Zero Motorcycles recently introduced a 4th model to their electric motorcycle line up. The Zero DS is a dual-sport bike built on the Zero S supermoto platform. The front suspension of the DS gains 2″ of travel over the S for a total of 10”, while rear travel remains unchanged at 9”. A 50/50 street/dirt tire is fitted to the 17″ front rim and a 90/10 street/dirt tire is fitted to the 16″ rear. This is an unusual tire combination for a production dual sport but the semi-aggressive front is a welcomed change from the tires found on most dual-sports, which are more suited to street than dirt use.
At 270 lbs the DS weights about as much as a Honda CRF450X which makes it’s 60 mile range even more impressive. The added height of the front-end due to the larger tire and additional suspension travel should give the bike more relaxed handling than the S and add some high speed stability which would be welcome in the dirt. Retail price is set at $9,950 plus $500 shipping and handling. You can drop the total cost of the bike $1000 or more through federal and state rebates. The Fed will give you $1000, the rest is up to the state you reside in.
If you prefer your dual sport a little more dirt oriented and extremely light there is always a dual sport kit available for the 156 lb Zero MX. The MX will also get you a quick swap battery pack and larger, somewhat more conventional sized 19”/17” (front/rear) wheels. However, you will be trading a 4 kWh (kilowatt hour) battery for a 2 kWh battery. In other words, you have half the energy available in the “tank” for tearing up the trails and street.
Zero’s 4th model further defines the company as a first mover in electric motorcycles and electric vehicles in general. And Zero is not done for the year. The fully faired Zero SS sport bike is due out later this year. If they stick to their schedule, they will beat out Mission Motors to be the first mass produced electric sport bike on the market. A large product line builds confidence in consumers, and Zero is a few models up on Quantya, Electric Motorsport, and others. However, we have a hunch Zero knows these electric motorcycle manufacturers are not Zero’s real competition and Zero not theirs. Honda, KTM, Ducati and the rest will enter the market eventually and will be eager to gain market share against these new comers.