Zero makes electric motorcycle history with Maudes Trophy success

Electric motorcycle history has been made by Zero, which has successfully completed its Maudes Trophy attempt of over 1,000 miles

Zero DSR/X, Maudes Trophy

The Maudes Trophy has been awarded to a manufacturer using an electric motorcycle for the first time, after Zero successfully completed its attempt.

It had been since 1994 that the Maudes Trophy had last been awarded, and 100 since it was awarded for the first time. Making history as the first manufacturer of electric motorcycles to win the award, Zero has joined the likes of Norton, Triumph, Honda, and Yamaha in winning the Maudes Trophy.

The idea of taking on the Maudes Trophy, Zero said on the announcement of its attempt last week, was “to bust preconceptions surrounding electric motorcycles and the UK’s public charging infrastructure.”

Zero’s attempt took place late last week, and saw temperatures dip as low as -6C as a team of six riders - National Motorcyclists Council chair Craig Carey-Clinch, motorcycle journalist and Visordown contributor Martin Fitz-Gibbons, former racer Curt Langan, Wheels Motorcycles’ Andy Dalton, J&M Electrobikes’ Matthew Drew, and The Bike Sanctuary’s Macauley Perkins and Ben Grayson - rode a pair of Zero DSR/X adventure bikes from Land’s End across to Lowestoft, up to Edinburgh, back down to Holyhead, and then across to Liverpool in time for the FIM Awards on the night of 2 December.

Speaking after the challenge, Dale Robinson, Zero Motorcycles’ UK Country Manager, said: “Wow, what a ride and much more an endurance of man than machine. The bikes performed faultlessly but the biggest challenge was for the riders, riding in sub-zero conditions. They stuck to the task with great dedication and not one gave up, when they could have been forgiven for doing so.

“Aside from the honour of winning this prestigious award, it has been an excellent opportunity for all involved to learn more about riding electric motorcycles in extreme conditions. Potential customers are often asking questions about touring and riding in cold temperatures. 

“Our dealers now have first-hand experience, riding in conditions no Zero owner is likely to ever find themselves in, and we have been able to prove our product in these most challenging conditions. It feels fitting to be the first EV company to win this trophy, and 100 years after it was first awarded. Electric motorcycles are no longer the future but a viable proposition for many riders today.”

The NMC’s Craig Carey-Clinch added: “In such extreme cold weather conditions, teamworking was vital to the success of the ride and every member played a key part in what was a gruelling ride at times. I started the challenge with an open mind about the capability of electric motorcycles on long distance journeys, but the DSR/Xs performed very well considering the extreme cold. 

“However, when it comes to infrastructure for riders, much more needs to be done by public authorities if they want to encourage a switch to ePTWs. It’s not that charging facilities are rare, the opposite in fact, but that many have no facilities or shelter for riders waiting off their bikes. This is a matter the NMC will look into further.”