With every year that passes the electric motorcycles gain more and more terrain and in the latest years they managed to be more successful than ever.
The motorcycle is propelled by a highly efficient air-cooled, DC Axial Flux Permanent Magnet motor which is powered by a set of Lithium-Ion Intelligent Power Pack batteries with a life expectancy of from 34,000 to 70,000 miles. The normal recharge time is ranging from two to four hours, but there are also available optional quick charge units which can cut the required recharge time approximately in half. The battery charging may be accomplished via either standard 110V or 220V outlets and the costs of recharging are ranging from $0.21 up to $0.48.
The motorcycle’s suspension was especially developed for off road riding, so it can deal with any type of terrain without any problems.
Among the features offered by the motorcycle you’ll find a locking front fork assembly, ignition key and high performance compound brake pads.
Hit the jump for more information on the Zero DS ZF6.
The Zero DS combines innovation with passion to deliver the world’s most versatile electric motorcycle. Designed to be agile in the dirt and quick on the street, the Zero DS represents a new kind of freedom.
Blast down a gravel road or a dusty trail. When you’re ready, stealthily pass from the wild to the civilized as you arrive at your destination. The Zero DS is tough when you demand it and distinguished when required. Its edgy, yet sophisticated, appearance is highlighted by an eye catching twin spar frame that is both rigid and lightweight.
Powered by the most advanced powertrain in the industry, the Zero DS is a fully electric motorcycle that can handle any surface you throw at it. Overcoming obstacles and maintaining control is effortless due to its fully adjustable suspension and rugged wheel set. Under technical riding conditions, Zero’s optimized direct drive system delivers astonishing responsiveness with the twist of your wrist. As with Zero’s entire model line, the 2012 Zero DS costs only cents to recharge and, with its maintenance-free powertrain, it is one of the most economical motorcycles to own and operate.
What’s New For 2012
The entirely revamped 2012 Zero DS is built off the platform of the highly innovative and new 2012 Zero S. Similarly, the Zero DS is capable of 112 miles in the EPA’s UDDS range test. It features a completely new powertrain that includes a brushless motor capable of achieving speeds of up to 80 mph, new state of the art battery cell technology, regenerative braking and a power pack that is designed to last the life of the motorcycle. Offering customers the ability to select the range they need, the new ZF6 and ZF9 power pack configurations give riders the ability to respectively achieve 75 miles and 112 miles according to the EPA UDDS. Highlighting the new powertrain is sleek new venting and bodywork to keep the maintenance free and air cooled system operating at moderate temperatures. Revised frame geometry, new optimized Zero designed rotors and a larger front brake master cylinder give the Zero DS better handling and more stopping power than ever before.
The 2012 Zero DS is visually distinct from its predecessors with new additions to the bodywork, components and graphics. Built around a black high-end aircraft grade aluminum frame, it features more robust laced-spoke wheels, lower gearing intended for mountainous terrain and is offered with the option of a chain drive. Refining the appearance of the front end, the Zero DS now features a more contemporary headlight that gives the overall motorcycle a sleek new look.
Development of the Zero DS
The Zero DS is built on the foundation of the Zero S and incorporates technology from Zero’s highly durable off-road motorcycles. The wheels are designed to be particularly lightweight and strong. In the dirt or on the street the dual sport tires maintain a tight grip and a specially engineered suspension system absorbs the bumps. The result is a dual sport motorcycle that is ready for any surface you can throw at it.
Game Changing Z-Force™ Technology: 100+ Mi Range / 300,000+ Mi on a Power Pack
The 2012 Zero DS leverages a completely new battery cell chemistry and configuration. Not only does the ZF9 power pack enable riders to go beyond 100 miles, it is also designed to last the life of the motorcycle. The result of cutting edge research and development, each cell in the power pack is individually controlled and monitored at all times to ensure maximum health. The integrated onboard charger minimizes charge time and can work in parallel with Zero’s quick charge accessories to cut charge times by as much as 75%. What’s this all mean? Simply put, the Zero DS is the leader for production electric motorcycles in acceleration, range, recharge times and longevity.
Available in two configurations: ZF6 (75 mi) and ZF9 (112 mi)
State of the art new power pack configurations and cell chemistry
Cells last 3,000 full charge-discharge cycles before hitting 80% capacity, yielding as much as 302,000 miles on the original power pack
Up to 95% higher energy density power packs that yield significant range and performance advantages
Elegant new low resistance and highly robust cell interconnect technology
New battery management system with enhanced 24/7 cell monitoring and a 92% reduction in power consumption
New, higher voltage power system that allows the motor to run cooler and with more RPMs than ever before
Scalable quick-charge options available to cut recharge times by as much as 75%
Isolated power systems and 12 volt system for running accessories
Onboard charger that uses a specially developed charge profile
Brushless Motor and Regenerative Braking: 80 mph Top Speed
A compact and powerful brushless motor provides riders with exhilarating acceleration to a top speed of 80 mph. Completely air cooled, the motor is designed to provide riders with years of fun minus the need for any regular maintenance. When slowing down, the motor works with a new brushless motor controller to recharge the power pack.
Completely new maintenance-free, clean, forced-air cooled brushless motor
Increased torque and broader power band for much stronger acceleration
Quad-level regenerative system recharges the power pack when decelerating
Re-gen level is increased during brake application vs. “neutral” deceleration
Both braking and “neutral” re-gen levels are set higher in Eco vs. Sport mode
Frame and Bodywork: Lightweight and Stealthy
Aircraft grade aluminum is exclusively used in the construction of the lightweight and rigid Zero DS twin spar frame. One look at the frame and it speaks for itself. It is aggressive, strong and one of the main reasons that the Zero DS can take on anything in an urban environment. Designed to have a low center of gravity, the Zero DS is highly maneuverable and responsive. The body is completed using bold new bodywork to give it a contemporary, aggressive and naked look. The 2012 frame is designed to accommodate a rider and passenger with an optional accessory.
Frame and bodywork designed from the ground up by Zero Motorcycles
Ability to accommodate a passenger with an optional accessory
Better handling with refined frame geometry for 2012
Extremely rigid and lightweight black twin spar aircraft grade aluminum frame
Designed to have a low center of gravity for better maneuverability and responsiveness
Sleek new headlight and turn signals
New scoop for ventilating the fully air cooled powertrain
New trunk-pan and belt guard
Wheels and Brakes: Robust and Responsive
The Zero DS wheels are engineered to minimize unsprung weight and reduce rotating mass. Developed specifically for the Zero DS, the lightweight construction includes custom hubs, spokes, and rotors. To maximize overall wheel strength the hub is configured to use straight pull spokes. The resulting wheel is lighter, stronger and more responsive.
New and more robust black wheels
High strength/lightweight straight pull spokes
Aggressive profile dual sport tires
Brakes are more precise, easier to modulate and require less effort
Zero designed rotors for optimized performance and reduced unsprung weight
Larger front master cylinder bore size for increased stopping power
Steel braided lines for superior lever feel and more precise brake modulation
High performance compound brake pads
Suspension: The Magic Ride
The suspension on the Zero DS was developed by Zero to take advantage of the motorcycle’s lightweight design. Its inverted front fork is among the lightest in the industry and can be externally adjusted to dial in compression and rebound damping. A rigid double diamond rear swing arm keeps the wheel planted using a custom rear shock with a fully adjustable spring preload and easily tuned damping. The smooth suspension combines with the silence of the powertrain to yield an exhilarating ride that needs to be experienced to be understood.
Robust triple-clamps for improved bearing pre-loading and durability
Specialized fork and shock internals
Steel stanchions for increased strength, rigidity and control
Unique double diamond aircraft grade aluminum rear swingarm for reduced weight and increased torsional rigidity
Front adjustments: Compression and rebound damping
Rear adjustments: Spring preload, compression and rebound damping
Dash and Controls: Focus on the Ride
The dash is designed by Zero to quickly and accurately provide information on speed, charge and motor temperature. For 2012, the Zero DS allows riders to set the motorcycle’s performance to either Sport or Eco.
Sport / Eco switch to allow riders to select motorcycle performance
New high intensity headlight
Exceptionally accurate charge indicator
New and innovative State of Charge (SOC) algorithm
Ergonomic and durable switch gear (for operation of lights, turn signals, etc.)
Keyed ignition switch and steering lock for improved security and peace of mind
More comfortable seat to accommodate longer rides
Gearing: Maintenance Free Belt Drive
Featuring a clutchless direct drive, the Zero DS is geared for rapid acceleration and increased efficiency. Using a maintenance free belt system, the Zero DS is able to achieve minimal frictional losses. This increases its overall range and channels power more efficiently into speed. The result is a motorcycle that is quick and responsive.
New maintenance free and virtually silent belt drive system
Clutchless one speed that simplifies operation
Geared for rapid acceleration and maximum efficiency
A chain drive accessory is available
Zero DS ZF6
City (EPA UDDS)
75 miles (121 km)
Highway (commuting, 70mph)
42 miles (68 km)
High efficiency, double-stator axial flux permanent magnet, brushless motor with integrated forced air cooling
High efficiency, 420 amp, 3-phase brushless controller with re-generative deceleration
38mm inverted forks with adjustable compression and rebound damping
Direct-link shock with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping
Front suspension travel
9.44 inches (240 mm)
Rear suspension travel
7.69 inches (195 mm)
2 piston hydraulic, 310x4 mm floating disc
1 piston hydraulic, 220x4 mm disc
57.3 inches (1455 mm)
Seat height (standard)
34.8 inches (883 mm)
Low seat height (accessory)
32.8 inches (832 mm)
3.5 inches (89 mm)
22 pounds (10 kg)
341 pounds (155 kg)
681 pounds (309 kg)
340 pounds (154 kg)
Typical cost to charge
Equivalent fuel economy (city)
480 MPGe (0.49 liters/100km)
Equivalent fuel economy (highway)
267 MPGe (0.88 liters/100km)
automotiverhythms ---- "Of the entire ZERO lineup, the ZERO DS Dual Sport would be my pick of the litter. Yes, it is the most expensive model and the heaviest, but it is also perhaps the most versatile. My test bike featured the integrated charging system and higher seat height."
Nytimes ---- "I did it to try out the new Zero DS, one of five models in Zero Motorcycles’ revamped 2012 lineup of battery-powered bikes."
Motorcycle-usa ---- "The Zero DS has been revamped and according to Zero, the DS is now capable of going an amazing 112 miles and can get the speed up to 80 miles per hour. "Quotes