Electric Motorcycle Comparison – Zero & Victory

2 years ago by Mark Kane 12

EV Motorcyle Comparison - U.S. (November 17, 2015)

EV Motorcyle Comparison – U.S. (November 17, 2015)

2016 Zero DSR

2016 Zero DSR

Since we had a bit of free time on our hands over the US holiday weekend (Thanksgiving), we figured why not explore the electric motorcycles offered in the U.S.

We began with the most known/popular Zero Motorcycles and Victory Motorcycles. Zero has a whole lineup of motorcycles with an excellent spec presentation, so this is more like a Zero comparison.

Victory Motorcycles offers only one single model – Empulse TT (former Brammo Empulse after redesign).

We hope there will be more entries from Alta, Lightning, Energica and others in the future.

Below we present base MSRP in the U.S. for all the models with all the battery pack options:

EV Motorcyle Comparison - U.S. (November 17, 2015)

EV Motorcyle Comparison – U.S. (November 17, 2015)

Victory Empulse TT

Victory Empulse TT

In the case of range, motorcycles don’t have an EPA test standard, which could cause problems when comparing different models.

As of now, we used Zero’s “City” rating for Zeros (and 100 miles for Victory) for best-case scenario:

Zero “City” rating:

“A “City” range test is specified to determine riding range during “stop-and-go” operation typically found in urban areas. This estimate is provided following the SAE J2982 Riding Range Test Procedure for On-Highway Electric Motorcycles to provide a reasonable and consistent basis for manufacturers to inform prospective owners of the riding range that can be expected under specified operating conditions. Actual range will vary based upon riding conditions and habits.”

We appreciate any help and ideas on how to present electric range for these unrated motorcycles.

EV Motorcyle Comparison - U.S. (November 17, 2015)

EV Motorcyle Comparison – U.S. (November 17, 2015)

Second attempt is to illustrate the range at a constant 70 mph (112 km/h) speed (no rating for Victory):

EV Motorcyle Comparison - U.S. (November 17, 2015)

EV Motorcyle Comparison – U.S. (November 17, 2015)

And finally battery pack size comparison, as well as MSRP price to pack size ratio:

EV Motorcyle Comparison - U.S. (November 17, 2015)

EV Motorcyle Comparison – U.S. (November 17, 2015)

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12 responses to "Electric Motorcycle Comparison – Zero & Victory"

  1. Mikael says:

    So it’s thanksgiving now. That explains why there have been almost no tv-serie releases for a couple of days.
    You guys know that I get cranky if I don’t get my weekly fix of the Big Bang Theory so in the future I would appreciate if you stopped having holidays and such that interferes with my favorite shows. 😉

  2. Ken says:

    As much as i prefer my Zero S over the Victory(Brammo), i do see that the 0-60 figure quoted is quite high. I believe the Empulse is as fast as a Zero S but not Zero SR so 0-60 should be just under 5 seconds fot the Empulse TT not 7.6 secs. Great job !

  3. SparkEV Driver says:

    Unless Victory de-tuned the Empulse, the numbers seem a bit off. Brammo listed the city range at 121 with a smaller battery pack. Cycle World list a 0-60 time of 4.8 and a top speed of 103 with the 2013 model year.

    In any case, until Victory actually makes them available, they are vapor ware, just like everything else that you can’t buy.

    1. Sopfu says:

      <=== Empulse R Owner; The Victory motor has less torque than the top spec Brammo. 7.6 seconds does seem slow, but the Victory will definitely be slower than the older Empulse R, but probably faster than the base non-R Empulse which has less torque than the Victory.

  4. wavelet says:

    Interesting comparison, Mark — good job!

    For me, it brought home why I don’t yet have an electric motorcycle… While the range figures look good compared to car BEVs (and still good-ish once you take price into account), my primary usage, and many others’, would be full-day road trips, where a lot more range is necessary. At the very least, 50% more range + fast charging ability (which is somewhat addressed with the DigiNow or new Zero inboard charger option).

  5. ZeroLover says:

    First off WOW! No criticism for Zero to having a narrow selection is valid anymore.

    Color the charts – I would not mind seeing some vaporware numbers included in yellow. Or not longer available models in red. People are going to look and say “What about the LiveWire?”

    No harm in splitting the bar further and showing the actual range of ones you have reviewed.

    Overall and Battery warranty would also be a good number to include.

    1. Richard Gozinya says:

      Don’t know why anybody’d include the LiveWire. That thing was basically a very cautious testing of the waters. Any of the available specs on that thing would very likely be far different from a commercial product. But damn that was a good looking bike.

  6. Mike Barnard says:

    Nice comparison! It does make you wonder why anyone would fork out any money for the Victory. Overpriced, underpowered, bad range. There are numerous better choices from Zero even in the category it plays in. Zero needs some real competitors.

    1. SparkEV Driver says:

      It could be a nice comparison, if the numbers are updated to be accurate. Go ride one before you pass judgement.

    2. wavelet says:

      Well, the Victory was just recently announced… I don’t think you can actually get them yet. There haven’t even been full reviews/road tests yet on the various websites/mags, only “first impressions”. It’ll take a while for the dust to settle until it’s clear what has changed from the Brammo models.

      Ditto for the 2016 Zero models (IIRC, first deliveries will be next month).

      And of course spec numbers aren’t the whole deal — reliability, dealer network etc. are fairly important as well.

      Both companies are pretty small still… Zero sold ~2400 bikes in 2014, and “a lot less than 10K” (quote from their sales VP) in 2015 — I think Brammo never reached 4 figures.

      1. Richard Gozinya says:

        If I were to choose one, I’d have to go with Zero. They’ve got a solid track record, and Victory’s record in terms of build quality is sketchy at best.

  7. Josh says:

    Instead of using the X axis for model names, put one of the two variables (cost or battery size) on that axis. It’s easier to compare two models, and whether they’re above or below the averages slope tells the relative cost.