Zero chance of going back to gas.


We're all nerds here, right? Yeah, thought so.

So what do nerds like doing? Being early adopters, right? And if you're a nerd that also like riding motorcycles (I've finally started to say that instead of the more UK-centric 'motorbikes'), then you pretty much have no choice but to get an electric bike from Zero, right?

I've been thinking about getting a Zero ever since I read about them a few years ago, and really thinking about it every since doing a test ride on one whilst my Triumph was in getting an annual service. Riding home on the Triumph after the Zero ride was the clincher: what would I prefer? A noisy, smoking (albeit retro-cool) riding machine, or one which glides by with a whirr and enough acceleration to make me swallow my teeth? And then there's a tax refund deal for US folks, and a special offer from Zero for this month, and anyway Triumph just updated my model so it looks old and even more clunky now.. and just sign here you say? Sure, don't mind if I do. And a week later, here's me:

 

I'm a daft punk

I'm smiling under there

 

I have been commuting all week on my new SR model, and so far that has cost me about $0.50 in electricity. I've also been grinning a lot, and answering a lot of questions:

Q. Who makes Zero?
A. Zero in California.

Q. Where's the clutch?
A. There isn't one. There are no gears. Just twist it.

Q. What's the range?
A. About 160 miles in commuter type traffic, 80 miles if going faster.

Q. How long does it take to charge?
A. After my commute, one or two hours. From flat, about 8 hours using a standard 110 volt socket. I could get a fast charger fitted to if it that was a problem (it isn't so far).

Q. Isn't it dangerous as it makes no sound?
A. Well, it makes some sound. Not enough for the guy I was riding behind yesterday who was driving wearing over-the-ear headphones to hear me, that's for sure.

Q. How fast does it go?
A. Very fast. The specs say 0 to 60 in 3.3 seconds and over 100 mph top speed. I'm still cautious so I'm using it in "Eco" mode, which is less crazy than "Sport" mode.

Q. How many times have you grabbed the missing clutch lever?
A. Six times this week.

Q. Any regrets?
A. So far, not so much. I wish the mirrors were a little better spaced, and it's tricky to see the speedo as the position is a little more sit-up than my Thruxton, but it's very comfy so far. I wouldn't mind getting a Skully helmet to help with the visibility issues.

Q. Does it come with an app?
A. Haha, yes - you can choose between Eco and Sport modes, or define your own custom mode using your iPhone or Android device and syncing over BlueTooth. No SDK yet, or I'd be thinking about how to get Windows support on there..

 

Comments (2)

  1. Brian Ó Donnchadha says:

    I suppose you know that when an electric motorcycle battery goes on fire, which has happened, it is impossible to quench the fire, the entire machine burns to a crisp and the fumes are noxious. Your motorcycle making noise can also have a safety value. While driving in a country where electric ‘bikes’ proliferate, I was struck by the danger attached to their being silent. Stick to your Triumph. A great bike.

    1. I’m happier with a large battery between my legs compared to a sloshing tank of flammable liquid, to be honest. 🙂

      So far, the riding experience has surpassed my previous 30 (sigh) years of petrol bikes. Just this week, when the weather was quite hot on the ride home, it was a delight to not have a furnace of heat coming up at me from an engine block.

      Other than the occasional nostalgia for the looks of the Triumph (especially the new Thruxton!) there’s just no reason for me not to ride electric.

Skip to main content