2017 - 2018 Zero Motorcycles S / SR
Riding the tailwinds of waxing public interest and expanding infrastructure, Zero Motorcycles advanced ’The Cause’ with new improvements and adjustments to its street-centric “S” and “SR” models last year. Part of that was the addition of a more powerful motor that generates increased torque and horsepower as well as a smaller battery pack for short urban trips; all good stuff for increased fun and flexibility, necessary factors if the company wants to further its push into the mainstream. For 2018, Zero adds more range and quicker charging times.
Continue reading for my review of the Zero S and SR.
2017 - 2018 Zero Motorcycles DS / DSR
While most EV manufacturers push either off-road or streetbike products to the exclusion of everything else, Zero Motorcycles boldly expands on both of those fronts plus something in-between with the improved-in-2017 DS and DSR models. These two are built to fill the dual-sport niche with off-road suspension and dual-surface tires under a sporty chassis that naturally runs the company’s all-electric drive system. This represents a success for both the electric sector as well as the dual-sport/adventure sector, both of which are still burgeoning under increasing public interest and steady technological advancements. Today I’m going to take a look at these bikes made unique by the pairing of electrics with the on/off-road riding style associated with dual-sport machines.
Continue reading for my review of the Zero DS and DSR.
2017 - 2018 Zero Motorcycles FX / FXS
The EV sector is booming, and as it’s grown it has expanded into more and more genres. Zero Motorcycles is all about the electrics, and has pushed beyond the straight-up street and adventure categories into dual-sport and supermoto territory. The off-road capable FX enters the 2018 MY off an update last year alongside its urban-jungle sibling, the FXS, for a dynamic duo of EV fun with more torque and more horsepower than previous model years, plus other upgrades to the drivetrain to include a wider final-drive belt and improvements to the power packs.
Continue reading for my review of the Zero FX and FXS.
Theives in London face the wrath of ZERO Motorcycle’s new anti-theft device
Motorcycle theft is a growing criminal activity in certain parts of the world. Things in London, however, is in a different level altogether. There were over 14,000 motorcycle thefts reported in London the last year, and 23,430 crimes were committed using motorcycles that were stolen of course.
On an average, 65 bikes are stolen per day and the latest victims reported have been the folks at ZERO Motorcycles. And the irony is that the bikes were stolen from the back of a transporter van while they were on “theft tracking” tests.
2018 ZERO Motorcycles pack 223 miles in just over 2 hours of charge!
With just a decade of experience in the industry, ZERO Motorcycles has been at the epitome of electrically powered machines on two wheels. Showing the world how to do it right all this while, the folks have upped their game for 2018.
Offering higher performances, the four models for 2018 will come in a set of modern colors and have battery packs that will provide for a ten percent extended range and six times faster-charging capabilities.
With this, the California Republic-based company is addressing the major issues faced by motorcycles running on ’non-liquified dinosaurs’.
Zero Motorcycles Recall on S, SR, and DSP Models for Lighting Problem
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a recall on 2017 Zero S, SR, and DSP motorcycles with the ZF13.0 power pack and the S with the ZF6.5 pack. The turn signals could fail and the turn-signal flasher may not change its flash rate to alert the ride that something is wrong. Not as dramatic as brake failures or engine problems, but it is a safety-related problem that could cause a collision if other riders and drivers don’t have a clue that you’re turning. Let’s face it, it’s hard enough getting drivers to notice you when all the lighting on your bike is functioning properly; if you don’t believe me, go watch some crash videos on YouTube.
Continue reading for more on the Zero recall.
Zero has identified a problem with its 2017 S, DS and FXS models, and although the issue spans three different model ranges, the overall number of affected vehicles is relatively low at only 61 units total in North America. According to the report filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Hydraulic Control Unit that works in conjunction with the ABS may have been programmed with the wrong vehicle information. This would cause potential loss of control if the HCU meters the level of ABS intervention based on erroneous info. In short, the ABS makes you more likely to have a wreck, not less. Ironic? I’ll not climb on my soapbox about rider crutches, but just point out that this is exactly what I mean when I talk about someone taking your crutch and beating you with it. ’Nuff said.
Continue reading for more information on the Zero recall.
A couple of days ago, Zero Motorcycles named Samuel Paschel as its new Chief Executive Officer. The new boss comes with some mileage under his belt with a BS in engineering and various, high-level management, development and marketing jobs in his rear-view mirror. He brings 20-plus years of experience to the table, and comes in at an exciting time for Zero. One of its main competitors was the Empulse from the now-defunct Victory Motorcycles, and although Victory fell under the Polaris umbrella, there has been no indication so far that they will produce that electric bike of Isle of Mann fame elsewhere. Meanwhile, Zero is about the only game in town if you want a capable EV motorcycle, and the company should be looking to capitalize on Victory’s demise. Enter Mr. Paschel.
Continue reading for more on the new Zero CEO.
This year, Zero Motorcycles showed that it isn’t resting on its laurels with the addition of two new models, both of which are submodels of existing bikes. Today, I would like to focus on the FX line, and its new-for-2016 member, the FXS Supermoto.
While the base model FX Stealthfighter did get a new powerpack and better ergonomics in the rider triangle, the real story is with the FXS and its attempt to bring supermoto-style street, dirt and flat-track performance to the electric bike sector. I’ve never made a secret of my love for this company and its products, or how much I support green transportation, so I’m stoked about Zero expanding its footprint. Join me while I look at these two multi-surface funbikes.
Continue reading for my review of the Zero FX and FXS.
Zero Motorcycles has been at it for a whole decade now, designing, building and indeed inventing its own distinct brand of electric two wheelers for the burgeoning “green” market. Over the years, that market has grown in proportion to a number of things such as awareness, the ever-increasing number of public charging stations, technological leaps in battery chemistry and electric-bike manufacturer’s willingness to give buyers what they are looking for.
The updated 2016 DS model, and its altogether new-for-2016 sibling, the DSR, benefits from all of the above. Not only does the base DS come with a more efficient motor, but advances in lithium-ion batteries give it more power-storage capacity so it’s even better than last year.
On top of all that, the DS family is built to take advantage of increasing interest in dual-sport bikes meant to serve as an all-in-one ride for folks who enjoy on-and off-road riding, but don’t necessarily want to have a separate, specialized bike for each purpose. I expect this confluence of factors to further Zero’s success as we move forward, but it will take some time before we know if I am being prophetic, or merely hopeful.
Continue reading for my review of the 2016 Zero DS and DSR.
The race is on in the electric motorcycle market, and it’s heating up for 2016 with big names such as Harley and Energica enjoined in the fray with U.S. newcomer Victory and of course, Zero Motorcycles.
Some of these are even in their second- and third-generation of development. No longer a novelty, electric bikes are becoming more viable each year, and I expect they will start to put some serious pressure on the smoker bikes as the technology advances and public charging stations become more ubiquitous. That’s one unfortunate consequence of a new technology; infrastructure factors into public acceptance, and we need both product and infrastructure developed concurrently. Zero takes steps to minimize the pain by offering a number of charging and storage options for long ranges and quick recharges. Let’s look at Zero’s 2016 S “Streetfighter” and SR “Max Performance” and see what Zero is doing to push into this new, and increasingly important, category.
Continue reading for my review of the 2016 Zero S and SR.
Thomas Tomczyk has just set a new world record, becoming the first man to cover 7,856 miles in a single electric motorcycle ride.
According to Motorcycle.com, Tomczyk is right in the middle of his record attempt, having taken his 2012 Zero S electric motorcycle from Philadelphia in the US to Honda, Columbia when the record was set yesterday, August 4, 2015.That achievement is incredible enough on its own given how far Tomczyk has come on a bike that can be pretty high-maintenance when it comes to long-distance runs like this one. You would think that Tomczyk would have called it a day upon hitting the heart of Columbia, content with having his name enter the Guinness Book of World Records.
But like anybody who believes that they have a date with destiny, Tomczyk is pushing through on his goal to reach Patagonia, the southernmost tip of South America in his trusty Zero S electric bike. Achieving that goal only gets more difficult from here as Tomczyk will have to cover the remaining 3,730 miles on an electric bike that’s going to be need more nurturing as the miles rack up on its odometer.
The Zero S itself can only ride for 200 miles a day and a single charge covers just 90 miles. The trick from here on out is trying to run the bike as efficiently as possible while making stops in key locations where charging the batteries can be done with minimal complications. Apparently, Tomczyk hasn’t been picky with these charging locations, having done so in jails, schools, homes, museums, and coffeeshops. The only place he probably hasn’t charged his Zero S is a cemetery, but don’t sleep on that happening if it means continuing his record-extending joy ride.
Other than saying that the challenge will end in October, there’s no specific date on when Tomczyk will reach Patagonia so trying to keep up with his exploits could prove to be a challenge in its own right. Fortunately, Tomczyk plans to make a documentary of his record run once he completes the journey. He doesn’t have the support of a studio so he’s taken his documentary proposal to Kickstarter, asking for funds to get that project off the ground.
Right now, the page only has $950 in pledges, well short of the $15,000 Tomczyk is looking to produce the whole thing. The good news is that there are still 21 days left before the page is taken down. Let’s do our part and support the man. With what he’s trying to accomplish, Tomczyk deserves at least that.
Continue reading to read more about Thomas Tomczyk’s attempt to extend his longest electric motorcycle record run.
Zero Motorcycles and Hollywood Electrics have owned the production electric motorcycle class at the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. This year, the company made it three-in-a-row when rider Jeff Clark successfully defended the team’s title with a blistering time of 12:06:346.
If Clark’s decisive victory wasn’t enough to stamp Zero Motorcycle’s dominance in this class at the world’s most prestigious hill climb event, teammates Nathan Barker, and Brandon Nozaki Miller also posted impressive lap times of their own, finishing the gruelling course in 12:37.161 and 13:10.894, respectively. Then there’s Yoshihiro Kishimoto, who posted a staggering time of 10:58.861 in the modified electric category, good for 29th overall among all the vehicles that entered the race. Care to guess what bike model he was riding? Yep. Zero SRs.
Zero Motorcycle’s impressive run at the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb also points to a more important tipping point that could reinvent the way we look at motor racing in the future. Electric vehicles dominated the conversation at the Race to the Clouds and it won’t be long before we see more electric rides, be it cars or motorcycles, show up at Pikes Peak in the near future.
Even pro driver and rally car connoisseur Rhys Millen made history with an electric vehicle, powering his Latvian-built Drive eO PP03 racer around the 12.6-mile course in just 9:07.222. In the process, Millen set a record lap time for battery-powered cars and became the first driver to post the fastest lap time around the track while driving an EV.
Zero Motorcycles and Hollywood Electric were hot subjects in the aftermath of the event and if their current forms hold up, they could end up writing more of their names in the Pikes Peak record books.
Continue reading to read more about Zero Motorcycles’ successful run at the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.