Is the Future of Motorcycles Electric?
Should more motorcycles offer an electric powertrain? These bikes can easily give riders desired excitement while running on a battery-powered motor.
Right now, the EV world is filled with various models. If you want greater driving range, the battery must be much larger and more powerful than ever. Smaller, lighter cars are often more efficient and affordable than large electric trucks. Does this mean it would be easy to add an electric motor to a bike and give you the same fun as you would have had with a strong gas-powered motor? Some motorcycle brands seem to think so.
Electricity Has Entered This Market
A few motorcycle brands are either working on or have made the change to this new way of driving. Offering an alternative fuel option has become the future of riding motorcycles. We expect to see electric models from Harley-Davidson, Energica, Lightning, and Curtiss in the near future. Of course, the only name among those that you know is Harley. Let’s add one more; BMW is also working on an electric platform for some of its bikes. Harley already offered the Project Livewire bike, and Alta Motors is helping Harley create their new electric ride.
Zero is the Tesla of the Motorcycle World
Similar to Tesla, Zero builds only electric motorcycles, which puts this brand at the top of the list and well ahead of other names in the market. Zero has been around since 2006 and offers an output of about 2000 bikes per year right now. The electric vehicle world is changing, and the customers that drive an electric car, SUV, or truck might want a motorcycle to go with their main ride. This is where Zero comes in and what they could do to provide electric rides to customers looking for them.
Battery Tech has Improved at Zero
As other brands begin to dip their proverbial toes in the electric driving world, Zero has developed advanced technology in its batteries and drivetrains. Recent technology advancements led Zero to create a new high-speed onboard charger that recharges the bikes six times faster than before. The latest Zero batteries also get 10 percent more range than before. This could be a big deal when you want to take your electric bike across the country and enjoy a long ride that takes you away from your day-to-day for a little while.
What Battery Range Can You Expect from a Zero?
Three batteries came to the market in Zero motorcycles a few years ago. The largest of these is the ZF14.4 which has the option of an extra battery called the Power Tank. This powertrain adds 18 kWh more than the batteries in the Mitsubishi iMiEV car, giving you an idea of just how much power this motorcycle brings. The power from these two electric units gives the Zero SR motorcycle a city range of 223 miles and up to 112 miles at 70 mph on the highway. This should be more than enough range for most of your rides.
How Fast Can You Charge the Zero Batteries?
The Zero SR street bike offers an optional Charge Tank charger that will recharge your bike from empty to 95 percent in only two hours. This item takes up the same space as the Power Tank, which means you can’t have both of them. If you opt for the longer range of the Power Tank, your charging takes overnight. This means you might need to make a choice between road trip rides and added riding range. Of course, if you have the Charge Tank, you aren’t riding as far between charges and will need to wait a couple of hours to have the batteries charged. Maybe this bike isn’t equipped for cross-country road trips yet.
Just Like an EV
What’s one of the most fun aspects of driving an electric vehicle? These electric powertrains deliver all of the torque as soon as you start to accelerate. This instant torque translates to amazing acceleration. The same goes for electric motorcycles. The Zero SR returns all of the torque you want as soon as you twist the accelerator. This means you need to be ready to take off like a rocket when you get on top of this bike.
Zero Adds a Lot of Tech to the Mix
If you like the feeling of shifting and braking, you might not appreciate what the Zero SR offers. This is one of the most advanced electric motorcycles in the market, with settings that come to the bike through your smartphone. Using the Zero app, you tun the performance and then get on and go. You don’t have to shift, and you don’t have to brake. Like most EVs, the Zero SR will capture braking energy through a regenerative system.
Handling Made Easy
Because you don’t have to shift or brake with the Zero SR, you can handle this bike like you would an automatic transmission in a car. On most motorcycles, you must downshift and brake while steering into a corner. All you’ve got to do with this Zero bike is back off of the accelerator and lean as you steer through the corner. Whenever you ease off the accelerator, the electric motor turns into an electric generator to capture the braking energy and add more range to your ride. This takes a little time to get used to, but it makes riding more fun for you.
Can You Have Fun on An Electric Bike?
If you like the engaged feeling of shifting gears, braking, and want the sound of a loud exhaust, you’re probably not ready to ride one of the electric motorcycles from Zero. On the other hand, if you want an easy ride, a simple powertrain, and the quietness of electricity, the Zero SR could be ideal for your ride. Of course, if you’re waiting for the Harley or BMW models to arrive, it won’t be long. Soon, you’ll have all of the electric rides you want, whether you’re looking for something with two or four wheels.
Do you think you would like to ride one of the Zero electric motorcycles? Find out where they’re sold in your area and see if the ride is more fun for you.
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