Zero have just unveiled their new SR/F streetfighter in Amsterdam, claiming that it delivers an attractive blend of "industry-leading power, control and connection."
More importantly, it looks to deliver a tangible improvement in range capability and recharging time, blended with styling that marries its electric powertrain with sharp and modern – but largely conventional – naked streetfighter looks.
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That all means the SR/F could represent a major step forward for the Californian brand, and another significant move towards making electric motorcycles look and perform in a way more appealing to both new and largely electric-phobic existing bikers alike.
Speaking about the looks at the launch in Amsterdam, Vice President of Product Development, Brian Wismann, said: "The bike was inspired and influenced by the same things that inspire designers that are working on internal combustion bikes.
"I don’t want anybody to think that this was meant to look like an electric Ducati, or Triumph – it’s not a derivative design, but having an understanding of where this cultural reference for having beautiful machines comes from and then integrating some of those design elements into the SR/F are pertinent in describing why it looks as good as it does."
New Zero SR/F specs
- 200-mile range potential
- One-hour charge to 95%
- Develops 110bhp / 140lbft
- Two models available in May
- Weight is 226kg
- £19,990 / £17,990 (minus £1500 grant)
Zero's new SR/F has the power to move you
One of the great benefits of electric is the instant hit of power and torque, and the SR/F appears to have plenty of both, with 140lbft of torque and 110bhp available. While the outright horsepower might not sound impressive, it’s that surging tide of torque that’ll make this a serious streetfighter.
The model uses Zero’s new ZF75-10 motor, coupled to a ZF14.4 lithium-ion battery. The powertrain uses air-cooling to improve longevity, and to help eliminate as many routine maintenance jobs as possible. A single charge is claimed to have the potential to deliver a 200-mile maximum range when ridden at town speeds, using Zero’s Power Tank, which will arrive in Autumn 2019.
The innovative Rapid Charge System works on the large and growing network of Level 2 charge stations and provides a platform that allows for up to three independent charging modules. This means the SR/F can boast the fastest recharge capacity in Zero’s line up, and gives it a maximum charging performance of empty to 95% charged in one hour.
Zero's first full electronics package
All that instant power and torque could spell disaster on a cold greasy road, but the SR/F’s Cypher III operating system knits Zero’s next-gen app and dash to the well-proven Bosch Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC) system, ensuring the rider isn’t caught out by an over-eager right wrist or brake lever action.
Bosch’s MSC system delivers ABS with cornering brake control, traction control and drag torque control from the motor, all communicated and set via the attractive dash which the rider can connect to via a new app. Rider modes on offer comprise Street, Sport, Eco, and Rain, and there are up to 10 programmable custom modes available.
Brembo’s electronic braking brain acts on JJuan calipers front and rear, which – while it’s a name you might not recognise – will be well up to the job. The frame is a steel-trellis with concentric swingarm that’s claimed to help transfer the torque to the tarmac with the most mechanical grip possible. Both the battery and motor act as stressed members, too.
The new connected app also allows the rider to monitor their SR/F for: Bike Status & Alerts, Charging data, Ride Data Sharing, System Upgrades and Updates.
The first system of its kind on a production motorcycle, the status checker means owners can see information on charging interruptions, get unexpected motion notifications, and use the ‘Find my Bike’ function to see if it's where it should be.
The app also allows you to remotely set charging parameters, and check on progress, while you can also gather and share extensive data about their ride through the app. The data captured on rides includes bike location, speed, lean angle, power, torque, charge and energy used/regenerated.
Riders can then ‘replay’ each ride and share it, if they choose to. All the data is private unless you choose to share it. The full suite of app functions are free at purchase, and for two years thereafter. Those not wanting this feature can opt out altogether, too.
How much is the Zero SR/F electric motorbike?
UK buyers get a £1500 grant on new electric bikes, helping to take a little of the sting out of being an early adopter. That means that the Premium model, complete with 6kW Rapid Charger, fly screen, heated hand grips and aluminium bar ends, costs £18,490 (list price £19,990), while the standard model with 3kW rapid charger will cost £16,490 (list price £17,990).
Zero say they’ll be available in the UK on PCP deals that will require a monthly outlay of under £250. Both models will come in Seabright Blue and Boardwalk Red colourways, and are expected to be ready to plug in from May.
Watch our walk-around video of the Zero SR/F live from the unveiling in Amsterdam: