Recall: Zero Motorcycles S, DS, & FXS

03/16/2017 @ 2:40 pm, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS

Zero Motorcycles is recalling several of its electric motorcycle models for issues with their anti-lock braking system (ABS) hydraulic control units (HCU). The recall affects 61 units from the Zero S, DS, and FXS model lineup.

According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the wrong vehicle model information was loaded into the HCU on the affected machines, meaning that the ABS settings on those motorcycle were not the correct ones for that particular bike.

Luckily for Zero owners, the solution is a quick reconfiguration of the HCU, however some units may need to be replaced. This recall is expected to start next week, on March 20th, 2017.

Concerned Zero owners may contact Zero Motorcycles’ customer service at 1-888-841-8085, and reference recall number SV-ZMC-017-363. As always, the NHTSA is also available at 1-888-327-4236 and

Source: NHTSA

  • paulus

    I wonder what the default settings are in ‘failure event’ circumstances…?
    Simply no ABS?

  • All the modules I’ve seen fail so the brakes will still operate as normal. In this case though, I believe the issue is the bike thinks its a Zero S, when in fact it’s an FXS (or some combination like that), which means the ABS won’t function quite like it should in terms of activation thresholds and durations.

  • paulus

    Cheers. Just thinking out loud… more of a general consideration. Logic would dictate that a failure would just result in unregulated braking as a default…. I wondered where that leaves manufacturers/owners (all brands/all ABS models) with liability in a crash situation.

  • Sayyed Bashir

    Its not failing. Its working for the wrong motorcycle model.

  • Sayyed Bashir

    They sold only 61 motorcycles? Zero should watch out for the much better looking Chinese Evoke Urban S coming in July. That will be the end of Zero.

  • Be careful when you try and determine sales volume from recall data. I would bet good money that this issue is because of a single person, doing the wrong thing on the assembly line.

  • paulus

    :) understood… but in general
    In other models, cases, brands, situations… what happens when ABS ‘fails’ (ECU,HCU, sensor or any other reason)?
    If there was a crash would it be rider or manufacturer liability.
    I don’t desperately need an answer, just thought it was a related question. Sleep will be had ;-)
    (winky face, happy, jovial font disclaimer)

  • Complainant’s lawyer will argue product liability, while respondent’s lawyer will argue assumed risk and negligent use.

  • paulus

    Many thanks.

  • Rafa

    It would work just like there is no ABS.
    At least that is how works on cars, you damage you abs sensor and it just shuts down the ABS and a light comes on your dash. Car stops just like normal.

  • Campisi

    Hard to say without riding both of them, of course, but I really don’t see how.

    Compared to the admittedly outgoing Zero S ZF9.8 model, the Evoke produces *half* the maximum motor power (with no mention of sustained motor power) whilst weighing twenty more pounds. Evoke using a hub motor means the Zero could easily exceed the Urban’s torque output by bumping the rear pulley a couple of teeth whilst still likely maintaining a higher sustained top speed (which Evoke doesn’t specify, instead listing a maximum top speed that can likely only be held for a minute or two before heat issues kick in).

    That’s all before we get into the less tangible qualities of handling, ride quality, braking, and so on. Evoke doesn’t specify, but from pictures it sure looks like they’re using a steel tube frame and box-section swingarm arrangement “inspired” by the outgoing Honda CBR250R. That’s some pretty dated chassis technology, particularly when you’re dealing with the unsprung weight of a hub motor design. It’s safe to say Zero’s aluminum frame, Showa suspension, and ABS brakes will likely outperform those fitted to the Evoke.

    With an MSRP bumping up against five figures, I suspect anyone interested in an electric motorcycle won’t mind the slight premium for the established product.

  • Sayyed Bashir

    Evoke has a comparison chart on their Urban S page which lists the currently available electric bikes including Zero. They are offering the Urban S at a introductory price of only $5,400. They are aiming the bike at new riders and commuters. I think a lot of people will be attracted by the looks and the low price. The range is 125 miles vs 81 miles for the Zero ZF6.5 which sells for $11,000. Torque is 86 lb-ft vs 78 lb-ft for the Zero, They also have a aluminum frame bike in the works with more power, torque and range. I think they will give Zero a run for their money, especially with the backing of Foxconn. Phone integration seems to be their forte, including built-in navigation.

  • Campisi

    You’ll notice from looking at that comparison chart that the $5,400 “introductory price” sports an asterisk with no corresponding footnote at the bottom of the chart. Some digging around on their website reveals that the bargain-basement price only applies on a per-unit basis, *if* you pre-order five or more bikes:

    If you only want one, you’re paying the full-fat $9,400 price. At that price, I suspect anyone interested in an electric motorcycle will happily pay a slight premium for the more advanced bike built in a factory sans suicide netting.

  • Sayyed Bashir

    Good job digging up the small print. I saw the asterisk but couldn’t find any note below. Is that deliberate obfuscation? Also in the Pre-Order Sales Agreement it says “Governing Law. The terms of this Agreement are governed by, and to be interpreted per the laws of The People’s Republic of China.” Good luck with that! Anyway Foxconn is only an investor. I don’t think they are building the bikes. Foxconn is in Shenzhen and Evoke is in Beijing. Regardless, the $1600 price difference, better range, torque and looks will make people give the bike serious consideration, as long as they know about it. And that will only happen if they establish a dealer network.


    “Zero Motorcycles corrected the production equipment that is used to select the model-specific ABS profile. Robert Bosch LLC corrected their internal process that resulted in the incorrect programming of the HCU’s.”

  • Motor torque is meaningless without considering RPM or gearing.

    They may have difficulty selling the bike in the US, as the FMVSS requires the rear brake control to be placed at the right foot .. except for “motor-drive cycles” which are typically prohibited from the interstate.

    Dual disc brakes on a motorcycle that tops out at 81 mph is a little silly.

    I think there’s definitely a gap at the lower end of the market where a well-put-together electric bike aimed squarely at commuters could find some success. If street price is closer to $6k than $9k, they may be able to find some success. But I don’t think a $6000 hub motor bike is going to end Zero.