Zero SR/F electric motorcycle
If you already appreciate some of the remote connectivity features and quick charging of a modern electric car, the Zero SR/F electric motorcycle that was revealed earlier this week at last translates much of that to the motorcycle realm.
With 110 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque, and a potential one-hour charge time (to 95 percent), this bike is, by the critical numbers, an improvement over the already powerful Zero SR.
The extra power will be nice, but the speedy charging possibilities are what will create some new fans and make current owners want to upgrade.
With the premium 6-kw charger plus an added 6-kw charger it’s possible to get a total of 12 kw charging power at a single EV charging station.
Zero SR/F electric motorcycle
This is complete overkill for daily commuting, but a welcome addition for road trips. It makes traveling 300 miles in a day very easy, and 500 miles a day possible.
In using onboard AC charging, Zero avoids one issue—finding DC fast chargers—but leaves the rider to solve another issue to take advantage of that peak rate.
With the premium 6-kw charger plus an added 6-kw charger it’s possible to get a total of 12 kw charging power at a single EV charging station. While it is rare to find a single plug that provides more than 6.6 kw of power, they do exist. On my electric motorcycle cross country road trips, the only publicly accessible chargers I’ve found at 8 kw or more are either at RV parks or Tesla Destination Chargers (but you'll need an adapter for the latter).
If you are serious about charging at 12 kw, it is more likely to find 2 charging stations next to each other that can provide 6 kw each and you can get extra chargers from digiNow to add to the bike. This would be similar to the setup I used to ride from Maine to Florida in 2017, and 2018.
It's a solution that can be useful, especially out in the countryside where the roads are fun to ride but DC fast chargers are scarce.
The SR/F has a 14.4-kw battery pack, and a range of 161 miles in city driving, or 82 miles at 70 mph, according to the manufacturer.
Zero Power Tank
As with Zero’s other bikes, in addition to all of this it will offer a Power Tank, a 3.6-kwh auxiliary battery that can extend the range to toward the 200-mile mark.
The Zero SR/F is the first of the brand’s motorcycles to include Internet connectivity so riders can monitor state of charge and other features, much as drivers can with new electric cars. That’s another game changer for me because knowing your state of charge while eating at a roadside cafe, with others waiting, is important. So is knowing if your bike gets moved.
Competition for electric motorcycles that charge quickly will be intense in 2019. Harley-Davidson will deliver its long-anticipated $30,000 Livewire with CCS (Combo) DC fast charging in August. Energica already has CCS fast charging on its Eva and Ego. Lightning motorcycles is currently advertising that they will produce a $13k Lightning Strike that can charge in 35 minutes, although the DC fast charging that depends on would likely come at extra cost.
Will 2019 be a breakthrough year for electric motorcycles? If so, this is a good start.
This article has been updated from what was originally published, to clarify how one might take advantage of the full 12-kw charging capability.