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Zero FX review on stuff.co.nz with comments about NZ availability

Home Forums Bikes Electric Motorcycles Zero FX review on stuff.co.nz with comments about NZ availability

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  • #12560
    • Town/City: Tauranga
    • Bike: Suzuki DR650 ADV, BMW R100GS
    • Rank: Round the World Adventure Globetrotter

    Zero makes electric motorcycles that are sleek, silent, superfast street machines.

    But even though one model is advertised as a dual sport, they don’t do very well off-road — until they’re outfitted with a chain drive and some knobby tyres.

    I’ve been after Zero for some time to set me up with one. I recently got the chance to spin around off the pavement on a specially outfitted Zero FX.

    Like all Zeros, the battery-electric power train is torquey and tons of fun. The rocket-ship acceleration is sudden, silent and intense. The FX zipped through traffic like a stealth fighter.

    But how would the FX do off-road? I had lower expectations. The model I had borrowed was the 6.5, equipped with a pair of electric batteries. While this gives the FX a city streets range of more than 128 kilometres, and an advertised 44 horsepower and 95 newton metres of torque, the bike weighs a cumbersome 130 kilograms.

    Once I left the pavement, though, I was surprised. Despite the extra weight, the FX handled beautifully.

    It skittered along a dirt road, the front end lofting over the puddles and ditches. It plowed through some tall grass, and got over a couple of hidden potholes. It even navigated down a steep grassy hillside, negotiated a tight turn at the bottom, and then climbed back up — in total silence, with only the whir of the chain and the sound of tyres on the wet ground disturbing the afternoon quiet.

    I confess that I’m an old dirt bike guy, with decades of experience riding two-strokes and four-strokes in the desert. No one loves the “braap-braap” sound of a petrol-powered desert sled more than me.

    But there’s something really sublime about tracking up a trail in total silence. It’s a great way to see some nature, without frightening the wildlife.

    It’s also a great way to avoid irritating the neighbours if you’re riding off-road where you shouldn’t be. Because the bike isn’t roaring, rattling and smoking, it doesn’t offend the natives. On one of my trails, I even passed some hikers and trail walkers, and all they said to me was, “Cool bike.”

    I don’t know if the sneaky silence overcomes the limited range — somewhere between 65 and 112 kilometres, depending on how you ride it and how big a battery you get — or the price point — about US$7000 to US$9000 (NZ$10,100 to NZ$13,000) in California, after electric vehicle incentives and rebates.

    You can have the FX customised with a chain drive and knobby tyres by a shop for an additional US$500.

    And I can’t imagine this kind of bike, with that kind of range, replacing any of the dirt bikes I ride in the desert or the dual sports I take into the mountains.

    But for zipping around town, and a little urban off-road adventuring, it sure is some sneaky silent fun.

    Zero Motorcycles do not currently have a distribution partner in New Zealand but are hoping that will change in the near future.

    Melbourne-based Phillip Wilkinson, Zero’s director of sales for the Asia-Pacific region, said there had been a strong level of interest in a distribution partner for New Zealand.

    “For now, there is unfortunately no mechanism for NZ based customers to purchase a Zero, although we do what this to change in the near future.” He added that anyone could register their interest by visiting their website and signing up for a newsletter.

    Wilkinson adds that a 9.8kwh Zero machine can charge in 6.8 hours by using the onboard charger on a domestic/household connection. That can be supplemented with an “accessory charger” which, when used in parallel with the standard charger, will reduce the 0-100 per cent charge time to around four hours.

    From: http://www.stuff.co.nz/motoring/bikes/78970317/Taking-the-electric-Zero-FX-off-road-is-sneaky-silent-fun

    • Rank: 80cc Rider

    who is the author of the article ?

    • Town/City: Tauranga
    • Bike: Suzuki DR650 ADV, BMW R100GS
    • Rank: Round the World Adventure Globetrotter

    A CHARLES FLEMING, whys that?

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