Zero Motorcycles 2016 Lineup – Two New Models
New for 2016 are two new models and larger capacity cells across the lineup.
More akin to shopping for a computer over a traditional internal combustion motorcycle, balancing range and efficiency against your budget instead of accessory and electronics packages, the price chart for the 2016 Zero Motorcycles line-up a little dizzying.
“Mastering the art of science and electric propulsion since 2006”, Zero Motorcycles unveils this week its 10th model year line-up which includes many returning models, a few lower prices and a slew of brand new goodies. Offering two new mounts plus a new motor —now in 5 different configurations— you might want to take notes, there will be test at the end of the course.
Expecting no more than the usual 3 to 5 page press release, I was shocked to find nearly 50 pages in the press materials delivered from Zero. Thankfully it was all in there however, as I personally haven’t looked closely at their model line-up in quite a few years. Only after reading every single page can I say I have digested the range and the specs, and wow! Two new units and a whole new motor lead the news, and across-the-board upgraded companion fuel cells… time brush up on my brushless nomenclature!
Designed for each of three disciplines; street (S), dual-sport (DS), and off-road (FX), the Zero line-up now currently boasts 6 individual models (up 2 from MY2015), each with two or three optional fuel cell ranges for a total of 14 separate machines.
Newest to the stable and headlining this particular piece are the 2016 FXS and 2016 DSR models, a sportier dirt-bike and a faster dual-sport. Every returning model has a greater claimed range and in some cases more horsepower and torque, if not a lower price.
2016 Zero Motorcycles FXS
Bringing the keenest electric dirt-oriented machine back onto the pavement, Zero now offers the motard FXS for 2016 with longer range, more power and yet the same price point as both “lesser” FX model this year and last.
It might even make a better dual-sport than the road-focused dual-sport model, but we’ll have to test it to know more. But on paper the FXS weighs on under 300 pounds, has less range than it’s line mates but a much smaller power cell and price.
Based on Zero’s championship-winning off-road heritage, and the idea that a taller bike with better handling and street-oriented tires will dominate any urban environment, the FXS was born. Carrying the more-efficient Z-Force motor and power packs, the 70 pound-feet of torque and 27 to 44 horsepower (based on cell capacity), the returning FX is cheap to recharge and boasts a rip-roaring fuel economy equivalent of 485 miles in the city… in range chunks of over 40 miles a pop with the lightweight 3.3 kWh cell and over 80 miles with the 6.5 kWh.
Chopping the suspension travel of the Showa 41mm inverted forks down 1.6 inches (to 7 inches even), the pair of FXS’ now has a greater range of 45 and 90 miles respectively thanks to the drop to a pair 17-inch wheels front and rear (with Pirelli Diablo Rosso IIs) and the tight rake, lessened trail and slightly shortened wheelbase, shaving ounces along the way. All told, the FXS can claim a 5 mph increase in sustained top speed (to 75 mph, yet lower peaks) over the nearly 2-inch taller FX model.
2016 Zero Motorcycles DSR
Now boasting 25% more power than the DS and 56% more torque (106 pound-feet), the new DSR also sports the all-new Z-Force IPM motor, in the more powerful 75-7R configuration. Thank to the more-efficiently cooled design of the internal permanent magnet (IPM) motor, 5 to 10 mph faster sustained top speeds are possible, as well as faster zero-to-sixty speeds.
Compared to the returning, but updated, DS model, the new DSR gets the same suspension travel and set up, same wheels, tires, and brakes. The wheelbase is the same as well as the associated geometry, so what makes its a new model? The little R in both the model name and the motor’s designation. The passively air-cooled Z-Force 75-7R contains a new internal magnet and has greater thermal capabilities, one of those being the ability to run longer and faster. A internal permanent magnet that helps to produce more of what you want.
The new IPM motor is also seen on the updated SR, creating 67 hp and 106 pound-feet of torque, more than the non-R found on the standard dual-sport DS.
Retail pricing for the DS and DSR is structurally the same as the S and SR, starting at $10,995 for the 9.8 kWh version and increasing in $2,000 chunks. The new DSR only ships with larger 13 kWh cell and retailed for $15,995, $16,669 if you want the Power Tank. Standard pricing on the Charge Tank (speed charger) and Power Tank apply across the line-up.
Tanks for Nothing
Look at the pricing charts and you’ll find MSRPs on a grid, presenting the model, the power cell size and two optional upgrades called “tanks.” The Power Tank is nothing more than a larger cell and might be better thought of as a “ZF16” model with the increased capacity of 15.9 kWh. Available for every 2014 model year S, SR, DS and DSR units and newer, the $2,674 Power Tank adds 2.8 kWh to your unit’s capacity and range. Occupying the space previously utilized by the integrated tank bag, it is a dealer-installed option and comes with redesigned bodywork panels.
The Charging Tank (MSRP $1,988, available Spring 2016) is a quick-charge module that triples the speed at which a battery can be topped off using Level 2 J1772 public charge stations.
For example, it can charge a 9.8 kWh tank 95% in about 2 hours and a 13 kWh in just about 1 hour more. It’s available for 2015 model year and newer S, SR, DS and DSR models.
It’s a buyers choice on accessories when it comes to the bottom line. Since both the Charger Tank and Power Tank accessories occupy the same space, they cannot both be added to your final unit. Either you choose faster charging speed, or the largest “tank” with the greater range. Given a true commute, time spent in the office is greater than the quick-charge single hour option, so you might as go for distance, get the Power Tank and be able to charge it less often, like maybe once a week depending on your distance from the office. With a claimed city range of nearly 200 miles, or a combined city/highway total of roughly 130, you’d not only be able to get away from any approaching zombies rickety split (0-60 in 3.3 seconds), you might be able to make it to the county line before you had to stop.
With the Zero smartphone app (iOS and Android), every ride can be tuned to perfection.
With real-time stats, post-ride data, and a bluetooth connection, your handheld tuning station can deliver the best ride for you. Be it a sporting one or a frugal one.
Across the board, every model now carries larger capacity cells which in turn extend the rid e range roughly 20 miles, all numbers of course are claims by the manufacturer. The 2015 model year 9.4 kWh cells have been bumped to 9.8 kWh, the 12.5’s to 13.0 and the Power Tank versions from 15.3 to 15.9 kWh.
The 2016 Zero Motorcycles S returns with not only the range-extending cell, but a lower MSRP, down $1,000… when does that ever happen? It’s range now starting at 121 miles but reaching to just under 200 miles in the peak capacity form, all carrying the updates Z-Force motor and producing 54 horsepower and 68 pound-feet of torque.
Each 9.8 kWh machine retails for $10,995 and is ready for commuters and city riders with the new more-efficient and more-powerful Z-Force motor and appropriate Pirelli footwear.
Each S model in the line get the Z-Force 75-7 motor, boasting 54 horsepower and a sustained top speed of 80 mph (95 mph peaks).
The 2016 SR also returns with an increased capacity cell, and now offers more power and torque. (67 horsepower /106 pound-feet) As with both the S and the DS models, the R-spec versions only come in the larger capacity cell, $15,995 for the ZF13.0 and $18,669 with the Power Tank.
The SR also comes with the Z-Force 75-7R IPM motor and produces 15 more sustained miles per hour (95 vs 80) with peaks over 102 mph. A ZF13.0 SR will make a 3.3 second 0-60 run while the ZF13.0 S will need nearly 2 more seconds to get there, with greater efficiency come the reward!
Wearing a KLIM suit? You’ll want to add a “D” to the models on your radar and watch for the DS and DSR models.
As any technology progresses, we don’t always expect to get more for less, but yet again Zero motorcycles brings back another model with increased power and range for less. The MSRP for the base 9.8 kWh DS drops $1,000 to $10,995 with the up-spec 13 kWH and Power Tank versions retailing at $13,995 and $16,669 respectively.
The larger and more powerful DSR with 67 horsepower and 106 pound-feet spec Z-Force motor and the newest to the line-up (available only with the 13 kWh cell) and retail for $15,995, $18,669 with the Power Tank.
Getting into the electric motorcycle game, and off the oil industries teet, is getting more and more fun each year. The baseline streetfighter FX returns again for 2016 with a larger cell, from 2.8 to 3.3 kWh and will get you just over 40 miles down the road before you need to top up. The higher spec 6.5 kWh cell will go over 80 miles and offers even more horsepower and torque to boot! MSRP for these machines run $8,495 to $10,990 respectively.
While the price chart remains the same between the FX and the all-new FXS, they’re siblings in name only. The higher-saddled and dirt bike scale hoops on the FX keep it rip for the motocross track. Meanwhile the Showa 41mm inverted fork travel has been chopped down 1.6 inches (to 7 inches even) on the new FXS and offered a greater range of 45 and 90 miles (cell capacity depending) and will probably make a better motard.
With new models arriving in dealership in just a couple of weeks, priced between 8.5 and 16-grand, the future is swiftly, and quietly approaching. Zero Motorcycles VP of Global Marketing Scot Harden, suggests “the thrill of electric is more accessible than ever.”