Zero Motorcycles has announced the full-commencement of production for its 2012 model line, which is expected to hit dealers in February & March of this year. First off the line was the 2012 Zero DS back in December, though the electric motorcycle company has recently started building the Zero S, Zero XU, Zero X, and Zero MX at its Scotts Valley facility as well. A story we broke back in November, Zero Motorcycles debuted its important 2012 electric motorcycle line up at the 2011 EICMA show in Milan, with the 2012 range being a substantial improvement upon the company’s previous offerings.

Boasting 6kWh & 9kWh battery packs, the 2012 Zeros have nearly double the available energy on board, with the styling and performance aspects of the bikes have been improved upon as well. Zero claims that the street-focused Zero S can hit up to 114 miles on that 9kWh pack (and also does a top speed of 88 mph on its new motor), making it more practical for the urban commuter. For 2012, all of Zero’s street models feature new brushless motors, and include regenerative braking, which charges the motorcycle’s batteries during deceleration.

“It’s an amazing feeling to watch the fruition of so much hard work and effort as it comes into being and becomes something that is so special and unique,” said Scot Harden, Vice President of Global Marketing for Zero Motorcycles. “We are very proud of our dedicated team at Zero Motorcycles. Without their passion and dedication to building the very best electric motorcycle, we wouldn’t be in the position we are today. The progress being made is phenomenal, every model in the lineup goes faster, further and is more fun than ever before.”

This news also means that A&R can theoretically pick up a Zero S from the company’s Scotts Valley HQ, and make it back to our Oakland office on a single charge (a 76.7 mile trip according to Google). This is a claim we hope to test in the near future, stay tuned for our “Living with an EV” series.

2012 Zero DS:

2012 Zero MX:

2012 Zero S:

2012 Zero X:

2012 Zero XU:

Source: Zero Motorcycles

  • Bill

    Still look like ass

  • Keith

    FINALLY they start using brushless motors and regenerative braking…both have been around since before my parents were born. Now if ONLY the battery and battery charging would catch up.

  • Spiffster

    Was gonna buy one until Bill said it looks like ass… oh wait, why would I care what a 12 year old with nothing constructive to say thinks. ;) I think Zero has done a great job with their latest offerings… why criticize them? if you dont like supermoto style bikes, perhaps you should consider keeping pointless comments to yourself…

  • Hodgmo

    These bikes at least look like much more serious product than what has been offered in the past from Zero. There’s evidence of real progress here and that make me believe they are a for-real motorcycle company. I am waiting for a performance test review article.

  • Sporty4Life

    SO agree with Spiffster — “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” To do otherwise is being ‘racist’ (eg., intolerant to other breeds). If Bill’s thing is Lambrettas, I’m perfectly fine with that and I support him!

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  • The Zero S would make a perfect commuter bike for me. Glad to see that the range and speed is improving on these bikes. But for the weekend trips, I’ll hold on to my noisy smelly and incredibly good looking Triumph Speed Triple :-)

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  • Tessier

    Apparently Bill got spiffster and sports panties in a bunch. I agree Bill they look down right horrible. It’s time to scrap the mountain bike heritage of the old bikes and build a real motorcycle based street bike, ya know kind of like what Brammo finally ended up doing with the Empulse. While were at it what’s with that massive real sprocket? How long do you think that thing is gonna last on the trail?

  • RGR

    I think the DS and S models look great for their respective classes. I agree the MX, X and XU are kind of ugly but to each his own. It’s good to see the technology progressing and becoming more realistic for people to use. Unfortunately my style of riding precludes the current technology from being useful but I’m sure it’s on the horizon. Once they make an electric sport-tourer/sportbike/canyon carver with a 500 mile range, I’m in!

  • Spiffster

    Tessier (Bill), Zero currently makes supermoto and dirt bikes, they are not a one size fits all for absolutely everyone. Zero started with MX bikes, and they do quite well for their intended purpose. When you cross MX with street bikes you get supermoto / DS, like the S/DS/XU etc. Thank god there are other companies out there that make different style bikes. You should go check them out!

    BTW the Brammo Empulse is a very different bike, sure they both run on batteries, but that’s where the similarities end. The Zeros fall under a different category. People that like the Empulse probably arent in the market for a Zero DS or even an S, and certainly not an XU. They dont compete directly, get it? Probably not, but you cant say I didnt try.

  • WetMan

    Someone should force these electrical bike/car manufacturers to provide clear explanations.
    Sure it can do 88 mph and sure it can do 111 miles. But how many miles can it do at 88 mph? Assuming you need 15 kW to go 88 mph and the bike has an overall engine eficiency of 40% (which is a lot!), this thing can run 14 min at top speed. So 20 miles. No, guys you won’t make it to the office at that speed.

  • Spiffster

    Hey WetMan, lookup EPA UDDS the standard Zero uses for their claims. There is no need to force them to provide clear standardized specs, they already do:
    Brushless DC electric motor efficiency is more like 80-95%
    88mph is the top speed, sustained is 75mph. A big improvement over last years S. Need something faster? Just wait for the Empulse or next years S if your into supermoto bikes.

  • bill

    A lot better looking overall than where they came from.

    Great advancements in tech as well. Not sure about that chin part reaching back…..

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  • It’s all about batteries. No the ones made today, but what’s forthcoming.

  • Bill

    The original Bill still thinks it looks like ass.

  • I agree with ya Bill. Seeing them in person last weekend in NYC confirmed that in my mind.

  • Not Bill

    The Asphalt and Rubber commenting system allows the “original” Bill to agree with himself, using different usernames. How clever!

  • Bill

    There is a damage control “bill” (easily identified by the lowercase ‘b’) Would the real Bill, please stand up.
    **** that bike looks like ass.

  • Damo

    I actually think the Zero DS looks pretty fit. Kinda looks like a smaller, electric Dorsoduro.

  • Westward

    @ Rolf, RGR, & WetMan

    Your comments are spot on… May very well suffice for the commuter travelling less than 50 miles one way, but best hope you don’t forget your wallet or house keys, cause at some point you will have passed the rubicon. Definitely won’t work for a weekend machine…

    @Bill & Tessier

    I tend to to agree, it looks like the ass of a Michael Bay Transformer… As for the Spocket, “someone should write Zero, and tell them to extensively test that bike before they sell it..!” –LoL

  • TRL

    Agree with Bill, looks like ass.

    Nothing to do with supermoto styling or performance. It’s just bad design and bad design sucks.

    It is a business after all and ugly moto doesn’t sell well. Then again, CX500, late model Katana and anything by Roland Sands or OCC….maybe they are on to something…..

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  • Damo


    Not to get off topic, but I am totally with you on the Roland Sands thing. To this day I have no idea why anyone likes his design style. The Desmo Dirt Tracker with the “wizard hat” tail section was just the icing on the cake.

  • protomech


    The S should be around 85% efficient battery-to-wheel. 75 mph is the rated sustained speed of the bike, initial owner reports are 35+ miles at 75 mph. Range goes up substantially at lower speeds, and vice versa if you burst to vmax..


    You’ll be hard-pressed to make the trip. 60 miles on I-880 and CA-17 freeway speeds are the dealbreakers. You can probably make the trip on side streets at no more than 45 mph.

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