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Zero Video Leaks Images/Details on New SR/S Sport Model

With a formal launch scheduled for February 24, we are sure that Zero was not happy that a YouTube video released details and images of its new SR/S sport model a few days ago. Before you get too excited, the new bike is basically the same machine as the SR/F announced roughly a year ago, with a few tweaks.

While the video has been pulled down, the screen grab above gives you a good look at the new bike. Like the already-available SR/F, the SR/S will apparently make a claimed 110 horsepower and 140 foot/pounds of torque. Unlike the naked model, the fully-faired SR/S should have improved highway range due to aerodynamic benefits, together with a more upright, relaxed rider triangle (higher handlebars and lower pegs). We’ll see if there is more to the story on February 24, but it looks like the cat is out of the bag.


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78 Comments

  1. EZMark says:

    This site is becoming more Motorcycle Weekly than Motorcycle Daily.

    • DucDynasty says:

      EZMark, Dirck has has a few “Gaps” in the past…..just hope he’s OK. We do get spoiled and miss his posts, when they are sparse. Dirck, you good??

  2. Reginald Van Blunt says:

    Why do some replies disappear, or are delayed for several days, after being submitted ?
    Have 2 missing in action now, regarding throttle position.

  3. Provologna says:

    Audi just ceased production of one or all of their E-models due to lack of supply of batteries.

  4. paul says:

    For me it doesn’t matter what the price, range, power level etc is. I have zero (sorry) interest in an electric motorcycle. None. I like conventional motorcycles, love them as they are.

    Now, I also ride road bicycles and MTB’s. I have ridden an electric assist MTB and enjoyed it on steep hills. I still got a work-out and the bike could still be ridden with variable assist or none at all. Now that is a product I would consider purchasing.

  5. Fredboe Fartzollotti says:

    These motorcycles just aren’t worth it. And by “it” I mean total cost. Look, MD and the rest of motorcycle reporting would be better off reviewing small displacement, very fuel efficient motorcycles and touting their benefits rather than this sort of pipe dream.

    And for those that don’t know what “pipe dream” means, it’s a reference to the hallucinations of opium smokers in stinky rooms filled with clouds of smoke from the pipes of addicts. What dreams may come, indeed.

    Most here would reject small, lightweight, fuel efficient motorcycles because said bikes aren’t powerful enough to carry their ego around. They would rather feel than think. They would rather make the same dull remarks about what they want, no…demand, from manufacturers. Granted, bike makers don’t always listen to their potential customers and that’s one reason the market here are tanking. A bigger and more valid reason is cost.

    Bikes don’t deliver enough in the real world outside the ego filled opium dens that so many of us seem to live in. In the 60s, when motorcycling began to take off big time, people just wanted to have fun. Now they want a “lifestyle” but oddly enough one that no one else makes fun of. They hate the HD lifestyle. They belittle the “hipster” lifestyle for much the same reasons they do the HD riders, i.e., “It’s not real. It’s a facade built on the style of the past trying to live in the now”…BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.

    I could go on but I suspect more than a few here (and we know who we are) are suffering from TLDR syndrome. Gnat meet attention span.

    Dirck. Good luck, brother. Too many in the real world suffer from what I would call “hellucinations”. Again, good luck!

  6. Mark says:

    EVs are still too heavy, too short on range, and take too long to recharge. And even worse, you pay $20k for a bike, and it’s basically disposable after about 8-10 years, which means it’ll have zero resale value. I was interested in one at one time and talked to a Zero dealer and he said that the full charge level gradually decreases over time, greatly shortening the range. He said the cost to swap out a battery pack on a Zero SR for a new one would basically be almost as much as new one.
    If manufacturers really want to go down the EV path, they’d be better off investing in a swappable battery pack built around a common standard shared with other manufacturers, which would eliminate most of the above concerns (except weight). I’m shocked, because Zero originally started down this path with one of their bikes, but they moved away from it.

    • Tom K. says:

      It’s hard to argue with anything you said, I just don’t see BEV (motorcycles) to be viable with today’s technology, they just do not have enough “virtues per dollar” for most buyers. But, the question that comes to mind is, if you are correct, how in the heck has Zero managed to stay in business for the past what, decade? Have they as a company ever shown a profitable year? If not, where do they get the money to continue operations? SOMEBODY must be buying these things, right? Guess I could Google it, but it’d be more interesting for someone who is knowledgeable educate us all.

      • Rus says:

        Zero is a private company who gets money from private venture capital firms. They don’t have to disclose their books to the SEC but have to file a return with the IRS.

      • Jeremy says:

        I’m not particularly knowledgeable about Zero as they are privately held and small, so there is very little info out there. Here is what I’ve read, though:

        Zero raises money through the venture capital market. I saw where they recently sealed an additional $25 million in funding last year and have apparently raised over $250 million since inception.

        As far as sales go, I remember they had a recall in 2012 that affected the entire production year of the bigger models. That totaled 218 units worldwide if I remember right. The only other model they had in 2012 was the FX, which was not affected by the recall. Sales of the FX are unknown, but I doubt it would be more than the other three models in total.

        Fast forward to 2018, they sold 894 units in Europe. US sales are unknown, but I’ve seen analysts’ guesses between 900 and 1500 units.

        The most recent round of VC funding implies that they aren’t too close to being able to cash flow their operations, at least not with respect to their growth plans and ongoing/upcoming R&D in the mix.

        • Reginald Van Blunt says:

          This is very discouraging for me. Add to this the recent blog regarding battery replacement cost vs bike value depreciation and once again Smokey Yanuck’s determination that only hybrids will be useful, rings true.
          Time for change, decrease the price, increase the demographic appeal, improve efficiency, and build a better ergonomic population percentage, or die in debt.
          Geez Louise.

          • Reginald Van Blunt says:

            Correction, S/B Yunick not Yanuck.

          • Jason says:

            EV motorcycles for use in the USA and EU are a hard sell. Even the gas bikes are primarily used as recreational vehicles not primary transportation. Owners expect high performance and long ranges. They are also a tiny niche of the market sold in small numbers. (Even large displacement gas motorcycles) That makes the batteries very expensive

            The vast majority of motorcycles sold in the world (about 95%) are 150cc or less, sold in middle income nations, and used as primary transportation. Top speeds are 100 kph or less and daily ranges are also 100 km or less. They are used to commute and transport goods though huge cities in Asia. This segment is seeing rapid adoption of electric bikes because it isn’t had to meet the spec requirement and the battery is cheap and small – easy to carry inside to charge overnight. I saw thousands of these kind of EVs on my recent trip to Vietnam.

            If we move to cars, the battery isn’t such a problem either. When the Leaf came out it was $36,000. 5 years later you could buy a factor replacement battery from Nissan for $5500. It has more range than the original and has a 8 year / 100,000 mile warranty.

            The problem isn’t technology. The tech works in other segments. The problem is that motorcycles that people in the USA want to ride are a tiny niche product without sufficient economy of scale.

    • Mikey says:

      Mark raises good points for ownership down the road. Most all bikes depreciate down the road but there is always a market for them. If electric bikes get tagged as ‘throw aways’ owing to the cost of battery packs then buyers will shy away from them.
      Same goes for the cars. Until there is a real network for convenient charging they’ll remain a novelty or in town commuters.

      It comes down to Range, Charge Time, Price.
      And right now there’s not a bike made that would satisfy me with any of these points.

      • Provologna says:

        There’s a big enough ratio of buyers of such bikes, with appropriate disposable cash, to which future value/depreciation is just a number like tire PSI. Buy it, ride it, when a new/better model arrives, trade in the old one for the dealer-specified value, and ride the new one out of the store, period, end of story.

        I deal with such buyers, but not in the motorcycle market.

        Without such buyers, IMO e-bikes cease to exist over night.

        On a different note: 3 articles in more than 3 weeks. I hope Dirck is OK.

  7. North of Missoula says:

    Nice bike. I’d love to take one for a ride. The naked version with the larger battery is listed at $21k on Zero’s website, the base model is $19 and change.

    You pay dearly to be an early adopter of any technology.

    If I was going to buy another sport bike I’d go for a ZX10R,spend $4K less and have a whole lot more motorcycle……just sayin’

    • todd says:

      I spent $14k less and got more in the likes of a KTM 690 Duke. Between that and my fully depreciated BMW K75S (among five others), I’d say I’m already set. Besides, I don’t like to drive or ride automatics.

      That said, the bike does look nice and will probably perform along the lines of similar middle-class bikes.

    • Superlight says:

      That Kawi ZX-10R is not in the same class as this Zero. ZX-10R – Lots better performance, less weight and much less rider comfort from what we can see in the Zero photos.

    • Grover says:

      We’ve been “early adopters” on Zero motorcycles for about 10 years now. When is that going to change?

      • Superlight says:

        When there is a national charging system available and batteries are more efficient than they are now.

        • Dave says:

          Most who can afford an ev right now have a garage and charge at home. When you can wake up with “full tank” every morning, 100 miles is more range than 95% of drivers need, 95% of the time.

          • Superlight says:

            OK, but this eliminates touring any distance and avoids the excess weight issue which EV motorcycles have. Darned if I’d choose a bike that’s 100 lbs over what I ride now.

          • Dave says:

            EV’s definitely aren’t for touring but that’s a tiny percentage or riders.

            The claimed curb weight of the SR, from which this bike is derived is 313lb., which is very lightweight for a motorcycle capable of highway speeds. Certainly lighter than any road legal motorcycle I’ve ever ridden.

          • Jeremy says:

            “EV’s definitely aren’t for touring but that’s a tiny percentage or riders.”

            The latest sales data available (2017) shows that 38% of new street bikes sold were touring bikes (more than any other type), and they also make up the second largest bike type (behind cruisers) of total motorcycles registered in the US. So I wouldn’t say that touring riders are a “very small percentage of riders.” I’d wager there are far more riders that go on occasional all-day weekend rides or multi-day trips than there are people who commute by motorcycle.

            In any case, you are definitely right in that EMs aren’t for touring. They aren’t even for weekend warriors at this point.

            Also, claimed curb weight for the SR/F is 485 lbs, not 313. And this bike is claimed to weigh in at 505 lbs.

          • Dave says:

            You’re right, I pulled that number from the SR’s web page and that’s a much different bike than their name similarity suggests.

            I don’t trust that many of the touring bikes being purchased are being used for touring frequently, same as I see sport bikes everywhere I go that are clearly never leaned over very far in turns (wide strips on the nearly worn out tires).

          • Jeremy says:

            I would agree that touring bikes probably aren’t used for touring that often, but casual observation at least implies to me that when these types of bikes are being used, they are routinely being used for 3+ hours at a time. I don’t see many of these commuting, but I see them out in droves on weekends all the time. And whether they are used for touring very often or not doesn’t alter the case that touring bikes and their riders certainly aren’t a small piece of the pie. That doesn’t necessarily make them less likely a market as many EMs may potentially be purchased as additions to a garage rather than a sole scoot.

          • mickey says:

            As someone who considers himself a touring rider, even being retired I can’t be on a trip every day. I go on multi week, multi state trips several times a year, but my touring bike still gets ridden someplace almost every day when I am home, splitting duties with my retro style bike.

            an EV would suffice for most of the days I am home if it had a true 120 mile range, and I would gladly own one if it were in the $ 8k range, but they cost more than my fully faired, shaft drive, fully bagged, 1400 cc touring bike and I don’t see the value in that.

          • Jeremy says:

            “but they cost more than my fully faired, shaft drive, fully bagged, 1400 cc touring bike and I don’t see the value in that.”

            Yeah, they make a pretty poor value proposition when measured in terms of dollars and cents. You’d have to value the novelty of it or things like never having to fill up on your commute or change oil or check valves.

            I hate stopping for gas and doing maintenance, so I’d have honestly bought one long ago if I commuted by motorcycle, price be damned.

        • RyYYZ says:

          Zero doesn’t support DC fast charging at this point. There IS a network of those nationally, already. Even if they did, though, they also don’t have the active cooling to be able to do a 15-85 % charge in 20 minutes like Teslas do.

          Until charging times are greatly reduced and/or ranges greatly increased, e-bikes will remain commuters or, at best, weekend afternoon rides.

          Unfortunately the number of people for whom that use case applies and are able/willing to part with the asking price is pretty small.

          • Dave says:

            Lithium charge rate is partially dependent on battery capacity. I don’t think a battery as small as those on bikes could withstand the charge rates that DC fast chargers designed for cars would force them to deal with.

            The need for a cooling system to absorb the charge also signals that charging that fast is damaging to the battery. Tesla is confident that their battery will deliver a satisfactory service life even at these charge rates. I don’t think a smaller battery would fare as well.

          • RyYYZ says:

            Dave: not sure why I can’t reply directly to your reply.
            In any case, a smaller battery should be able to absorb the same charge rate, relative to its size, as a larger one. The bike doesn’t have take all the available amperage, and in fact should negotiate (I think that is how DC fast charging works) the charging rate with the charger.

            Active cooling is required for that sort of fast charging to keep temperatures down and avoid damaging the battery. Problem is, that adds more weight and complexity, which is apparently not a problem for Tesla. I’m not sure if anyone else is managing the charging times that Tesla is, but clearly it’s possible.

          • Jeremy says:

            Energica bikes support DC fast charging. As does the HD Livewire if I recall correctly. The new Damon will as well if it makes it to market.

          • Dave says:

            My comment was based on the assumption that charge rate could not be stepped down enough for the smaller battery capacity. I didn’t know that the charge stations had enough output range to address small batteries. If that’s the case then I stand corrected.

            Still seem like playing with fire (pun intended) to charge at rates that generate so much heat in batteries that already have very low internal resistance.

          • Jason says:

            Zero doesn’t support Level 3 (DC) charging but they do support Level 2 charging.

            There are 25,000 Level 2 charging stations in the USA that use the J1772 plug used by the Zero and all electric cars except for Tesla. This is the only true nationwide charging network and the Zero can charge 0-95% in 2 hours. You can also install a Level 2 charging in your garage for about $500

            When we get to Level 3 charging there are 3 incompatible networks:
            Tesla – 870 stations
            ChAdeMO – 2,984 stations
            CCS – 2804 stations

            I had a Spark EV for a 39 month lease. It had the option of CCS DC charging but there are only 40 stations in the state of Oregon and Oregon has better charging than most states. The Spark has a very similar range to the Zero SR/F and Livewire and if I limited myself to CCS chargers the car can’t go beyond the Portland Metro, down I5 as far as Eugene, and I84 East to Hood River. With the current state of Level 3 charging electric motorcycles are still local commuters everywhere except maybe Southern California.

  8. Mike says:

    That bike costs very nearly as much as my new Honda Accord. Does anybody else here think that the price of bikes is getting out of hand?
    You say…But the cost of batteries, research, small company, yada, yada, yada.
    I say…Range, charge time, price?

    • Jason says:

      Are the price of bikes getting out of hand? No – they are cheaper than in the past when adjusted for inflation and WAY better.

      A 1995 Honda CBR600F3 was $7,299. That is $12,350 today.
      A 2020 Honda CBR650R ABS is $9,699.

      The 1995 bike was 25% more expensive for less performance, without EFI or ABS.

      You can do the same thing with most motorcycles and cars. A 2020 Honda Accord cost the same as a late 1980’s Accord with 98 hp with a 2 barrel carb connected to a 4 speed slushbox.

      • Dave says:

        I always question the inflation value because it doesn’t take into account external cost of living expenses. $7,300 in 1995 was not the same as $12,350 is today for anyone making anywhere close to the median wages in the US. Mortgages and health insurance have gotten so much more expensive, consuming more of an individual’s income.

        I’d wager that many, even most Americans see $7.5-10k as a more significant recreation expenditure today than they did in the late 90’s. There were certainly a lot more people buying high performance bikes and vehicles in general, back then.

  9. Provologna says:

    Topmost image: an early-mid ’90s Yamaha XJ600S Seca II/Diversion w/lowers and gray paint, no?

    • Grover says:

      Yes, the 90’s was a great time for motorcycles! We get to relive the 90’s, but with a $20,000 price tag.

  10. John rubcic says:

    Didn’t you see that coming? You could have saved your crystal ball.

  11. Josh B. says:

    MotorcycleMonthly.com

    • mkv says:

      Right.

      Also they seem to be very biased towards non cruisers also. Could be a busy guy, you never know.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. LOL

    • DucDynasty says:

      Guess I’m happy for the free content and more concerned that Dirck is A-Ok.

      • DaytonaJames says:

        +1… ten days since a new posting. I appreciate Dirck’s efforts with his publication. I’ve always envied him for the job he gets to do. Dirck… is everything ok?
        Concerned

        • Dirck Edge says:

          I’m fine. Recovering from a bit of burnout. Will be posting some new articles.

          • Motoman says:

            Glad its “just” that Dirck. I’ll be 60 this year and have been suffering from burnout for about 20 years!

            And if anyone complains, send them a bill for a monthly subscription fee.

  12. JD says:

    Priority #1 is selling bikes. Highway range will take a backseat to styling if that’s what it takes to sell their bikes.

  13. Nick says:

    Looks to me like an out-and-out sports/tourer, not a sports model at all. Everyone but Ducati thinks there’s mileage in the concept.

    • Grover says:

      If it is a Sports Tourer then it better have the range to achieve 250 miles before plugging it in for a 15 charge to full capacity. Otherwise, it’s a useless Sports Tourer.

      • Dave says:

        “Tour” is often a misnomer in product naming. It sounds more aspirational than “comfort”, which is what it really means, most of the time. It is unusual for the fairing bearing version of a motorcycle to have a more relaxed riding position than the naked version.

        The vast majority of motorcycles (sport touring or otherwise) are never used for multi day touring, though I think Zero would be stepping in it a little bit if they used that term to describe their bikes in their current state.

    • Superlight says:

      Ever seen a Ducati SuperSport? Same concept as this Zero; in fact, it looks like Zero copied the Ducati design.

      • Nick says:

        As its name implies, the Ducati SuperSport is much less of a sports tourer than the old ST range that Ducati binned so long ago. At least the Zero above is better-styled than the SS, which it resembles only superficially, ie two wheels and a fairing. As others have rightly commented, it makes little sense to build a comfortable bike that could eat miles if the power source isn’t up to it.

        • Superlight says:

          Yes, the new Ducati SS is more “sport” than “tourer”, but it’s one heck of a lot more comfortable to ride than any of the pure “sports” bikes like Panigales.

          The Zero “better styled” than the Ducati SS? Only in your dreams, Nick. Ducati has forgotten more about good design than Zero has ever known. This new Zero looks like a freshman effort in design; maybe some day they’ll learn how it’s done properly.

          • Nick says:

            I was expressing an opinion, not dreaming, when I suggested the Zero was arguably neater than the Ducati SuperSport. Ducati has certainly forgotten plenty about design, and they do that quite regularly, as anyone familiar with their bikes over the last forty years may have noticed. I just don’t find the SuperSport graceful and visually-balanced like some of its predecessors.

        • Superlight says:

          “the Zero is better styled than the Ducati SS”? No, not even close, but it is an inferior attempt at a copy.

  14. Dave says:

    It’s been interesting to me that with an e-motorcycle’s biggest challenge being highway range, aerodynamics hasn’t been a prominent feature of every new street product that’s come out. I would’ve thought this would be priority feature #1.

    • Jeremy says:

      We’d basically have to tuck into a covered-wheel torpedo to get something truly meaningful from the aerodynamics. That seems like it would be more detrimental to sales that the current range/price conundrum.

      I think range is still so short that the extra 10 miles or so you’d get by riding around with your chin on the “tank” behind the windshield of a well designed fairing just hasn’t been enough of a game changer up to this point to invest heavily in aero R&D. Better to spend the money improving batteries, motors, and controllers.

      That said, the Damon electric motorcycle featured not long ago claims something like 161 miles at a sustained 70mph and 201 miles at 60mph. The battery isn’t big enough to accomplish that without major improvements to either the chemistry, electronics, motors, aerodynamics, or bullshite, or some combination thereof.

      • Tom K. says:

        Jeremy nailed it. Battery size and weight (at least with current technology) is why EV’s make sense for automobiles, but not for motorcycles (and also not for farm tractors, over-the-road semi’s, freight trains and ships). I like the idea of EV’s, but only when their use makes more sense than using fossil fuels.

        For the Future? Maybe, my battery-powered crystal ball rolled off the table and broke this morning.

        • Dave says:

          I think there’s more aero opportunity than that without completely re-imagining the motorcycle. It’s an event so potential buyers would expect it to be different. These are small vehicles, after all.

      • Reginald Van Blunt says:

        Aerodynamic improvements are usually incremental, but are still meaningful if measurable, unlike the common perception after washing a car that it runs smoother.
        Modified a 2007 Suzuki V-Strom DL650 aerodynamically and achieved a 1/8th less throttle position at a steady 75 mph. At the same time was rewarded with much improved comfort from quiet/smooth airflow.
        Here is the rub. Do not know if on an e-bike these improvements would result in less electricity being used, however I would feel like a cross country runner.

        • Anonymous says:

          “Modified a 2007 Suzuki V-Strom DL650 aerodynamically and achieved a 1/8th less throttle position at a steady 75 mph”.

          How did you measure that?

          • Reginald Van Blunt says:

            I put a durable white tape on the twist grip housing, mark the grip slipshield with a notch, fill in the notch with white paint,
            and mark the tape with 5 black lines aligned with the slipshield notch at closed, 1/4, 1/2 3/4 and full throttle.
            Started doing this decades ago for long aluval dirt climbs offroad, to unload the engine on hot days. Works fine – lasts a long time.

          • Reginald Van Blunt says:

            Flat freeway, no wind, same temperature and fuel load about 1 week apart. Posted last night description of throttle gauge, still not showing here.

          • Reginald Van Blunt says:

            Attached a durable (brother p-touch) white tape onto throttle cable housing. Cut a notch into grip hand stop rim, and painted notch white. Marked tape with 5 black horizontal lines at even spacing from closed to full open twist grip. Easy to see relative throttle position in 1/4 increments while riding.

      • Dave says:

        I just saw another article about this bike, a 1st ride test. Zero is claiming 13% improved highway range with the fairing.

    • Phil says:

      I think the aero benefit will be noticeable. Petrol engines improve their efficiency at highway speeds. Electric vehicles get worse. I think the aerodynamic efficiency bang for the buck, will be bigger than would normally be the case with a petrol engined bike.
      I hope it works for them.

  15. Shoeman says:

    Nine days between postings. Hope everything is OK. Can we please have part 2 of Kawasaki’s W800 review from part 1 back on 12/31?

    • Rhinestone Kawboy says:

      I agree Shoeman, was starting to worry that maybe Dirck was ill or something- hope not. And nice to see that Zero is continuing their push for more or updated models, they are really looking like regular current motorcycles now, and at what one can only assume is a fair price for this technology at this time. Harley has their Livewire, but many are choking over the 30,000 price tag. Can’t blame them.

      • Mick says:

        Be positive. Maybe he’s cutting down of smoking and it now takes him nine days to run out of cigarettes after a MotoGP post.

      • GP says:

        Agreed. New articles on this site seem to have slowed significantly. This is Motorcycle *DAILY*. This article was posted over a week ago. We need our fix (more off-road/dirt please).