ADV Pulse. Zero dirt bike

Zero’s newest entry-level e-bike promises the future, but delivers a familiar ride.

Concept designs — whether we’re talking bikes, cars, you name it — rarely make it past that phase in a lifecycle. They either never make it off the page or live for eternity as static eye candy. They’re meant to be glimpses of future possibilities. What we usually end up seeing in dealerships are watered-down versions of the concept, borrowing only a few aesthetic details here and there, or whatever the designers, engineers, and marketing could all agree on. The 2022 Zero FXE is one of those rare exceptions.

Back in 2019, Zero collaborated with Bill Webb and Huge Design and came up with the Zero SM concept for that year’s One Moto Show in Portland, Oregon. The bike’s design leaned on the advantages gained by using an electric powerplant. It essentially eliminated any resemblance of a faux fuel tank and simplified the bodywork with a one-piece appearance. Reception of the minimalist motorcycle was overwhelmingly positive and given how relatively practical the SM’s details were, Zero would have been remiss not to start production.

Considering the Zero SM made its debut in February of 2019 at One Moto Show, and the pandemic flipped the world upside down exactly one year later, the FXE endured a choppy ride before it ever hit the road. At the presentation during the official press ride in Santa Cruz, California, Zero Motorcycles CEO Sam Pachel said “an emphasis was put on 3D modeling and 3D printing for the FXE.” While Zero already had planned to dedicate more energy to the new-age approaches, Pachel credited the pandemic with accelerating those plans. With that in mind, the FXE is also billed as “The bike of the future. Available today,” by Zero. What that means, exactly seems to be up for interpretation.

A New Era? Or Just A Glimpse of the Future?

Zero is very adamant the FXE is “the bike of the future,” but a quick look at the hardware, underneath the sleek new design and you’ll find a smaller version of an already-in-production motor. The 7.2 kWh battery in the FXE is simply a halved version of what is in the range-topping SR/S. The passively air-cooled, brushless motor is good for 78 lb-ft of torque and 46 horsepower, and a top speed of 85 mph, according to Zero.

In the range department, the FXE earns 100/60 miles city/highway, and a full charge is taken care of in 9.7 hours using a standard 110V or 220V outlet, but that can be trimmed to 1.8 hours if you’re willing to use four accessory chargers to help it along. If you find yourself on the road and running low, Zero’s mobile app will help you find charging stations and you can add roughly 10% charge per hour. Just keep in mind that 10% gets used much quicker on the highway, so slower back roads and city streets might be the safer route if you have the choice. And unfortunately, you can’t add a power tank to increase range and charge efficiency like you can the more up-market Zeros. What you see is what you get.

On the software side of things, the FXE uses the Cypher 2 operating system, which gives you control of three standard riding modes and a fourth Custom mode, but no bluetooth connectivity like the more advanced Cypher III on the bigger Zeros. Eco gives you the most simulated engine braking and the most aggressive regen under braking while keeping the power delivery and usage the most conservative. Sport gives you the maximum power possible with the sharpest throttle response, while easing up the most on regen to keep off-throttle transitions the smoothest in corners. Normal is simply a happy medium between the two others.

All the instrumentation however is now transmitted via a full-color TFT display. Underneath all of that is the same Showa suspension components as the rest of the Zero lineup. An inverted 41mm fork with seven inches of freedom sits up front and a Showa piggyback shock has nearly nine inches of play at the rear, which translates into a 32.9 inch seat height. Stopping power comes from a 320mm disc and dual-piston floating caliper up front, 240mm disc, and a single-piston in the rear, and it’s all managed by the Bosch Gen 9 ABS system. For grip, zero fits 17-inch Pirelli Diablo Rosso II front and rear (110/70 fronts, 140/70 rears).

If all of those facts and figures don’t seem to add up to the electric motorcycle revolution Zero is touting, you’re not alone. Simply put, the FXE comes off more as a stylistically updated FXS, Zero’s less powerful, more rudimentary supermoto. To be fair, that’s not a negative. Like the entire Zero lineup, the FXE is nimble and power-rich, but the physical design language should be enough to get you excited about what’s possible down the road.

The FXE is, of course, road-focused. When asked about where we can expect to see the new design language next, the Zero executives were coy, but hinted the DS and DSR Dual Sport/Adventure models were due for a refresh. Imagine a mid-to full-sized ADV with a triple-tree-to-tail-length seat, since there’s no practical reason to engineer a false fuel tank, other than extra storage. It has the possibility to be a game-changer as far as weight distribution. As far as range, this is where Zero needs to address things when it comes to any riding outside of urban settings. Seeing “200 miles” on your range meter on the TFT gauge display is nice, but having that type of endurance is more vital in the wild.

Road Manners Are As Excellent As Ever

At only 298 lbs, the FXE is on par with competitors like the Kawasaki KLX300SM (304 lbs) weight-wise, and range-wise in the city. At 46 HP, it can hang with bikes a few CCs bigger, but when it comes to torque, the Zero’s 78 lb-ft even towers over the KTM 690 SMC R with only 54.2 lb-ft. All of this combined with Zero’s expert ability to maintain an incredibly low center of gravity makes the FXE a beast of a canyon carver.

On long, fast sweepers in the hills above Santa Cruz, the FXE felt balanced but the lack of weight doesn’t do the bike favors traveling over imperfections in the road. The suspension probably could have used a little more attention, dialing it in to compensate better, but for an out-of-the-box setup, it wasn’t a deal-breaker. Heading into the tighter turns, the brakes bite nicely and with the engine braking and energy regen setting on the electric motor cranked up, scrubbing speed wasn’t a hassle at all. Where the FXE is most at home is tipping in and then powering out of those hairpins. How much the FXE likes to be thrown around at lower speeds is addictive.

Acceleration on an electric bike, especially a full-throttle pin, takes getting used to. You feel the physical thrust from the motor, the front going light, and the sensation of moving quickly through space, but that’s it. It’s drama free. There’s no vibrations from the engine rapidly increasing in frequency, there’s no exhaust note singing intandem, and there are no gear changes to slow you down. Because, well, those don’t exist on an EV. All you hear is a slight whine from the motor, similar to a supercharger and the air rushing by your helmet. Then, while you’re stupified by how quick the bike actually feels, before you realize it, you’re going 100 mph. Other bikes like to warn you with extra sounds when you push the engine hard and pick up speed. The Zero just surprises, you each and every time.

Like all electric motorcycles, lower speeds are where the FXE thrives. Zero claims the FXE has a highway range of 60 miles, but only if you keep it at or below 55 mph. Any faster than that and you run out of charge faster than range anxiety has a chance to kick in. I have no doubt you can see 100 miles of range if you stick to just city streets — I saw 202 miles of range when I tested the bigger SR/S in NYC late last year. The highway just isn’t an environment meant for electric motorcycles right now, given the current state of the technology.

I’m not entirely sure I would want to test the FXE on longer rides anyway. At six foot one inch tall, I was a little cramped in the saddle. The seat stretches forward far enough to allow some maneuverability when threading a few tight turns together. However, when I tried to relax on the long straights and slide back, the slope in the padding forced me to stay mid-seat.

The Bottom Line

Once again, Zero built a wonderful city bike. It’s light, has all its power from zero RPM, and it manicures like nothing else in its class. Like other Zero’s, the FXE falters the minute it leaves the concrete jungle if the destination is a set of mountain roads. At least the bigger Zeros will get you to the mountain and let you have some fun. Attempt to ride the FXE out of the city, hit your favorite strip of alpine asphalt, and ride it hard, you better time when you get to the highest point because gravity will be your only power source on the way back down. That is of course if there isn’t a charging station at the top and you have several hours to kill.

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On the plus side, the Zero’s is relatively maintenance free in the long term since there’s no fluids to swap and so few moving parts. The fact that it only costs 0.81 to “fill up” might also offset the downside of the range limitations. Zero’s warranty does cover up to five years and unlimited miles, but keep in mind, those batteries can also go the distance and log 200,000 miles before needing a swap. And when you do need a new one, it’ll run you 2,250.

Zero calls the FXE, “the bike of the future.” It’s a bold claim backed up only by a moderately progressive design. That tagline had me hoping the brand’s latest and greatest entry-level bike would come with a ground-breaking range from a new motor or a price tag lower than the 11,795 they gave it. Which, at that price point puts it in the same bracket as the KTM 690 when in reality it’s competing more realistically against smaller bikes. Either would’ve been a serious step forward: A sizable advancement in battery technology that addresses a critical concern, or an affordable offering that undercuts an increasingly populated and relatively expensive category.

The savior the EV space as a whole needs is a bike like the FXE but with dirt cheap pricing. Although with today’s technology and manufacturing, it’s just not possible. The FXE is a wonderful improvement on the FXS, but it’s not the bike of tomorrow. It’s merely a glimpse at what Zero’s bikes will look like in the near future.

22 Zero FXE Specs

Range City 100 miles (161 km)
Range Highway, 55 mph (89 km/h) 60 miles (97 km)
Range Highway, 70 mph (113 km/h) 40 miles (64 km)
Peak torque 78 ft-lb (106 Nm)
Peak power 46 HP (34 kW) @ 4,300 rpm
Top speed (max) 85 mph (137 km/h)
Top speed (sustained) 75 mph (121 km/h)
Motor Type Z-Force 75-5 passively air-cooled, high efficiency, radial flux, interior permanent magnet, brushless motor
Controller High efficiency, 550 amp, 3-phase brushless controller with regenerative deceleration
Power pack Z-Force Li-Ion intelligent integrated
Max capacity 7.2kWh
Nominal capacity 6.3 kWh
Charger type 650 W, integrated
Charge time (standard) 9.7 hours (100% charged) / 9.2 hours (95% charged)
With one accessory charger 4.1 hours (100% charged) / 3.6 hours (95% charged)
With max accessory chargers 1.8 hours (100% charged) / 1.3 hours (95% charged)
Input Standard 110 V or 220 V
Transmission Clutchless direct drive
Final drive 90T / 18T, Poly Chain HTD Carbon belt
Front suspension Showa 41 mm inverted cartridge forks, with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping
Rear suspension Showa 40 mm piston, piggy-back reservoir shock with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping
Front suspension travel 7.00 in (178 mm)
Rear suspension travel 8.94 in (227 mm)
Front brakes Bosch Gen 9 ABS, J-Juan asymmetric dual piston floating caliper, 320 x 5 mm disc
Rear brakes Bosch Gen 9 ABS, J-Juan single piston floating caliper, 240 x 4.5 mm disc
Front tire Pirelli Diablo Rosso II 110/70-17
Rear tire Pirelli Diablo Rosso II 140/70-17
Front wheel 3.00 x 17
Rear wheel 3.50 x 17
Wheelbase 56.0 in (1,422 mm)
Seat height 32.9 in (836 mm)
Rake 24.4°
Trail 2.8 in (71 mm)
Curb weight 298 lb (135 kg)
Carrying capacity 332 lb (151 kg)
Equivalent fuel economy (city) 533 MPGe (0.44 l/100 km)
Equivalent fuel economy (highway) 213 MPGe (1.10 l/100 km)
Typical cost to recharge USD 0.81
MSRP USD 11,795
Standard Warranty 2 years
Power pack warranty 5 years/unlimited miles

Author: Bryan Campbell

Bryan has been a motorcycle journalist for the better part of a decade. Some of his most epic adventure rides include crossing Chile, going from Santiago to Valparaiso and back, on a leaky BMW R1200GS and riding from Seattle to Anchorage on a Triumph Scrambler and hitting the Denali highway along the way. He started out on sport bikes when he was 18, but from the moment he got a taste of dirt riding, it’s been his preferred terrain. Ask him and he’ll tell you why, “Because off-road, the only speed limit is your own stupidity.”

“The future of motorcycling”. Zero Motorcycles the ‘OG’ of electric bikes

CALLED “The future of motorcycling” by renowned TV personality and vehicle collector, Jay Leno, Zero Motorcycles has been leading the electric bike market for the last 16 years.

Where it began

BACK in 2006, when Zero Motorcycles was known at Electricross, Neal Saiki, a former NASA engineer and innovator, designed ‘The Drift’. A powerful electric motocross bike, which had the power of a Honda CRF150 and weighed only 140 pounds

The excitement around The Drift from pro-mountain and dirt bike riders was so great it led to the first store opening on the 11th of June 2007. The same year ‘Electricross’ rebranded as Zero Motorcycles, and the development of the Zero X began.

Launched in 2009, the Zero S is the world’s first electric street motorcycle. The Zero S is global news and caused such a stir that the company’s website crashed on launch day.

In the same year, they developed the Zero MX, which offered a more robust suspension for off-roaders.

After that, Zero Motorcycles broke into Europe, and Australia, and in 2010, avid motorcyclists and ‘cyborg’ Arnold Schwarzenegger praised Zero Motorcycles at a ceremony in Sacramento, California. “Zero Motorcycles has developed the type of technology that will save us all by reducing greenhouse gasses while utilising renewable energy.”

You may also want to check out our Best Electric Motorcycles article.

  • 2011 Zero XU. Their first street bike with a removable power pack and “quick charge” capabilities.
  • 2014 Zero SR. 0 to 60 in 3.3 seconds.
  • 2016 Zero FXS and Zero DSR. Their supermoto and adventure offerings.
  • 2020 Zero SR/F and Zero SR/S. Higher performance and onboard charging options.

Industry-leading Technology

Unsurprisingly, Zero Motorcycles have led the way with electric motorcycle technology and introduced a new category of ‘Smart bikes’.

Their Cypher Operating System (Zero’s OS) integrates all their motorcycle systems and offers a wide range of customisation and tracking through the Zero apps.

Cypher II and Cypher III (only available on SR/F and SR/S) connects: Zero Motorcycles NextGen App, Full Color Dash, 14.4 kWh Power Pack Battery Management System, Bosch Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC), ZF75-10 Motor Motor Controller, Charging Systems, Advanced Telemetric Recording, Bluetooth Cellular Connectivity Modules, and more.

This operating system allows for customisation of the riding experience like no other vehicle, plus the ability to download the latest firmware.

The Z-Force motor features an interior permanent magnet (IPM) design, and the compact brushless motor requires no liquid or forced-air cooling, or routine maintenance. Whilst the Z-Force Power Pack uses state-of-the-art lithium-ion cell chemistry and advanced battery management systems. So each motorcycle is able to travel farther, faster, and last longer. A typical Zero S or Zero DS can travel over 200,000 miles with the batteries retaining 80% of their original maximum capacity.

An industry first, a Zero will automatically put itself into Long Term Storage Mode after prolonged periods of inactivity to optimise the battery’s state of charge and further improve long-term battery health. Plus, the Z-Force battery technology requires no active cooling or routine maintenance.

Record Breakers with Star Appeal

Zero Motorcycles have broken their fair share of world records. In 2009, when they were still Electricross, where they set a new world record at the World’s First 24-hour Electric Motorcycle Race Zero hosted in San Jose. Ten teams competed, finished, and the winning team completed 1,015 laps and 502.1 miles.

In 2010 Zero won the First North American Electric Superbike Race, and in the following year, they set a world speed record for electric motorcycles at the renowned Bonneville Salt Flats, achieving an average of 101.652 mph for a one-mile distance.

And, with such fans as Skateboarder and X Games Legend Bob Burnquist, television star Perry King, model and actor Fabio, comedian Jay Leno and The Terminator, Zeros are popular with all riders and experience levels.

The Future is Now!

This year Zero Motorcycles announced their 2023 range. The DS, FX and FXE models have secured their positions in the commuter class of bikes, as well as the electric, motocross and commercial categories.

The latest Zeros can be specified with nearly 21kWh of battery capacity, which means at least 200 miles of riding between charges. Plus, with the rollout of more charging points, electric motorcycling is becoming more accessible than ever, so now there is no excuse to take one for a test ride.

The feeling of flying is much more prevalent on a Zero, due to the lack of engine noise and vibration. It is a riding experience like no other, which is why they arrange their annual ‘Experience Electric’ tour in order to give British riders a ​no-obligation opportunity to try out the bikes for themselves. You can check out the latest dates here.

What are the reactions from an experienced petrolhead when testing the Zero FX?

Text pictures: Andrew Thijssen – BMS E-Motorrijder | The Zero FX is one of the brand’s longest-running models and will enter its ninth year of production in 2022. The FX Dual Sport machine is a motorcycle intended for road and forest trails. How will this electric all-road still perform in 2022? A reason for us to give this electric Dual sport for a week to “petrolhead” Paul Sesink, an experienced enduro rider.

The Zero FX is not a top model from the Zero range, but despite its simplicity, the FX has a lot of possibilities. The FX barely weighs 131 kg, in this case the dry weight is immediately the curb weight. Yes you know, there are no oil and coolants in the engine and no petrol in the tank. All you have to do after driving is to plug in. That “plugging in” is a habit that you have to learn: do with your motorcycle what you do with your mobile phone. If you’re not using it, charge it. There are also habits that you have to unlearn yourself. Put a finger on the clutch, for example, or shift, push the start button, change the oil, lubricate your chain and think about which aftermarket muffler you want.

Paul: “When I got this motorbike at my disposal, I immediately noticed how elegant the engine is built. Everything is in place as it should be, is neatly finished and everything fits nicely.”

Technic

The Zero self-designed Z-Force 75-5 motor with passive air cooling powers the Zero FX. The brushless motor with Internal Permanent Magnets (IPM) generates an instantly available torque of 106 Nm. The continuous power, which determines the driver’s license for an electric motorcycle, is 15 kW (21 HP) at 4300 rpm. That makes the FX suitable for the A2 motorcycle license. However, peak power is 33 kW (44 HP) at 4,500 rpm. The electrical power is transferred to the rear wheel via a silent and maintenance-free carbon fiber belt. The energy required for this is stored in a 7.2 kWh battery that, like the motor, also is developed by Zero. The combination of low weight and instant torque provides – for a fuel driver – unprecedented throttle response and grip on unpaved surfaces.

“This thing pulls harder than my KTM 450 EXC. The fact that the FX does that without shifting and silently, is something you have to get used to as a fuel driver. But that also has its advantages, if you go for a bit of off-road driving, for example, hikers kindly raise their hand. That’s something we don’t often see as off-road riders,” said Paul.

For a conventional motorcyclist, riding the FX requires a different mindset. A direct comparison usually starts with the well-known Комментарии и мнения владельцев about a range that is shorter and charging times that take much longer than a refueling. With a full battery, the FX can go around 100 km if you’re touring calmly on forest trails. The more sportier rider should rather take into account 80-90 km. The Zero FX is therefore not intended for driving long distances. During the commuter rides on public roads, Paul got to know the FX as a fun bike.

“A bike with the agility of an enduro, the punch of a sporty naked and the playfulness of a supermoto,” says Paul.

The combination of these features shows you why the Zero FX is sometimes called a ‘hooligan bike’. Fifteen minutes on the FX will unleash the ‘bad boy or girl’ in you: slalom between the cars in the city, a sprint at the traffic light or jumping off the curb. Everything off-road suddenly takes on a playful twist on the FX. But the dirt roads are the domain for the FX. It may not be an enduro, but the FX can handle some unpaved roads. In short, you can literally go in all directions with it. Of course with the limitations that are still inherent in electric driving, but with the already mentioned advantages that are characteristic of the FX.

Unplug, ‘gas’ on

Paul continues: “The ergonomics are perfect, everything is neatly in the place where you expect it. Except for the clutch and gear lever … which are missing. The combination of the Showa fork and the geometry creates a front end that gives a lot of confidence. The wide off-road handlebars give good control over the FX. Thanks to the placement of the battery, the center of gravity is not too high, which ensures excellent manoeuvrability. The seating position is not ideal for my height of 1m96, while driving I had no further problems.

This is a plug and play motorcycle. Unplug and put on the ‘gas’. The first time you drive preferably in the Eco mode to get used to the throttle response. What is immediately noticeable is the wonderfully smooth power delivery, it goes immediately unnoted too fast. So watch out for a fine. Now stop for a moment and switch on the Sport mode via a button on the right handlebar. This can also be done while driving, but it doesn’t hurt to stop for a while. When driving away you suddenly drive on an unexpectedly fast accelerating motorcycle, it just keeps going! Even on the dirt road, the FX still feels good and powerful. The steering characteristics in the sand and hard surface remain good. The suspension could have a little more damping at a higher speed. The tire pressure should be a little less, for more comfort and feedback. But those are adjustable parameters.”

“I only missed the clutch once, on a dirt track covered by a tree. Normally you jump with the motor over the tree with the help of the clutch! What now? Slowly driving, suddenly open the throttle? I didn’t dare, and drove around it … When braking harder, the ABS kicks in very quickly, which doesn’t feel good to me. Fortunately, the ABS can be switched off and you can apply the brakes a bit harder without intervention, but be careful if you switch it off! If you put a heavy load on the FX, for example in loose sand, the air-cooled motor jumps into protection if it threatens to get too hot. The electric motor then supplies 60% of the power and torque. As soon as the inside of the motor reaches a certain safe temperature value, full power is returned unannounced. This can take you by surprise. As far as I’m concerned, this is a point of attention for Zero Motorcycles”

Charging

This FX can be charged at any 230 Volt socket. The internal charger of the FX has a charging capacity of 650 W. Charging from empty to full then takes about 10 hours and requires some patience. An external 1 kW charger is optionally available. Together with the internal charger, this increases the charging speed to 1650 Watt. This charger shortens the charging time to about 4 hours. In the past, there was also an option for the FX with a replaceable battery. Then the battery is divided into 2 units of 3.6 kWh. These batteries are quick and easy to change. You use one battery to drive, the other charges in the meantime. This version with a divided removable battery is no longer available as new.

Paul says about this: “For my commuting trips, it was a pleasure every day. I enjoyed the public road and the sandy paths. It was great fun every day. The only thing I found getting used to is charging the battery, especially during a longer ride. You have to consider this and this is a new mindset. You could also charge during your work in agreement with your employer. With a full battery you have range again for that extra piece during your ride home. I was very charmed by the handling, the power in combination with the flexibility and the user-friendliness of the Zero FX.”Charging is a recurring topic. And quite rightly if you want to use an electric motorbike for exploring the Trans Euro Trail route, for example. But what if that’s not the case? What if you mainly drive in the city or on secondary roads and rarely or never cover more than 50-100 km in one drive. Or if you are looking for a motorcycle to avoid traffic jams and your work is 30 km from your home? Or if you think it is important not to cause a nuisance to others? Then the Zero FX might come into the picture. Just ask Paul.

Conclusion

If you list the pros and cons of the FX, you come to the conclusion that Zero does not target the traditional motorcyclist with the FX, but rather targets people who are open to change. Or newcomers who attach great importance to mobility, ease of use and sustainability. Fun and performance are the common denominator of traditional and new motorcyclists. Priced at € 15.165, – (Zero FX ZF 7.2 MY23) the Zero FX is priced similarly to Paul’s KTM. Entrepreneurs can get some additional financial benefits through the tax authorities. Add to this the fact that you do not need fuel and the low maintenance costs, then the purchase price is put in a different light. Just like the FX itself, it has earned its own spot over the past 9 years.

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Note from THE PACK

Guy Salens: “A few months ago, I had the chance to ride this Zero FX (thx to Electric Motorbikes Nederland). And also like Paul, I was very surprised by the power, the light weight of the motorbike and the dual possibilities (road – offroad). I can imagine that Paul had some fun on his home-work trips. I live and work in an area with a lot of small roads and offroad trails … big smile. I have explored my mountainbike trails with this FX and did some urban riding in Antwerp. OK, I admit, 10 hours for a full charge … but indeed, if you don’t ride, charge it and it is waiting in the garage for your next trip. This didn’t really come across as a limitation, it’s part of that new mindset …

FYI: this FX was a 2021 model. Zero Motorcycles launched their new Zero 2023 models and this FX model is now only available in black (the 2022 model had a sandy colour).

Previous post(s) about Zero FX and FXE:

Zero Motorcycles. Hero Motor and Polaris Invest in the California Based EVs Specialist

Zero Motorcycles announced the completion of a new 107 million round of financing. The financing saw participation from strategic partners Polaris, Exor and Hero MotoCorp and financial investors including long-time backer Invus and other undisclosed investors.

With this round of financing, Zero Motorcycles has raised in excess of 450M of capital and will bring the cumulative capital raise to above 500M with an anticipated additional closing by year end.

Zero Motorcycles has all the necessary resources to continue pushing the boundaries of two-wheeled EV’s and electric powertrains and leading the transformation of the motorcycle and powersports industry through electrification.

While the Electrification is still slow for the motorcycles segment and the million of electric two wheeler sales are concentrated in the moped/scooter segment, the California-based Zero Motorcycles, the pioneer of the sector is struggling to move, up the annual volumes.

The new investors are a significant improvement for Zero and while Polaris can accelerate the development of electric vehicles for Indian Motorcycles (actually neither available or expected), which can help on building up a global network.

The partnership with Hero Motor will give access at huge industrial and financial capacity and the option to start production in a low-cost market.

After achieving around 3.500 sales in the 2020, in the 2022 sales are projected to grow up at around 4.5K, a still light increase which is not enough to support a robust RD investments and the expansion of commercial operations in all countries.

Actually over 90% of sales are concentrated in North America and Europe, while sales in China and Rest of Asian markets are very limited.

In North America, Zero sales accelerated this year thanks to the new incentive scheme approved by government in November 2021, when the electric motorcycles received generous tax credit proposals in the Build Back Better Act, which was passed by the US House of Representatives.

Electric motorcycles already received a 10% federal tax credit, but that figure was tripled to 30% in the new bill. The credit was capped at a maximum of 7,500, and is applied to electric motorcycles that meet certain minimum requirements. To qualify, the electric motorcycles need to have at least 2.5 kWh of battery and travel at speeds of at least 45 mph (72 km/h).

Company Heritage

Founded in 2006 in a Santa Cruz, California garage by a former NASA engineer, Neal Saiki, Zero Motorcycles aims to innovate in the motorcycles industry developing a unique range of sport motorbikes, all only electric fueled.

New York private equity firm Invus has led 86 million in funding since Zero was born — and depending on who you talk to, growth ahead of it. Electric motorcycles are seen as an area of the business that could boom in coming years, even as traditional gas-powered bikes wane in popularity.

Since February 2017 the company is under the leadership of the new CEO, Mr. Sam Paschel.

The business idea was almost easy – on paper – but daring to be realized: to produce an entire range of 100% electric motorcycles, from sport-street to motocross, and build up a company around them.

The current line up includes the Zero S (street), the Zero SR (street racing), the Zero FXS (supermoto), the Zero DS (dual-sport), the Zero DSR (dual-sport racing) and the Zero FX (motocross), the SR/F and the new SR/S.

Zero Motorcycles in charging phase

Technology

At the heart of every Zero is the efficient Z-Force powertrain, which eliminates the need for the heavy and complex components found in conventional motorcycles. The Z-Force motor contains only one moving part, is sealed and air-cooled, and requires no routine maintenance.

Despite its compact proportions, the motor produces up to 116 ft-lb of torque, more than you’ll find in any 1,000cc gas-burning sport bike. The Z-Force battery achieves the highest power and energy density in the EV industry and is backed by a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty.

Each bike’s range is determined by battery capacity, speed and riding habits. With the optional Power Tank accessory, the Zero SR is capable of over 220 miles in the city and 110 miles on the highway. Zero FX and Zero FXS models feature an optional modular power pack system that allows batteries to be swapped in under a minute.

Charging

Charging a Zero is simple and convenient. No complex or expensive equipment or charge station installation required. Every Zero comes equipped with a built-in charger that turns any household 110/220V outlet into a “fueling station,” and the connection takes just a few seconds to plug and unplug. Depending on battery capacity, charging can take from a couple of hours to overnight.

Distribution

USA is were Zero Motorcycles is selling more, thanks to the Government and Federal incentives supporting electric vehicles and for a wide distribution network across the country. Since this summer they have opened the first exclusive dealership in Orange County, California, starting a new phase of their distribution strategy, which will be based on exclusive dealerships. Actually there are 99 dealers in North America and 200 in the rest of the World (mainly Europe).

However actually Zero distributes models in 29 countries (plus USA):

Canada, Panama, Chile, Uruguay, Portugal, Spain, UK, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, Israel, Kuwait, UAE, China, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia.

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