When I think of electric bikes I’m always curious what the brand’s intentions are for building them. No emissions, low maintenance, combating global warming through renewable energy, instantaneous power, developing new technology?

Whenever I contemplate these goals, it seems fun and styling is low on the list followed closely by pragmatism of use – realistically building a touring or sportbike that only goes 100 miles and leaves the rider looking for power stations is not an ideal.

Then the Zero FXE – entered the chat.

Riding The Zero FXE

The FXE is perfectly slotted as a person’s first bike or bike for someone that has a stable of motorcycles but is looking for something fun and new to rip around the city.

Zero FXE Electric Motorcycle

Upon reveal it ticks most of the boxes. The new design is aesthetically pleasing. As a kid I loved BMX and exploring my neighborhood so just looking at the bike invokes a sense of freedom and playfulness that comes from ripping around on two wheels.

Exploring the winding roads around Santa Cruz the bike was light and easy to maneuver. Maybe too light for someone my size (6’2 – 230 lbs) as I would test the limits of suspension and found myself grinding the kickstand a bit on left turns.

The motor and battery are a little further back on this bike so it changes weight distribution. It’s more light on the front end so that superbike style trail braking is a little dicey in turns. The brakes are so good and the bike is so light it takes a delicate touch. One finger braking is adequate once you get the feel.

The bike has more of a supermoto vibe and once I started riding like that, swinging my leg out in corners and changing my weight distribution and using the rear brake, it became a lot more comfortable and planted in tight turns.

This made for a lot of fun and the only thing I would change is narrowing the front panels to match the design lines of the seat so you can easily shift your weight forward when you need to, similar to a MX bike. It’s a fun flickable bike with linear torque.

The fit and finish is good and the seat was surprisingly comfy. I’d love to see some spoked wheels, harkening back to the original prototype spec but… that’s a personal choice and at this price point it’s a bike that leaves room for the aftermarket, customization crowd.

As the bike industry struggles to understand and embrace diversity perhaps it’s time to think outside the box. Electric bikes in their simplicity which I affectionately call “fear of clutch” lower the barrier of entry. More people (ahem… clears throat coughs women and minorities) trying and enjoying bikes leads to a spread across categories.

From a culture standpoint I’d love to see how the inner city “Bike Life” community takes to this bike as many were curious about the Alta before they went out of business and considering how most of the world aside from the US uses two wheels for transportation this could be a focal point in the continuing evolution of commuting.

Visit Zero Motorcycles here

Zero FXE Electric Motorcycle Specifications

Name:Zero FXE2022 Model
Range:100 miles (city riding)160 kms (city riding)
Power:46 hp34.3 kW
Torque:78 lb ft105.8 Nm
Electric Motor:Zero Z-Force 75-5An air-cooled, high efficiency, IPM, brushless motor.
Price:$11,795 USDShipping begins in July 2021.
Weight:298 lbs135.17 kgs
Charging Time: 9.7 hours (standard outlet)3 hours (fast charging outlet)
Battery Pack:7.2 kWh Li-IonAn integrated lithium-ion battery pack offering 7.1 kilowatt hours.
OS:Cypher II Operating SystemThe Zero Motorcycles App offers riders customizable settings including torque and top speed.

 

Zero FXE Stan Evans

All images copyright Kevin Wing 2021©

Stan Evans riding the Zero FXE electric motorcycle

Published by Stan Evans -