07 June 2024

Zero reasons to go electric


The debate over electric motorbikes remains as hot as a four-bar fire.

Many riders remain to be convinced that they should give up the throaty roar of a combustion engine in favour of another visceral thrill – instant torque.

By marrying performance and agility with smart tech, decent range and fast-charging, the latest generation of battery-powered machines could well move the dial in electricity’s favour.

To test that theory, Paul Browne put Zero’s recently launched DSR/X through its paces….


After using the Zero DSR/X for a number of weeks I can confirm that it is, indeed, a ‘real’ motorcycle – and a very good one at that.

Pirelli tyres, radially mounted callipers, Showa suspension and a very powerful battery all sit in an excellent chassis.

That‘ Z-Force Motor’ battery has been developed by Zero itself and is quite a thing. It offers a sustained top speed of 161kmh and delivers adequate amounts of power; 100 hp (75 kW) @ 3,500 rpm.

There’s tonnes of torque – 169 ft-lb (229 Nm) – and simply no lag whatsoever between stopped and full tilt. 

Being automatic the lack of a clutch and gear lever threaten me with a bike that somehow isn’t all I’d expect from something with its silhouette. What I’ve got instead is something different and yet the same where it counts.

Trail blazer

Zero DSR/XThe DSR/X offers a selection of modes, with the usual Standard, Sport, Rain and ECO options available by scrolling through the menu on the left bar.

There’s also a Canyon mode for riding the trails.

In the more-than-practical ECO mode the bike pulls well and the regenerative power delivered by the rear wheel when the throttle is closed acts like engine braking.

One of the things I found fascinating is how much I could reset the DSR/X using the Zero app.

This includes the bike’s top speed, as well as its maximum power and the level of brake regeneration.

I could do all this from my phone via a Bluetooth connection.


Home and away

ZERO DSR/XUsing the bike to commute and for leisure, ‘range anxiety’ really didn’t trouble me. That’s hardly surprising giving Zero claims a city range of some 288km. 

And, when I got back to the house I simply plugged it in again and the bike was fully charged and ready to go in in a few hours.

Range obviously drops if you hammer national roads but at 172km remains respectable and, given the expansion of the EV charging network, reasonably practical.

I really like that the fast chargers you now find out there and all have a Zero-friendly socket. 

When I ran a further distance and I needed one of these units to top up the battery, I found that a charge back up to 40% or so usually took as little as 20 minutes.

Now, having clocked up 2,000km I have to admit that the DSR/X remains a fascinating and novel machine to ride. 

For more details visit Franklin Motorcycles’ website or call 01 538 5005.

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