2009 Zero S: Initial Report

HFL, Positions, Reviews -



Yesterday, we got the chance to take the 2009 Zero S electric supermoto for a spin through Midtown Manhattan during a torrential downpour. No, we didn’t get electrocuted, but the experience was shocking nonetheless. Could electric motorcycles finally be ready for the mainstream?

Click below for the feature:
Initial Report: 2009 Zero S

  • Charlie

    Thx for the report…how does it look in the flesh? Looks a little heavy on the plastic. Does it have a quality feel? Great website BTW.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Thanks Charlie. We’ve got some more Zero content planned for the next couple of days that should explain things better, but yes, it does feel like a high quality bike. The welds on the aluminum frame are among the best I’ve seen and the polypropolene plastic is built to survive many a spill.

  • Charlie

    Thx…I got on the list for the enertia bike…but haven’t heard anything. Zero looks like a better option. I have to stop buying vintage motorcycles first. I will look for your additional material.

  • http://news.motorbiker.org/ Mike Werner

    Nice one Wes. Lucky man.
    Is this a full production bike, or still a pre-production one?

  • http://Http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

    Full production. There’s 600 being produced this year.

  • http://sr500project.blogspot.com/ Anders

    I want it now. I am a bit concerned about the design, but havn’t seen it in real life so don’t really know. Has a bit a bit bmw-ish design feel about it, with the headlamp and overall sculpting

  • http://Http://electricmotorcycleforum.com/ Skadamo

    Wes, thanks for the great summary. Two stoke power delivery sounds fun. :) Any talk of programable power curves? Would be nice to be able to design and upload your own when you have that much power to work with. Wish this bike had 17″ rims. How’s the tire options in 16?

    I am excited to learn more about the dualsport model. Any info on that? I am hearing talk of other models planned. Zero is filling out the product line fast. No wonder they aren’t donig TTXGP.

  • aoelus

    Green? How is the electricity that is uses produced… diesel generators? Solar powered recharge station needed. Silent running a safety hazard. How many bikers a year get killed in NYC. At the least an award of the croix de guerre for your tester.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Sigh, not those arguments again.

      Electric vehicles are far more energy efficient than their gas engined counterparts. So even though that energy comes from somewhere, they use far less of it. Powerplants in turn, even coal ones, not only move pollution out of urban areas, but are far cleaner per unit of energy produced than vehicles burning petroleum.

      Loud pipes don’t save lives, good riding does.

  • http://www.damiengaudet.com blankfocus

    very cool.

  • http://www.damiengaudet.com blankfocus

    oh yeah, thanks for the heads up on the alpinestars shibuya air shoe. just ordered a pair.

  • fritz

    “Silent running a safety hazard. How many bikers a year get killed “


    I still want one but that’s an interesting point

  • Generic1776

    + Wheelspin under 20mph (in adverse conditions)
    + 2-stroke power delivery

    Does it use its super powers for good or evil?

    As a supermoto, do you feel like it wants to back-it-in or waiting high side

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      I could see someone highsiding this. Without engine braking you’d have to back it in on the brakes, something that far exceeds my skill level.

  • Cramer

    Even just a few different power maps would be a welcome addition for v2.0. Something like the Mana’s Sport, Tour, and Rain. The latter seems especially necessary to calm things down. Tour would optimize range over performance.

    Any sense of how difficult it would be to make that happen, Wes? Is the electric motor more difficult to manipulate?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Cramer: I’ve never really found those maps all that great an idea. I’ve never had a problem just using the throttle carefully.

      Having said that, the Zero X has switchable programming, so it’s possible.

      Skadamo: You can work with the company to spec a different motor, but it’s really not necessary. Get out of the idea of power bands and into the idea of perfectly linear throttle response anywhere, any time.

  • http://pervasivelight.com/blog/ dave

    “Silent running a safety hazard”


    I always found pulling the clutch and blipping the throttle an effective way of clearing jaywalkers (especially around Union Square) and cabbies (everywhere else).

    Hope the ZeroS has a good horn.

  • david

    Hello Wes,
    we missed each other, I was riding the day after you.
    Neal said pre-production, because he will chance the power of the motor and the throttle mapping…
    If I understood well…


    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      Hilarious, David. Neal told told us it was production model # 1, and a part would be swapped upon return to the factory.

      Go figure.

      • david

        Can’t remember exactly his words but he said that the production model (they already built 4 or 6) is going to have a more powerful motor and a different mapping for the throttle (which was sometimes hesitant in my opinion) on the model we’ve both test ride…
        I’ve ask him more info about it…


        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          Yeah, the one we rode has a 300 amp controller, production gets 400 amp. Not a big deal.

  • david

    you’re right about the controller
    and I take back my “pre-production” word, I’ve been messed up by the different info I got.

  • deb

    that you on that bike,Wes??lookin sweeeet!

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Yep, that’s me Deb, next time you’ll have to come for a ride on the back.

  • zippy

    “Silent running a safety hazard? (… snore).

    Mate, with 40 Amp hours sitting right under your butt, any idiot with with a pair of electrical pliers is going to be able to attach a 100 Watt car amp, a nice set of speakers, and then you can play “Ride of the Valkyries” from your iPod as you speedily bear down on the pedestrians … your favorite AHDRA sound track … a 747 landing … F1 tyre screams etc.

    It could be a lot of fun !!!