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Original Article:
2013 Zero S Review

Please discuss the Motorcycle.com article 2013 Zero S Review in our Motorcycle Forums below. Use the reply button to let others know your comments or feedback on the article. Constructive criticism is always appreciated, along with your thoughts and personal opinions on the bikes and products we have tested.
 

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Gotta admit, this has a lot of appeal. Good looking, reasonable range (assuming it isn't bullsh!t). The zippered compartment is inexcusable, but that's a niggle. Price is still a tad too high, but not unreasonable. I could use this as a commuter. But that means I still need a second bike, so the price then becomes unreasonable. Still need a range of at least 300 miles for an e-bike to be an only bike - and the first clown who sincerely says "it's only three to five years away" gets the back of my hand.
 

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An artivce in another publication quoted Zero as saying, "Don't expect any more range or recharge improvements," or something to that effect.

This bike looks pretty fun but 3-5 years is here.
 

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A good choice if you live in someplace like Hollywood and don't have to commute more than 20 miles each way. 70 miles at 70 mph is useable for many people.

When I was staying in Hollywood last year there was a guy who came whizzing by every morning down Fountain on some little yellow scooter. There's something eerie about e-bikes' silence. They are going to have to come down a lot in price though and in any case one would be useless to me unless it could guarantee 200 mile ranges.
 

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An artivce in another publication quoted Zero as saying, "Don't expect any more range or recharge improvements," or something to that effect.

This bike looks pretty fun but 3-5 years is here.
Zero cautioned me that it wouldn't be bringing forth advancements as quick as they have been lately. But e-vehicle development will continue whether Zero does the R&D itself, so I'll bet we'll see updates in 2015. It's a fun bike, Buz. You should take one for a spin if you get a chance.
 

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A few reactions to the article:

1) That is a lot of torque.
2) Given the existence of #1, will it do a wheelie? Inquiring demented minds want to know.

If I had stupid money is no object money laying around, I would probably pick one up. A dual sport version with this motor/battery could be useful for riding up stairs and otherwise conducting urban enduro activities and flagrantly breaking the law in silence. Silent hooliganism - I kinda like that idea. Limited range is a potential bummer for getways from the Man though...

Tesla is selling a lot of very cool Model S electric cars. I own some TSLA stock in the retirement account and am currently $2,000 ahead on it after it's recent runup. Tesla is teaming with Mercedes and was tapped to provide power trains. This is not a passing fad, and there is action in the electric vehicle area.

Final thought. One of these in a scooter format with onboard storage would make a lot of sense for people of means who want to go green. Lots of those do gooders out there, especially in Northern CA. Such a ride would be the perfect grocery getter urban runabout conveyance for the Santa Cruz trust fund set...
 

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A few reactions to the article:

1) That is a lot of torque.
2) Given the existence of #1, will it do a wheelie? Inquiring demented minds want to know.

If I had stupid money is no object money laying around, I would probably pick one up. A dual sport version with this motor/battery could be useful for riding up stairs and otherwise conducting urban enduro activities and flagrantly breaking the law in silence. Silent hooliganism - I kinda like that idea. Limited range is a potential bummer for getways from the Man though...
No wheelies on the S. Remember, power output is dished out from the bike's motor controller, and the off-the-line hit from the S is softened for civilized response. However, I'm told Zero's new FX model does do wheelies, although its optional 5.7 KwH battery won't take you nearly as far as the S. We intend to investigate it mono-wheeling capabilities! As for a dual-sport, Zero's DS model is essentially an S with longer-travel suspension and dual-purpose tires.
 

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The Toad
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A few reactions to the article:

If I had stupid money is no object money laying around, I would probably pick one up. A dual sport version with this motor/battery could be useful for riding up stairs and otherwise conducting urban enduro activities and flagrantly breaking the law in silence. Silent hooliganism - I kinda like that idea.
Remember. Electric power is not affected by altitude. An e-bike gets the same power at sea level and at 14,000 feet.
 

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Zero cautioned me that it wouldn't be bringing forth advancements as quick as they have been lately. But e-vehicle development will continue whether Zero does the R&D itself, so I'll bet we'll see updates in 2015. It's a fun bike, Buz. You should take one for a spin if you get a chance.
I'd love to. Electric motors have a unique feel.

Even my neigh it's hybrid Camry feels different when pulling away from a stop.

If the true believers don't start buying these things soon, they won't be around much longer
 

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No wheelies on the S. Remember, power output is dished out from the bike's motor controller, and the off-the-line hit from the S is softened for civilized response. However, I'm told Zero's new FX model does do wheelies, although its optional 5.7 KwH battery won't take you nearly as far as the S. We intend to investigate it mono-wheeling capabilities! As for a dual-sport, Zero's DS model is essentially an S with longer-travel suspension and dual-purpose tires.
Product improvement idea - easily addressable motor controller with various "modes". Then lunatics like us can dial it in with a inadvisably twitchy responsive "race" mode to make it hit like a 450cc MX bike off "idle." Could be fun. Probably would not help the range any, but it is a sacrifice I would be willing to make when conducting my own private motarding event in an empty business park on the weekend. Then dial it back to "tour" for the sedate ride home. Adjustable response curves for an electric bike would be sweet. MX bikes have this to some degree via mapping adjustments after all.

A high perf electric bike could be such a tool for silently terrorizing tilt up building business park land on weekends. Did that on a buddy's Husky 510 SMR, was one of my favorite riding experiences. The SMR is pure go to jail bait - it is simply impossible to behave while riding that thing. I suspect an "amped up" electric bike could have a pretty cool personality. Would have to really brush up on rear brake wheelie control though, no engine braking. Gotten lazy there with the 450cc dirt bike, very easy to modulate long wheelies with the throttle only :)
 

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Product improvement idea - easily addressable motor controller with various "modes".
It's surely around the corner. Adjustable programming of the motor controller will be pretty easy. They're already giving us adjustable engine, er, motor braking.
 

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Nice write-up Mr. Duke.

I'd love to buy an E-Bike for the kid when he gets his D/L license in a year or so. His new High School is in range of even the lower-capacity bikes, and from what I saw at orientation last week, it's filled with tree-hugger "Earth" chicks. All I had to ride at his age was a Yamaha 350 that stank of 2-stroke oil and scared the crap out of them (and me on occasion!).
 

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Nice write-up Mr. Duke.

I'd love to buy an E-Bike for the kid when he gets his D/L license in a year or so. His new High School is in range of even the lower-capacity bikes, and from what I saw at orientation last week, it's filled with tree-hugger "Earth" chicks. All I had to ride at his age was a Yamaha 350 that stank of 2-stroke oil and scared the crap out of them (and me on occasion!).
Glad you liked it, Spaceman. Yep, a Zero would impress Earth chicks!

I remember giving my girlfriend rides on my RZ500 (with two of four exhausts under its seat) and then clearly smelling Yamalube in her hair when I hugged her!
 

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I'd love to buy an E-Bike for the kid when he gets his D/L license in a year or so...
Ack!

from what I saw at orientation last week, it's filled with tree-hugger "Earth" chicks.
AAAAAAAAAAAAACK!!!

Jesus, what did he do, run over the CB with the Mini? You want to teach the kid a lesson, not scar him for life.
 

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Ack!

AAAAAAAAAAAAACK!!!

Jesus, what did he do, run over the CB with the Mini? You want to teach the kid a lesson, not scar him for life.
What can I tell you? The kid is smart, he got into a "Magnet" school that only the top students in the District can even apply for. Even if you qualify they only picked 300 out of over 800 applicants. The whole damn school is Goth girls, musicians, computer nerds, Jr. environmentalists. An E-Bike will get him laid faster than a $10M trust fund!

Damn sure wasn't what I had to deal with...
 

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Kevin_Duke said:
I remember giving my girlfriend rides on my RZ500 (with two of four exhausts under its seat) and then clearly smelling Yamalube in her hair when I hugged her!
I, for one, fail to see a problem with that.....

Great Review, BTW - I do not dislike the idea of an 'lectric moto - just where the technology stands right now does not coincide with my expectations of something I would lay out cash to obtain.
 

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What can I tell you? The kid is smart, he got into a "Magnet" school that only the top students in the District can even apply for. Even if you qualify they only picked 300 out of over 800 applicants. The whole damn school is Goth girls, musicians, computer nerds, Jr. environmentalists. An E-Bike will get him laid faster than a $10M trust fund!

Damn sure wasn't what I had to deal with...
Sounds like other than the computer nerds, most of them will be living with their parents into their 40s.

Way to go KMo!
 

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14-16 large for a vehicle that doesn't even make a real good secondary vehicle. And suspension by something called Fast Ace.

Hope Zero has more VC funding coming down the pike.

Not there yet, folks.
 
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