Zero Motorcycles - The Quiet Ride That Roared at AIMExpo

OCT 16, 2015 - If their bikes growled it could be said Zero Motorcycles roared into AIMExpo, delivering new models and clearly placing themselves at the front of the electric motorcycle pack.

While everyone in attendance appeared to have a great first day at the event taking place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando from October 15th to 18th, the electric motorcycle manufacturer from California should’ve ridden away with a smile on their helmet-covered faces.

The company that started building electric motorcycles in 2006 continues to fill out its line-up of models, improving the choices for riders who want to break away from fossil fuels or yearn for the unique performance found with this type of bike. More importantly, it appears Zero Motorcycles is pushing forward with the needed improvements in electric motorcycle technology to make their chosen road an option for a wider range of bikers.

“2016 marks our tenth year of pioneering electric motorcycles,” said Zero Motorcycles CEO Richard Walker. “In an industry where sales are pretty flat and breakthrough innovations hard to find, we continue to experience rapid growth by investing in technology that delivers excitement and a ride experience unmatched by anything.”

Zero Motorcycles used the third annual AIMExpo as the stage to not only roll out the manufacturer’s 2016 line-up but present what the company has been up to over the last year. As Scot Harden, the company’s VP of Global Marketing stood on stage Thursday afternoon covered motorcycles teased the watching press.

Harden managed the suspense of the new models as he reviewed the hard work and advances Zero Motorcycles had made over the last year and outlined how the manufacturer continues to grow in this relatively young technology.

Zero motorcycles promises the advances will ‘not only eliminate gasoline from [riders] daily commute or weekend adventure[s] but they will transform into a motorcycle that’s the closest thing to a magic carpet’.

Faster charging promised by Zero Motorcycles - Source Zero Motorcycles

The most immediately beneficial advance would be a reduction in charging time. According to Zero, they have effectively tripled the speed of charging with a new Charge Tank accessory which is designed to work with Level 2 charging stations. This advancement is intended to allow riders to take advantage of the rapidly expanding network of public charging stations. Using this accessory and type of charging station, a 95% charge can be achieved in two to three hours depending on the model.

Speaking of power, a new Z-Force ZF 13.0 power pack boasts the highest density in the electric vehicle industry. This unit will pack more power in the same amount of space while improved cell chemistry reportedly operates more efficiently and increases range.

An all-new Z-Force motor is the power house for what could be considered the upper range of Zero rides offering substantially improved performance.  Fundamentally redesigned, the interior permanent magnet (IPM) configuration produces more power more efficiently, cools more rapidly and has greater thermal capabilities. Zero Motorcycles have said this will significantly improve performance during hard riding and allowing higher sustained speeds.

Electric riders, we present your 2016 line-up - Source Zero Motorcycles

The 2016 roll out introduced two new motorcycles, bringing Zero’s offering to six distinct models.

“The 2016 line is the culmination of a decade of experience and leverages what we do best: create electric powertrains that deliver a thrilling ride,” said Abe Askenazi, Zero Motorcycles Chief Technology Officer. “The technology is sophisticated, but the way the power is delivered is simple and pure. Ride one, and you’ll understand why we are focused exclusively on electric motorcycles.”

The existing models, Zero S and Zero DS come in two flavors, a 9.8 version and 13.0 version, with the latter enjoying the latest Z-Force motor. This powerhouse is featured exclusively for the new models riding to the line-up, the DSR and SR.

Finally, the FX is joined by the FXS, both of which are designed to be ‘the world’s most entertaining electric motorcycle’.

The supermoto-inspired Zero FXS promises to turn mundane city streets into an urban playground. It features 70 ft-lb of torque, weighs less than 300 pounds and boasts components specifically tailored to provide exceptional control and responsiveness on the street.

The supermoto-inspired Zero FXS - Source Zero Motorcycles

Adventure riders demanding maximum performance will enjoy the new Zero DSR. With 106 ft-lb of torque, the versatile dual sport is quick on the pavement and demonstrates greater prowess on dirt roads and trails.

 “We set out to transform the two-wheeled experience for transportation and recreation, and a key part of that strategy is to make our motorcycles available to more people,” said Scot Harden, Zero Motorcycles VP of Global Marketing. “Investments in technology, our experience and continued growth allow us to lower the price of two of popular models, the Zero S ZF9.8 streetfighter and Zero DS ZF9.8 dual sport. The thrill of electric is more accessible than ever.”

Clutch and Chrome will review all of these models, look at what they promise and how good they look delivering it starting next week.

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