Zero Announces 2016 Motorcycle Line: New Models, More Range, Faster Charging (w/video)

OCT 15 2015 BY TDILLARD 26

2016 Zero DSR

2016 Zero DSR

In a press release this morning, Zero announced its new model line and some slick new improvements in its drive trains.

You’ve got your Zero DSR – a dual-sport beast that’s been injected with some power-boosting controller work: “56% more torque and 25% more power. A 660 amp controller is paired with a Z-Force® motor that contains higher temperature magnets to ensure better performance during extended durations at higher speeds.”

2016 Zero FXS

2016 Zero FXS

Then, you got your Supermoto with the FXS – “…70 ft-lbs of torque, up to 44 hp and weighing less than 300 lbs, the Zero FXS is quick and agile. Suspension and brakes are ideally suited to the rigors of spirited riding, giving the rider greater control. 17” wheels and Pirelli Diablo Rosso tires provide superior grip and corner control…”  The FSX is running the interchangeable battery packs, perfect for a quick-swap out in the pits.

2016 Zero DSR

2016 Zero DSR

2016 Zero FXS

2016 Zero FXS

On to the cool stuff.  You got increased range of 197 miles – perilously close to that magic 200 mile number – as described in detail here.  That’s due to the “More efficient, higher capacity battery systems…”  And, we bring you…  (well, Zero brings you…)  the ChargeTank:

Zero Charge Tank

Zero Charge Tank

For fast charging on the go, Zero offers the Charge Tank accessory. It effectively triples on-board charging speed, typically allowing riders to recharge their power pack in as little as 2-3 hours. The Charge Tank works with the rapidly expanding network of Level 2 public and home charging stations using the popular J1772 standard. The Charge Tank is a dealer-installed option available on 2015 and later Zero S, Zero SR, Zero DS and Zero DSR models.

Over on that charging page, we also noticed something that somehow we missed in the Zero charging system – these cute little, scalable “Quick Chargers” – so you can charge all Terry Hershner – style, as long as you have the circuits to pull from.

Zero Quick Chargers

Zero Quick Chargers

While the announcement isn’t quite the earth-shattering offering of cruiser models or breakthrough range, or (as we guessed a few days ago) astronomically faster charging, (and still no parking brake?  Really?) nevermind the calls for a (shudder) cruise control that the online pundits were postulating, it’s still a good, evolutionary progression of refining the products.

…and cruise control?  On a motorcycle?  Wash your mouth with soap, boy, lest you speak such heresy again.

(…and get off my lawn, youngster.)

Via Richard Harmon, this additional information has surfaced:

“A new motor has been designed called the 75-7 IPM motor, which is used on the ZF13.0, SR and DSR models. It features an “internal Permanent Magnet” design, which Zero’s engineers claim will be almost impervious to thermal issues.

There has been no increased power density for the “Power Tank”. Still 2.8 kWh.

Zero is offering to sell their power train components, including battery modules (as used in the FX), motors, controllers, belts and sprockets, over the counter to special customers who want to design and build new electric creations.

The Charge Tank will sell for $1988 and the Power Tank for $2674. Both have to be installed by the retail dealer (not a good idea in my opinion).

Top speed for the SR with the new IPM motor is 102 mph, with a continuous rating of 95 mph. The SR ZF13.0 is said to hit 60 mph in 3.3 seconds.

The FX and FXS 3.3 both go for $8,495, while the ZF6.5 versions sell for $10,990.

The Zero S 9.8 sells for $10,995, the ZF13.0 for $13,995 and the SR ZF13.0 (there is no 9.8) goes for $15,995. Add the cost of the Power Tank or Charge Tank (not both) to these prices.

The “power pack” comes with a 5-year or 100,000 mile warranty. Everything else has an unlimited 2-year warranty.

Zero is also producing the MMX model for the military and the SP, DSP and FXP for the cops.

The 2016 bikes are currently being assembled at the factory and are expected to be shipping to dealer’s showrooms before the end of the month. People who have placed deposits with their dealers for a bike will get them first.”

As promised, here’s a video of the FXS at play:

Categories: Bikes


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26 Comments on "Zero Announces 2016 Motorcycle Line: New Models, More Range, Faster Charging (w/video)"

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It looks like I will buy a FX someday but no DC charging is a still dealbraker for me. I don’t like AC beucase everything I use is DC.

Completely agree. Zero should add fast charging with CCS (Combined Charging System), it’s easier and cheaper than adding a bigger internal charger.
An internal charger in a small place like a motorcycle also has the disadvantage to add more heat near the battery increasing it’s degradation. For faster charging the way to go is external DC charger.

Unfortunately, CCS is not capable of charging Zero batteries. Zero’s packs are close to 100V and the lowest CCS can do is 200V per the spec. With enough trickery, you could likely do a partial charge on it, but I’m not sure about the stability of such a charging system, and you certainly couldn’t charge to full. For a while, Zero had a Chademo kit, as the Chademo spec calls for a low enough lower voltage limit, but many Chademo chargers are not built in such a way to be capable for the lower voltages, so even if you bought the kit, you’d find that it wouldn’t function on most chargers you’d find. This is what I’ve heard about why they no longer offer it…

Good point Zac. But if they want they can increase the voltage and decrease the amps of the battery, maintaining the same capacity. Actually the higher voltage it’s even more efficient and requires less cooper in the cables. We know that the previous NMC cells were made by Farasis, is this still valid for the 2016 MY? When everybody is changing to LG Chem I wouldn’t be surprised if Zero did the same.

“everything I use is DC” – could change if you do anything illegal in Texas…

Couldn’t resist, sorry 🙂

* – Yet to find a good DC washing machine though that isn’t for ferries and cruise ships.


I like that DSR but at 419 lbs

– it’s about 70 lbs more than an XR650L
– 170 lbs more than a KTM 500 EXC
– similar to a KLR650

Not too bad really. I wonder how it would do out on the trails in hot weather. If it could make a ‘real’ 130 miles in the dirt, that would be great.

It is not meant to be a real offraod machine. It is meant for dirt roads and small back country roads. It aims at exactly the same demographic as the KLR.

Why diss the cruise control? The BMW S1000 naked bike has one, and Loz Blain from Gizmag loved it.

Glad to see ZERO thriving, but we really need a cruiser now. It would be the ideal bike for short riders, women, folks not wanting to learn how to use a manual gearbox, newbes etc. Also, ZERO needs to add a “reverse” function to the bikes. Nothing would be easier with an electric bike.

Cruise control’s a bit silly on bikes that are clearly not well designed for prolonged highway use. As for a cruiser, I really don’t see Zero as having the right skillset to make something that would appeal to that crowd.

We don’t need the cruise control to go fast, we need it to go slow. I took a few 100 mile or more trips on my 2013 Zero S and cruise would have let me keep the speed at 55 mph to achieve max range. It’s all to easy without cruise to be traveling at 75 mph on the Zero and burning through the battery very quickly. So not so much cruise control, but a max speed limiter which is exactly how i use the cruise in my Leaf every day.

Still the FX/FXS is the only one that doesn’t use that cheap, ugly headlight. An easy enough thing to fix, but really, at those prices, people shouldn’t have to.

I would like to buy a Zero SR, but I was disappointed with this news. I had been hoping for either a significant increase in range and/or a reduction in price. However, I noticed the highway range of the 2015 SR was 77 miles and only increased by 4 miles to 81 for the 2016 SR. Additionally, the price increased $600 from the previous 2015 SR price. Also, what is extremely odd, is that they raised the price of the 2015 SR from $15,395 to $15,995, the same price as the 2016 SR. Where’s the logic in that? I would have expected the price on the 2015 SR to decrease, not increase, with the introduction of the 2016 SR. Finally, $1,988 for a charge tank???

Also, highway range is listed at 98 miles now or 120 miles with the power tank. I think you were looking at range at 70 mph. Driving 70 mph around here will get you a fat ticket as most all roads are 55 mph max. And anyone with an electric vehicle will tell you, if you’re trying to go for a long ride, you’re not driving at 70 mph. I don’t think its possible to go 70 mph for 80 miles anywhere in my state even at 3am. Maybe you live in the middle of nowhere?

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s easy to have a 40 mile one-way commute. And 70 MPH is nothing around here.

A Zero SR was never $15,395. They were around $17,345 when they came out in 2014. They dropped the price part way through 2015 to only $15,995 which is the same price my 2013 Zero S (no R) cost. The way i see it, they have been adding incremental battery capacity to an already usable bike every year since 2013 and have even managed to drop the price. They listened to us and added the things we wanted like bigger mm forks with a name brand, stickier tires, better brakes, a better dash, a size 6 controller, a power tank for those desiring more capacity, and finally now faster J1772 charging and a DSR and a supermoto version of the FX! I sold my 2013 Zero S even though i could find no faults with it. I’ll just be buying a new 2016 SR with all the improvements for the same price i paid in 2013. It reminds me like Tesla, the basic model came out for 2013, and for the same price or less they have made small improvements every single year to make a much better motorcycle. I’m quite impressed especially after working at a regular gas powered… Read more »

I may have been wrong about the price, but again, shouldn’t the 2015 SR drop in price since it’s being fazed out and the 2016 SR is the exact same price? Who would now buy the 2015 when they can get the 2016 for the same price??

The dealers will clear out backchannel inventory as the 2016s come online, and if the bikes aren’t moving quickly then they will offer discounts. The final price will be a negotiation between the customer and dealer, there’s no real need for the MSRP to change since Zero is no longer selling the 2015 as a product.

Cruise Controls are easy to make with a piece of 12AWG single strand cooper wire twisted around the throttle. All of my electric motorcycles have them and I wouldn’t go on a 5 mile trip without one. Cost is less than $1 and 5 minutes of your time. You can set speed anywhere and it self resets to off by twisting throttle off.

My major complaint about Zero’s operations is that they don’t allow customers to special order a Power Tank or a Charge Tank model and have it built at the factory, instead of requiring the retail dealer to take the bike apart and install these complicated electrical accessories in their service department. While some dealers may have service technicians that are up to the task, it is my suspicion that most established motorcycle dealers that take on the Zero brand do not have technicians that are up to the task of working on the guts of electric vehicle power trains. If everything isn’t hooked up and installed just right the customer (and dealer) will potentially have nothing but headaches with the bike when ridden by the owner. This could all be solved by having the PT or CT installed at the factory when the bike is built. Why doesn’t Zero permit this option?

Zero does make bikes with the power tank right off the line. I’m not sure about who orders it, the dealer or the customer, but not every PT bike had to go back to be retrofitted after purchase.

Well, my 2014 S was special-ordered with a Power Tank before it every left the factory. The PT accessory package was shipped with the bike and then had to be installed during the bike pre-delivery set-up by my dealer, whose technician had never installed one before. The installation didn’t go well and Zero had to send out a factory technician to the shop to sort out the problems. It turned out that the PT was defective and there was an assembly error with the wiring loom at the factory when the bike was built. These problems would have been caught and corrected before the bike left the factory if the PT had been installed there. I have been told that the PT and CT accessories must be installed by the retail dealer. Have you heard anything different?

Hopefully this latest line-up will have a decent brake package. Everyone who owns these bikes of which I have spoken too said they loved the Zero bikes, but the brakes were worthless.

The front brake on my 2014 S works just as well as the front brakes on my 2005 Triumph Bonneville and 2009 BMW F650GS twin. I can’t say the same thing about the rear brake, though. However with the regen on 100% I really don’t use or need the rear brake much.

ABS became standard in 2015.