2015 Zero electric motorcycle
2015 Zero electric motorcycleEnlarge Photo
The 2015 Zero Motorcycles lineup was revealed this morning, and all of its electric motorcycles get some important upgrades: greater range, antilock brakes (ABS), Showa suspension, and Pirelli tires.
For the past three years, Zero Motorcycles been adding greater range and more power to its motorcycles. This year it decided to upgrade other important parts of the bikes, while continuing to extend range as well.
Racing a looming deadline that all motorcycles sold in Europe must have ABS by 2016, Zero met the standard one year early.
Its previous suspension system, meanwhile, was the main area that many reviewers agreed was underwhelming. Early reviews of the new Showa suspension fitted to 2015 models gives it high marks.
Some of the most important changes came behind the scenes and under the fairings.
With no major overhaul to the motor, Zero worked on perfecting its production processes and simplified some of the installation procedures to save time at dealers.
While that kind of change isn't as sexy as squeezing out a few more horsepower, it is a crucial step to improved quality.
ALSO SEE: 2014 Electric Motorcycles: Buyer's Guide
Zero also has more than doubled its revenues since last year, demonstrating that offering a varied range of motorcycles for different riders is paying dividends.
And staying with the same frame allows many of the upgrades fitted to last year's models to be swapped into the new bikes. For example, if you have a 2014 Zero S or SR with a power tank and want to use that power tank on a 2015 Zero SR, you can easily have it swapped out.
On the software side, the Zero Motorcycles app allows the rider to customize the power and regenerative braking settings, as well as providing information state of charge, speed and energy use.
The standard charging system is a 1.3kW onboard charger that will completely recharge the bike in 6 to 8 hours, depending on battery size. Many users will never need a full charge, unless they have a particularly long riding day.
Zero plans to ship the first 2015 bikes to U.S. dealerships in December; they will be available in Europe in the early spring of 2015.
More range - Zero improved the energy density of their battery packs, which means a 10% increase in range for the Zero SR, S, and DS. This adds approximately 10 miles of range to each model.