Okay, here comes the price question: How can you make yourself unpopular with a group of motorcyclists? Spill beer? Sticking to speed limits? Far from it: Just say that the electric zero motorcycles are great and everything else is old stuff. And then, we hope, that you can run really fast ... Test.
It is a war of faith. What the future of mobility is the betrayal of pure doctrine for some. Worse than Windows vs. Mac or Mercedes vs. BMW or Indian vs. Harley.
We – Dietmar and I – already had the Zero SR/F in the test and were surprised, and in several ways. Now the test team from Markus and Dietmar came to report on the version SR/S, which can trump with a disguise. As always, a glance at the data does not provide clarity, but an idea of who the Zero is suitable for. First of all, you must not only want to afford this, but also be able to do it. Starting at 21,000, with fast-track function and larger battery, around 30,000 are on the bill. In short: For the price, it is also enough for the gasoline-powered dream bike with only short refill stops.
And the range? A maximum of 180 kilometres, too much more than for the dedicated round around the local mountain, is not enough. The subsequent charging process takes at least 1.5 hours, and for the simpler versions, 4.5 hours at the household socket.
What could be the point of this bike? Let's start with the soft themes in our chair group. Sure, the Zero is an extremely rare bike, which makes it exclusive. It also represents what is considered a technology of the future, and many of the "early adopters" like to count themselves. These are the people who camp two days before the entrance to the Apple dealer to have the latest iPhone first. This is not meant to be in the slightest discinuable. The car of the author of these lines consumes 18 liters in city traffic, his motorcycle is bulky to drive – clever lyses somehow different.
There are, however, two logical things that generally speak for the purchase of zero or an electric bike: firstly, policymakers consider this form of propulsion to be environmentally friendly (whether that is the case is not to be discussed here). In other words, driving bans are not an issue. The second due to the drive itself is the driving force. My guess: 95% of all opponents of electric bikes have never ridden one. If they did so and belonged to the rather faster faction among us, they would be thinking. More on that.
Apart from that, the Zero SR/S is a very high-quality (that was not always the case) motorcycle, which does not give a nakedness to the components used or to its assembly. The full cladding turns the SR/S into a sports tourer, a now rare design.
But let's get started, work on "more on that later".
What immediately stands out: Apart from its drive, the Zero surprise! - a quite conventional bike. Like a diesel-powered Enterprise spaceship, just the other way around. The display is modern, but not spacy. The ads are necessarily different in parts, but it is not constantly blown into the eye "I AM THE FUTURE!" The already mentioned design as a sports tourer completes the classic picture.
The seating position is gathered, unlike in the adventure bike, but not super sporty.
Your bike has 15 valves per camshaft and hyperpneumatic interior lighting? Then have fun warming up, we're already jetting off. We also avoid problems in short-haul traffic and a large part of the maintenance costs: we save ourselves completely oil changes on the engine, expensive replacement of the clutch or transmission. And forever.
The driving performance is in line with expectations, given the psyatage figure of 110. The Zero is fast, of course. It can be rushed to 100 km/h, in three-point seconds, but not faster than other superbikes. Apparently, more power cannot be transferred from a rear tyre. But what it can do like no gasoline: Like any electric machine, it immediately pushes off with the full torque, here it is 190 Newton meters, from every speed. And that's what takes your breath away – because it results in a record-breaking acceleration from 60 to 100 km/h in just over a second. By comparison, the 147 hp Ducati Monster 1200, a power-naked bike, takes 3.1 seconds. Even with the Duc you have the feeling of rushing forward murderously, the Zero knocks you off the bench.
Apart from this mountain of torque, the Zero drives itself quite mature, it is by no means a craft stall. The driving comfort is good, the windscreen for a sports tourer also. After the first sample, however, the bench looks quite hard. A low set-up torque when braking in corners creates confidence, the brakes themselves are first-class. Curve ABS and traction control drive along. So far so good, but also not spectacular.
Of course, the sound is unfamiliar, in this case on very german the driving noise. The usual tram wandering accompanies you, it's not annoying. In fact, the noise poverty is unfamiliar and dangerous at first. The speed is simply there thanks to monster torque and in case of doubt too high, like far too high. The regulating or warning noise is eliminated. You have to drive more carefully, the absolute speed is also classified by the conventional driver by the noise.
The wind noises of course also depend on the own helmet, the Zero SR/S itself produces little of it. The relative silence is unfamiliar. Those who stand on V2-Bollers will not like this. Better: He will be missing something.
Hardly ever has a motorcycle polarized as polarised as this Zero. This applies to our test team, but also to our readers. If you don't believe it, you should delve into the comments in our test video. But it is not polarizing because it is good or bad. This can be easily clarified: the Zero is good.
Good to very good even, but this only applies to an electrically driven motorcycle. This is it, with all the advantages and the disadvantages already mentioned. And: it is our future. That is certain.
What everyone has to decide for themselves is whether they will bring the future to their home now.
The test bike was provided to us by Tecius & Reimers in Hamburg.