It started simple enough…I got a call from a fellow motorcycle riding friend telling me about a new to Kuwait (and largely new to market overall) electric motorcycle that he had just ridden. We like to talk bikes at the office so he knows I’m in. His entire review was as follows: “imagine going from 0 to 100 in total silence in 3 seconds; it’s like something out of The Matrix.” And while I know this might sound like hyperbole, this single statement addresses exactly what the problems with electric bikes in the past have been: no torque. With the new Zero Motorcycles now on the market, this rider is happy to say, these have enough get up and go to make you feel like your arms are about to rip off.
Zero Motorcycles is the next step in motorcycle evolution. By combining the best aspects of a traditional motorcycle with today’s most advanced technology, Zero produces high-performance electric motorcycles that are lightweight, efficient, fast off the line and fun to ride. Each motorcycle is optimized from the ground up to leverage the revolutionary Z-Force electric powertrain and uses a specially designed rigid, aircraft-grade aluminum frame to minimize weight.
Born inside a Santa Cruz, California garage, Zero has rapidly grown into an internationally known motorcycle company. Since 2006, when the first prototypes were produced, Zero has invited motorcyclists to go for a ride. In 2014, they are focusing their development resources on their most popular models, the Zero S “Streetfighter”, the Zero DS “Dual Sport” and the Zero FX, the ultimate inner city/off-road trail hooligan motorcycle (this one seems the obvious choice if you want to combo the city streets and as dunes en route to the chalet). These three models make up the core of the 2014 line. They offer a wide range of design, reliability and performance improvements including an all-new Power Tank option (installed as an aftermarket accessory item by your Zero dealer) for the Zero S and DS models. Since the lifecycle of a charge has also been an issue historically for electric bikes, Zero’s Power Tank feature is a welcome one and can extend range to as much as 275kms on the Zero S 11.4 kWh model, making it the longest range electric motorcycle ever offered.
In addition to the Power Tank extended range option, Zero is offering its first ever super high performance model, the Zero SR. The Zero SR is based on Zero’s highly popular “S” (Streetfighter) model and offers an incredible 67 hp and a mind blowing 106 ft-lb of torque. The SR is an absolute rocket ship of a motorcycle. All this power would be useless if it wasn’t harnessed by major improvements to the chassis and suspension. So, they’ve included a beefier 43 mm front suspension, improved rear suspension, new triple clamps, a more robust frame/swingarm design, increased ground clearance (on the S model), improved rear brake calipers and larger diameter rotors on every model in the line. The new cockpit layout and instrumentation package offers increased utility, a sleeker look and more aerodynamic integration with the headlight. And don’t forget Zero’s revolutionary app that allows the customer to custom tune the power and regeneration settings on his/her motorcycle (Just in case you didn’t hear that, I feel it should be repeated…they have an app…that allows you to fine tune your bikes performance – more on that in a second). Backing all this up is the most aggressive battery warranty in the electric motorcycle industry, 5 years or 160,000kms, whichever comes first, on every 2014 Zero S, SR and DS model.
Zero focuses on balancing performance, range, weight and affordability to build the best electric motorcycles available on the market today. With the intent of combining the long perfected aspects of traditional motorcycles with today’s most advanced technology, Zero has assembled a team of skilled engineers from both the motorcycle and high-tech industries. Zero’s innovation centers around its revolutionary powertrain technology that is designed to safely withstand the demands of aggressive off or on-road use. The result is a safe and incredibly powerful technology that scales rapidly, is long lasting and reliable, and all with a compact, maintenance-free and clean power source.
Their new 2014 models feature a new Z-Force Power Tank accessory that allows riders to travel up to 275kms in the city or 140kms on the highway. Providing customers with the unique ability to increase energy storage capacity during or after purchase, the Power Tank can be added to any 2014 Zero S or Zero DS model. The company also announced a new “R” configuration of their award winning Zero S model that offers riders 56% higher torque and 24% more power. Available in a new deep red color as well, the Zero SR offers riders 106 ft-lb of torque through a wide power band and does 0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds using Zero’s highly efficient direct drive system. The Zero SR, as well as the entire lineup, includes improved suspension, well-integrated new design elements and a sleek new dash.
As for the dash itself, it is an entirely new version with a high-contrast, cool blue backlit LCD screen that lists out useful riding information and motorcycle statistics. The display also indicates to the rider whether they are in the “eco,”“sport,” or the new “custom” riding mode. Using new right hand switch gear, riders can toggle between the different performance profiles. They can also set the custom performance profile using the Zero Motorcycles app, which now supports English, German, French, Spanish and Dutch.
There are a number of new design elements on each model that range from large and eye-catching to merely refined and subtle. The Zero S and Zero DS now feature an aerodynamic chin fairing that funnels air into the powertrain to provide additional air-cooling. Projector beam headlights illuminate the road for the Zero FX and are housed in aggressive black bodywork that beautifully ties into Zero’s new dash. The Zero FX also features a new seat that provides a passenger area and owners can purchase passenger pegs as an aftermarket accessory. Overall, every component is designed with purpose and to create the riding experience of a premium electric motorcycle that is designed to thrill.
Lastly, customizing performance takes on new meaning with the Zero Motorcycles aforementioned and very-futuristic feeling app. Not only does the app allow riders to view a real-time customizable dashboard, it also allows riders to actually change the performance characteristics of their motorcycle. Seriously? While you are checking Instagram I can be tuning up my bike? Awesome. Using Bluetooth-enabled iPhone and Android mobile devices, riders can adjust acceleration, top speed and regenerative braking to their exact specifications. The app provides two fundamental interfaces. The riding interface can be customized to show real-time data and acts as a secondary, more detailed motorcycle dashboard. When parked, it provides riding statistics, motorcycle data, helps with any diagnostics and allows the rider to customize both the motorcycle performance and the riding dashboard. All in all, a bold step forward for the future of electric motorcycles.
Visit their showroom NGM, Shuwaikh Industrial Area, Off Shahrazad Roundabout, Street 30, Police Station Road. For more information phone 9936 1220 or visit www.newgenerationmotorcycles.com.