There have been many conversations on ADVRider about whether an electric motorcycle can be used as an “adventure bike.”  For most, the elephant in the room is range.  And the question is whether an electric motorcycle delivers the range capability to ride tracks like those found on a Backcountry Discovery Route (BDR).

Tucker Neary decided he wanted to see whether an electric motorcycle could indeed cover the Colorado BDR.  And he’s made a 25-minute video detailing his and a friend’s attempt to do just that (see below).

BDR Zero

AT the top of Cinnamon Pass.

Zero DSR electric motorcycles

Zero Motorcycles loaned the pair a Zero DSR Black Forest and a DSR to make an attempt.  To make the trip, Neary did a lot of planning.  The primary ground rule was that they would only use publicly available charging stations.

However, it turned out obstacles other than range would play a significant part in their journey.  Without telling you what they found and how they dealt with it, I can tell you that eventually, the two could cover more than 1,000 miles on the loaned bikes.  But you’ll have to watch the video to get all the details.

In the end, the pair of riders found themselves with two different impressions of the ride.  The first impression was one of anxiety.  They felt that the constant battery watching and distances to charging stations ultimately removed a certain amount of enjoyment.

BDR Zero

There were some mechanical issues.

However, they also felt that points in the ride felt like absolute “magic.”  And they described that magic as follows:

“On the flip side, there were moments when the ride felt like absolute magic.  Bounding through the scenic Colorado backroads in near silence is a unique experience that no other motorcycle has provided to this point.  It was peaceful.  It was relaxing.  Adjectives we rarely use, until this point, to describe our motorcycle adventures.”

Adventure bikes?

When all was said and done, it seems that whether the electric machines are good “adventure” bikes depends on your point of view.  The duo certainly had some adventurous times carrying on.  But it seems that the adventure may have come from other than what most would consider a traditional adventure ride.

BDR Zero

Detour required.

If videos aren’t your thing, there’s also a write-up on the trip at Electric Cycle Rider.


All photo credit:  Electric Cycle Rider

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