Zero Motorcycles, the self-proclaimed world-leader in electric motorcycles and powertrains have just revealed this, the new Zero FXE. The Californian bike brand are better known for the SR/F, SR/S and DSR models. All fully electric, and all actually quite good. This new one is their latest, A2 license friendly city bike, and here’s everything you need to know about it.
HUGE Design, the award-winning San Francisco firm are to be credited with (or blamed for, depending on how you look at it) the futuristic styling on the FXE. If you can call it futuristic styling… I’m not sure you can, with its big round headlights and its clumpy looking swing-arm, but what do I know. If you like it, you like it, so let’s not dwell on its ‘breath-taking aesthetics’ (their words not mine).
Let’s talk about what it’s capable of, instead. Well its passively air-cooled, high efficiency, IPM (interior permanent magnet), brushless Z-Force 75-5® motor, produces 46bhp and 106Nm of torque. That’ll be why you can ride one on an A2 license then.
46bhp isn’t going to put hairs on anyone’s chest. That said, you might be surprised how quickly it goes, and how well it handles. Because it’s only 135kg. To put that into perspective, that’s about the same weight as a GSX-R125; a bike with less than 15bhp.
Gone are the days of electric motorcycles being monstrously heavy compared to their gas-guzzling counterparts.
Instead of a fuel tank, you’ve got a 7.2kWh lithium-ion battery which, they say, is good for 100 miles of city riding. That will of course depend on how you ride it. I’m guessing that their ‘100 miles of city riding’ doesn’t include too many wheelies, burnouts and general stuntery.
Stab in the Dark
You don’t need anything special to charge it, it just plugs straight into a standard three-pin wall socket. There’s no mention of an optional quick charge system for this model (like you get on some other Zeros), so I’m assuming it’s not compatible on the FXE. With that in mind, I’d have a stab in the dark and say you’d be talking about roughly four hours of charge time. It’s unlikely to be super quick, since they ‘forgot’ to mention it in the Zero FXE press release.
They remembered to mention the Showa suspension, the Bosch ABS, J.Juan brakes and Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tyres though. And they also mentioned the Cypher II Operating System. That’s effectively the ‘engine’ management system, or it would be if it had an engine. Cypher II also allows Bluetooth connectivity through the 5” TFT dash. Once you’ve connected your phone up, you can use the Zero Motorcycles App to customise the bikes torque, top speed, and a load of other performance characteristics. Which is pretty cool.
It’s ‘one of the most affordable models in the Zero range’ but for a 46bhp city bike, at £10,800 it’s not cheap. I know you’re going to save money on fuel, but how much fuel would a 46bhp city bike with a petrol engine use anyway? Not very much, probably.
This new Zero FXE is bound to be someone’s cup of tea. If you want to silently whiz through town, at a decent rate of knots, and you’ve got space next to a power supply to charge your bike up, go for it. It’ll only cost you £10,800, and you’ll be saving the world. Win, win.