Zero DSR All-Electric Motorcycle. Zero Emissions. Infinite Possibilities. [Review]
Written by guest author, Arv Voss
Before readers turn up their nose at the prospect of owning and riding an electric motorcycle, be advised the Zero DSR is a genuine bonafide motorcycle that happens to offer significant benefits over a petrol fueled bike.
Electric bicycles have been around for years, as have electric cars, but there haven’t been many electric motorcycles available. Zero Motorcycles is a major player and award-winning manufacturer in the ever-growing electric motorcycle marketplace. Electric powered motorcycles are highly desirable modes of transportation because they’re quiet, environmentally friendly, inexpensive to operate, they charge quickly, and deliver exhilarating performance. Truly an ideal ride for commuting or recreation.
There’s also the advantage of minimized maintenance and service – no oil to check or change, no spark plugs to replace, no transmission parts to wear out, no cooling system to contend with, no exhaust system issues to deal with, and no valves to adjust or replace.
Even the cost to run is minimal. Fully charging the bike from totally depleted typically only costs $1.78. Its intended purpose is not for long range touring, but long trips are possible with proper planning.
Zero Motorcycles, based in Scotts Valley, CA has been producing electric motorcycles since 2006, and we had the opportunity to ride several of their earlier versions, which all came with chain final drives. Newer models have been converted to quieter belt drives and provide extended range through improved battery technology along with faster charging times and lighter advanced construction materials.
The Zero DSR – the ultimate electric dual sport/adventure motorcycle – is based on an aircraft aluminum frame and looks for all the world like any other dual sport adventure ride. With a whopping 106 pound-feet of instant torque, a seamless linear power range, a comfortable and commanding riding position and plenty of suspension travel, the DSR is equally at home on either pavement or off the beaten path in the dirt.
The seat height is a comfortable 33.2-inches – great for tall riders and long legs, but perhaps not so much for the vertically challenged. The bike is lightning quick, rocketing from 0-60 in a scant 3.9 seconds, with a top maximum speed of 98 mph (90 mph on a sustained run) and is immediately responsive in the handling department. Handlebars are positioned for optimum control and the mid-positioned foot pegs and brake pedal complete an ideal riding position. There are also foot pegs and hand grips for a passenger.
The technology boasts normal, eco and sport riding modes that are switchable on the fly, which obviously impacts one’s range, and instrumentation consists of a graphic percentage of charge indicator, mode indicator, a dual trip odometer and turn signal indicator.
Since there are a variety of rider types, Zero has sought to address riding styles and requirements by offering a variety of electric motorcycles suited to various purposes from off-road dirt bikes to more cruiser oriented bikes with dual-purpose and adventure examples in between. Models include: an amped up example of a supermoto bike in the form of the Zero FXS, which is derived from their popular Zero FX, and the Zero DSR.
Power for Zero premiere models is courtesy of a new patent-pending Z-Force® 75 ZR motor, which is a passively air-cooled, high efficiency, radial flux, interior permanent hi-temp magnet, brushless motor with a High efficiency, 660 amp, 3-phase brushless controller featuring regenerative deceleration. The new motor delivers 67 horsepower at 4,000 rpm (50kW) while producing 106 pound-feet of instant torque. Energy makes its way to the rear wheel through a clutchless direct drive via a 130T/28T Poly Chain® GT® Carbon™ belt.
Our test Zero DSR – outfitted with the Power Tank – was appropriately finished in Black, since it is effectively a stealth motorcycle. The base sticker was set at $15,995., while the as-tested price came to $18,669. With Power Tank ($2,674) – Add $1,988 for Charge Tank to base price in place of Power Tank.
*MSRP does not include shipping, applicable taxes, PDI, registration or dealer installation of optional accessories. Government incentives may apply. Dealer prep may add to cost and can vary.
|ZERO DSR ZF 13.0||ZERO DSR 13.0+POWER TANK|
|City||147 miles||184 miles|
|Highway, 55 mph||88 miles||110 miles|
|>>combined||110 miles||138 miles|
|Highway, 70 mph||70 miles||88 miles|
|>>combined||95 miles||119 miles|
|Peak Torque||116 lb-ft||116 lb-ft|
|Peak Power||70 hp @ 3500 rpm||70 hp @ 3500 rpm|
|Top Speed (max)||102 mph||102 mph|
|Top Speed (sustained)||90 mph||90 mph|
|Type||Z-Force® 75-7R passively air-cooled, high efficiency, radial flux, interior permanent hi-temp magnet, brushless motor||Z-Force® 75-7R passively air-cooled, high efficiency, radial flux, interior permanent hi-temp magnet, brushless motor|
|Controller||High efficiency, 775 amp, 3-phase brushless controller with regenerative deceleration||High efficiency, 775 amp, 3-phase brushless controller with regenerative deceleration|
|Power Pack||Z-Force® Li-Ion intelligent integrated||Z-Force® Li-Ion intelligent integrated|
|Max. Capacity||13 kWh||16.3 kWh|
|Nominal Capacity||11.4 kWh||14.3 kWh|
|Charge Time (standard)||8.9 hours||11.0 hours|
|>> with charge tank accessory||2.9 hours||N/A|
|Transmission||Clutchless direct drive||Clutchless direct drive|
|Final Drive||90T / 20T, Poly Chain® HTD® Carbon™ belt||90T / 20T, Poly Chain® HTD® Carbon™ belt|
|Frame||23 lb||23 lb|
|Curb Weight||419 lb||463 lb|
|Carrying Capacity||356 lb||312 lb|
|Equivalent fuel economy (city)||435 MPGe||435 MPGe|
|Equivalent fuel economy (hwy)||210 MPGe||210 MPGe|
|Typical cost to recharge||$1.46||$1.83|
|Standard Motorcycle Warranty||2 years||2 years|
|Power Pack Warranty||5 years / unlimited miles||5 years / unlimited miles|