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More power, greater range, faster charging times and more power seems to be the most apt description of Zero's 2013 model lineup. The Santa Cruz, California based, internationally recognized electric motorcycle manufacturer has not only unveiled electric bikes that are better than before, but are --at least on paper-- competitive against even the mainstream gasoline powered machines we all love.
For 2013 the entire Zero lineup gets a power boost of up to 125% more horsepower and 91% more torque than the outgoing models. Not needing any external cooling equipment in conjunction with the powertrain upgrade means these electric bikes stay as easy to maintain and lightweight as they always have been. All this is made possible by the company's new high voltage, high capacity Z-Force motor and Z-Force power pack.
Electric motorcycles (all electric vehicles really) always face one pressing primary question: what's the range? Zero Motorcycles answers this query with their 2013 model lineup by presenting the Zero S to a standing ovation from many. The Zero S featuring the new high voltage, high capacity power pack is capable of 137mi (220km) of city riding. To put that number in perspective, automaker Nissan's all-electric halo car, the Leaf, has a stated range of 100mi (161km.)
In addition to never before seen range prowess, the 2013 Zero lineup also includes an all new model bent on performance showboating. The Zero FX highlights our favourite thing about electric propulsion: acceleration. With the ability to create a massive 77lb-ft of torque and 44hp the FX is the most powerful production electric motorcycle we've ever come across. Combined with a curb weight of 275lb (125kg) the Zero FX is sure to be a real hoot at any red light challenge. When EatSleepRIDE gets a chance to ride one, we'll be sure to post our 0-60 times along with video on the site.
For those seeking more than just on-road riding, the 2013 Zero Motorcycle lineup offers up the Zero DS. Designed to be an adventure tourer of sorts, the DS is just as home doing light off-road as it is on asphalt. With wheels sized to accept fairly aggressive dirt tires, it is evident that the Zero DS was built for accommodating change when owners want a little more from their road- legal electric bike.
The lineup also includes the Zero MX for full time off-road riding, and the entry level Zero XU which is pegged as the urban commuter.
All five motorcycles feature Smartphone integration through Bluetooth allowing riders to switch between performance and economical power profiles, report on state on of charge, and even monitor real time power usage while riding.
One of the other --not to be overlooked-- highlights of the new model lineup for Zero is the ability for any of the bikes to reach a state of 95% charge in 1 hour. This is made possible with the use of an accessory charging kit by EV infrastructure company CHAdeMO in conjunction with any charging station using the DC Fast Charging standard.
Regardless of our past reservations about the limitations of electric bikes, Zero brings some game changing innovations to the table with their 2013 model lineup and we are definitely taking notice.