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First impressions: Zero FXS electric motorcycle

It can talk the torque, but can it walk the walk?

First impressions: Zero FXS electric motorcycle

OUR LAURA took her first trip down electric avenue yesterday and it’s fair to say she’s completely converted.

Here are her first impressions following the launch of the updated Zero FXS...        

“Having experienced electric cars before, I hopped aboard the FXS expecting something similar, albeit with an improved power-to-weight ratio. But ‘improved’ was an understatement. Weighing just 133kg and making 106Nm of torque (from ‘zero’), it’s unbelievably potent. To put it into perspective that’s basically like a 125cc-sized motorcycle making the torque of a 1,000cc superbike. Suddenly, the skinny little supermoto doesn’t seem so meek, after all.

“We left London’s BikeShed in Eco mode, which dials the torque down by about 40 per cent. Given the wet roads, hard compound tyres (to make for less rolling resistance) and my relative inexperience, it was certainly a good idea. While the torque from zero is still enough to take you by surprise, Eco mode makes the bike much more user-friendly – and more economical. On this mode and riding at city speeds, Zero claims a range of 100-miles.

“But there’s more to life than Eco mode and by the time we made Stratford’s A12 I’d already strayed into Sport mode. Sport felt like the bike was on steroids, as the acceleration picked up considerably. It’s hard to believe that it’s an A2 legal bike, with equivalent sustained power of just 21hp.

“Just a slight twinge of the throttle was enough to send the front wheel skyward, and my heart rate rocketing. I found out just how potent the supermoto was when I unintentionally wheelied out of a (EV charging point) parking space in central London, much to the surprise of the nearby tourists.

“Sport mode was also conducive to burnouts, and many a queue was left in a cloud of white smoke, as we won traffic light roulette every time. A broad steering lock and the bike’s slim form made slipping past traffic a (silent) breeze. The lack of noise didn’t bother me, but the inability to grab a clutch and rev angrily at the capital’s moronic cagers certainly did. Riding continuously at 70mph in sport mode would see the battery range drop to just 40 miles, while a combined range of about 70 miles is claimed.

“And as for looks, Zero has got the FXS spot on. Not much has changed since its previous guise, but the stealthy image suits its silence, while the aggressive face reflects the incredible torque.

“And in this case torque is cheap - incredibly so, in fact. Zero estimate that a full charge on the FXS costs just £1 of home electricity. Charge at work or on one of the many free three-pin charge points around the capital and you’re laughing.

“So it’s fast, fun and almost free to run. What’s the catch? That would be the price. Even with the Government’s £1,500 EV grant the FXS will still set you back a hefty £8,995. And this is Zero’s cheapest model, believe it or not…

“As representatives point out, you will make your money back on the low running costs – eventually. But that still makes it hard to justify the price of a brand new Street Triple R on an inner-city commuter – albeit a fun one at that…”

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