Zero Electric Dirt Bike Ride Day
Motoaus recently took a look at the Zero range of electric dirt bikes.
Californian electric motorcycle manufacturer Zero, well known for both its silent dirt bikes, and its marketing prowess, recently held a ride day featuring its electric MX and trail motorcycles. Held at the the iconicly named Lake Elsinore in Southern California, we dropped in to have a quick look at the Zero.
Best described as halfway between a mountain bike, and a motocross bike, the electric Zeros are the first electric bikes to actually go on sale in the USA.
Featuring around 23 horsepower, but weighing in at only 70 odd kgs, and packing a whopping 50 foot pounds of torque they are surprisingly fast. As a comparison, a CRF450 Honda has around 40ft/lbs, albeit at a lot higher revs with the resultant extra horsepower.
Although I did not arrive suitably attired to bust berms and hit triples, there were a few in attendance that swapped their regular rides of 250 and 450 motocross bikes, and got off the Zero with huge grins. Like all electric vehicles, they lurk silent but deadly. Once the power is on, as there is no indication of a motor idling. Once the throttle is turned however, the hit is instant, with an electric motor making its most torque starting at zero revs. The lack of sound is both odd, but strangly fun, the silence meaning you can actually talk to other riders in close proximity. Or shout at them to get out the way.
The controls are scooter-like, the lack of a clutch – the motor is a direct drive to the rear wheel – means the left hand lever is the rear brake, perfect for backing it in. There is no gear lever, or rear brake foot lever.
This would be a great bike for hitting a small MX track in your back yard without angering the neighbours, or for use in noise sensitive areas. The battery pack is quoted as lasting up to 2 hours before you need to either give it a 2 hour charge, or as they were doing at the test ride, swap it out for another battery.
Hopefully in the not too distant future we can bring a much more in-depth ride review on one of these unique machines.
Zero Motorcycles are available in Australia, with a cost similar to a conventional dirt bike.
You can contact them on the web at zeromotorcycles.com.au or telephone (03) 9874 2504