All-new Zero DSR/X electric adventure model on its way?

New VIN decoder documents appear to confirm the Zero DSR/X first teased two years ago is finally on its way as firm's first electric adventure model

Zero DS/R Black Forest

Fresh documents filed by US electric motorcycle company Zero appear to have revived plans for a brand-new adventure model by the name of DSR/X.

The Californian company has kept a fairly low profile since the launch of its last all-new model to hit the roads - the SR/S sportsbike - in February 2020, instead turning its focus towards strengthening its software packages for greater range and performance.

However, new trademark filings unearthed by appear to suggest it is gearing up (or rather, charging up…) towards introducing a brand-new adventure motorcycle to the range after the unfamiliar DSR/X nameplate appeared on VIN decoder documents.

Accompanied by the term ‘adventure motorcycle’, it appears Zero is indeed dusting off its plans to enter the off-road market having indicated plans to do so a couple of years ago with a filing for a model under that moniker.

Roll on to 2022 and it appears the DSR/X is still in the pipeline, together with a model named FST/X to be spun off from a new FST platform that will form the basis of a street motorcycle and have origins in the more motocross style FXE range.

To date, Zero’s only foray into the great outdoors has stopped short at the DS/R Black Forest, a more rugged version of the on-road only DS/R naked.

A bit of educated sleuthing would suggest the DSR/X represents a more dedicated mud-slinging development of that motorcycle, while potentially establishing a fresh model line for the company.

While little is known about DSR/X in terms of size and at which rivals it would be pitched at, the documents do reveal it will be offered in two performance configurations - 14.4kW and 15.3kW.

The information also features a note about a new interior permanent magnet (IPM) 5T motor to go with the 15.3kW battery pack, plus Zero’s ever-evolving rapid charging systems.

Why the Zero DSR/X is potentially a big deal

Among the many (many) challenges and hurdles facing motorcycle manufacturers as electric power evolves from alternative to mandatory on new models, the impact it could have on the massive adventure/off-road segment is near the summit.

Indeed, it doesn’t take an expert to understand why electric power and adventure motorcycles don’t make natural companions.

Firstly, can an electric motorcycle produce enough low down torque to tackle the toughest of terrains and how much of a compromise will there be on added weight?

And, of course, you’ll be hard pressed to find an electric recharging point in the wilderness to top up a battery that will drain quicker in rougher conditions.

With this in mind, it is little wonder adventure motorcycles - Europe’s largest segment after scooters - have been conveniently forgotten in presentations about how motorcycling can adapt to an electric future.

Though it isn’t clear exactly what form the DSR/X will ultimate take and Zero isn’t exactly an experienced hand when it comes to big ADVs, it has been a forerunner when it comes to adapting electric technology and software. 

As and when it does arrive - end of the year potentially - expect rivals to be glancing over it with interest.

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