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Is there an electric motorcycle ?

December 10, 2018

Is there an electric motorcycle

The electric motorcycle that can rival professional off-road vehicles turns out to be Tesla in motorcycles

From: Electric State
Author: Yuan Chong

Under the wave of global vehicle electrification, motorcycles are one of the most important means of transportation on land, and electrification has become unstoppable. Today, I want to bring you a pure electric motorcycle.

Recently, the well-known foreign electric motorcycle manufacturer Zero launched the latest pure electric all-terrain adventure motorcycle. In fact, the reputation of this electric motorcycle manufacturer Zero, founded in 2006, is equivalent to Tesla’s existence in the motorcycle circle.

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This Zero FX is a pure electric adventure motorcycle with off-road performance. It is divided into two models under this series, one is the Zero FX ZF main multi-functional and multi-road adventure series, and the other is the Zero FXS super sports series .

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The two models differ only in tire specifications, and the super sports series is what we often call road skid bikes. However, today we mainly introduce the Zero FX ZF adventure series.

Although this model has the frame of an off-road vehicle, it uses all-terrain tires. It has a variety of road conditions and off-road conditions, which is more in line with the positioning of adventure models. At present, most of the popular motorcycle models in China are equipped with an all-terrain tire.

■ Appearance of an electric motorcycle

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From the appearance, the Zero FX ZF adopts desert yellow and matte gray two-color matching. The headlights use two exposed independent headlights with lenses, and the triangular halogen turn signals look wild. The side panel of the raised fuel tank adopts an integrated design, and the right-angled sculpture shows a wild character. Below the right front cover is the location of the charging interface.

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Zero FX ZF electric motorcycle

This electric motorcycle features a matte black aluminum alloy frame housing a modular battery pack. A large radiator sits below for cooling, replacing the traditional off-road bike’s water-cooling system with an air-cooled one. Quick-release screws on the heat sink allow for easy replacements, providing additional battery protection.

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From the side, the Zero FX ZF showcases a typical off-roader look, featuring high ground clearance, 881mm seat height, adjustable forks, and Showa rear shock absorber.

Fitted with off-road tires and standard off-road size wheels (front 21-inch, rear 18-inch), this bike is ready for any terrain with its Pirelli Scorpion MT series tires.

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While not using top international brand shocks, this bike uses Japan’s Showa shocks, standard for Japanese off-road motorcycles.

Its front 41mm shock absorber travel is near-professional, though its 881mm seat height isn’t for everyone. Safety-wise, it features J.JUAN calipers, rear disc brakes, and Bosch 9th-gen ABS system for excellent braking.

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With no fuel tank or engine, the battery sits mid-frame in the Zero FX ZF, adopting a modular design with two 3.6 kWh battery packs. This allows for easy replacement and secure fit during intense driving, protected by an aluminum casing. A 5-year unlimited mileage warranty is included for peace of mind.

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Traditional halogen rear lights complement the impressive, maintenance-free, carbon fiber belt-driven rear chainring. Adjusting the chainring size can change a motorcycle’s low-speed torque, usually balancing with the top speed.

However, for electric vehicles, high torque and high speed can coexist due to motors’ powerful rpm output, although high-speed driving consumes more energy.

■ Power of an electric motorcycle

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Zero FX ZF is divided into two power modes, Eco and Sport. Zero FX ZF is divided into two different models of 3.6 kWh and 7.2 kWh according to different battery pack capacities. However, the power is also different. The motor power of the 3.6 version is 20 kWh. kW, the motor power of the 7.2 version is 34 kW, and the torque of the two models is the same as 106 Nm.

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Basically, it corresponds to the two displacements of 250cc and 450cc in fuel off-road motorcycles. Anyone who has ridden a 4-stroke 450cc off-road motorcycle will know how powerful this power is. The most terrifying thing is that the torque reaches 106 Nm, which is much higher than the power performance of many mini electric vehicles. However, the Zero FX ZF3.6 weighs only 112 kg, and even the 7.2 version is only 131 kg. A strong thrust-to-weight ratio is key for off-road vehicles to traverse a variety of terrains, while also ensuring excellent handling.

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The most special thing is that such power parameters can also be adjusted by themselves through the Zero Motorcycles APP, which is much more convenient than those off-road riders who adjust the carburetor of a fuel car. It can not only modify the performance parameters of the motorcycle itself through the APP, but also display real-time data such as remaining power, charging time, and mileage on the mobile phone like a dashboard.

■ Range

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The two versions of the Zero FX ZF have different battery life due to different battery pack capacities. Interestingly, from the configuration list on the official website, the editor found that Zero FX ZF lists the cruising range of 3 different road conditions, including city, 113 km/h high-speed, and comprehensive cruising range. The maximum cruising range of the 3.6 kWh battery pack is 74 kilometers. The 7.2 kWh battery pack has a range of 146 kilometers. For such an expedition vehicle with off-road capabilities, it is completely sufficient. After all, the Honda CRF450L, a classic road off-road vehicle at the same price, only has a 7.6L fuel tank, and the battery life is only about 100 kilometers.

■ Charging

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The charging method of Zero FX ZF is also very convenient, no charging pile is required, only 110V or 220V household power supply can be charged. The 3.6 version only takes 5.1 hours to charge to 100%, and the 7.2 version takes 9.7 hours. The 650-watt fast charger provided with the car can also increase the charging speed by 60%. If you still feel slow, that’s okay, you need to pay an extra $600 and install a top-level fast charger, version 7.2 from 0 to 100 % was shortened to 1.8 hours.

■ Price

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The ZF3.6 version is $8,495, and the ZF7.2 version is $10,495, the same price range as the fuel version of the 250cc and 450cc motocross bikes. An additional 3.6-kWh battery module is available as an option for $2,895, and a top-of-the-line fast charger is available for $600.

■ Who is Zero?


Founded in 2006, Zero is a manufacturer specializing in the production of electric motorcycles. Since the first electric motorcycle was revealed, the company has become a benchmark in the electric motorcycle industry. Founder Neal Saiki is a designer himself who worked for a mountain bike company before deciding to enter the field of electric powered motorcycles.

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After 10 years of development, Zero electric motorcycle company has launched a series of models including Zero S, Zero SR, Zero DS, Zero DSR, Zero FX and Zero FXS, which are involved in the street, racing and off-road markets. Prices also range from $8,495 to $18,690.

■ Review

Introducing this Zero FX to everyone today is also out of my own selfishness, because I once owned an off-road motorcycle, and it brought me particularly good memories. In today’s world of electrification, more and more motorcycle companies have begun to transform, and BMW electric motorcycles have been on the market very early in China.

Among them, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, which are popular among car fans, also launched pure electric motorcycles, and announced the price at this year’s CES exhibition.

Honda China also launched an unprecedented V-GO electric scooter in China with a price of 7,988 yuan, which is also a milestone for Honda to officially accelerate its electrification strategy.

According to the editor’s understanding, there are also many motorcycle manufacturers in China that are beginning to transform to electrification, and many of them are already on sale. If an electric motorcycle manufacturer sees it, the editor is not stingy to help each motorcycle manufacturer make an evaluation, please contact us.

Finally, I would like to remind you that electric motorcycles need a motorcycle license, and driving an electric motorcycle requires a motorcycle E or D driver’s license. Under this year’s domestic policy, those low-speed battery cars are called “exceeding the standard electric cars”, but they are not Oh, it’s allowed on the road.

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