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.
Bob Burnquist is a legendary name for anyone who follows skateboarding or extreme sports. As the winningest X-Games athlete in history, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise the adrenaline junky is also a motorcyclist. A Zero motorcyclist, in fact. As the owner of both a Zero FX and a Zero DS, Burnquist has grown quite fond of the electric motorcycle lifestyle, so much so that he will be featured in Zero’s next “ZeroCast” on Wednesday, March 16 at 1pm PST.
A self-described underwater photographer, technology entrepreneur, helicopter pilot, and Pacific Cup sailing veteran, Kerry Brown is a man of many interests. When it comes to his transportation on dry land, Brown is the owner of a 2014 Zero DS. Considering his many interests, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Brown customized it. For this he took inspiration from his love of underwater photography and went nuts making his DS look like something at home in the ocean.
DigiNow has today announced the launch of the Super Charger, which is able to bring any Zero Motorcycle since 2013 to at least 80% charge, in most use cases, in under an hour. The Super Charger can also be used to recharge batteries in other electric vehicles, including the Victory/Brammo, Lightning Motorcycles and even electric cars.
More than 50 city, county and municipal police departments now use police-spec electric motorcycles on the job, many of them as part of their traffic divisions – you know, those motorcycle cops who light you up and pull you over to write you a citation for something that you’re absolutely positive you didn’t do. “80 in a 25??? But officer, this old thing won’t even go 80 mph… ”
“The e-bike continues to evolve.” That was the subhead used by former MO staffer, Jeff Cobb, when describing the 2010 Zero S and DS. Having just ridden the 2015 Zero model line, and claiming the electric motorcycle has finally arrived, for this week’s Church feature we revisit Cobb’s review of the then-new 2010 Zero S and DS. A lot has changed in the moto landscape since 2010, and Zero’s transformation in the last five years has been extensive. In 2010, range and power were major issues (not to mention the odd styling). Compare that to today and each measure of the bike’s performance has increased several times over. Continue that trend into the next five to 10 years, and the future of electric propulsion is destined to make major leaps and bounds. For now, however, let’s look back at 2010, and the Ford Model T of Zeros – the S and DS. Also, be sure to check out the three-page photo gallery for more pictures.
In 2013, Zero introduced the platforms from which it would build upon for the future. Consisting of what, Zero claims, are the most energy-dense batteries on the market today, its propulsion systems remain quite advanced in the industry. However, off-the-shelf brakes, suspension and tires meant the bikes couldn’t quite reach their full potential. For 2015 however, Zero Motorcycles feels like it has finally come of age.
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.