So you know all those upgrades you did to your 2014 Zero S, SR, or DS to make it really kick ass? Well, for 2015, that’s all stock, including 10% more range you didn’t get. Unless you’re pulling a Terry Hershner. He did just complete the first Electric Iron Butt, on a modified Zero S. The FX doesn’t get more range because they still haven’t figured out how to stuff more energy into those swappable battery packs. All in good time… The same four models make up the line, the S, SR, DS and FX. The red is a bit darker, while the yellow and orange bikes are a bit brighter and warmer.
For police and security customers, there are police versions of the S, DS and FX. the new FXP, an FX with all the bells and whistles (literally) a cop bike would need. And for our brothers at arms, there’s the MMX, a military grade version of the FX, developed solely for military customers. Hopefully only the good guys. I’d hate to see my bike in the wrong hands. Zero’s Scot Harden held a conference call with some of us to discuss the new models. He mentioned that police and military are very strong customer segments for them, and they expect those orders to double over the next year.
All Zero models now come with fully adjustable Showa suspension, developed over the past three years specifically for Zero. I haven’t noticed a problem on my 2013 FX, as the bike is so light and flickable anyway. On the S and SR’s I’ve ridden, however, the bike didn’t feel that solid, especially at high speeds. So it will be nice to experience an improved suspension. Compression, rebound, and preload are all adjustable for both the forks and the shock. Harlan Flagg of Hollywood Electrics tells us they’ve modified the suspension on many customer’s bikes, so he’s very excited about the improvements coming for 2015.
I fully intend to attempt to ride a 2015 Zero FX up as many staircases as I can. There are plenty here in LA…
The entire Zero line also come stock with Pirelli tires. The S gets their Sport Demon tires, while the sportier SR gets the grippier and taller profile Diablo Rosso II, an awesome dual compound I’ve been running on all my street bikes for years. They heat up quickly and grip very well. The dual compound provides even more stickiness on the sides for maximum traction at full lean angle. These are the tires I paid a mechanic to put on the 2014 SR before I even took it to Refuel at Laguna Seca. The cast wheels are also redesigned, with a sharp new design.
For 2015, Zero FX owners will also be able to buy any of the accessories Zero sells to their Police customers for the FXP. This means an rack for that Givi top case you can’t live without, a flyscreen, crash bars… Now if they’d just sell us all the siren and PA system…
All 2015 Zero models also come equipped with Bosch ABS. Although regenerative can provide plenty of stopping power for normal conditions, sudden stops and riders who like to play hard will require excellent brakes. It can be turned off, hopefully with the swipe of a finger on the app. I’ve never felt the need for ABS on a motorcycle. A good motorcyclist knows their bike’s limits, how much braking to use when. Shoot, I’ve even done a stoppie on my 177 HP Yamaha R1 in LA traffic to avoid being doored, and no harm came of it. Still, the European Union, in their infinite wisdom, has decreed that all motorcycles sold in the EU from 2016 onward, will be equipped with ABS. Yawn. At least you can turn it off and still do stoppies and back it into turns at will.
I asked Scot Harden what all this would add up to, and he said the 2015 models MSRP’s are only about $300-$350 more than the 2014’s. This is great news, as it could mean the cost of batteries is declining for Zero. I also asked them about fastener quality, as that has been a bit of an issue on some bikes. Harden explained that they’re now using a higher quality of fasteners. They are all ISO spec structural fasteners (class 8.8 and above), and Zero have improved upon the use of button heads on frequently serviced joints. In addition to this, they now use DC tools for maximum threading and torque precision on installation.
All photos courtesy of Zero Motorcycles.