Popular Mechanics Takes Zero X Electric Dirt Bike for Spin

At 140 pounds, the American-made, $7450 Zero X weighs in about 100 pounds lighter than a typical 250 cc dirt bike. Batteries included, but not the model.

Published: 14-Jul-2008

We're chatting with Neal Saiki, inventor and founder of Zero Motorcycles, as we ride his new Zero X dirt bike down the beachside bike path here. Halfway to Santa Monica, two things occur to us: We've never interviewed anyone while riding a motorcycle (yes, it's that quiet), and, um, we're probably breaking the law. This electric motorcycle is smaller than a conventional 250 cc dirt bike, but it's most certainly not a bicycle. And we're on a bike path --oops.

Seconds later, officer Blake Budai of the Los Angeles Pacific Patrol Division wheels his Toyota Tacoma police truck off the paved parking lot and onto the beach to chase us down -- double oops.

Fortunately for us, this is one cool officer. And like just about everyone we meet while riding the Zero X, he's impressed. Budai not only lets us off easy (thank you, sir!) -- he takes a ride himself, grabs Saiki's business card and asks about potential patrol units. The remainder of our test ride goes down in a very large -- but very legal -- parking lot ... where we answered quite a few more questions from locals. The Zero X, after all, creates a buzz wherever it goes. -- Ben Stewart


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