Zero will be presenting their new models at the AIM Expo in Orlando today, and we got to peek behind the curtain so you could be the first to read about it. On Monday we joined a call with Zero’s Scot Harden to find out what’s coming for 2016. They’ve made a lot of exciting improvements to the lineup and are introducing two customer-designed bikes, the FXS and DSR, after so many Hollywood Electrics customers couldn’t leave without these upgrades.
I was seriously in the market for a Brammo Empulse. Until I rode a 2013 Zero FX on the streets of Hollywood. I knew immediately, even with knobby tires, this was the perfect urban assault vehicle. So I bought one and had Hollywood Electrics swap those dirt wheels out for wheels that come with the S, and some Pirelli Diablo Rosso II’s. Well, this has become such a popular modification that Zero went ahead and made it permanent for 2016- the Zero FXS, a proper Supermoto bike.
The FXS features the new IPM motor, suspension components from the DS and comes stock with Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tires. The new FX and FXS also have taller handlebars. I just hope they’re narrower on the FXS, as I was smoked by some kid on a fixie lanesplitting through DTLA because his bicycle was so much narrower than those massive bars. Reviewing the 2016 Zero FXS on the streets of LA for your edification will be one of my greatest pleasures.
The Z- Force motor has been dramatically redesigned to deliver power more efficiently and cool more rapidly. The patented Interior Permanent Magnet (IPM) motor has the magnets mounted in a new formation to significantly improve cooling under hard riding conditions. This will be especially valuable to racers but also to riders whose only mode is “ride it like you stole it”.
The horsepower and torque haven’t changed on any of the Zero models, but the motor can use all of those ponies for longer periods of time, as long as the battery is still up for it. If not, you’ll still get the governor kicking in to throttle you back to a speed more likely to get you to your destination.
For 2016 Zero has improved the battery capacity of the S and DS models by 4%, but the FX line with its swappable batteries now boasts a whopping 14% more battery life. This is no small feat. But if that’s still not enough juice for you, and you want something a little cheaper than the Power Tank, Zero now offers the Charge Tank. This on-board charger comes with a J1772 and can triple the charging speed! You don’t even have to connect the regular plug to an outlet, the Charge Tank automatically connects to the on-board charger and works through that as well. The Charge Tank is also backward-compatible with 2015 Zero S and DS models in place of their Power Tank. And Power Tanks from 2015 can fit 2016 models.
With Zero’s Charge Tank, and startup DigiNow having just announced their Super Charger accessory, it’s clear a lot of electric motorcycle owners are looking for a faster charge more than the weight (and cost) of extra batteries. The $1900 Zero Charge Tank can fit where the $2674 Power Tank (extra batteries) would go. And it’s a lot cheaper than the batteries. This proves that Zero is listening to their customers and finding that many of them would like to go for a long ride and stop for a quicker charge than what a 110v outlet will give.
Zero continues to offer the highest energy density batteries in the entire EV industry. Take that and stick in your SUV, Elon. All these improvements are actually costing less in some ways. The more popular SR and FX models retain their 2015 prices, while the S and DS are each $1,000 cheaper than in 2015. The FXS will retail at the same price as the FX- $8,495 for one battery (3.3) or $10,990 for two (6.5). Don’t be cheap and think you’ll be ok with only one battery. You won’t. And 27 hp is a LOT less than 44, even with 70 ft-lbs of torque in a super-light sub-300lb. package.
The DS also gets a sportier version in the DSR (above)- This high-performance dual sport features the new IPM motor, ZF13.0 batteries, 56% more torque and 25% more power than the DS. Zero continues their fleet program, with the following lineup …
… and here’s a handy chart of how the 2016 bikes compare to each other on the basics. The details should be up on Zeromotorcycles.com soon.
Zero Motorcycles 2016 Pricing
All photos courtesy of Zero Motorcycles.