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.
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 FXE||2022 Model|
|Range:||100 miles (city riding)||160 kms (city riding)|
|Power:||46 hp||34.3 kW|
|Torque:||78 lb ft||105.8 Nm|
|Electric Motor:||Zero Z-Force 75-5||An air-cooled, high efficiency, IPM, brushless motor.|
|Price:||$11,795 USD||Shipping begins in July 2021.|
|Weight:||298 lbs||135.17 kgs|
|Charging Time:||9.7 hours (standard outlet)||3 hours (fast charging outlet)|
|Battery Pack:||7.2 kWh Li-Ion||An integrated lithium-ion battery pack offering 7.1 kilowatt hours.|
|OS:||Cypher II Operating System||The Zero Motorcycles App offers riders customizable settings including torque and top speed.|
All images copyright Kevin Wing 2021©
I’m a photographer that has a deep passion for portrait, lifestyle, athletic, and motorized imagery. More creatively, I’m a unique problem solver through imagery. Clients come to me with a story they want to tell, and on my own projects, I often have a narrative I’m trying to communicate. I see photography as a bit of a language, and I’m trying to get people to understand what I’m saying.
I’ve been doing more directing and video as it allows me to tell a more complete story, adding moving images and sound. Also, I just started a podcast called Social Studies Show that explores the relationship between advertising and activism. It has been enlightening crossing the country meeting with people at companies, various ad agencies, and engaging how they are going about marketing with accountability, multiculturalism, and environmentalism in mind.
I think being a minority, and raised as an army brat, gives me a unique perspective. As a kid, I quickly learned to view the world from a lot of different perspectives, not only to survive, but also thrive. Within that spectrum, a camera gives the ability to ask questions of personalities and observe culture instead of judging. Rather than just taking a picture of someone, I often try to put myself in that person’s shoes. How do they see themselves? How do they want to be portrayed? Am I seeing something about them that perhaps they don’t even see themselves? Bringing those aspects front and center is the beauty of photography.