Top Speed Buying Guide for 2019 Zero Motorcycles
Zero’s 2019 Lineup Explainedby Allyn Hinton, on
Based in Scotts Valley, California, all-electric bike builder Zero Motorcycles Inc produces seven distinct sub-models on three separate frames to include sportbikes, adventure bikes/dual sports and a supermoto to cover most of the bases. The factory offers a number of accessories that can either expand the bike’s power-storing capacity or supplement its charging system for quicker recharge times. For 2019, Zero Motorcycle enjoys an enviable position as the most diverse EV bike builder to date.
Zero Motorcycles History
Back in 2006, former NASA engineer Neal Saiki started building EV bikes under the Electricross banner in Santa Cruz, California. By 2010, the factory was shipping the sportbike-like Zero S in bulk, and it had expanded its lineup with the Dual Sport (DS) line as well as a small streetbike and a dirtbike.
In 2012, the factory reached an important benchmark in EV development when it introduced a new Power Pack that allowed the bikes to hit the 100-mile mark on a single charge. New models, power-storage increases, motor improvements and range-extending accessories accumulated over the next few years, and by 2016, the SR, DSR and FXS models were on the streets. In 2017 and 2018 there was yet another improvement to the range with the introduction of the ZF14.4 battery and boosted horsepower and torque from the new, IPM drive motor. Zero’s new-for-2020 SR/F brings even more power and range to the table along with the company’s first traction-control feature.
Zero Motorcycles Terminology
Cypher III: Zero’s operating system uses a configurable, five-inch, TFT LCD screen as a rider interface and networks with your phone through an app that monitors important metrics and provides a layer of security. The advanced app lets you formulate your own custom ride modes along with a target-based charging system and on-board diagnostic tool.
Z-Force Power Pack: Modular chemical battery that comes in a variety of kWh capacities.
Z-Force Motor: Interior-Permanent-Magnet drive motor.
Charge Tank: Charge module that fits under the faux tank hump and slashes charge times.
Power Tank: Extra battery under the hump that adds another 3.6 kWh of power storage.
Quick Charger: Accessory chargers decrease recharge times and can be stacked with two chargers on the smaller FX and FXS with up to four on all other models. Plus, they will operate off household 110 voltage.
Zero Motorcycles Motorcycle Models
Zero’s first major hit, the S family is built to appeal to the naked-sportbike fans out there. While the flyline is fairly typical, the area where the engine should be gives it away as something apart from the norm. The Power Pack fills the space where an internal combustion engine would be with an exposed, twin-spar/wishbone frame as the main structure. A tapered tail rocks a p-pad complete with J.C. handles and fold-up footpegs down on the frame. The mudguard mounts the tag with a swingarm-mount hugger to complete the coverage. At the bottom of the range, the S is offered with a 7.2 kWh or a 14.4 kWh Power Pack while the SR is only available with the ZF14.4 battery.
|Zero S||$10,995.00/$13,995||7.2 kWh/14.4 kWh|
|Zero SR||$16,495||14.4 kWh|
Built around the same frame as the S/SR, the DS and DSR are set up more like adventure models with flylines that would blend right into a crowd of smoker bikes. This adventuresome pair comes with the same power options as its S-based siblings but with long-stroke suspension components and stealth knobbies. They are also set up to share the fun with a friend and are available in a police variant.
|Zero DS||$10,995/$13,995||7.2 kWh/14.4 kWh|
|Zero DSR||$16,495||14.4 kWh|
The factory gets some mileage out of the dirt-style FX chassis with a pair of models offered with either the ZF3.6 Power Pack or the ZF7.2. If off-road work is your thing, the FX is set up with stealth knobbies and street-legal lights so you can ride to your favorite trail, rather than trailering it. For the stunt riders, the factory put together the FXS as a Supermoto model with straight-up street tires and the same high-mount fairing.
|Zero FX||$8,495/$10,495||3.6 kWh/7.2 kWh|
|Zero FXS||$8,495/$10,495||3.6 kWh/7.2 kWh|
The 2020 Zero SR/F is a performance-oriented superbike equivalent that trades the twin-spar frame for a tubular one, and packs the largest motor the factory has to offer. Top speed is a whopping 124 mph, but not if you want to get the full 161 miles out of the stock setup. ABS and traction control deliver improved safety and stability, but that’s no substitution for skill. The SR/F is decidedly not an entry level-appropriate ride.
|Zero SR/F||$18,995(standard)/ $20,995 (premium)||14.4 kWh|
Zero DS / DSR
See our review of the Zero DS / DSR.
See our review of the Zero FX.
See our review of the Zero FXS.
Zero S / SR
See our review of the Zero S / SR.
See our review of the Zero SR/F.
Read more Zero Motorcycles news.