Motorcycle Types Adventure / Dual-Sport 2009 Zero X | Electric Design Award

2009 Zero X | Electric Design Award

Giant Green Leap in Motorcycling

Emissions from internal combustion motors-both sound and chemical-have been the bane of off-road motorcycles for decades. In the minds of many, quiet and clean electricity is the propulsion of the future for dirt bikes.

Zero Motorcycles’ 2009 Zero X is a great leap forward in the electric dirt bike field. Still more mountain bike than motorcycle, the latest Zero X offers beefed up suspension (albeit still bicycle-sourced) and larger, wider tires. The tires are nonstandard sizes for dirt bikes-a 24-inch front and 17-inch rear-but still a signifi cant improvement over past editions.

Boasting 50 ft/lbs of torque and 23 hp, the 151 pound Zero X has startling initial acceleration. Although it claims a top speed of 60 mph-that is quite fast for a machine with relatively short suspension travel, a short wheelbase and steep forks.

It is in tight quarters that the Zero X excels. The featherweight bike has quick steering and superb manners at ultra-low speeds. In corners, it can be thrown around easier than any full-size adult dirt bike. The throttle allows power to be delivered smoothly, so the narrow 3.50 rear Cheng Shin can fi nd traction in most terrain.

Certainly, the Zero X is an enjoyable, unique ride, though it requires that everyone in a group be similarly mounted. Mountain bikers will resent your electric power, and it is not quite ready to coexist with modern gasoline-powered enduro bikes, as the battery lacks range and quick recharging. Regardless, the Zero X is a welcoming preview of the future of off-roading.

Read: More About Electric Motorcycles


 

 

2021 Harley-Davidson Road King Special First Look: Hot Rod Bagger

The 2021 Harley-Davidson Road King Special is a Touring model that The Motor Company puts in a sub-category—Hot Rod Bagger. To earn that title,...

2021 Honda CRF300L and CRF300L Rally Coming To America

We told you all about the new 2021 Honda CRF300L and CRF300L Rally last month. Although we fully expected the pair to be imported...

2021 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 114 First Look (Specs, Photos, Prices)

The distinctive Harley-Davidson Fat Boy is back for 2021, with the Milwaukee-Eight 114 powerplant and machined solid cast aluminum Lakester wheels. We tested the...

2021 Husqvarna 701 Lineup First Look (6 Fast Facts + Photos)

There are two 2021 Husqvarna 701 motorcycles to choose from—the Enduro and the Supermoto. Although they are closely related, with the same frame and...

2021 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide First Look (5 Fast Facts + Photos)

The 2021 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide is here, and it has several updates. Returning is the Milwaukee-Eight 177 V-twin powerplant that cranks out a...

Bring the Honda Solo to America: One More MiniMoto

We were poking through the archives, and this little gem re-caught our attention. The 2003 Honda Solo was part of Honda’s N Project. According...