It’s a game-changer. The all-new American-made Zero SR/F – as in StReetFighter – sets new standards for an electric motorcycle that anyone can buy. Costing £17,990 inc VAT but not OTR with a 3 kW onboard charger, or £19,990 for the Premium version, including heated grips, a flyscreen and aluminum bar ends, plus a 6 kW “Rapid Charger” package, it’s arriving in dealer showrooms now.
Essentially, it’s taken $250 million of venture capital invested over the past 11 years by Zero’s owner, NYC-based Invus Group, to get Zero this far. But after spending two days riding the SR/F for around 170 miles in every kind of situation on the demanding roads of Northern California, and growing first to respect it, then to love riding it, it’s clear that, finally, it’s showtime for an electric motorcycle with lights and a horn that anyone can buy. Invus deserves to start recouping on its investment right now.
Why so? Until now there’s been one major drawback to deter anyone who rides bikes for fun, as much as to go places, from Going Electric. Besides range anxiety and recharging time issues, there’s always been too many inherent compromises in E-bike design to make them genuine rivals to more conventional bikes. Running on skinny tyres to increase range via reduced drag, or downsizing brakes to lower weight – and then there’s been the invariably nerdish styling. Unless you really wanted to make your own contribution to saving the planet, there’s been no real incentive to buy electric. Until now.