remember how wide my eyes were the first time I twisted the e-throttle on Zero’s new-for-2014 SR. Any word associations I had prior to “electrics” and “slow” were well and truly shattered. With a claimed 106 lb-ft of torque – more than a Suzuki Hayabusa – available at an instant from its high-output motor and 660-amp motor controller, and no clutch or gears to finesse, there are few things that can beat it in a stoplight-to-stoplight dash.
Zero Motorcycles today unveiled its 2016 lineup, and the biggest news is the addition of two new models: the Zero DSR and the Zero FXS. We first reported about Zero filing trademarks for the DSR and FXS names back in March, hypothesizing on what the new models would be. It turns out we were right. Read on for more details.