I like getting around on two wheels. It’s kind of my thing. Whether it’s an electric scooter, moped, bike, or motorcycle, I ride them all. And over the past year, I’ve spent a significant amount of saddle time on the four two-wheeled electric vehicles that I consider to be the best options for urban commuters: The 2019 Zero FXS electric supermoto, the 2019 CSC City Slicker urban electric motorcycle, the GenZe 2.0f electric scooter, and the BloomScooter electric scooter.
Each is a strong contender for top urban electric motorbike, so I wanted to do a comparison to see how they stack up against each other. Check out my video below and read on to see why each of these could be the best urban electric commuter.
A quick note: while I definitely love commuting on electric bicycles, electric kick scooters and e-skateboards, they aren’t included in this showdown. They are each awesome in their own right, (and I wrote/filmed a previous showdown for them) but today I’m comparing full-size motor vehicles. Basically, electric moped-style scooters and motorcycles.
For today’s urban electric motorbikes, I’ll be comparing them in the following six categories: Price, power, speed, range, convenience, and build quality.
And of course, I made a video version of this showdown as well. You can check that out below, and then continue on to get all the nitty-gritty details here.
Lastly, don’t forget to check out my full review for each of these rides. I have created detailed written and video reviews for the CSC City Slicker urban electric motorcycle, the GenZe 2.0f electric scooter, and the BloomScooter electric scooter. I haven’t done a full review on the Zero FXS yet as I’ve only had it for about a month, but you should check back in the next few weeks for my full Zero review.
Let’s get this one out of the way. Here are the prices of these four electric motorcycles and scooters:
2019 Zero FXS Z7.2: $10,495
2019 CSC City Slicker: $2,495
GenZe 2.0f: $4,299
Keep in mind there are some other factors to consider in the cost. There’s another version of the Zero FXS that has half the battery capacity and reduced power, but will save you $2,000. Some states also have tax incentives that can shave some cash off the Zero’s price. And the CSC City Slicker has another $300 or so in fees before it arrives at your door. But these are more or less the approximate prices.
And there’s a pretty wide spread here. But as you’re about to see, there’s a reason for that.
2019 CSC City Slicker urban electric motorcycle
Speed & Power
2019 Zero FXS Z7.2: 85 mph (137 km/h) & 34 kW (45 hp)
2019 CSC City Slicker: 46 mph (74 km/h) & 3 kW (4 hp) listed, 4 kW (5.3 hp) actual
GenZe 2.0f: 30 mph (48 km/h) and unlisted power (likely 1.5-2 kW or 2-2.5 hp)
BloomScooter: 25 mph (45 km/h) and unlisted power (likely 1.5ish kW or 2 hp)
The Zero FXS is obviously the undisputed winner here on speed and power. None of the others can compete with it, as the Zero FXS is in a category all its own. It has enough power to climb any hill, carry basically any weight of passenger(s) and pretty much do anything you ask of it. The top speed makes it highway capable, though I do find that the range drops fairly quickly on the highway. More on that in a moment.
Also, keep in mind that if you’re going to be doing highway riding, you’ll want to consider your gear. After moving up to higher speeds and power on the Zero, my city gear didn’t make me feel quite as safe. I’m currently testing out a couple Dainese armored jackets and an AGV helmet that are much more appropriate for 70+ mph (110+ km/h) interstate riding.
Please remember that highway riding requires a higher level of protective gear
The CSC City Slicker is definitely powerful for its small size, but its top speed still largely limits it to the city. That being said, I love the torque and acceleration off the line. The CSC City Slicker received a new, high power controller for 2019 and the bike absolutely launches off the line.
The GenZe and BloomScooter are both designed to be sensible, utilitarian commuters. They don’t offer the same thrilling acceleration as the Zero FXS or the City Slicker, but they also serve different purposes. Plus their sub 30-mph speeds means they can be classified differently in many states. That allows many riders to get away without needing a motorcycle license – a big advantage for new riders!
GenZe 2.0f electric scooter (not my normal riding shoes, this was delivery day!)
2019 Zero FXS Z7.2: 90 miles (145 km) city, 40 miles (64 km) highway
2019 CSC City Slicker: 40 miles (64 km) at city speeds, 30 miles (48 km) at faster city speeds
GenZe 2.0f: 30 miles (48 km)
BloomScooter: 30 miles (48 km)
Obviously, the Zero FXS is going to win on range as it has 3-4x the amount of battery capacity as the other bikes here. But it is important to note that if you’ll be riding the Zero FXS at highway speeds, you’ll see the battery percentage drop much faster. Personally, I ride it mostly in the city. With that kind of riding, the battery seems to last me forever.
The City Slicker has fairly good range for the relatively high city speeds it can reach, but the battery is only 1.8 kWh. If you commute more than around 15 miles one way and don’t have a charging option at work, the City Slicker might not be the bike for you. On the other hand, the battery is removable for charging, so as long as you have a 110 VAC outlet available, you can probably charge just about anywhere. I’ve heard from City Slicker owners that commute 20-25 miles to work, charge in their office, then commute home.
BloomScooter electric scooter
While the GenZe and BloomScooter have smaller batteries, they also travel at slower speeds than the motorcycles. That helps them achieve only slightly shoter ranges. But keep in mind that these are definitely city vehicles. Most people don’t commute more than 30 miles round trip in the city. I’d be surprised if these scooters didn’t fit most peoples’ commutes, at least those that commute within a single city.
This is a big one. EVs are great, but they have to fit your needs when it comes to convenience and lifestyle. The Zero FXS is essentially a go anywhere and do anything electric bike, and that is one of the most convenient things for me. However, it has zero onboard storage (unless you count the pipe in the swingarm for storing the charging cable). You’ll need to add bags or cases to the bike if you want dedicated storage. Or just do like I do and wear a backpack. A big backpack turns my Zero FXS electric supermoto into the most badass grocery getter on the block!
Mission Workshop hooked me up with a pretty sweet bag for testing as a motorcycle pack
I also backpack my groceries on the City Slicker, though it comes with a nice glovebox in the fake tank that offers a decent amount of storage. I normally keep the charger in there, but it has room for a bit more. I’d guess it’s probably close to 6 or 7 liters of storage. While that adds convenience to the City Slicker, charging still isn’t the most convenient. Don’t get me wrong, I love that I can choose between charging the battery on the bike or removing the battery to carry it inside and charge. The Zero FXS only lets me charge on the bike (unless you pay extra for the modular batteries). However, the battery removal system on the City Slicker is a bit clunky. It works fine, there are just a number of steps and it isn’t the smoothest operation.
The GenZe 2.0f has the most amazing battery removal system I’ve ever seen. It’s a one-button removal that has you on your way in literally a couple of seconds. Plus when you add in that giant locking cargo trunk, I think the GenZe 2.0f might be the most convenient of all of these for general around town riding and running errands. I almost never need a backpack with the GenZe unless I’m doing some serious shopping. And for things that don’t fit in the trunk due to large or awkward shapes, I simply put them on the floor board. You’re probably not supposed to ride like that, but it’s par for the course across the developing world. And it works great, so maybe we’re a bit too quick to call that half of the world “developing” when they’ve developed a better way to get around than us. Whoa, deeeeep.
City Slicker and BloomScooter storage (did I mention the BloomScooter’s cupholder!?)
Lastly, let’s consider the BloomScooter. It has a small storage compartment under the seat, though its sloping shape means it is barely large enough for the charger and a pair of gloves. I don’t think I could fit a jacket in there unless it was a very lightweight one. But with a big two-person seat, there’s plenty of space for a big backpack to rest behind you. And it has a backrest, so you could even strap your backpack down very securely if you didn’t want to wear it. That two-person seat also makes it easy to carry a passenger. The GenZe is meant for a single rider, though I’ve been known to take my wife on it with me (see the video above). But the BloomScooter is more comfortable for riding tandem. And my wife claims it has the most comfortable seat of all four of these rides.
At the same time though, the BloomScooter is probably the least convenient in terms of charging. It’s in the same situation as the Zero, in that you can’t remove the batteries to charge. However, it has a much lower battery capacity so you’ll have to charge it more often than the Zero. If you have an outlet in your garage then this may be a non-issue. I run a 75-foot charging cable from an outlet in my building’s parking garage. But it’s something to consider as this might not be an option for everyone.
Believe it or not, the build quality largely follows the price. The Zero FXS has the nicest build quality and best components. The GenZe 2.0f comes in second, though I’d argue some components beat out the Zero. The screen is much nicer (color touch screen vs simple backlit LCD panel) and I love the keyless startup. You simply type in your pin code on the GenZe instead of turning a key on the Zero FXS.
The City Slicker comes in third. It’s a great bike, but it doesn’t have quite the same fit and finish of the GenZe, and the suspension isn’t quite as lush. Though it is designed for a sportier ride, so that is to be expected. I will still say though that the quality for price blows me away. I wouldn’t have expected a $2.5k electric motorcycle to be as nice as this one.
Inside the battery compartment of the CitySlicker
Lastly, the BloomScooter brings up the rear. There’s nothing really wrong with it, but it’s just not comparable to the others in terms of quality. The SLA batteries aren’t as nice as the lithium-ion batteries in the others. The brakes and suspension aren’t as nice, though they match the slower speed of the BloomScooter. The scooter feels more plastic-y than the others. It just doesn’t scream quality. But like I said, the scooter itself is fine. If it was my only electric scooter then I’d happily ride it all day, every day. I’m just glad that this job affords me the chance to ride many more!
So there you have it. I can’t take just one of these electric motorcycles or scooters and say “this is the best one for an urban rider.” It simply doesn’t work that way.
The Zero FXS is obviously the fastest, most powerful and of the highest quality – but it is also much more expensive. It might not fit the budget of many new riders looking for an inexpensive car alternative for navigating the city.
The GenZe 2.0 is super utilitarian and can do just about anything I need – but it also limits my top speed and thus the number of larger roads I can use.
The City Slicker is quick, sporty and probably the most fun I’ve had on an electric motorbike for just $2.5k – but it requires a motorcycle license which could be an obstacle for many people. It has a similarly spec’d electric scooter cousin coming out soon though, that could be a nice alternative.
The BloomScooter is ultra-affordable and could be the best way to get budget-conscious riders onto two-wheeled EVs – but it is likely the most limiting of the bunch.
At the end of the day, each rider has to make what amounts to a personal choice. What do you value most in an electric commuter vehicle? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Oh, and if you want to see even more electric motorcycles and scooters compared, I wrote a whole book about it!
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