MC Commute – 2017 Zero SR

Motorcyclist staffer Zack Courts is always arriving to office after his commute with a bunch of opinions about the bike he’s riding. Too much this, not enough that, and occasionally has some decent insights. We thought some of it might help consumers or entertain enthusiasts, so we strapped a camera and microphone to the side of his helmet and told him to turn it on when he leaves his house. A lot of him talking in his helmet is complaining about drivers, yelling at red lights, and wondering why billboards aren’t more expensive. But sometimes he actually talks about the bike, and those are the parts we keep. Got a bike you would like to see discussed? Let us know and we’ll send him home on that one next.


J. Stormer says:

Well, it should come with LED lighting for that price though.

Kyle Reese says:

Enjoy when you approach your commutes with a scientific approach such as checking how the electric motor temp fluctuates. =). I believe the noise of the electric motor of the Zero is electromagnetic noise?

Gabriel Ervin says:

The thing about price is there’s no fueling, oil changes, clutch replacements, or any of the time and money wasting maintenance on a gas bike. Kinda epic that this bike will actually safe you money in the life of the bike. Only bike on the market that does that.

mutilatedjello says:

The handling is so different partly due to the fact of less reciprocating components. The only thing that spins is the motor. There is no piston going up or down or crankshaft and camshaft spinning, clutch, transmission, etc. Also the battery is quite dense and large unlike anything on a engine motorcycle.

Kael says:

For someone who’s new to motorcycles, I’m guessing a Zero bike isn’t really a good idea?

Thomas Standring says:

Have been looking at these recently and was thinking. The price might be high in the short term, but in the long-term it should be cheaper as there is not cost of gas, instead you can charge it at home for a fraction of the price, and then also there’s no maintenance to be done on the bike as it has no moving parts in the ‘engine’. So looking at the economics, I’d be thinking that after about 3 years you’d come to be start saving money on it compared with an equivalent powered gas bike? What do you think?

Jason-Garth Hue says:

He never used the different riding modes. There’s an Eco, standard, custom, and aggressive mode.

KawaRider88 says:

Shouldn’t there be a tax credit or incentive to buying an electric bike? Idk the price is very steep. I’m looking at Indians for that kind of money.

frogzlove says:

The tank? WTF??? There is no tank on an electric MC. FAIL

Lifted_Above says:

The thing about torque….
On a gas powered bike, it multiplies from the crank to the transmission, it multiplies from one side of the transmission to the other, it multiplies from the countershaft sprocket to the rear wheel. That’s a lot more torque multiplication than an e-bike which only multiplies it one time from the “crank” to the rear wheel. When comparing a gas bike to an e-bike, it would be more proper to compare the gas bike wheel torque in 1st gear to an e-bike power from a start. Bet it wouldn’t be that much different.

For the same reason an electric winch makes a ton of pulling torque at a spool, a gas-bike makes a lot of torque at the wheel through a transmission.

NotMe, says:

So quiet…

Tony Surber says:

@ 11:00 minutes in , I believe the truck was doing a ” regeneration ” , and not smoking at all. For those who do not know big diesel trucks … a regen is when the E.P.A. mandated emissions system is burning the soot in the exhaust , and putting out ashes . Besides , California is really strict. I do not believe that an oil burning big rig would be tolerated at all .

BladeRicsi says:

I’m a petrolhead…so i dont like this bike (or scooter, or skatebord…whatever that is)

MegaSupernewbie says:

New Zealand is very slow on adoption of electric motorcycles… maybe in the next 6 to 8 years it would be something like a reasonable purchase option, even considering someone willing to pay 18k for it right now

Yar D Blah says:

I wouldn’t filter with this in London at 9am unless I wanted to die…hearing is an essential human sense..and being heard is as important as being seen when filtering

BAD yamaha MT10 says:

So if you go for a weekend ride that’s longer than 80 miles you have stop and charge it? Can you charge it anywhere there is power? Or do you need a special charger? How long would that take? How long is the battery meant to last?

RiderForge says:

“it’s a thing you can do”

thetruekingdonn says:

Do the Honda Rebel 500cc

Trey says:

electrical engineering = best engineering

johnny mars says:

I just took a test ride on an SR, and found it liberating and exhilarating. No more explosive gas on board, no gas station fillups, no vibrations, no smelly, droning exhaust, no exhaust pipe, no need to shift, no oil changes, no radiator fluid changes, no chain adjustments, no filters, no spark plugs, and overall, very little maintenance and the cost that it incurs. A twist of the wrist is all it takes to put a smile on your face. The cost to charge versus gas is about 1/3 to 1/4. Initial cost, charging time, and range are the downsides. But if most of your riding is around town, you’re in. The charging infrastructure is being build as I type, and improvements in technology will bring longer range, lower weight and cost, and more connection to cyberspace. The future, is indeed, elec-trick.

Cristian Silva says:

So with motors in the cold, there is like oil changing and stuff so it dosent kill itself while it sitting in storage, but how does this handle the cold?

Xingyu Zhang says:

No regenerative brake?

John Vogel says:

Best ev moto review yet! Thanks u da man

Isaac Karjala says:

diesel two strokes don’t burn oil

Frank Stocker says:

From the sound of your voice, I felt you didn’t get a buzz from this bike. The Zero does not have TC so it’s a bit dodgy in the wet with all that power at the back wheel. This technology is working great in France for scooters & town delivery bikes.
So, Zack, you have a day in the twisties, choice of two bikes, Yamaha MT09 or Zero which one would you choose? be honest.
It’s like trying to convert Muslims to Christianity, bikers will always want that motorbike feeling.

Moto Squirrel says:

I think oil spills are ugly…..but only take a few years/a decade to recover, NOT like nuclear radiated meltdowns that last for millions making Earth unlivable. NO SOLAR WON’T CUT IT!

River Carson says:

Looking at price to performance makes it sound kinda wimpy, but when you add in gas savings and you commute on it, it will pay for the difference in a couple years or less

Jepfline Elli says:

You couldn’t back it in! (Obviously because there are no gears to stomp down to). LoL

Daniel Pork says:

The burnout happened so instantaneously that it’s as if the throttle is a smoke button, interesting to hear the noise tires make alone without an engine spinning loose.

pedro nogueira says:

These bikes are a massive step forward. Having said that they’re still too expensive, the range is still too short and the charge time is still too long. battery technology still needs 3 or 4 years of evolution before these bikes can become more than a niche product. My next bike’s still going to have an ICE, but the next one after that will definitely be an electric one.

turbo311 says:

Lol end video with burnout on demand! I want one.

Dustin Smith says:

Seems awesome but at $14k I cannot justify it. Price has to come down to under $10k for what it has for performance and features and charge times. Its the future for sure though…

Winterstick549 says:

My only issues, as with all EV bikes are range and charging stations.

Aidan The Lover Boy O'Dwyer says:

whattttttttttttttttttt clutchless direct drive this aint a naked standard street bike its just an oversized scooter

Scott Sound says:

Load of shit mate .. Bullit Hero Says fuck you

82phalanX says:

Heres a major plus for the electric bike, mechanical simplicity compared to many many moving parts on an IC bike. I look forward to a viable adventure touring alternative for me to jump on the electric bandwagon…

Solocanoe says:

might ride one off road…but never on – I’ve been saved dozens of times by my loud pipes…no way I’d ride that quiet…that’s my version of russian roulette! no thank you.

Aidan The Lover Boy O'Dwyer says:


lessdeth69 says:

It’s not just the torque calibration that makes it manageable but the fact it has only one gear means it has to be geared pretty tall. Torque at the wheel is therefore reduced.

kindajal says:

save money on petrol but eats up home electricity for only less than 100miles? and costs a bomb..
have to calculate if it even makes cents.. get it make sense haha

Latitude says:

I’d love to own one but that pricetag is a kick in the groin. There won’t be any other choice in 20 years or so. Hopefully, the price will come down considerably by then.

Daniel Pork says:

LOLOL 2 stroke semi that ‘BRAAP’ would be heard the world over!

Sir Moke says:

Lets save the planet… Just buy the performance version of the bike that has more power than a reasonable small car half its price. And don’t forget to plug your shiny new phone in that you buy every year for $500. Sure.

George Costanza says:

Not everyone chooses a bike based on it’s performance/$ ratio. If so, no one would pay $40k for a 100hp Harley… and I see a ton of CVO Street Glides rolling around. On the topic of Harleys, some Sportsters with 2 gallon peanut tanks might even have less range than the Zero; it may not take 2hours to fill up, but you get the point. There will always be people who sacrifice practicality just to have a certain badge on their vehicle. Just as there will always be those willing to pay hundreds, thousands, even tens of thousands for intangibles like style, or to project a certain image. Considering that, $18,000 for a unique power plant, revolutionary technology, and to save the Earth one gallon at a time seems like a pretty good deal.

Cameron Hufault says:

I hear there is a sport mode

Noah Porter says:

I was disappointed Zach didn’t try to back it in.

johnny mars says:

Zack, I love you man, but… you fell into the trap that many other riders/commentators do, that is, talking while riding, in rush hour traffic, no less. And you’re just not talking, you’re composing while riding. You’re even trying to read your cell phone screen and gesturing during composing while riding. This is the very definition of distracted driving. It would be much better to record the video, and after arriving safely at your home, add the voice over. Be safe out there, man.

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