Now the company is updating their electric motorcycle lineup with the announcement of their new 2019 models.
Just over a decade ago, Zero Motorcycles began as simply another Santa Cruz garage startup. Now the company is an internationally respected electric motorcycle powerhouse.
Zero’s new 2019 electric motorcycle lineup ratchets up the specs as the company seeks to cement their top spot in the industry.
According to Zero Motorcycles’ CEO Sam Paschel:
“At Zero Motorcycles, we’ve defined the electric motorcycle industry over the past 13 years by developing a diverse lineup that features the world’s most power and energy dense EV tech. Having sold more electric motorcycles annually than all our competitors combined, we continue to be the driving force behind two-wheeled electrification. This is going to be a very exciting year for Zero Motorcycles.”
2019 Zero Motorcycles Dual-Sport DS and DSR
The DS model has been Zero’s entry-level dual sport electric motorcycle. For 2019, the dual sport lineup is getting a speed and power bump.
The dual sport bikes will be 8% faster and come with an additional 35% motor power. The battery on the DS ZF7.2 remains the same size to preserve its lower weight and price.
According to the company:
“The entry price point Zero DS ZF7.2 is designed for those seeking the electric dual sport experience and who don’t need, or want, a larger battery.”
The 2019 longer-range Zero DS ZF14.4 will be upgraded to the same battery as the premium DSR. That should give it a range increase of 10%, with a city range of 204 miles (328 km) and a highway range of 97 miles (158 km).
The Zero DSR is already a pretty wild dual sport bike, and so its specs are remaining unchanged. However, the DSR is still getting a number of accessory upgrades. As explained by the company:
“The pinnacle bike in the dual sport line, the asphalt and dirt ripping Zero DSR, continues to be wildy popular among riders with its massive 116 ft-lb of seamless torque. This year it has been newly outfitted with a collection of Zero’s bestselling accessories including a dual-sport windscreen, tank grips, hand guards and a 12V accessory socket.”
2019 Zero Motorcycles sport bikes
While the Zero Motorcycles dual sport bikes received impressive upgrades, the sport bikes get their own performance bumps as well.
The entry-price Zero S ZF7.2 sport bike also received a 35% power increase over the previous year’s model.
The longer range Zero S ZF14.4 now comes with 10% more range than the 2018 model. The new 2019 Zero S ZF14.4 is rated for 223 city miles (359 km) or 112 highway miles (180 km).
Backwards compatible Charge Tank
Last year, Zero Motorcycles unveiled their new Charge Tank accessory, which added an inverter to the longer range bikes. That allowed the bikes to charge at a Level 2 charger. The company claims the Charge Tank can allow charging up to six times faster than a standard wall charger.
Now Zero has announced that the new Charge Tank will be backwards compatible with all of their Zero S, SR, DS and DSR electric motorcycles from 2015 and later.
The Charge Tank can recharge a Zero S or DS ZF7.2 to 95% in just one hour.
Operating system improvements
Like most electric vehicles, tinkering and upgrades to Zero Motorcycles often have as much to do with lines of code as they do with nuts and bolts.
The Zero operating system also received attention for the new 2019 model year.
According to the company:
“Whether charging, riding, or storing a Zero for a long winter, the motorcycle’s operating system is the ‘brains’ behind it all. Zero continuously upgrades this system based on millions of consumer riding miles. For 2019, Zero developed and released an industry-first “Long Term Storage Mode” in which the motorcycle automatically puts itself into a low-power mode to optimize battery state-of-charge and further improve long-term battery health. Zero also continues to offer its industry-leading five-year/unlimited mile battery warranty.”
I’m quite pleased to see Zero continuing to push improvements year after year. Without much competition in the US, they could easily get lazy. But improvements like these show that the company is dedicated to remaining at the top of the pack.
With Alta Motors shutting down operations, Zero is now the only significant US-based electric motorcycle manufacturer.
While it is still possible to find other imported electric motorcycles in the US, Zero is the biggest game in town.
But with others on the way, including Harley-Davidson promising 5 new electric bikes in the next few years, Zero can’t rest on its laurels. Even smaller electric motorcycle startups are getting in on the game, forcing Zero Motorcycles to remain innovative.
The new 2019 lineup is an impressive step to remain the premier electric motorcycle manufacturer.