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Mini Review: 2014 Zero SR - Electric Powerhouse

27
January
2014
  Posted at 06:00:00 PM
  File under  Electrical Product Review Zero Motorcycles
  Author: Arvid Elias
  Location: Seattle, USA
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Arvid Elias based in Seattle, USA wrote this review initially on the Electric Motorcycle Forum and allowed us to republish it on our site.


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Electric Motorcycle Forum logo
The 2014 Zero SR mini review was originally published on the Electric Motorcycle Forum Open Electric Motorcycle Forum in a new window.

Click here to read the original review of the 2014 Zero SR Open Electricmotorcycleforum link in a new window
I received my Zero SR Open Zeromotorcycles link in a new window today! It got delivered to the dealership this morning and after some begging the dealership agreed that I'd be allowed to pick it up later the same day. Initially they wanted to keep it for 5 days.

But back to the bike. In anticipation I already installed the Zero app Open Zero app link in a new window on my iPhone. Pairing it with the bike was a bit tricky since the instructions in the app referred to how to get it set up on the 2013 model. (getting Bluetooth activated using the mode switch is no longer an option). After realizing that you have to time turning the bike on and searching for new BT devices it was pretty straight forward.

Click for bigger version of Review 2014 Zero SR
Open image in a new window

The phone insisted a couple of times that I should download the app even though it was already installed and active. Once I told it to get stuffed a couple of times it seem to stabilize itself somewhat.  Here is a (slightly blurry) video that covers the look and feel of the new dashboard. The battery information is on the left side and the torque and power output and input on the right. The lower part of the center of the console have two fields where the user can select what values to display. Such as Wh/mile and range.

Zero has selected to make motor temperature available but not ambient temperature. From a user perspective I think this is strange since there's already a warning system in place for motor temperature and the ambient temperature is more useful information in places where it gets cold or hot.

The speed and distance can be switched between miles and kilometers separate from switching motor temperature between Celsius and Fahrenheit.



The bike was almost fully charged when I got on it and I followed the recommendation to start out in "Eco" mode. Especially since the tires are brand new and may be extra slippery. I stayed in Eco mode for almost 1 mile. During that time I enjoyed how smooth the power output was and how easy the bike was to maneuver in tight spaces.

I've ridden the 2012 S, the 2013 DS and the 2013 FX so the electric torque experience wasn't completely new to me. That said I still smiled every time I accelerated.

After feeling comfortable with the way the bike handled I switched it over to "Sport" mode... OMFGBBQ***!!!!!!!! This was what everything I had hoped it would be!!! The bike instantly turned super responsive to my throttle input and the acceleration was breathtaking!

Review 2014 Zero SR

My last bike was a 2007 Yamaha R1 with 189 bhp. The best way I can compare the feeling of how they accelerate is to say that the R1 has lots of power at a very limited RPM. Meaning you have to slip the clutch just right for the maximum acceleration when you take off from a red light. With the Zero SR you just lean forward, open the throttle and let the adrenaline flow through your body as you are thrusted forward like a rocket! It's an amazing feeling!

The torque is not as raw as I'm used to from ICEs (Internal Combustion Engines) but even and well controlled. The result is that you can open the throttle wide open from a standstill and not get into too much trouble (assuming you're leaning forward and have good, dry pavement under your tires). This gives the bike a very mature feeling and the only downside is that it won't wheelie easily. In fact it won't really push you back on the seat until you reach 30-40 mph.

I did some very unscientific tests of acceleration at different speeds and found that in sport mode (what's the name of those other modes again??) this bike accelerates just as hard from 30 to 40 mph as it does from 60 to 95 (I didn't get a chance to try the top speed yet).

Review 2014 Zero SR

Here is a video of the acceleration:



The build quality of the 2014 Zero SR is good. In fact it's a lot better than some other bikes I've ridden. My fear was that it would feel like a limited production run of a refined prototype. Sure, there are seams that don't 100% line up and the boxy hollow plastic "tank" rattles in the same hollow way that it did on the 2012 S model whenever you run over a speed bump or a pot hole.

That said, the impression I walk away after my first 40 miles of highway, surface street and city riding on my 2014 Zero SR is that it feels like a professionally and solidly built factory assembled product of a 3rd generation of electric vehicles.

Review 2014 Zero SR

Would I recommend this bike to friends? Heck yeah! If you have the money and you enjoy technologically advanced things. This is THE bike for you. If you're looking for a good economic investment and/or enjoy loud exhausts then I think you're in wrong forum.

Speaking of noise level. The sound that this thing makes at WOT (wide open throttle) is AWESOME!!!! It whines like a futuristic turbine supercharger thingy. It makes people on sidewalks jump to the side and turn around whenever you accelerate hard after a red light.

lick here to read the original review of the 2014 Zero SR Open Electricmotorcycleforum link in a new window
For more information about the 2014 Zero SR, click here Open Zeromotorcycles link in a new window.

Via: Electric Motorcycle Forum



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