My mind can't wrap around the idea of 250cc dirt bikes that weigh 300 lbs.With the price as it is, there's no question E-bikes are still exclusive vehicles. But, as with any new technology, as time goes on prices will eventually come down and performance will come up. The 2012 Zero DS (and S, which we haven't ridden...yet) are signs of the latter. Now we're just waiting for the former.
As far as noise is concerned, speaking only for myself, the lack of an exhaust note wasn't something that bothered me. Mainly because I was having so much fun simply riding the motorcycle. You start to find other things to listen and pay attention to that you never registered before.
Comparing the DS with the ZF9 power pack, which is what we tested, to the Kawasaki KLX250S, the DS weighs 341 lbs (297 with the ZF6 power pack) and has a wheelbase of 57.3 inches. The Kawasaki weighs 297.7 lbs with a 56.3-inch wheelbase and 35.0-inch seat height. All of these numbers are according to the respective manufacturer's websites, but having seen each bike, I can tell you that the Zero DS has similar dimensions to ICE competitors in its category. I think the picture might be deceiving.