- Z-Force battery of 14.4 kWh, Torque 190 Nm, 229 kg, € 21,700
- Quiet Watts !
- In the saddle
- In the city
- Motorways and expressways
- Comfort / Duo
- Consumption / autonomy
- Zero SR / S Video Test
- Test equipment
Z-Force battery of 14.4 kWh, Torque 190 Nm, 229 kg, € 21,700
Quiet Watts !
It has been a few years since electric motorcycles arrived on the market, Zero Motorcycles in the lead, first with its DSR models then more recent models with the SR / F in roadster and the sporty version with the SR / S. If sales remain limited for motorcycles, electric scooters are now legion thanks to rental fleets, at more affordable prices without forgetting purchase aid. In the meantime, whether they are workshop machines, prototypes or almost mass-market vehicles from industrial projects, these “mobility 2.0” machines are on the rise, Zero as the leading independent manufacturer of electric motorcycles. Go back…
A sober and pleasant design
Head in the stars in Santa Cruz, California, Neal Saiki, a former NASA engineer, decided in 2006 to create electric motorcycles. He founded Electricross and created his first machine in a corner of the garage. The production is sketchy and hardly bothered with style. But, American dream obliges, this super improbable word "makes the joke", enough to create, the following year, Zero Motorcycles (for zero emissions). The following years saw the appearance of the first road models, S and D. End of the experiment in 2011 for its founder, who changed his fad for other horizons. The company then called in a former Buell, physicist Abe Askenazi. The latter will streamline production and place Zero as a key manufacturer in the segment. The DSR was released in 2016, but it was above all the SR / F roadster that created the breakthrough in 2019. Less light than its predecessors, it more frankly mimics the style of thermal machines. With a brand new engine and more efficient batteries, the novelty awaited a variation.
It will therefore be the SR / S model, a streamlined variation with a more road vocation. Style, ergonomics, this model has differences with its sister electric “Streetfighter”.
Zero SR / S electric motorcycle test
The pencil stroke is attractive. Elegance is the main asset of the fluid and dynamic aesthetics of the new Zero SR / S. This modern, but not over-the-top style skillfully masks the mutant origin of the electron flow machine. Thus, nothing lets its technology shine too directly. A sort of mechanical shark, its face has a wide and tapered look.
Around this look at leds are built the dynamic lines of the Zero
Around this led look are built the dynamic lines of the Zero, surmounted by a profiled bubble of good size, but unfortunately not adjustable. The sides of the fairings emphasize the optics, then spinning into larger areas before becoming thinner again under the machine. This more studied CX aesthetic improves aerodynamics and would also increase the range by more than 15% compared to the F model. A point of importance for these motorcycles with long charging times and less range than their thermal sisters.
Higher, the volumes stretch in taut lines and flats, forming a fake tank refined towards the pilot. As an extension, the sheathed and profiled rear buckle is reinforced, longer and wider than that of the SR / F to ensure duo use. The structure supports a large rider seat and a stylish passenger seat.
Zero comfort seat
Framing it, solid plates form effective and perforated grab handles. Too bad, they do not include a suitcase rack, forcing you to go through unsightly tubular supports. Finally, the sheathed rear loop, but not dug above the tire, will generously spray legs and feet in the rain..
Contoured and fitted with a frosted reflector, the LED rear light creates an attractive light signature.
LED taillight creates an attractive light signature
The fake can hides, on the standard model, a safe locked by key, equipped with two USB sockets. On the premium version, the available space disappears in favor of an additional charger of 6 kW / h (3 kW.h on the simple version). Both models also integrate the power supply receiver…. electric.
Battery charging socket
Apart from its exterior, the SR / S shares all of its components, technology and chassis with the SR / F roadster. We therefore find a tubular steel frame, less attractive than aluminum, but thinner with equal strength to reduce bulk. It surrounds the battery pack with carrier function. Because it is indeed an imposing set of high capacity 14.4 kW cells that is hidden within the machine. The casing of this aluminum alloy battery is streaked with vertical fins which participate in cooling during recharging. These are more numerous in the center than at the edges to equalize the temperature between the cells. The latter are more exposed to air at the ends and pads therefore create thermal bridges to adjust the temperature. Finally, a shoe forms a forced air intake under the battery pack, leading the air flow to the Z-Force 75-10 engine. Sealed radial flow type, its permanent magnets are centrally located on the rotor, the only moving part. The hottest components, The coils are logically mounted on the periphery where the ringed structure of the circular aluminum case dissipates its heat as well as possible. This passive air cooling eliminates the need for a heavy liquid system. The electric unit develops no less than 82 kW (110 hp) at 5,000 rpm, but above all 190 Nm of torque available immediately, a major characteristic of the electric.
The Z-Force 75-10 engine
To curb this unusual force value, a Bosch three-axis, 6-direction inertial unit controls the dynamic position of the motorcycle. Anti-slip (can be deactivated) and ABS are also regulated when cornering and according to the engine modes of the Cypher III computer. Four modes are available (Rain, Eco, Street and Sport) plus a fully customizable custom mode.
No clutch of course, this mechanism does away with it, also eliminating the entire gearbox system. The double-hull steel semi-banana swingarm pivots around a 100mm sintered bronze plain bearing. This massive pivot point is concentric with the axis of the rotor and therefore of the output pinion. This prevents any change in the tension of the final drive toothed belt in order to best transmit the motor force..
Double-hull steel semi-banana swingarm
Showa suspensions equip the SR / S. The shock absorber with external reservoir (Piggy Back), offset to the right, is adjustable in preload, compression and rebound and offers 140 mm of travel. SFF Big Piston type, the inverted 43 mm fork can also be configured in any direction. Its sleeves slide over 120 mm.
The adjustable shock absorber
With a wheelbase of 1,450 mm, a caster of 94 units and a column angle of 24.5 °, the Zero favors general handling and agility of the front axle. The 17-inch bronze-colored rims with angled valves and five split-spokes fit Pirelli Rosso Corsa III tires with a sporty profile in 120/70 and 180/55. Zero chose radial calipers from Spanish OEM J. Juan. These are elements comparable to Brembo M4.32. Up front, 4 radial mounted pistons drive 320mm floating discs. At the rear, a single piston clamp bites a 240mm fret.
4 radial mounted pistons drive 320mm floating discs
Metal and plastic surfaces enhance the aesthetics of this sports car, as well as the absence of hoses and other pipes. The wiring is also well integrated and the cleanliness induced by the electricity is appreciable: no grease, no oil. And for more peace of mind, the battery is guaranteed for 5 years without mileage limits..
If the construction is neat, the finish of certain components and the accessories are largely perfectible.
The passenger footrests of the SR / S
Basic footrests, turn signals with bulbs, generic commodos, rizlans holding the cables on the hanger, not very elegant calipers and unsightly offset license plate support are really unsatisfactory and little in line with the tariff requirement of the machine.
The basic finish of the commodos
Also, cockpit, controls and handlebars are too poor in presentation. We would have particularly appreciated a 7-inch screen. Then come non-functional elements for a so-called road motorcycle: absence of integrated suitcase supports, non-adjustable windshield. Finally, on the screen, the prioritization of information could be even more ergonomic, particularly the display of autonomy, too comparable to that of the odometer or the trip in progress.
We look at the LCD screen often !
In the saddle
Accessible, the Zero SR / S places its saddle at 787 mm from the ground. As an option, a pilot seat can be obtained at 770 or 810 mm. The passenger enjoys a welcoming space and the flex of the legs of the crew is not too marked. With its rear controls, the torso tilt remains sensitive forward. And with the handlebars with the horns more raised than on the roadster, the position is surprising, inducing a certain pressure on the wrists.
Particularly narrow, the machine gives excellent support to the ground. On either side of the engine shaft are mounted long aluminum rider footrest plates, stretched rearward to support those of the passenger. Its microblasted metal is attractive, but the elements turn out to be a bit thin. As for the boot rests, basic, they are clearly not at the level of the rest of the Zero.
Particularly graphic, the display gives a feeling of refinement, but the 5 "screen is a bit small, if only for the perceived quality and the range of machine. Likewise, the cockpit, although uncluttered, is lacking. refinement. But it is above all the fairly conventional upper triple tree and the rather basic stems that disturb. At this level, one expects stylish elements, backlit, quality pushers and responsive with the electronics. time, although very acceptable, is too important for a motorcycle at the forefront of its segment.Finally, advanced menu navigation deserves multi-directional buttons or a joystick.
Motor modes are selected on the left
Four driving modes (Street, Sport, Eco and Rain) provide pre-adjustment of the various components: power, torque, energy recovery under braking, maximum speed, level of dynamic control of the assistance. The differences between these profiles are significant. Eco mode limits power and maximum speed (120 km / h). It is also on this profile that the high efficiency 900 A three-phase regulator allows the best regeneration in deceleration. Street gives more dynamics and Sport reduces the progressiveness of the acceleration even more frankly..
The Zero SR / S is controlled via its screen or your smartphone. Hyper connected, the machine can be dynamically personalized before departure using the dedicated application. Via Bluetooth, it combines with the dashboard and the Cypher III operating system to create a homogeneous and very complete ecosystem. From assistance to finding a charging station, to programming it, including driving data (location, speed, lean angle, power, torque, state of charge, energy consumed / regenerated) and updating the OS, technology embraces you. And can also limit you. Some functions were not accessible to me on Android and the machine could not access my personalized driving profile during the test.
In the city
Activating an electric motorcycle is always a bit unsettling. Only a hissing sound comes from its innards, indicating the (high) voltage of the SR / S. In this unusual silence, the first evolutions are made with a certain astonishment. But you get used to it very quickly and then driving becomes perfectly natural. Another important point for me during the first hours: activate the circuit breaker at every stop. Used to giving gas shots…. I would run the risk of being caught giving strokes of the watt.
But the machine is not devoid of sound. The accelerations are marked by the characteristic whistle of its rotor. Surprising at first, then it becomes part of the pleasure of riding a watt-bike. In town, we appreciate the smoothness and discretion of this engine. However, the dead travel of the watt handle is a bit too long and can surprise when maneuvering..
The good handlebar lever arm ensures easy and precise guidance, despite a slightly responsive, slowly changing front weight. Original, the mirrors fixed in the low position in the fork crown provide a very good field of vision and are easily retracted. Finally, we note a rather small turning radius which confirms the good ease of the bike in town..
Another quality, we quickly become aware of participating in reducing ambient urban noise, especially at traffic lights. And it’s really fun. Driving electric in the city is also the way to make people talk about you. You are no longer the noisy biker but the respectable and clean white (or green) knight 2.0 on him. We can therefore ask him THE question: "Is it electric? »Ben voui! Other silent users (pedestrians, cyclists, scooters) like to converse with you. You do not scare children and other bikers approach you like a mutant. In short, you are different. However, these same users represent a real security challenge. Quiet, you are not easily noticeable and congested city centers must be approached with great caution.
Well, if your green reputation is guaranteed, you shouldn’t become a jerk. And for that, the Zero SR / S will quickly put your fingers in the socket ….
Motorways and expressways
Sport mode engaged, crew ready, hyperspace controlled. With the whistling of its rotor, the machine sends you into the sensory dimension of the film Tron. This is another dimension open to you. The machine appears to teleport silently towards the horizon. Capable of a good 200 km / h (maximum speed blocked), it is especially the unusual acceleration of the SR-S that is enchanting. It pushes this stuff! If the wind speed was not blowing in fury, there would be no noise or commotion.
The bubble of the non-adjustable Zero SR / S
At high speeds, the protection is just decent, as a Sport-GT can provide. Legally, the air flow breaks on the visor of the helmet. The tapered bubble generates absolutely no turbulence, body and legs are well protected. If the cruise control is basic, it does the job and the forward position allows you to be comfortable over long distances. Finally, over a few distances…. Because we watch the gauge more than usual on this machine. After 80 km / h, the engine begins to draw more clearly from the battery. In Eco mode, we limit the consumption, but if we have a little fun getting around while enjoying the joys of the electricity fairy…. you will have to find a catch fairly quickly.
We will have clearly understood that the SR / S is not a motorway. So much the better, neither do we. And the performance of the machine makes you want less straight horizons.
SR / S is also popular on the secondary network. The Zero demonstrates excellent agility, aided by its contained weight of 229 kg (234 in premium). Intuitive, it takes you to the gaze, spinning along the indicated trajectory. Responsive to the support handles and footrests, it is easy to correct a direction that is too rough. However, the steering gear is struggling to get the information back, probably under the heavy weight of the batteries on the front.
In Eco mode, the engine brake generated by the energy recuperator is very pleasant, in addition to being essential for good range. Legally, we can aim for 180 km of autonomy. On this bucolic routine, the comfort of the Zero is very appreciable. Soft, cushioning smooths out bitumen defects. It is less effective when the surface becomes more irregular in the bends. The cause is too much preload which causes the bike to move on an angle when going over bumpy. Adjustment significantly improves behavior. Which is not too much considering the dynamic potential of the machine.
In Sport mode, performance is particularly efficient
In Sport mode, the performance is particularly efficient and quite sensational. The Z-Force motor then increases its thrust with each degree of rotation of the handle. This pulls hard when exiting the corner on the corner. The battery-powered Californian benefits from the flawless grip of her Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tires. Their pointed profile actively participates in the performance of the SR / S. In addition, the inertial unit brings a welcome confidence. The SR / S leaps through switchbacks without any downtime or inertia. The engine power is so important that we sometimes find ourselves surprised to come so quickly to the next corner. Especially since the engine braking is then very reduced. With the saddle allowing easy movement and good support on the footrests, we take this atypical mount with enthusiasm. The pace quickly becomes high, mixing the whistle of the wind with that of the mechanics of charged particle flow. We quickly forget this specificity to concentrate on its piloting. The assist electronics are highly efficient, particularly controlling the decelerations provided by the J.Juan calipers. But caution remains in order, as these elements lack a bit of attack for this type of driving. The fork also dips noticeably, testifying to the limits of the equipment when driving too engaged.
Ergonomics and protection are correct
You can also stay on a trickle of watts when cornering and accelerate smoothly. With a very precise grip / rotor linkage, the relaunches are perfectly controlled and the rubber of the rear casing quickly takes on significant wrinkles. Fortunately, effective traction control is watchful, transparent in its implementation.
And then there is this other variable that will make you limit your enthusiasm: autonomy. In pursuit of three sporty bikers (BMW S1000 RR, KTM Super Duke 1290 and Kawasaki 1400 ZZR), I investigated the general performance of my 2.0 motorcycle. On all relaunches and up to 190 km / h, we hold the thermals. Beyond that, the system limits you (the maximum speed is 200 km / h), as much to conserve a little battery as to limit the heating of the systems. And the end of the game comes quickly in Sport mode. At the pace "arsouille between friends on large cubes" you will share the road with them for about…. 80 km. The autonomy announced by Zero for a stable speed at 113 km / h is 132 km. During our test, by being a little more reasonable than our arsouille, we will hardly exceed 120 km of autonomy, which corresponds.
Rigid and precise, the Zero SR / S deserves a better level of suspension to take advantage of its dynamic capabilities more finely and justify its price. Agile and healthy, however, she does not like to be too abrupt when the coating becomes too irregular.
The front calipers exert their force without stiffening or freezing the machine in a curve. Powerful, we may however regret an attack lacking frankness and bite on the strongest decelerations. But the progressiveness and the control are very appreciable. The rear clamp is less pleasant and sensitive, requiring a strong pressure to be effective.
Agility of Zero SR / S on departmental roads
Comfort / Duo
Soft cushioning, well-designed saddles with comfortable foams, the Zero SR / S heals the crew on a daily basis as well as in (a little) further development. The rider seat could be softer and the hanger placed too high is a bit of a nuisance in the long run. It will be enough to lower it to find a better ease.
Consumption / autonomy
With a 6 kW / h charger and a standard 220 V socket, allow 6 hours of full charge for 125 km of theoretical autonomy at the end of the process. With the same configuration, Zero announces much more attractive figures on its site: 2.5 hours for a full charge! In fact, it depends on what you plug the motorcycle into. Indeed, the 6 kWh / h charger can be put on a domestic socket (type E) at home or in the garage, but by definition the E socket cannot send more than 3 kWh so it is useless. On the other hand, if you connect to a compatible charging station, you can actually benefit from fast charging and additional 3 Kw / H.
To further accelerate the charge, you will have to put your hand in your pocket to obtain the +6 kW / h super charger module (€ 3,000 more). And we then lose the space available in the dummy tank. Ditto if you opt for the additional Power tank battery (€ 3,336) and therefore cannot be combined with the 6 kW / h module. In use, choosing the maximum charger is best, because then 20 minutes will give + 80 km. As long as you find a powerful grip…. While the extra battery does not make a big difference in autonomy.
Fortunately, driving in Eco mode gives you a lot more, allowing at least 200 km in the city and suburban under 70 km / h. And since you’ll be recharging at the office or at home, no worry about battery life. On the road, we will be more limited and the Sunday walk may be cut short.
In short, anyway, to cover 400 km during the day, you will have to leave early or end up paying the hotel more…. The obligatory break every two hours is really longer on the handlebars.
Zero SR / S Video Test
With its cutting-edge technology and sleek styling, the Zero SR / S is an attractive machine. Silent is extremely efficient, it is a real pleasure on a daily basis in the dense and noisy traffic of cities.
The picture is not, however, idyllic, far from it because there still remains this famous autonomy / charging time ratio outside urban use. And then find the catch! Not easy…. Even so, the Zero SR / S charmed me all the same, in second bike use. What a pleasure to ride this machine. It’s pretty indefinable. The phenomenon of electric acceleration, silent and powerful, is quickly addicting. Admittedly, we will only do 130 km, but this reduced distance still provides real motorcycling sensations..
Frustrating in range, the Zero RS / S remains effective for (rich) commuters, for whom autonomy and charging process may ultimately suffice. Or it will be a second motorcycle. In both cases, it will take out € 21,720 for the standard SR / S with a 3 kW / h charger and € 23,940 for its premium version at 6 kW / h and heated grips…. not to mention the charging and battery options discussed above.
It’s more affordable than the Harley-Davidson Livewire at $ 33,300. The Milwaukee machine’s finishes are much superior, but, for less, the Zero SR / S is much more dynamic..
Note that state aid of € 900 (€ 250 per kWh or 27% of the purchase price within the limit of € 900) is offered for this type of electric motorcycle for individuals. And if you are lucky enough to be a business, you can add aid that can go up to 3,000 euros more .. which will significantly reduce the overall bill..
The pencil stroke is seductive
An extraordinary machine, with pleasurable performance and high-quality cycle parts, the Zero SR / S can run into another problem related to the lack of a strong mechanical personality. Only electronic management, including the arrival of power, will mainly make the difference. For the moment a biker chooses his mount largely for his character…. Are we moving towards accepting a sanitized, noise-free 2.0 world? And will we forget the inimitable tremolo of the single cylinder of a Vespa PX, the deep roar of the in-line 6 of a BMW K1600 GT or the heavy pulses of a Harley hammering the air…. In the meantime, at a time when cities are making more and more efforts to ban thermal vehicles and noise, the future may be here, while waiting for hydrogen models.
- Technological equipment
- Motor force
- Cycle part
- Protection and recoil on rider saddle
- Mechanical finishes
- Instrumentation screen too small
- Pilot seat a little firm
- Non-adjustable screen
- Finishes and equipment
- High speed autonomy
The technical sheet of the Zero SR / S
- Itinerary: small and varied roads, interurban highways, town
- Motorcycle mileage: 300 km
- Encountered problem : –
- Full face helmet Dexter Cronos Carbon
- DXR Sparker Jacket
- DXR Curbstones Gloves
- DXR Boost Kaptor Jeans
- Santa Cruz DXR Boots
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