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Old 10-25-2013, 04:20 PM   #18563
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Sep 2008
Oddometer: 146
ZERO electric bike review

The Triumph Scrambler thread might sound like a strange place to post an electric bike review, but it will all make sense in a second.

For two or three years now I've been leisurely shopping for a replacement for my '06 Scram. I've put 63,000 miles on her and have no desire to sell, but eventually the clock will run out and I'll need a new bike. So I've been looking.

I figure you guys will understand how hard it is to replace a Scrambler so this is the group I will share some of the findings over the next few month, years, whatever...

This afternoon, I test rode a Zero DS (dual sport) motorcycle.

Very cool, very different, very expensive for what you get. That last part may be where most people jump ship. The salesman made it clear that the bike would be $14,000 and change after the government subsidy or rebate or whatever. So, OTD your in the $15,000 neighborhood and that's a pretty crowded neighborhood (the new BMW R Nine T should be moving in any day now.) But that is pretty much the upper end of my price range so I'm still interested at this point.

The bike itself feels great. Comfortable, even for a fat guy like me. Good suspension, nice ride over the broken blacktop of Brooklyn. Brakes work O.K., but you can hear them groan and screech when applied. Unpleasant sound that is not drowned out by the motor, because electric motors are super quiet.

Speaking of sound, there was an high pitch siren sound coming from some part of the bike during most of my ride. Honestly, I thought the cops were chasing me. The sound went away when I stopped, and came back when I cracked the throttle so I figured the PO-PO weren't after me.

Throttle response was different than any other bike I've ridden. From a dead stop, it's a little underwhelming. Even jumping off a "slow" bike like the Scram, the ZERO's take off was weak in comparison. From 30 mph to 90 mph, the little electric bike is scary fast. Smooth throttle too. No herky jerky snap. It was like butta.

The bike weighs about a hundred pounds less (395lbs) but can only carry 360 pounds. A Scram's GVWR is 440lbs, so the Zero loses if you carry 2 up (which I do) or if you like to pack up and travel (which I also do - see below):

And I guess this is where I jump ship, because you can't go on a road trip on an electric bike. It would do 90% of what I need, but no road trips, no thank you! The search for a replacement goes on.

Skidplate865 screwed with this post 10-25-2013 at 05:47 PM
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