2015 marked an important step forward for the range Zero Motorcycle arrival of ABS, Showa suspension, Pirelli tires, among other improvements … what tweak electric motorcycles increasingly accomplished. The Zero DS is no longer the trail of tomorrow, it is a credible alternative today!
Since the inception of Zero Motorcycle in 2006, followed the evolution of the American brand of electric motorcycles. Started from scratch, the Santa Cruz engineers had to design everything. If the first model was not really a success, quickly revealed the following interesting potential.
For about three years, things have accelerated and Zero Motorcycle became quite consistent. The DS model at our disposal features the latest technical updates. And today is a successful motorcycle frankly we try.
DS for Dual Sport
The general appearance remains consistent with what we know at Zero Motorcycle for about three years, but the quality finish and new devices, drove up in California’s electric range.
Equipped with sticks wheels 19 and 17 inches pavement studded tires, the Zero DS is like a trail road. Specify the United States, the name Dual Sport – DS, so – refers trails of all kinds and all cars.
Perched at 843 mm and without adjustment, the saddle which turns immediately very firm, probably will cause difficulties for smaller riders. To lay flat feet, better match the meter seventy five.
Ergonomics is halfway between that of a roadster, with a little support to the wrists, and that of a trail for the triangle fairly relaxed handlebars and saddle-footrest. The pilot reveals a rather upright ergonomics with road handlebars too low to play the trails. The first maneuvers also show an excessive turning radius for all terrain and penalizing hair in urban areas.
Docile but Energetic
The first kilometers require assimilating the operation of Zero Motorcycles. Unlike the Victory Impulse, no clutch lever and selector can destabilize pure sugar bikers, but we finally did this very quickly in automatic driving.
Devoid of brutality and rather linear, accelerating quickly reveals very honest performance. In Eco mode, it is possible to start before all the cars and scooters 125 cm3: sufficient daily.
In Sport mode, the rear tire can slip slightly and maxi scooters athletes remain behind! And the absence of a gearshift gives acceleration advantage over conventional motorcycles. What arouse the curiosity of other users of motorized two-wheelers?
In short, without overkill match the Zero Motorcycles SR 2014, the Zero DS has quite a meeting with his 12.5 kilowatts engine developing 40 kilowatts (54 hp) and 92 Nm of torque. The response to the accelerator handle has also been improved: faster and more progressive at the same time, one has the feeling of having a shorter draw.
More far removed from the throttle response of a conventional motorcycle, the Zero DS even has an engine brake that must be assimilated. Also, besides offering a more progressive and classical behavior in the past. Remains the lack of cornering inertia, the Zero DS is not generating the gyroscopic effect of a classic motorcycle fitted with a crank.
Finally, the Engine approval is undeniably the appointment, between flexibility, fluid response, torque, performance and silence to which we get used very quickly. The Zero DS Motorcycle emits a hissing “nuclear” fairly quiet compared to the Harley-Davidson LiveWire for example.
German bikers will therefore plenty of time to test the directional stability at high speeds of the Zero DS. Launched in depth, it can reach 162 km / h meter (155 km / h real) than enough to occupy the left lane in France and even lose points.
At this rate, the directional stability is impeccable, with security also clearly improved braking on all points, ABS Bosch also showing progressive and transparent to use, with a fairly late onset in any field.
Nevertheless, it is impossible to drain the battery of the Zero DS wheelchair thoroughly, because the Z Force air-cooled engine temperature rise causes an electronic speed regulation at 124 km / h for several kilometers, the time to let cool the batteries. Turnoff, it’s time to go play on the small roads.
Apart from the ever so firm saddle, handling matters progress is convincing. Equipped with Showa suspension, the Zero DS held – at last – the road very well in all circumstances. Exit suspensions movements of the previous version equipped with components worthy of a downhill mountain biking! Cornering is all the better and there are mountain passes where the Zero DS is not ridiculous.
A practicable path invites me to test the skills of all-terrain Dual Sport … and it will not take long to see the excessive rigidity of chassis shock, besides its more ergonomic road that trail. Too bad, Pirelli MT-60 is doing rather well.
To venture out bitumen, a Zero FX is more appropriate, but more extreme at the same time. Sporty driving fans will turn on them to Zero SR.
During our test, we were able to go 115 kilometers, mainly in Sport mode, after which it remained 13% of autonomy from the onboard computer. Directed by heat and without sparing the bike, this test reveals an interesting autonomy for our Zero DS ZF 12.5 devoid of Power Tank optional.
As part of a daily use of 50 to 60 km, autonomy will never be a problem. That’s something. Remains a charging time always long enough on the home network: 8.6 hours to reach 100%. Electric motorcycles will move quickly on this, if they intend to compete with classic bikes on long trips.
For the rest, in terms of manufacturing quality, overall performance, pleasure, the Zero DS Motorcycle 2015 is very successful. His real defects are limited to a too firm saddle, an inordinate turning radius and a high price: € 15,990.
- Zero DS Motorcycle: Practice
- Price: € 13,990 (ZF 9.4), € 15,990 (12.5 ZF)
- Available Colours: white, orange
- Warranty: 2 years parts and labor (motorcycle), 5 years or 160,000 km (batteries)
- Availability: Immediate
- Options command: Power Tank (€ 2,400), rapid charger (€ 658)
|Positive Findings||Negative Finding|
|Manufacturing still rising||Still long charging time|
|Road holding in progress||High price|
|Sufficient engine performance||Hard stool|
|Interesting autonomy||Off-road ergonomics|
|General authorization||Turning radius|