Electric motorcycles have been pricey propositions since hitting the U.S. market. After riders saw affordable models by Brammo wiped off the map when Polaris acquired its electric bike business, options became even thinner while mainstream companies develop bikes and high-end models trickle out to consumers.
This vacuum has left California-based Zero Motorcycles as the dominant force in the industry when riders can’t spend big but want to find zero-emissions transportation on two wheels. Price cuts in May 2015 have left three models with starting prices below $12,000. Zero said that falling battery prices and increases in energy density prompted them to immediately cut the cost of bikes by $1,350 across the board. Here is a look at specs of the cheapest electric motorcycles on the market.
3. 2015 Zero S
The Zero S Streetfighter makes an impression in all black or black with yellow accents. The base model ZF9.4 ($11,995) features 54 horsepower and 68 pounds-feet of torque. Capable of hitting 60 miles per hour from a standstill in 4.8 seconds, the Zero S has an electric range of 113 miles in city riding or 70 miles on the highway going 55 miles per hour (87 miles of range combined). Top speed is 95 miles per hour. A 95% charge takes between 1.4 hours and 6.1 hours depending on the level of charger. Fuel economy is rated at 462 miles per gallon equivalent in the city and 236 miles per gallon on the highway.
2. Zero DS
Zero DS ($11,995) stands for “dual sport” and offers bikers the versatility of zero-emissions riding on the street or on the trail. The DS shares the powertrain of S bikes with 54 horsepower, 68 pounds-feet of torque, and a top speed of 98 miles per hour. This model can hit 60 miles per hour in 5.2 seconds from a stop. The bike’s range is rated at 104 miles in the city and 63 miles on the highway (78 miles combined). Efficiency is rated at 425 miles per gallon equivalent in the city and 206 miles per gallon on the highway. Charging to 95% takes between 1.4 hours and 6.1 hours, depending on the power of the system.
1. Zero FX
The Zero FX Streetfighter ($8,495) is now the most affordable electric bike on the market. Sharing the same Showa suspension and standard Bosch Gen 9 ABS brakes as other Zero bikes, the FX offers 27 horsepower and 70 pounds-feet of torque on a bike weighing 298 pounds. That allows riders to hit 60 miles per hour in 4.3 seconds long with a top speed of 85 miles per hour. In the base ZF2.8 model, range is minimal at 35 miles in the city and 22 miles on the highway.
Upgrading to the FX ZF5.7 pack ($10,990) gives riders 44 horsepower and an electric range of 70 miles in city riding (44 miles on the highway). Economy for both bikes is rated at 472 miles per gallon equivalent in the city and 202 miles per gallon in highway riding. A 95% charge takes between 1.3 hours and 7.8 hours.
Specs courtesy of Zero Motorcycles.