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Author Topic: Bike Magazine tests the 2012 ZF9 Zero S  (Read 937 times)


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Bike Magazine tests the 2012 ZF9 Zero S
« on: January 31, 2013, 05:17:37 AM »

Yesterday, in one of the video reviews of the 2012 Zero S posted in mid-December that was included on the Zero TV webpage, I heard mention that the British motorcycle magazine, Bike, was testing the 2012 ZF9 Zero S and their review would be included in their January issue. So today I rushed down to my nearest Barnes and Nobel and picked up the last remaining and well-read copy that they had on their news stand.

Their Zero review, written by Martin Fitz-Gibbons, covers 6 full pages, over half of which consists of color photos.  Unfortunately, much of the review talks about the author's first ride on the bike and his difficulties in locating a charging station.  All of the charging stations, except for one, were being hogged by IC cars and trucks and in one case the truck was actually occupied by a tradesman who refused to move.  A couple of other charging stations were broken and one station not only didn't work, but it would not release his charging handle after he plugged it in and tried to remove it when his bike wouldn't charge.  Calling the “help” line did nothing but refer him to the store on whose property the station was located and they had no idea what to do about the malfunctioning outlet.  After going through all that drama, there was little space left for an actual description of the Zero.

But here are some of the review comments that were provided, which do not consist of repeating the specifications: Their estimated range for the 9 kWh bike is 55 miles in normal riding. No instrumented acceleration data was provided, but the reviewer commented that the Zero would accelerate from a stop to 30 mph in about 4 seconds and take about another 4 seconds to reach 60 mph. No ¼ mile times were provided. Steering geometry is said to be “sharper” than that of a Triumph Street Triple R. The bike's weight and performance most closely resemble the KTM 200 Duke.

The author says:  The lessons are clear: even if electric bikes were ready for Britain, Britain isn't ready for electric bikes. Public charging might work in cities with a plentiful (charging) network, but they can't be relied on rurally.”

The Zero was taken to a road-bike only trackday, after a 70-mile ride to the racetrack, carrying a second charger in the rider's backpack.  A few hours of rapid-charging in the pits gave enough juice for five laps in the morning and a further four laps in the afternoon, leaving enough time to top up for the return journey home.  The author says: “While there's certainly not much to shout about on the track, it does prove capable of 170 miles over the full day. And in case you're wondering, it passed the noise test.”

The article continues: “Still, there's something utterly intoxicating about the Zero. It's the novelty of it being so radical. Electric power evokes a wide-eyed wonder. It takes you back to the glorious sensation of twisting a petrol bike's throttle and feeling it move for the very first time.”

After a paragraph discussing the pros, cons and potential future of electric motorcycles, the article concludes with: “As it stands today the Zero S ZF9 is fast enough to flow through traffic and has enough of a range for everyone on Bike to do their daily commutes. It is also the most fascinating, exciting and original bike I have ridden in many years and the one I'm most upset to hand back at the end of the test.”

Attached is a photo of the power and torque chart produced on the magazine's dyno.
Richard's motorcycle collection:  2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.


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Re: Bike Magazine tests the 2012 ZF9 Zero S
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2013, 09:43:50 AM »


Kind of odd that they didn't try to get a review of the 2013 model for the current magazine.
2008 Yamaha WR250R 
Past E Bikes:  2010 Zero XU, 2012 Zero DS9, 2013 FX5.7
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