Zero gives first reveal of 2022 electric motorcycle model updates

Zero Motorcycles already operates the largest network of electric motorcycles in the world through the company’s extensive dealer distribution. Now these electric motorcycles are getting key updates as Zero unveils its MY2022 upgrades ahead of schedule.

Zero has turned the clock back due to unprecedented demand in the electric motorcycle industry.

Much like the e-bike market, which has seen demand soar since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, sales of electric motorcycles have exploded.

As the company explains:

“Although overall demand for all powersports, especially dual-sport models, has increased since lockdown restrictions began in early 2020, demand for electric motorcycles has continued to rise even well over the 2021 calendar year driving season.

This continued desire to own Zero models sparked the company’s decision to release several models early to meet demand while riders are still enjoying great weather nationwide.

The main updates are to the street-oriented Zero S model as well as the dual-sport Zero DS and DSR bikes.

The 2022 Zero S, DS and DSR bikes all run on the Cypher II operating system, receive Bosch ABS and benefit from new Bluetooth connectivity that interfaces with an app on the rider’s smartphone. This allows riders to customize bike performance on the fly.

The bikes will also get a new 5″ TFT display similar to that found on Zero’s flagship SR/F and SR/S models. The new color screen replaces the somewhat dated LCD screen of previous years’ models.

The 2022 Zero S naked street bike starts at $11,195 and has a maximum city range of 89 miles (143 km) from its 7.2 kWh battery (6.3 kWh actual capacity), although that range drops to 68 miles (109 km) for mixed riding. A top speed of 98 mph (158 km/h) is possible thanks to the Z-Force 75-5 engine developing 34 kW (46 hp) of peak power and 78 lb-ft (106 Nm) of torque.

The 2022 Zero DS starts at the same price of $11,195 and offers the same motor and battery, but gets about an 8% lower range due to its off-road optimization.

The $15,695 2022 Zero DSR uses a larger Z-Force 75-7 motor that develops 52 kW (70 hp) and propels the bike to 102 mph (164 km/h). The larger 14.4 kWh battery (actual capacity 12.6 kWh) provides a range of 163 miles (262) when used “on city streets or off-road”.

The updates to the Zero lineup come just months after the unveiling of the new Zero FXE electric motorcycle, designed primarily for urban commuters.

We had the chance to test the new Zero FXE in a variety of riding types, which you can see in the video below.

Electrek’stake

It’s always nice to see new updates from the leader in electric motorcycle sales, and some of them are certainly warranted.

The 5″ color screen that Zero has started installing on additional models is a much nicer interface than their previous screens. And those Bosch ABS brakes are important driving aids. Also, the ability to perform app-based updates on the bike is a pretty great feature, especially since my $4,000 electric scooter has been able to do this for years.

I would have liked to see a bit more upgrade on the powertrain, like an increase in battery capacity. But with a shortage of battery cells in the industry and general supply chain constraints, I can see that now is not the best time to rework a massive battery.

So while the updates aren’t as widespread or crucial this year, they do help Zero push forward the incremental improvements that are important to maintaining its place at the top of the pack.

We are always on the verge of seeing more competitors enter the market, such as the next SONDORS metacycle. If SONDORS can deliver on its promise of a $5,000 commuter electric motorcycle, then we could see Zero feeling more pressure to innovate on price.

But until then, there just aren’t enough alternatives on a reasonable scale to force Zero to innovate on price or build lightweight electric motorcycles that are less powerful and therefore more affordable.

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