Author: Andrew Thijssen | BMS E-Motorrijder | THE PACK “Electric Motorcycles” News was invited to the Zero Relaunch 2020 event on July 9-10. Because Guy Salens (THE PACK) had a broken ankle, he asked me to travel to the northern region in The Netherlands. This event was intended to (re)introduce the European motorcycle press to Zero’s youngest model, the SR/S. After the official launch of the SR/S earlier this year, the world got caught up in the COVID-19 pandemic. This relaunch, as the name says, aims to draw attention to this model again.
After a short introduction at Zero Benelux Headquarters and their Factory Service Centre in Noord Scharwoude (The Netherlands), we also had the opportunity to ride the SR/S and some other models from the Zero Motorcycles range. A road trip was provided from more than 100 km through the province of North Holland where Zero Benelux is located. During the route we had the opportunity to be extensively photographed by professional motorcycle photographers.
The Zero SR/S features a full fairing and a slightly longer subframe for more seating space for a passenger. This bodywork should result in 13% more highway range. I will briefly go through the specifications. The SR/S features Zero’s air-cooled ZF75-10 engine with 81 kW (110 hp) and 190 Nm of torque.
The battery is the well-known ZF14.4 lithium-ion battery from the brand. Equipped with fully adjustable Showa front and rear suspension, radially mounted front brakes from Zero’s house brand J-Juan and a Bosch MSC (Motorcycle Stability Control), the SR/S is equipped with modern, good driving and safety components.
The sporty Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tires, and the narrow “rear”, which is emphasised by the absence of an exhaust, give the SR/S a powerful appearance. What is striking, is the average ignition lock with even the word “ignition”. With a motorcycle like this, a keyless ride would have been more appropriate. In a positive sense, the strikingly placed mirrors stand out.
Test riding in North Holland
As usual with these kind of test riding in group, we have a road captain in front and some photographers around us. Driving away is easy: switch the ignition on, fold the side stand, press the killer switch “off” and go! The route crosses quiet narrow dike roads and busy tourist centers. These locations were not chosen by accident, but to emphasise the advantages of an electric motorcycle. There were only positive reactions from the people present in the streets and terraces when we passed by with our group.
The seating position is touring / sporty with fairly bent knees. The low-placed mirrors give you a clear and vibration-free rear view.
In the meantime, we stop several times for individual action photos on the road, with the photographer lying backwards on the back of an electric motorcycle taking photos of the riders. She says that she takes this position more often for driver photos of fuel motorcycles, but that she gets off “green” afterwards through the inhaled exhaust gases. This time she kept her natural colour …
The Zero is easy to steer over the dike roads and between the dune landscape in North Holland. This is mainly due to the fact that there is no need to shift gears and to the always immediately available electrical torque. The absence of much and fast rotating mass in the engine also makes driving easy. The front brakes are easy to dose and provide good feedback. The rear brake is good but somewhat numb. After the photo sessions it is time for a little lunch, the motorcycles are parked and again get a lot of attention from passers-by who all respond positively to the absence of noise and exhaust fumes.
The ride continues, so far I have mainly used the ECO mode. In this mode you have access to limited power and torque which also comes in very dosed, more than enough for easy driving with traffic. In this mode however, the regeneration of the engine is the strongest. You also have access to the Rain, Street and Sport modes. No surprise that you have access to full power and torque in Sport mode. The SR/S does a little less regeneration. This Zero had an added mode called “Beast”. This mode gives you the full power but with a regeneration similar to the ECO mode. These and other settings are extensively customizable via the Zero App.
Highway to …
The last part of the route is on a piece of motorway where we can be a bit more ‘creative’. A really fast speed did not work because of the crowds on this highway. The road continues back to Zero’s headquarters where we (of course) had to return the motorcycles. We accomplished 103 km. SOC (State of Charge) was 40% and the range was still 73 km. This was a short and pleasant renewed introduction to the Zero SR/S with some beautiful action photos. An extensive review of the SR/S will be published here soon.