Zero DS Electric Motorcycle: Toy or Transportation?

'Hell for Leather' spends a week with the Zero DS and comes up with seven key points that need to be considered when looking to buy an electric motorcycle.

Published: 05-May-2012

My time with the 2012 Zero DS is up. The nice man from Zero came and picked it up this morning. For three whole weeks, the fastest, longest-range electric motorcycle was my only transportation. I didn’t drive any cars, I didn’t ride my bicycle, I didn’t hop on any other bikes. I might have walked a little bit once or twice. Why? I wanted to know if it was possible. Early adopters, techno geeks and and greenie weenies aside, can a normal person with normal transportation needs really make the switch to zero emissions? The answer is not what what I was expecting.

Unrealistic Expectations?

Living in LA, a city that can only be traveled by motorcycle, and living in a standalone house with outdoor outlets, I figured a two-wheeled EV would probably be a good fit. With an official 112-mile range (estimated in a mix of city and highway driving), I figured an honest 80 miles would probably be pretty useful too. Eighty miles is plenty, right? That could completely cover the majority of my daily riding, and with a top speed of 84 mph, it’s more than enough to get on the city’s congested highways.


Zero Motorcycle S Model

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Zero Motorcycle equipped with Z-Force power pack.

Zero’s new Z-Force(tm) power pack is first in transportation history that a mass production electric motorcycle capable of exceeding 100 miles range will be available for consumers.

Jiangsu Xinri electric motor scooter.

Pike Research ranks Zero Motorcycles and Wuxi-based Jiangsu Xinri.


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