More Range, More Torque, Faster Charging, More Fun

The electric-bike market becomes more viable almost daily it seems, and Zero is at the cutting edge with a number of improvements for its naked-sportbike series — the “S” and “SR” models – going into 2019. We’re talking about more power with a higher top-end kind of improvements, and that’s on top of faster recharge times and a lighter curb weight; in other words, just about every important metric was buffed for MY19. Even the electronics are smarter this year to complete the package. This might be the hottest thing going in the EV bike sector at this point, so today I want to see what’s under the hood and how it stacks up against some of the likely competition.

  • 2019 Zero Motorcycles S / SR
  • Year:
    2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Price:
    10995
  • Price:

2019 Zero S / SR Design

Performance may increase, but Zero's pragmatic design criteria remains a constant across the board.

Performance may increase, and new models may hit the showrooms, but Zero’s pragmatic design criteria remains a constant across the board. I’m not sayin’ that they’re ugly, just that form certainly follows function and you can definitely tell at a glance that this is no run-of-the-mill smoker bike. This pair most closely resemble the standard/naked-sportbike genre, but unlike a true naked, there are body panels that close in the area normally left open for the engine and transmission.

A bobbed front fender rides between beefy, usd front forks with a headlight housing that mounts a cyclops light and standoff-style turn signals. Not only does the front end look clean, but it shows attention to detail on the performance front, which bodes well for these rides billed as a “Smart Streetfighter” and an “Electric Hot Rod” for the S and SR, respectively. The only obvious physical difference between the two occurs at the cheek-fairing area with a splash of red script that sets the SR apart.

A faux fuel-tank hump and two-up seat lends the bike a typical flyline, and in silhouette, they are indistinguishable from non-electric naked-sports. The taillight rides tucked away under the pillion with short standoffs for the rear turn signals ahead of a narrow mudguard that uses the license plate as a extension for same. Subframe-mount fold-up footpegs complete the passenger’s gear, and if you opt for the base S with the ZF7.2 power pack, you can look forward to a bit of dry storage under the “tank.” Unfortunately, the larger battery pack displaces this little cubby, but I’d say that’s a good trade to lose that little bit of storage for double the power-storage capacity.

2019 Zero S / SR Chassis

2019 Zero Motorcycles S / SR
- image 805809
The suspension has the full trinity of adjustments with compression- and rebound-damping tweaks alongside adjustable spring preload that you don't see every day at this price point.

The clean, twin-spar (wishbone) frame is all but completely exposed, and it blends right in against the achromatic background to become just another subtlety in the overall look. Pirelli’s Diablo Rosso II hoops round out the rolling chassis on cast, 17-inch rims with a 110/70 up front followed by a beefier 140/70.

Showa provides the suspension hardware for both ends with a set of 41 mm, usd front forks and a 40 mm, piggyback-reservoir shock out back. Both ends have the full trinity of adjustments with compression- and rebound-damping tweaks alongside adjustable spring preload for an overall superior set of stems that come stock. That’s pretty good considering that the price range starts just above the $10k mark.

Suspension travel clocks in with 6.25 inches up front and 6.35 inches out back, and that should be enough for any relatively reasonable urban shenanigans. Curb weight varies widely depending upon which combination of power packs and charger accessories you decide to roll with, but it’s going to fall between 313-pounds and 485-pounds for the base models before you start throwing extras at it.

A single, 320 mm floating disc and dual-piston, J-Juan caliper slow the front wheel opposite a 240 mm disc and single-pot, J-Juan anchor. Bosch provides its Gen 9 ABS that covers both ends to prevent lockups, and while that’s no substitute for skill, it’ll help keep you alive long enough to develop said skill. In addition to the brakes, the drivetrain comes with a regenerative-deceleration feature that puts some juice back in the battery while it sort of duplicates the same effect you’d get from engine braking.

2019 Zero S / SR Drivetrain

2019 Zero Motorcycles S / SR
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Zero has always been all about the performance, and the factory lives up to its reputation with improvements in range and charge times across the motor size range.

As with any EV, the real magic — as well as the anxieties — centers on the drivetrain. Zero has always been all about the performance, and the factory lives up to its reputation with improvements across the motor size range. At the bottom of the range rides the Zero S ZF7.2 with a 35-percent power boost that brings it up to a total of 46-ponies and 78 pound-feet of torque. It turns in an 8-percent increase in top speed as well with a 98 mph top end over previous incarnations.

You can boost both range and performance with the ZF14.4 model that claims 60-ponies and 81-pounds o’ grunt along with a whopping, 223 city-mile range that propels it well into the realm of viable commuters. Bigly. The SR bills itself as a hot rod, and Zero backs that claim up with a 70-horsepower, 116-pound-feet motor that will cover up to 223-miles per charge with frugal throttle usage.

No matter which size you choose, the three-phase, radial-flux brushless motor is passively air-cooled, and, as always, the full torque is available as soon as you “crack the throttle,” as it were, with no need to spool it up to any particular rpm. There’s also no need to shift since there’s no transmission; just a direct-drive and a PolyChain carbon belt as the final drive.

No noisemaker either — lookin’ at you, H-D — just silent power. Power-storage capacity varies according to motor size and accessories, but the “S” delivers up to 89-miles on a full charge (5.2-hours) and the top “SR” package delivers up to 223-miles on a 12-hour charge with the on-board charger. Of course, additional chargers will speed that up, and the charge-tank feature lets you trade storage capacity for quicker charge times, so there are plenty of ways to tailor the bike to your individual needs.

2019 Zero S / SR Pricing

2019 Zero Motorcycles S / SR
- image 805816
The price sheet is as complex as the specs list, but you're looking at between $11k and $19.4K depending on model and power- and charge-tank choices.

The price sheet is as complex as the specs list. At the bottom of the food chain, the base Zero S ZF7.2 will roll for $10,995. If you want the ZF14.4 model you can bump that up to $13,995. The power-tank and charge tank go for $2,895 and $2,295, respectively. The SR is only available with the ZF14.4 drive, and it rolls for $16,495 or $19,390 depending on power- and charge-tank choices.

2019 Zero S / SR Competitors

2019 Zero Motorcycles S / SR
- image 804499
2019 Harley-Davidson LiveWire
- image 804461
Zero products have an electrical equivalent of the popular rider modes feature, but that's not quite the same level of safety that you get from proper traction control so, point Harley.

Although it has yet to hit showroom floors, and there are still some unknown quantities associated with it, I want to see how the Harley-Davidson LiveWire stacks up against the Zero S ZF7.2. Much like Zero, the MoCo’s LiveWire makes no secret of its electrical persuasion, but instead owns it and even flaunts it. Harley even hit all the naked-sport highlights with a jockey-style rider position that encourages an aggressive posture, and an exposed Trellis frame that adds a bit of a streetfighter panacheto the mix.

Harley steps up its suspension game with Showa SFF-BP forks that deliver the trifecta of adjustments alongside the Balanced Free Rear Cushion-lite shock that brings same. ABS comes stock across the board, and Harley actually comes out ahead on the electronics for once with a traction control feature that the Zero can’t match. Sure, the Zero products have an electrical equivalent of the popular rider modes feature, but that’s not quite the same level of safety that you get from a proper TC so, point Harley.

H-D also gets points for running dual front brakes versus a single on the Zero. The LiveWire’s power figures are a trade off with 74-horsepower and 52 pound-feet of torque against 46/78 from the S ZF7.2, and since it’s slated to hit in January of 2019, we don’t yet have a price on H-D’s premier EV bike as of this writing but you know Harley never used price as a selling point, so don’t hold your breath.

He Said

“Gotta’ say, I’m loving what Zero is doing over there. Penny-a-mile economy and liter-bike performance make a great pairing, and it’s just this sort of capability that it’s going to take to overcome the current smoker-bike domination. As a commuter and/or grocery-getter/barhopper, it’s hard to beat something you can just plug in when you get home.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “It’s a very light bike and it’s a blast to ride, but anything that runs this quiet is a bit scary if drivers can’t hear you. It’s easy to manage at low speeds and a very linear pull when you get on it. It’s very agile and very flickable. Last year, the bike was pretty awesome and for 2019 it’s even better.”

2019 Zero S Specifications

ZERO S ZF7.2ZERO S ZF14.4ZERO S ZF14.4 +POWER TANK
RANGE:
City: 89 miles (143 km) 179 miles (288 km) 223 miles (359 km)
Highway, 55 mph (89 km/h): 54 miles (87 km) 109 miles (175 km) 136 miles (219 km)
⸤ Combined: 68 miles (109 km) 135 miles (217 km) 169 miles (272 km)
Highway, 70 mph (113 km/h): 45 miles (72 km) 90 miles (145 km) 112 miles (180 km)
⸤ Combined: 60 miles (97 km) 120 miles (193 km) 150 miles (241 km)
MOTOR:
Peak torque: 78 ft-lb (106 Nm) 81 ft-lb (110 Nm) 81 ft-lb (110 Nm)
Peak power: 46 hp (34 kW) @ 4,300 rpm 60 hp (45 kW) @ 5,300 rpm 60 hp (45 kW) @ 5,300 rpm
Top speed (max): 98 mph (158 km/h) 98 mph (158 km/h) 98 mph (158 km/h)
Top speed (sustained): 80 mph (129 km/h) 85 mph (137 km/h) 85 mph (137 km/h)
Type: Z-Force® 75-5 passively air-cooled, high efficiency, radial flux, interior permanent magnet, brushless motor Z-Force® 75-7 passively air-cooled, high efficiency, radial flux, interior permanent magnet, brushless motor Z-Force® 75-7 passively air-cooled, high efficiency, radial flux, interior permanent magnet, brushless motor
Controller: High efficiency, 550 amp, 3-phase brushless controller with regenerative deceleration High efficiency, 550 amp, 3-phase brushless controller with regenerative deceleration High efficiency, 550 amp, 3-phase brushless controller with regenerative deceleration
POWER SYSTEM:
Power pack: Z-Force® Li-Ion intelligent integrated Z-Force® Li-Ion intelligent integrated Z-Force® Li-Ion intelligent integrated
Max capacity: 7.2 kWh 14.4 kWh 18.0 kWh
Nominal capacity: 6.3 kWh 12.6 kWh 15.8 kWh
Charger type: 1.3 kW, integrated 1.3 kW, integrated 1.3 kW, integrated
Charge time (standard): 5.2 hours (100% charged) / 4.7 hours (95% charged) 9.8 hours (100% charged) / 9.3 hours (95% charged) 12.1 hours (100% charged) / 11.6 hours (95% charged)
⸤ With Charge Tank option: 1.5 hours (100% charged) / 1.0 hour (95% charged) 2.5 hours (100% charged) / 2.0 hours (95% charged) N/A
⸤ With one accessory charger: 3.1 hours (100% charged) / 2.6 hours (95% charged) 5.7 hours (100% charged) / 5.2 hours (95% charged) 7.0 hours (100% charged) / 6.5 hours (95% charged)
⸤ With max accessory chargers: 1.6 hours (100% charged) / 1.1 hours (95% charged) 2.8 hours (100% charged) / 2.3 hours (95% charged) 3.3 hours (100% charged) / 2.8 hours (95% charged)
Input: Standard 110 V or 220 V Standard 110 V or 220 V Standard 110 V or 220 V DRIVETRAIN:
Transmission: Clutchless direct drive Clutchless direct drive Clutchless direct drive
Final drive: 90T / 18T, Poly Chain® HTD® Carbon™ belt 90T / 20T, Poly Chain® HTD® Carbon™ belt 90T / 20T, Poly Chain® HTD® Carbon™ belt
CHASSIS / SUSPENSION / BRAKES:
Front suspension: Showa 41 mm inverted cartridge forks, with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping Showa 41 mm inverted cartridge forks, with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping Showa 41 mm inverted cartridge forks, with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping
Rear suspension: Showa 40 mm piston, piggy-back reservoir shock with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping Showa 40 mm piston, piggy-back reservoir shock with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping Showa 40 mm piston, piggy-back reservoir shock with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping
Front suspension travel: 6.25 in (159 mm) 6.25 in (159 mm) 6.25 in (159 mm)
Rear suspension travel: 6.35 in (161 mm) 6.35 in (161 mm) 6.35 in (161 mm)
Front brakes: Bosch Gen 9 ABS, J-Juan asymmetric dual piston floating caliper, 320 x 5 mm disc Bosch Gen 9 ABS, J-Juan asymmetric dual piston floating caliper, 320 x 5 mm disc Bosch Gen 9 ABS, J-Juan asymmetric dual piston floating caliper, 320 x 5 mm disc
Rear brakes: Bosch Gen 9 ABS, J-Juan single piston floating caliper, 240 x 4.5 mm disc Bosch Gen 9 ABS, J-Juan single piston floating caliper, 240 x 4.5 mm disc Bosch Gen 9 ABS, J-Juan single piston floating caliper, 240 x 4.5 mm disc
Front tire: Pirelli Diablo Rosso II 110/70-17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II 110/70-17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II 110/70-17
Rear tire: Pirelli Diablo Rosso II 140/70-17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II 140/70-17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II 140/70-17
Front wheel: 3.00 x 17 3.00 x 17 3.00 x 17
Rear wheel: 3.50 x 17 3.50 x 17 3.50 x 17
DIMENSIONS:
Wheelbase: 55.5 in (1,410 mm) 55.5 in (1,410 mm) 55.5 in (1,410 mm)
Seat height: 31.8 in (807 mm) 31.8 in (807 mm) 31.8 in (807 mm)
Rake: 24.0° 24.0° 24.0°
Trail: 3.2 in (80 mm) 3.2 in (80 mm) 3.2 in (80 mm)
WEIGHT:
Curb weight: 313 lb (142 kg) 408 lb (185 kg) 452 lb (205 kg)
Carrying capacity: 404 lb (183 kg) 367 lb (166 kg) 323 lb (147 kg)
ECONOMY:
Equivalent fuel economy (city): 477 MPGe (0.49 l/100 km) 477 MPGe (0.49 l/100 km) 477 MPGe (0.49 l/100 km)
Equivalent fuel economy (highway) 240 MPGe (0.98 l/100 km) 240 MPGe (0.98 l/100 km) 240 MPGe (0.98 l/100 km)
Typical cost to recharge: $0.81 $1.61 $2.02
PRICING:
MSRP: $10,995 $13,995 $16,890
WARRANTY:
Standard motorcycle warranty: 2 years 2 years 2 years
Power pack warranty: 5 years/unlimited miles 5 years/unlimited miles 5 years/unlimited miles

2019 Zero SR Specifications

ZERO SR ZF14.4
RANGE:
City: 179 miles (288 km) 223 miles (359 km)
Highway, 55 mph (89 km/h): 109 miles (175 km) 136 miles (219 km)
⸤ Combined: 135 miles (217 km) 169 miles (272 km)
Highway, 70 mph (113 km/h)? 90 miles (145 km) 112 miles (180 km)
⸤ Combined: 120 miles (193 km) 150 miles (241 km)
MOTOR:
Peak torque: 116 ft-lb (157 Nm) 116 ft-lb (157 Nm)
Peak power: 70 hp (52 kW) @ 3,500 rpm 70 hp (52 kW) @ 3,500 rpm
Top speed (max): 102 mph (164 km/h) 102 mph (164 km/h)
Top speed (sustained): 95 mph (153 km/h) 95 mph (153 km/h)
Type: Z-Force® 75-7R passively air-cooled, high efficiency, radial flux, interior permanent hi-temp magnet, brushless motor Z-Force® 75-7R passively air-cooled, high efficiency, radial flux, interior permanent hi-temp magnet, brushless motor
Controller: High efficiency, 775 amp, 3-phase brushless controller with regenerative deceleration High efficiency, 775 amp, 3-phase brushless controller with regenerative deceleration
POWER SYSTEM:
Power pack: Z-Force® Li-Ion intelligent integrated Z-Force® Li-Ion intelligent integrated
Max capacity: 14.4 kWh 18.0 kWh
Nominal capacity: 12.6 kWh 15.8 kWh
Charger type 1.3 kW, integrated 1.3 kW, integrated
Charge time (standard): 9.8 hours (100% charged) / 9.3 hours (95% charged) 12.1 hours (100% charged) / 11.6 hours (95% charged)
⸤ With Charge Tank option: 2.5 hours (100% charged) / 2.0 hours (95% charged) N/A
⸤ With one accessory charger: 5.7 hours (100% charged) / 5.2 hours (95% charged) 7.0 hours (100% charged) / 6.5 hours (95% charged)
⸤ With max accessory chargers: 2.8 hours (100% charged) / 2.3 hours (95% charged) 3.3 hours (100% charged) / 2.8 hours (95% charged)
Input: Standard 110 V or 220 V Standard 110 V or 220 V
DRIVETRAIN:
Transmission: Clutchless direct drive Clutchless direct drive
Final drive: 90T / 20T, Poly Chain® HTD® Carbon™ belt 90T / 20T, Poly Chain® HTD® Carbon™ belt
CHASSIS / SUSPENSION / BRAKES:
Front suspension: Showa 41 mm inverted cartridge forks, with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping Showa 41 mm inverted cartridge forks, with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping
Rear suspension: Showa 40 mm piston, piggy-back reservoir shock with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping Showa 40 mm piston, piggy-back reservoir shock with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping
Front suspension travel: 6.25 in (159 mm) 6.25 in (159 mm)
Rear suspension travel: 6.35 in (161 mm) 6.35 in (161 mm)
Front brakes: Bosch Gen 9 ABS, J-Juan asymmetric dual piston floating caliper, 320 x 5 mm disc Bosch Gen 9 ABS, J-Juan asymmetric dual piston floating caliper, 320 x 5 mm disc
Rear brakes: Bosch Gen 9 ABS, J-Juan single piston floating caliper, 240 x 4.5 mm disc Bosch Gen 9 ABS, J-Juan single piston floating caliper, 240 x 4.5 mm disc
Front tire: Pirelli Diablo Rosso II 110/70-17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II 110/70-17
Rear tire: Pirelli Diablo Rosso II 140/70-17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II 140/70-17
Front wheel: 3.00 x 17 3.00 x 17
Rear wheel: 3.50 x 17 3.50 x 17
DIMENSIONS:
Wheelbase: 55.5 in (1,410 mm) 55.5 in (1,410 mm)
Seat height: 31.8 in (807 mm) 31.8 in (807 mm)
Rake: 24.0° 24.0°
Trail: 3.2 in (80 mm) 3.2 in (80 mm)
WEIGHT:
Curb weight: 414 lb (188 kg) 458 lb (208 kg)
Carrying capacity: 361 lb (164 kg) 317 lb (144 kg)
ECONOMY:
Equivalent fuel economy (city): 477 MPGe (0.49 l/100 km) 477 MPGe (0.49 l/100 km)
Equivalent fuel economy (highway): 240 MPGe (0.98 l/100 km) 240 MPGe (0.98 l/100 km)
Typical cost to recharge: $1.61 $2.02
PRICING:
MSRP: $16,495 $19,390
WARRANTY:
Standard motorcycle warranty: 2 years 2 years
Power pack warranty: 5 years/unlimited miles 5 years/unlimited miles

Further Reading

Harley-Davidson LiveWire

2019 Harley-Davidson LiveWire
- image 804460

See our look at the Harley-Davidson LiveWire.

Zero Motorcycles

no article
- image 805821

Read more Zero news.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: zeromotorcycles.com, harley-davidson.com

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