2018 Zero Motorcycles | First Look Review

2018 Zero SR
As with other models in the lineup, for 2018 the Zero SR (above) gets more power, more range and faster charging.

California-based Zero Motorcycles has announced its 2018 lineup, with faster charging, greater range, increased power and new colors.

Read our Road Test Review of the 2016 Zero DSR here.

Every Zero motorcycle can be charged using the standard 110V or 220V wall outlets found all over the world. For 2018, Zero has announced a new 6kW Charge Tank factory-installed accessory that allows for up to 6x faster charging than a standard wall outlet, using the Level 2 electric charging stations popping up worldwide. The new Charge Tank charges at a rate of approximately 103 miles per hour of plug-in time, which is fast enough to completely recharge the Zero S and DS (equipped with the ZF7.2 battery) in about an hour, or models equipped with the larger ZF14.4 battery in about two hours.

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The batteries themselves are new this year as well, with new chemistry that offers greater range than ever before–up to 223 miles (claimed, city) on models equipped with the ZF14.1 battery and ZF3.6 Power Tank accessory. Zero claims that this is the longest range of any two wheel EV on the market.

2018 Zero model lineup
Enjoying a late-afternoon ride on the smooth, quiet 2018 Zero electric motorcycles.

As in the past, owners must choose between the faster recharging of the Charge Tank and the greater range of the Power Tank, as the two accessories both utilize the same installation space on the motorcycle.

Read about how one of our contributors got the best of both worlds–faster recharging AND greater range–in his Zero DSR E-Tour Review.

The new ZF7.2 battery is now more compact and lighter, which Zero says resulted in an 11-percent gain in rear wheel torque. And the ZF13.0-equipped Zero S and DS now deliver 30-percent more power and torque for better acceleration at highway speeds.

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Lastly, an updated app now allows Zero owners to perform firmware updates themselves, saving a trip to the dealer.

All of these updates have resulted in no increase in price over the 2017 models, with the exception of a $500 increase for the flagship SR and DSR. All 2018 models will start arriving in Zero dealerships later this month.

2018 Zero FX/FXS

2018 Zero FX.
2018 Zero FX.
2018 Zero FXS.
2018 Zero FXS.

The off-road FX model and its super moto-style sibling the FXS are available with three battery sizes: ZF3.6 modular ($8,495), ZF7.2 ($10,495) and ZF7.2 modular ($11,390).

2018 Zero S/SR

2018 Zero S and SR.
2018 Zero S and SR.

Zero’s sport standard model, the S, is available with two battery sizes: ZF7.2 ($10,995) or ZF13.0 ($13,995). The flagship SR comes with the ZF14.4 battery ($16,495). Both models can also be upgraded with the factory-installed Power Tank accessory that increases range to up to 206 miles (Zero S, claimed, city) or 223 miles (Zero SR, claimed, city), for $2,895.

2018 Zero DS/DSR

2018 Zero DS and DSR.
2018 Zero DS and DSR.

The DS dual-sport model is available with two battery sizes: ZF7.2 ($10,995) or ZF13.0 ($13,995). The flagship DSR comes with the ZF14.4 battery ($16,495). Both models can also be upgraded with the factory-installed Power Tank accessory that increases range to up to 206 miles (Zero DS, claimed, city) or 223 miles (Zero DSR, claimed, city), for $2,895.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. I believe the tipping point will be when an E-bike maker produces a model that can be used the way many riders use a bike — for an all-day weekend ride.

    This would mean a windshield and some storage and about a 300-mile range.

    The first manufacturer that produces an E-bike that meets those specs is probably going to sell a lot of bikes.

    • A gas bike can pull into a gas station and fill the tank in about 5 minutes. An E-bike, if it can find a charging station, takes considerably longer. So you need an E-bike that can go all day on a charge.

      • I have a GTL that I can stretch to slightly over 300 but that’s it. What most don’t understand about Zero ownership is that maintenance is virtually nil (tires, belts and brake pads are consummables). No valve adjustments (GTL is a $1500+ every 18k miles), oil changes (>$300 at the dealer, $90 DIY), etc…I want a Zero because I’m a high mileage rider. I do a lot more all-purpose wandering around riding than trips across the US. A Zero has capabilities that fit 95% of most riders usual trips. The battery pack is warranteed for over 350k miles! How many put that kind of mileage on their bikes? A writer for another mag tested an electric scooter and calculated that going electric presents a substantial savings in cost of ownership over 5 years that more than offsets the high initial cost of electric motorcycles. I’m on my 4th electric car so I’m familiar with the joys of living with electric vehicles.

        • Glad you like your bike, and I do get the maintenance thing well, I’ve mostly owned Ducatis (ouch!), but when you talk bike enthusiasts you narrow the field from usual trips to a much larger portion of rides outside your 95%. As well, at some point if you don’t have a home (many of us rent) charging becomes an issue. I’ve ridden for 40 years and would love an electric bike that fits my needs, it’s just not there yet.

  2. I am certainly interested but the cost is prohibitive. I have a 110 mile round trip for work and commute daily on my Buell or my Electra Glide and the new charger would make it possible since we have chargers at the office, but $18k for the SR to be able to flow with Highway traffic easily and run over the Appalachian trail is a tough pill to swallow, I also get no tax benefits or help from the state.

    I am going to test drive one, I am very curious but when costs come down or the lower cost models can do the mileage loaded down with a guy my size and gear for weather I am going to buy one!

    Zero is the ONLY manufacturer that is building electric bikes at so many price points, I have been watching them improve drastically over the years from their first bikes….. Exiting times!

  3. It’s seems like Zero and to some highs price extent Victory Empulse has s as close to anyone can get for a domestic built quality ebike. Sure there are cheaper Chinese counterparts that can be individuals can import, but then your on your own with little to no resale.

    • IIRC, those Chinese import e-bikes are essentially scooters. Top speed of 60 kph (37 mph) or so. Zero is the leader in the field, now that Victory is shutting down.

      There’s more coming from other manufacturers, but it’s essentially a game of catch-up at this point.

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