Recently, I spent some time riding and living with a 2018 Zero FXS electric motorcycle. Having ridden and reviewed a few Zero models over the years, I was very curious about how the bike had evolved since my last ride.
Gallery: 2018 Zero FXS Electric Motorcycle17 images View gallery
Zero Motorcycles built their first prototype electric bike in Santa Cruz, California in 2006 – a full 103 years after the Davidson brothers and their friend William S. Harley built their first gasoline-powered bike in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. So how did Zero get so far ahead of Harley-Davidson in the production of battery-powered motorcycles? Harley has been making noise about producing electric bikes for almost a decade, finally committing to production of the Livewire for 2019. Zero took a different tack, and just started building and selling bikes, beginning with the Zero S in 2010.
The Zero lineup has grown to six models for 2018: Zero S (“Smart Streetfighter” starting at $10,995); Zero SR (“Electric Hot Rod” starting at $16,495); Zero DS (“Ride Through Anything” starting at $10,995); Zero DSR (“Powerful Versatility” starting at $16,495); Zero FX (“Lean & Mean” starting at $8,495); and Zero FXS (“Stealthy Supermoto” starting at $8,495). Additionally, the company makes three fleet models: Zero DSRP (Police/Authority); Zero FXP (Police/Authority); and Zero MMX (Military).
My test bike was a 2018 Zero FXS ZF7.2. You can choose between two configurations of FXS: the ZF3.6 Modular (starting at $8,495) or ZF7.2 (starting at $10,495). The ZF3.6 Modular is perhaps the more innovative concept in terms of its battery setup. It comes with a removable 3.6 kWh Lithium-ion power pack module that can be charged while installed in the bike, or off of the bike. An additional 3.6 kWh power pack module costs $2,895. With both modules installed at the same time, power is rated at 7.2 kWh – the same output as the ZF7.2 configuration. The single 7.2 kWh battery pack in the ZF7.2 is permanently mounted in the bike, so no swapping is possible.