Electric Bike Performs, Lacks Motorcycle Sound, Speed

While nice for urban jaunts, range and speed are limiting
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2009 8:55 AM CDT
Electric Bike Performs, Lacks Motorcycle Sound, Speed
The 2009 Zero X Electric Motorcycles from Santa Cruz-based Zero Motorcycles.   (Zero Motorcycles)

The Zero S electric motorcycle is everything an electric car should be—quiet, emission-free, affordable—but the formula doesn’t necessarily translate well to bikes, Jonathan Welsh writes in the Wall Street Journal. The performance mimics a typical 500cc gas-powered bike, with peppy acceleration, and a city-worthy 60mph top speed, but its 60-mile range and four-hour charge time is limiting. Perhaps worst: It lacks that motorcycle sound.

The Zero S makes almost no sound, a problem for those who enjoy the head-turning growl of a motorcycle approaching. And the 60-mph limit, while fine for urban riding, could be dangerous in fast-moving highway traffic. The Zero S is a unique addition to a rider’s collection, but for an all-around bike that goes for distance and speed, look elsewhere, Welsh concludes. (More electric motorcycle stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.