2014 Zero Motorcycles First Look

November 5, 2013
Byron Wilson
Byron Wilson
Associate Editor|Articles|Articles RSS

Byron's sure to be hunched over a laptop after the checkers are flown, caught in his own little version of heaven. Whether on dirt, street or a combination of both, MotoUSA's newest addition knows the only thing better than actually riding is telling the story of how things went down.

2014 Zero SR.
The 2014 Zero SR boasts 67 horsepower and 106 lb-ft of torque, a 137-mile range in the city and 85 miles on highway. With the Z-Force Power Tank accessory, range is increased to 171 miles city and 106 miles on the highway.

Zero Motorcycles revealed its 2014 line of electric motorcycles at the EICMA show in Milan. The Santa Cruz-based company features a new R-spec version of its Zero S electric bike and the Z-Force Power Tank accessory, which allows riders to extend the range of any 2014 model-year Zero motorcycle. The Zero S, DS and FX return with chassis and electronics upgrades and the company continues development in its Police and Military programs as well. The 2014 Zero S and DS also boast a $1000 reduction in MSRP.

The 2014 Zero SR is “designed for riders who simply want to go faster and accelerate harder,” according to company press. To achieve such gains the SR comes with a larger, 660-amp motor controller which produces a claimed 24% more power and 56% more torque than the standard S model. Zero figures the SR will crank out 67 horsepower, a whopping 106 lb-ft of torque and creep just past the century mark in top-speed. To optimize power over long rides and at higher speeds, the SR’s motor sources higher temperature magnets than its progenitor. Range is estimated at 137 miles in the city and 85 miles on the highway for the base-level ZF11.4 motor, 171 miles in the city and 106 miles on the highway with the addition of the Z-Force Power Tank accessory. MSRP for the SR is listed at $16,995 US dollars.

The Z-Force Power Tank is an aftermarket addition that ups power by 2.8 kWh and increases energy storage capacity. The accessory package includes a power module and additional body work and when installed the unit fits into the area where the integrated tank bag would typically sit. Zero press indicates that “once installed, the new bodywork includes a completely new tank section of the motorcycle with a newly designed plastic cover.” The Z-Force Power Tank will not be compatible with previous model-years and is listed at $2495 dollars.

The SR and S feature more ground clearance than the 2013 models and come with a larger 140 rear tire, up from the 130 offered the previous model year. All models ditch the Nissin single piston rear brake caliper used in 2013 for a J-Juan single piston gripping a 240mm rotor. The 2014 Zero S lists at $12,995 for the ZF8.5 motor size and $14,995 for the ZF11.4.

The entire Zero line also received suspension and chassis upgrades. All models come with an updated 43mm front fork with the internal settings of the rear shock “completely reworked”. Figures for the S and RS show an increase of nearly one-inch of travel out back over the 2013 S model; the DS loses half-an-inch and the FX remains the same. Zero affirms that changes to the rear suspension will provide more “comfort and control.”

A new chassis on all models features a “more robust” swingarm pivot, head tube and head bearing to help improve torsional rigidity and the S, SR and DS models have an Integrated Power Tank frame structure to stiffen the frame.
The dash console has been completely revamped and now has a high contrast blue-backlit LCD screen. Riders can switch between “Eco,” “Sport” and a new “Custom” riding mode via a more ergonomically designed right-hand switch.

The “Custom” mode allows riders to set their own performance profiles, though all changes must be made through the Zero Motorcycles smartphone app. The app works with iPhone and Android devices, displays a riding interface with real-time data, provides statistics and diagnostic information when parked and allows riders to adjust acceleration, top speed, and regenerative braking to personal preference. The app is now equipped to support English, German, French, Spanish and Dutch.

Aesthetic upgrades promise to improve performance with the S, RS and DS models donning a new chin fairing to help optimize aerodynamics and cooling to the powertrain. The FX receives dual projector beam headlights with integrated fly screen and has new seat to accommodate a pillion. Passenger pegs will be sold separately. The 2014 DS comes with an MSRP of $12,995 (ZF8.5) and $14,994 (ZF11.4) while the FX lists at $9495 (ZF2.8) and $11,990 (ZF5.7).
The Police-built DSP and SP models receive the same upgrades as the S and SR while the military-grade MMX gets all the updates as the FX.

Zero’s 2014 model year also debuts an impressive five-year power back warranty, covering up to 100,000 miles. Said Zero CEO Richard Walker: “For 2014 we focused on evolving the features that customers appreciate most while also providing more value. The results include impressive options for increased range and improved performance at more competitive price points than ever before. Additionally we are excited to announce five year standard power pack warranties for every new model that cover up to 100,000 miles. As always, we invite consumers to discover the thrill of riding a Zero by contacting an authorized dealer to sign up for a test ride or to place an order. The new lineup arrives in January.”