Zero Electric Motorcycles Will Play A Supporting Role In Amgen Tour Of California


Electric motorcycles from Zero will play an important role in this year’s Amgen Tour of California professional cycling race. They will be used as part of the race’s motorized support fleet during the men’s Big Bear Lake Time Trial stage. Zero electric motorcycles are especially well suited for supporting bicycle racing since there is no exhaust or noxious fumes for the athletes to inhale. Because they make almost no sound, the athletes will be able to hear clearly any team instructions given by radio.

Electric motorcycles in support role at Amgen tour

This will be the first time an electric motorcycle has been used in the eleven year history of the Amgen Tour of California, the most prestigious international cycling event in North America. Together, the seven day men’s and the four day women’s events attract world champions, Olympic medalists, and Tour de France stage winners from around the world. They will compete on one of the most scenic and challenging courses on the international racing calendar.

Starting in Sacramento and finishing in Pasadena, the men’s race will be contested by 16 teams along 575 miles of coastlines, highways and mountain roads. The 16 women’s teams will compete across 257 miles through South Lake Tahoe, Elk Grove and Sacramento. This year’s event will feature top UCI WorldTour teams with some of the world’s best riders.

“The Amgen Tour of California is proud to partner with best-in-category companies, and Zero Motorcycles will be a valuable addition to the Big Bear Time Trial stage this year, while also furthering our sustainability efforts for the race overall,” said Kristin Klein, Amgen Tour of California president and executive vice president of AEG Sports.

Zero Electric Motorcycles

The Big Bear Lake Time Trial is 14.2 miles long and has 400 feet of elevation change. The cyclists depart the starting line one by one in a race against the clock. The short distance course allows cyclists to “drain their tanks” with one, huge effort, with most riders averaging speeds of about 30 miles per hour. mph. If only gasoline powered support vehicles were used, the race would have a significant carbon footprint. Using electric vehicles instead will dramatically shrink that footprint and permit the athletes to perform at the highest levels.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the Amgen Tour of California in bringing electric motorcycles to this prestigious race,” said Todd Andersen, vice president of marketing, sales and aftersales at Zero Motorcycles. “Our powertrain’s relative silence and zero emissions are particularly well suited to the needs of elite athletes in competition. We’re excited at the prospect of growing our relationship to expand the use of Zeros across even more stages of the Amgen TOC in the coming years.”

Source: TransWorld Motocross  Photo credit: Amgen Tour of California


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  • airchompers

    “If only gasoline powered support vehicles were used, the race would have a significant carbon footprint.”

    Thank goodness they transitioned from 35-40 mpg motorcycle to electric motorcycles.

    Never mind the emissions from the extra 4000-6000 calories a day the racers will eat or the international flights they took to get to the races. Right?

    • Steve Hanley

      Well, if we follow that argument to its logical conclusion, we should all stay home, weave our own clothes on a loom in the living room and eat only food from our gardens. Some people think that’s actually a good idea.

      • airchompers

        My argument is normative, not positive. The majority of the emissions associated with this race don’t come from the support vehicles. Notice I didn’t say anything about what should be done.

        And I’m sure you agree. If I drove across town in my Hummer and ordered a double cheeseburger instead of a triple cheeseburger, would you agree that I get to claim “significant carbon reductions” from my behavior?

    • Mike J

      Until a point in time all countries and industries integrate 100% renewable energy in all sectors, very few of our activities will have zero emissions. One should view this effort by the organizers of the Amgen race as a proof of concept that electric motorcycles can replace gas ICE options, with both climate/environmental and rider health/comfort benefits. It’s a pretty cynical attitude to criticize Amgen for doing the right thing in this case.

      • Steve Hanley

        I agree. Well said, Mike.

      • airchompers

        Really? New electric motorcycles have clear benefits over existing motorcycles that have been ’emission amortized’?

        It seems to me like a 1974 CB750 that has 150k miles might contribute less pollution over the 400 mile for the race than a new electric motorcycle made just to serve the race. Why wouldn’t that be the case?