The allure of a Zero electric motorcycle can be summed up in just four words: “a penny a mile”. Sure, the experience is much more rewarding than the power economy alone, but it’s the electric heartbeat that sets Zero apart from the rest. This week, Zero revealed the refreshed line of electric motorcycles for the coming model year, a total of four new 2015 Zero Motorcycles.
Unlike the early electric motorcycles that arrived in the middle of the last decade, electrics like these are approaching parity with their gasoline counterparts. We’re at a point where electric motorcycles aren’t just an option for commuter motorcyclists who want to avoid the gas pump. They’re becoming an attractive option for any every-day motorcyclist– and also the first time rider who wants to ditch the cage for something cool. The 2015 Zero Motorcycles, from the DS to the FX, are becoming attractive to a wider group of potential riders.
The new line of 2015 Zeroes sports increased range, improved suspension and upgraded braking over their predecessors. Range will likely be the one drawback of electric motorcycles, as combustion bikes can refuel in minutes at the countless gas stations around the country. Electric motorcycles take time to charge, so the range per charge will be key to their success. Fortunately, Zero has shown year-over-year improvement in battery range, with the 2015 Zero Motorcycles cruising for up to 185 miles on a single charge. That’s a significant improvement over 170 in 2014 and 137 in 2013. It means the Zero still won’t be taking any cross-country journeys, but it’s becoming the king of the pack for commuting and weekend road trips.
In 2015, Zero will be offering the Zero DS, the Zero S, the Zero SR and the Zero FX. Each is detailed below, reflecting a little bit of everything for different kinds of riders. Before you dig in, note that pricing on the 2015 Zero Motorcycles starts at $9,845, and they’ll be available as soon as December.
2015 Zero Motorcycles DS
The 2015 Zero Motorcycles DS is a dual-terrain model for those that cruise both on the road and off. The “DS” stands for “dual sport”, and it’s designed to take the “S” model by Zero into a range of driving conditions. Where the “S” is ideal for city drivers, the “DS” is built for country roads and even off-road exploring. Like the other 2015 Zero motorcycles, this one features a Showa suspension, Bosch anti-lock brakes and Pirelli tires. It also sports intuitive dash controls, a Zero app for advanced data and it’ll charge with any standard electric outlet. Pricing starts at $13,345 for the ZF9.4 version, with a range of 104 miles, but the Z12.5 model with a power tank kicks that range up to 170 per charge.
2015 Zero Motorcycles DS | Gallery
2015 Zero Motorcycles S
The 2015 Zero Motorcycles S is the street-focused brother of the Zero DS. The “S” stands for streetfighter, and this one is built to throw an electric haduken or two. Thanks to a tire and suspension pairing that is optimized for city driving, it can achieve the full 185 mile range vs. the 170 of the DS. Beyond that, the details are the same, right down to the price.
2015 Zero Motorcycles S | Gallery
2015 Zero FX
The 2015 Zero FX is the “stealthfighter” of the Zero family, built entirely for off-road/motorcross performance. Those that prefer to ride on dirt, gravel and jumps will want to look no further. It’s a slimmed down, rugged Zero, and the price reflects its single-duty build. It’s available from $9,845, and it comes with a compact battery pack that holds a fraction of the charge of the S, DS and SR lines. You won’t be taking this one on long trips, it’s designed for lightweight performance– and half the time, those tires should be at least partially off the ground…
2015 Zero FX | Gallery
2015 Zero SR
In saving the best for last, the 2015 Zero SR is the leader of the pack for Zero and all electric challengers. It is the performance model by Zero, achieving 0-60 mph takeoff in 3.3 seconds and top speeds over 100 mph. It does so with a direct drive powertrain, powered by the same battery systems as the S and DS motorcycles. Like the S model, the SR will achieve a range of 185 miles when driven casually, but when its rider feels like it, it’ll really crack the whip. Riders should take note– this isn’t just the fastest Zero Motorcycle ever built, but it could be the fastest production electric revealed in 2015.
2015 Zero SR | Gallery
The 2015 Zero Motorcycles new class of electric bikes will be available in December from $9,845. Zero has a nationwide dealer network, so chances are, you can pop in to a showroom near you for a test drive. These aren’t just attractive to seasoned riders, they’re becoming a reasonable means of commute for those who wish to avoid the pump– and spend just a penny a mile instead of costly public transit. [hat tip to theawesomer for the heads up]