As the world turns, dominus vobiscum, it seems we have made quite a bit of progress on the electric bike front over the last ten years, even if it doesn’t always seem like it. Of this trio, only one of which is still standing, the longest range was but 40 miles and the toppest speed only 67 mph. Now, the latest Zero can do way better than that, the Harley-Davidson LiveWire is in play (I don’t think anybody saw that coming ten years ago), Tesla became the most valuable US automaker ever last January – and who knows what Polaris has in store for Brammo, which it acquired in 2015? Herein, the dearly departed 2010 MO crew tries to get a grip on current affairs.
Zero Motorcycles is teasing a new SR/F model through its social media channels, promising full details to come on Feb. 25. While a new model is notable, the more important news is that the SR/F will introduce an entirely new platform that will eventually expand to include other future models.
Electric motorcycles may be the future, but right now they are far from being price-competitive with their gasoline-powered cousins. But don’t worry! Even though having an electric motorcycle can cost you many thousands of more dollars, you may be able to even out the price difference.
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.
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.
“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.
A motojournalist’s life isn’t quite as glorious as it might seem. Endless hours chained to our computers, researching and cranking out words for your education, illumination and, hopefully, entertainment steal time away from what we most enjoy – riding motorcycles. A colleague of ours, Aaron Frank, succinctly described a motoojourno’s job thusly: “It’s the best job in the world two days a month.”
The electric motorcycle race is marching on at a rapid pace, and the 2013 Zero S is the latest example of how far the performance gap to gas bikes is closing. Last year, the Zero S/DS duo was the first legitimate entries we could even remotely compare to a gas counterpart in terms of performance. For 2013, however, there’s no question a Zero’s performance is on par with 250cc gas bikes, and perhaps even better.
At Motorcycle.com, we love play riding in the canyons and enjoy a day at the track, but we realize the majority of time we spend on bikes consists of commuting from point A to point B, darting through the city and handling whatever errands possible that don’t require a four-wheeler.