Electric learnerland:  Zero’s 11kw DSR

Somehow it's a learner but it feels much, much faster than it should be

Electric learnerland:  Zero’s 11kw DSR

FOR A bear of very little brain, the learner laws in this sceptred isle are entirely-covercomplicated. A1 this, A2 that, and when you add in electric bikes which aren’t measured in horsepowers, it’s enough to make you take your ball home, Brian.

After going through the rigmarole of a CBT, theory test and other shit, 17-year-olds are still only allowed an A1 lience, which is 125cc. Probably quicker to walk but riding is a little less tiring. Falling into this category are such wonders as the YZF-R125 and the Lexmoto Venom, whatever that is.

Adding itself into the mix now is the 11kw Zero DS, meaning you can save polar bears while taking your new girlfriend to the cinema to see whatever films you’re allowed to watch at that age in this nanny state. Paddington 2, probably.

Electric bikes have instant power, there is no pissing about. Knowing now what I do, I would imagine this would make a recently-passed rider’s life, erm, interesting. No power then all the power in a fraction of a second. A bit like a CR500 back in the day.s

But one of my eminently sensible colleagues pointed out that if you’ve only ever ridden one, then it is entirely normal. Like eating mushrooms. If you’ve always eaten mushrooms, then you don’t know any different and therefore you don’t see why you’re weird.

Anyway, Zero’s 11kw DS is A1-standard and, to be honest, you wouldn’t know it. Feeling nothing like a strangled 125, it positively fizzes about the place, caring not a jot that it should only be doing six mph for fear of putting the frighteners up its owner.

Now, according to Zero, this is because its motor pokes out 31 net horsepowers, which is some way north of what its petrol equivalents are allowed. However, its continuous horses figure is 15. Which is nearly as confusing as the licence laws, and contravenes so many laws of physics that James Doohan is now spinning in his grave.

We think what they’re saying is that the motor’s torque characteristics make it ‘feel’ like a 30bhp bike in terms of low-down grunt, but the peak torque x rpm will only ever add up to 15bhp, making it learner legal. But to be honest, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Answers on a postcard to Zero.

Anyway, as we’ve pointed out, all the shove is available from nowt in a linear fashion until it runs out. Which it rarely will do when you’ve only been riding for a little while and have no ‘zooming along bloody fast’ frames of reference.

I expect, too, that with a little provocation, it will do chipshop wheelies like people used to do. But not me. Oh no.

It will handle any corners you ping at it with no real issues even though it comes equipped with Pirelli MT-60 dirt-style tyres. They aren’t bad but you could easily swap them for some more road-focused versions.

Cycle parts are top quality, Showa forks and shock, single disc J-Juan stoppers with Bosch ABS as standard, all good stuff. But, as with all electric vehicles, there is a heavy price to pay for saving the planet and it is a price tag of £12,190. Yes.

However, it will do 100 miles on a single charge which will cost you about the same as a bag of chips.