Zero Motorcycles is reporting a very serious defect with its 2012 model year bikes, specifically affecting the Zero S, Zero DS, and Zero DSP (Police) models.
The recall concerns Zero’s battery architecture for the 2012 model year, which may cause cells to fail, and thus create a runaway “thermal event” (read: catches on fire) within the battery pack.
In total, this recall affects 218 motorcycle units – the entire volume of Zero S, Zero DS, and Zero DPS motorcycles that were sold for the 2012 model year.
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 bevy of its motorcycle models because of a turn signal that may stop working, without alerting the rider, which happens to violate Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) #108, “Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment.”
Thankfully, the recall only affects a grand total of 10 motorcycles: the 2017 Zero S ZF6.5, Zero S ZF13.0, Zero DSP ZF13.0, and Zero SR ZF13.0 lineup.
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.
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.
It must be hard to be a legitimate motorcycle manufacturer, because the market seems to be flooded with ripoff artists in every corner. Every year at the EICMA show, we see the Italy’s Guardia di Finanza haul out scooters and motorcycles that the trade regulator deems are too close to those of Italian brands.
Now granted, we suspect there is more to that story than meets the eye (if you were an Italian OEM, wouldn’t you want to keep out the budget-priced scooters from your market?), and some of these confiscated designs truly don’t seem infringing to my eye, but I digress.
With the case of the Terra Motors Kiwami though, what it seems we have here is that the Japanese brand has repurposed a Zero S electric street bike from California’s Zero Motorcycles for its own purposes.
We had a couple people in the industry email us about this gem of a story, wondering if Zero had licensed its design, or even sold an excess of inventory. to the Japanese company, which plans on selling the Kiwami in the Indian market. However, before we could do some digging though, our good colleague Domenick Yoney at AutoBlog Green got the scoop on what is 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.