While car manufacturers are still trying to shoe-horn bricks full of lithium ion into an electric vehicle that can actually last for more than a trip to the grocery store and back, the guys at Zero Motorcycles have done away with the extra wheels, thrown practicality into the wind, and designed an electric motorcycle that will run around town all day on a single charge.
Though the company’s popular Zero X dirtbike has been tearing (uncharacteristically quietly) around back lots and fire trails since last year, the Zero S will represent the company’s first foray into street-legal motorcycles. It has adapted the off-road design of the original to that of a supermoto bike: half dirt, and half street.
Unlike a conventional motorcycle, the Zero S uses a lithium ion battery pack to sling itself up to 60 miles per hour. Though the 31-horsepower output of its electric motor looks modest in comparison to an internal combustion engine, it makes up for it with an impressive 62.5 foot-pounds of torque. That’s a lot of power for a 225-pound bike, which, in the world of street motorcycles, would be considered a featherweight.
A range of only 60 miles will limit the Zero S to short jaunts and commutes, but recharge times have been clocked at a reasonable four hours for a full charge, so a bike tapped out from a Saturday morning ride will be back in action by afternoon.
Zero claims the bike will be shipping to customers within a month for $9,950. Skeptical gasoline diehards can even schedule demo rides to make sure the new bike is everything it’s cracked up to be, before plunking down the $1,000 deposit. More information on the bikes can be found at Zero Motorcycles.
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