Californian electric motorcycle brand Zero Motorcycles has announced a pair of full-sized learner legal bikes, offering way more performance of a typical 125.
The 2024 Zero S and DS replace the outgoing models of the same name and are based on the high performance SR/F roadster and DSR/X adventure bike. Power outputs aside, the spec looks almost identical to the bigger models, right down to the suspension, brakes and tyres, with only different colours and badging distinguishing them from their more powerful siblings. The S and DS have smaller battery capacities, less onboard charging capability and a new controller to limit the power.
Although the new Zeros are classed as A1 category bikes (meaning they can be ridden by learners having completed their CBT, as well as A1 licence holders) a quirk of the licencing laws mean that they develop far more power than a traditional 125cc petrol bike. Peak power is claimed at 60bhp (more inline with a 600cc twin) but with continuous power still rated at 11kw, they fall under A1 classification. Combined with a staggering 132Nm of instantly delivered torque (for comparison, a KTM 125 Duke makes 12Nm at 8000rpm) the performance is far in excess of a ‘learner’ bike, right down to the claimed 86mph top speeds. Both the S and DS have 14.4kWh batteries, giving a claimed range of over 150 miles for the S (a little less for the heavier DS) with a recharge time of four hours.
Having ridden the SR/F and DSR/X in the past, we know that even in Eco mode they offer more than enough performance, and while the numbers might look big for a ‘learner’ bike, the full automatic transmission does make them a doddle to ride. With a price starting at £15,300 for the S (£16,200 for the DS), they’re more likely to appeal to more affluent customers looking to get into bikes without the need to do their full bike test, than they will for learners.
For riders holding at least an A2 licence, Zero are also introducing a new SR and DSR. Very similar to the S and DS, the duo have a peak power of 70bhp and feature a bigger, 15.6kWh, battery pack for around 10% more range, with an £800-£900 premium over the A1 equivalents. The A2 bikes can also be derestricted when the rider has a full ‘A’ licence, giving the same levels of performance as Zero’s top-of-the-range models.
Talking about range toppers, the company is also introducing a high-end version of the DSR/X. Called the DSR/X Black Forest, it comes in a black colour scheme and is fully loaded with accessories including full luggage, spoked wheels, crash protection and a touring seat. It costs £23,450, £2,500 more than the model upon which it is based.