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Zero S electric motorcycle - Click above for a high-res image gallery

Electric motorcycle manufacturer Zero Motorcycles plans to launch a new zero-emission sportbike later this year, according to our friends at Hell For Leather. Company founder and CTO Neal Saiki says the new bike will be based on the underpinnings of the recently-released Zero S electric supermoto, but will feature a full fairing that will greatly enhance aerodynamics and theoretically allow for a top speed of around 80 miles per hour.

Like Zero's other electrified two-wheelers, the SS model should weigh considerably less than competitive gas-powered machines. Underneath the slippery bodywork will be the same 4 kWh battery pack and motor as the supermoto, meaning the SS will offer up 31 horsepower and 62.5 lb-ft of torque. That should be plenty to make for a highly entertaining ride. Saiki expects the upcoming SS electric sportbike to be the company's most popular model in 2010, surpassing the 600 Zero S models Zero plans to sell in 2009. We'd agree.

[Source: Hell For Leather]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      From the article: "Saiki expects the upcoming SS electric sportbike to be the company's most popular model in 2010..."

      I dunno. It seems to me that the Zero X dirt bike has an easier sales job. Because:
      - in this case, silent operation is a killer app. It opens up areas that were previously closed to dirt bikes.
      - limited range is OK b/c you weren't exactly going to ride it home anyway. That is, you roll up with a truck (or a trailer), unload, and go on your way. You come back, charge up with a portable generator (ideally at 220V), and then head back out.

      A sport bike BEV has the same limitations as any BEV. That is, you're constantly checking the charge gauge to make sure you don't run out of juice. And, in this other case, silent operation may be perceived as a negative rather than a positive (i.e. the "loud pipes save lives" argument).
        • 5 Years Ago
        jpm says: "That's a crappy argument."

        Um, no it's not. See below. = ))

        jpm also says: "Common. Do you actually ride?"

        I did until recently. But, setting that aside, I'm not advocating the "loud pipes" argument. No where in my post did I say that I supported that. I merely said that it would impact sales.

        And, I think it will. I think electric dirt bikes are an easier sell than electric street bikes.

        Why?

        Silent operation is a distinct positive for a dirt bike. Seriously, if an electric street bike really made more sense don't you think KTM would be working on an electric Duke instead of an electric off road machine?

        It's important to remember that there is a non-trivial portion of the riding public who will be hesitant to ride a near silent bike on the street. It's not a deal breaker for me but there are definitely people for whom it is.

        This, sadly, should mean less demand for an electric street bike.

        jpm says: "And there's the noise pollution. Have you ever lived near a busy street in a city or suburb? One guy cruising by on his harley with 110 db pipes is extremely arrogant and disrespectful"

        Yeah, I hate those guys too.

        But, again, is my argument. Communities are closing trails and open spaces to dirt bikes in part because of noise pollution. These laws should drive enthusiasts to ride electric dirt bikes. Yeah!

        The same thing (closing streets) hasn't happened with street bikes. Also, yeah!

        Case in point: Daytona, Florida got fed up with noise and passed a city noise ordinance but you know what: they still have Bike Week each year.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "I did until recently. But, setting that aside, "

        May I ask why?

        I agree with you on silent dirt bike issue -- clearly silence is a major advantage. But let's face it, the vast majority of the world is using motor bikes for getting from point A to point B -- not for fun. Look at China and India with super dense populations where moto EVs would be perfect. I bet these guys would love to have an electric moto

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6wQcIGx5Ew&feature=PlayList&p=1EFC042AD2FFF7BD&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=3
        • 5 Years Ago
        "And, in this other case, silent operation may be perceived as a negative rather than a positive (i.e. the "loud pipes save lives" argument)."

        That's a crappy argument. Common. Do you actually ride? Good riding practices saves lives. Helmets save lives. Rider like other people can't see you saves lives. Loud pipes are a tiny factor is making others aware. Most people have the windows rolled up and music on. It's not until the harley is very close to the car that the driver realizes it. Driving around with an ambulance horn on your mc might save lives.

        And there's the noise pollution. Have you ever lived near a busy street in a city or suburb? One guy cruising by on his harley with 110 db pipes is extremely arrogant and disrespectful to the 100's of people living nearby who did not ask to hear the noise of his loud pipes.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think that the noise problem can be fixed pretty easily, wasn't that one of the ideas behind the Tesla? You'd have add-on noise that you could mess around with and personalize like a ring tone. Priuses have that beeping sound when they back up-like a big van or a truck-and this could have optional noise on or off. If I had one I'd probably like to have one that messes with people's expectations, like maybe the sound of a playing card flapping around in a tricycle wheel so people are looking for a little kid and then BAM it's some dude on an all-electric sport bike.

      I rode a bicycle through NYC for years and when the city had electric RAV 4's for years it scared the hell out of me. I had spent years navigating my way through traffic using my 360 hearing to know if a car was behind me or not and this thing just whirred along silently. I got to drive one the last day they had them before gettting chipped and it was actually a really nice ride.

      Cheers to ZeroCycle for making them, put in an add-on, decibel adjusted running noise and lets call it a day!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think the ability to go 80 mph is key. If you can go 80, you can hop on the interstate/freeway, and a huge portion of the public takes these roads to work every day. The real question is, how far can it go at 80 mph?
      • 2 Years Ago
      That is one nice looking bike! It has a futureistic look to it, dont you think. http://www.windowcleaningfife.co.uk/
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm looking forward to it, too! Hopefully, the improved aero will also give it a little more range? I wonder about a little bit larger battery pack, as an option...it would be sweet to have ~100+ miles, just like a gasoline motorcycle.

      Sincerely, Neil
      • 5 Years Ago
      good news, can't wait to see it
      • 5 Years Ago
      I prefer a quantya, but the competence is good for us.
      • 5 Years Ago
      My motorcycling days are over now but I enjoyed the blog. Visit my siite at http://www.vacman.co.uk
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love bikes http://www.windowcleaningfife.co.uk