Zero S Motorcycle Provides Electric Ride

Editor’s Note: This is Chris DeMorro’s first contribution to Gas 2.0. Welcome Chris!

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Very soon, you will probably see a Zero S electric bike riding around town, scooting down main streets and ducking through off-road shortcuts. This bare-bones, lightweight, and street legal electric bike goes on sale next month in America and Europe.

So if you’re someone who has been waiting for a pure electric solution to your destinations and you don’t need to go further than 60 miles round trip, get your checkbooks ready for the dent they are about to take. This electrimoto costs a whopping $10,000, more than a Ducati Monster 696 and is electrically limited to a 60mph top speed. But this bike isn’t about heart-stopping speed.

The Zero S, which was reviewed by Endgadget, is about an eletrimoto you can buy right now. So if you hate petrol and want to kick the habit as soon as possible, this bike is for you. It’s a big investment, and if you take into account current cost of a battery replacement ($5,000) you’re now in the small car range. But Neal Saiki, who owns Zero S and is a former NASA engineer, says that by the time you need to replace the battery, which has an estimated five year lifespan, the price should be down in the $1,000 range.

The replaceable battery isn’t the only swapable part however. This bike comes apart quickly and easily, making future upgrades for more power (the small electric motor is good for only 31 horsepower) or extended range a snap. But what this bike lakes in power it doubles in torque, putting down 62.5 ft/lbs at 0 RPM. Because like all electric motors, 100% of the torque is available the moment you squeeze the accelerator. With only one gear, there is no clutch to twist, and the guys at Endgadget say getting started takes getting used to.

They also aren’t too fond of the wafer-thin brakes, which were tacked on in an effort to save weight. This bike weighs just 225lbs, meaning it makes the sprint to 50mph in a city block even without a ton of power. That also means that there is plenty of room of expanding the bikes paltry offerings. While the bike is completely custom made, it more clearly resembles a dirt-bike than a crotch rocket, and the suspension has plenty of give with nine inches of travel in back and eight at the front forks.

This bike is so cutting edge you could cut your hand on it, part of the reason it costs so much. For the super-eco friendly, batteries can present a catch-22 since many of them contain hazardous heavy metals and require special recycling methods. But the Zero S has a salt-based battery that is both bio-degradable and edible. Which you might have to do once you finish paying the bike off.

Make sure you check out Endgadget for their complete review.

Photo Credits: Zero MotorCycles

 

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.