Can this new 2014 Zero SR banish memories of bicycle brakes and no-name tires? Now with serious acceleration, real motorcycle components and a genuinely useful range, this new Zero SR promises to be a good motorcycle, not just an electric one.
Accelerating to 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds and topping out at 102 mph, this new 67 bhp Zero should be able to keep ahead of both city and highway traffic. As stock ($16,995) Zero claims the 11.4 kWh SR has a 93 mile range in combined city and highway riding. Adding the optional "Power Tank" takes capacity up to 14.2 kWh, which boosts that combined range to 116 miles. Stick to city speeds and the Power Tank-equipped SR can reach 171 miles.
In other good news, real motorcycle forks, 43mm in diameter, are fitted for the first time. They're adjustable for compression and rebound damping. The remote reservoir shocks are fully adjustable, but there's no word on who makes either component.
Looking closely at the tires, we do see an actual brand name on them. Unfortunately, that appears to be "IRC" and the model looks like "Road Winner." If so, then these are the same non-radial, bias ply items fitted to the $3,999 Suzuki GW250. Still, that's an actual motorcycle!
Unlike arch-rival Brammo and its $16,995 Marzocchi/Sachs/Brembo-equipped and radial tire-fitted Empulse, the SR does without a gearbox, shedding weight and boosting efficiency.
Using a standard 110v home outlet, recharging the stock SR will take eight hours, while the Power Tank takes that up to 10 hours total. Those numbers can drop as low as 1.5 hours if you can find a CHAdeMO quick charge station.
"You will also notice a much more refined look and feel to the entire Zero product range as we’ve spent a great deal of time sweating the details," states Zero Marketing VP Scott Harden. "This is evident as soon as you climb on board as our new cockpit layout and instrumentation package offers increased utility, a sleeker look and more aerodynamic integration with the headlight."
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