Motorcycles

Zero Motorcycles updates 2019 lineup with more power, range

Changes in battery tech and an accessory Charge Tank are among the biggest changes for Zero this year.

The 2019 Zero lineup benefits from a ton of evolutionary improvements.

Zero Motorcycles

Zero's approach to building electric motorcycles has been one of evolution rather than revolution, and it's a formula that has been pretty successful. It's also one that it is continuing with its 2019 model refresh which it announced on Monday.

In case you're unfamiliar with Zero Motorcycles, it is one of the biggest players in the small but burgeoning field of electron-powered motorcycles. It was one of the first to try and build an electric motorcycle that catered to motorcycle enthusiasts, and not just alternative fuel fans. Its bikes are still less hardcore than those of other manufacturers, but that arguably makes them more suitable as daily transportation.

For 2019, its most significant changes come in the form of more power and longer range for most models in its lineup. The entry-level Zero S and DS with the base ZF7.2 batter get a claimed 35 percent increase in horsepower and an 8 percent higher top speed to make them more competitive with internal combustion-powered bikes.

More range can also be had from the S and DS with the optional ZF14.4 power pack which boosts range by an additional 10 percent over previous model years thanks to a change in battery chemistry, more closely mirroring that found in Zero's R models.

Zero's Charge Tank option allows users to charge 600 percent faster by letting the Zero take advantage of Level 2 charging stations. Previously it was available as an option on 2018 model bikes, but now Zero will offer the Charge Tank to owners of older Zero models as a dealer installed accessory.

The DSR model gets some new features aimed at making the bike more robust and comfortable on and off the pavement including a taller windscreen, tank grip pads and a 12-volt accessory socket which push it more toward the ADV end of the spectrum.

Finally, the last big update for Zero's 2019 model range is the introduction of a brand-new long-term storage mode. This mode will optimize battery charge levels for long periods of inactivity to help keep the pack in optimal shape. This is ideal for those folks who live in areas where riding through the winter isn't an option.