When it comes to attractive motorbikes, we have devoted some critical pixels towards the folks at Zero Motorcycles. Let’s be frank, the design side of the equation hasn’t historically been the brand’s strong suit. The company is making progress, however.
Now, when it comes to custom motorcycles, there has been a quiet resistance to using electric models as starting points for creation, though occasionally we see an electron-powered machine at a bike show that captures our attention.
Today though, we see the happy merger of those two thoughts, with this Zero FX custom supermoto by Huge Design, which debuted this weekend at the The One Motorcycle Show in Portland, Oregon, and was easily our favorite bike at the show.
A fairly small recall in terms of affected units (36), Zero Motorcycles is recalling a number of 2018 motorcycles because their Vehicle Emission Control Information (VECI) label displays the incorrect model year.
Because of this data input error, the units fail to comply with 49 CFR Part 567, “Certification.” As such, this recall affects certain Zero S ZF13.0, Zero S ZF7.2, Zero SR ZF14.4, Zero DS ZF13.0, Zero DSR ZF14.4, Zero FX ZF7.2, and Zero FXS ZF7.2.
Zero Motorcycles is recalling a number of models from its 2015 lineup, all for issues with DC-DC converter, which takes direct current electricity from one voltage and converts it to a different voltage.
According to the recall documents, when under high-power demands the DC-DC converter can suffer from insufficient output, which in-turn can cause the anti-lock brake system (ABS) not to function properly.
Since the failure of the ABS can lead to an increase in the risk of a crash, Zero Motorcycles has issued this recall, and while this recall affects the SR, S, DS, and FX motorcycle lines, only 96 motorcycles are actually being recalled under this notice.
If you’re in the market for a electric motorcycle from Zero Motorcycles, now is your chance. The big news is that Zero is dropping the prices on its 2015 bikes by $1,350, across the board.
The price decrease comes in response to the company’s decreased costs on batteries, which in-turn Zero is passing on to its customers.
While all potential customers will benefit from this news, the price cut is going to be perhaps the most helpful for non-US buyers.
Most Zero prices around the world are based off the American MSRP, and with the euro weak against the dollar, European Zero dealers can absorb the changes in the currency exchange.
We have long been critical of Zero Motorcycles and the motorcycles they produce, but you have to give the electric motorcycle manufacturer credit where it’s due: each year they improve their product, which is more than you can say about a lot of motorcycle OEMs.
Take the 2015 Zero Motorcycle lineup for example: for the upcoming model year, Zero’s bikes get proper motorcycle suspension from Showa, anti-locking brakes (ABS) from Bosch, tires from Pirelli, and a 10% battery increase from Moore’s Law.
For the 2015 Zero SR, this means a 185 mile range, when the optional Power Tank battery pack is installed. Similar gains can be seen with Zero’s other 2015 models, the Zero S & Zero DS.
While the added battery pack helps with the range anxiety, anyone who has ever ridden a Zero will welcome the addition of Showa suspension, as the company’s previous bikes have suffered from th forks and shocks that were used, which woefully were not up to the task of hard motorcycle riding.
As you may remember from our previous coverage, things are not looking so good for Zero Motorcycles with several recalls in the past year, including faulty brake caliper mounting bolts that was issued in August, and a faulty firmware recall that caused certain models to shut down while running.
Now, after an incident with an expert rider in Australia in late February, Zero has discovered that when certain motors are pushed to their limits, the motors rotor may contact the stator, causing the engine to lock up thereby causing the rear wheel to lock up.
On the heels of its August 2013 recall for faulty brake caliper mounting bolts, Zero has announced yet another recall for its electric motorcycles, this time one involving several 2012-2013 models.
In December of last year, Zero Motorcycles released a statement announcing that they intended to recall 667 motorcycles due to faulty firmware that may cause the bike to lose power while running, potentially resulting in a crash.
According to Zero, “the subject motorcycles have a controller firmware that may react to infrequently encountered signal faults.” In layman’s terms, the signal to the motor controller may drift over the course of extended use of the bike, causing the motor to shut down sporadically.
Zero Motorcycles continues to upgrade its model line-up, with the 2013 Zero Motorcycles bikes getting a motor and battery upgrade. Offering bikes now in 8.5 & 11.4 kWh packages, Zero claims city mileage ranges to be 103 & 137 miles, respectively. The motors on the Zero S, Zero DS, and Zero MX have been bumped up to 54hp spec, the Zero XU retains its 27/28hp configuration, and the new Zero FX gets a 44hp lump.
The big addition to the family is the 2013 Zero FX (pictured above), which follows the lines of the Zero DS dual-sport, but uses the same chassis as found on the MX. The Zero FX appears to be the more off-road capable version of the Zero DS. While the DS will have 8.5 & 11.4 kWh options for its battery packs, the Zero FX will come with only 2.8 & 5.7 kWh unit options — the same as the Zero XU and Zero MX. Pricing on the Zero FX starts at $9,495.
The added battery and power boosts should help keep Zero Motorcycles in check with Brammo, which is set to finally bring its Brammo Empulse R street bike to market later this year. With 2013 rumored to have a “Brammo Killer” in the line-up, we’re not quite sure if the Zero S design lives up to the hype, even with its upgraded power train, but considering the sales figures between the two companies, we might be wrong on that assessment. Photos after the jump.