What does it cost?
The Zero Motorcycles SR/S costs £19,590 for the Standard model and £21,590 for the Premium model. That’s an awful lot of money compared with regular sport touring motorcycles, such as the Ducati Supersport 950 and Honda VFR800F, but in the world of electric motorcycles, it’s competitively priced. The Harley-Davidson Livewire, for example, is a whopping £7405 more expensive than the range-topping SR/S.
What is it?
You might not think that drawing a comparison between electric motorcycle manufacturer Zero Motorcycles and EV powerhouse Tesla is a particularly inventive way to kick off a review, but bear with us, because the two have a lot in common. Consider this: both were founded in the mid-2000s, both are based in sunny California and both consider themselves to be the market-leaders in their respective fields.
And while electric motorcycles haven’t quite taken off in the same way electric cars have (only 4000 Zero bikes were sold globally in 2020), we suspect the market for two-wheeled EVs is going to grow – rapidly. With urban clean-air zone restrictions becoming increasingly widespread and the UK government recently announcing that all new motorcycles will have to be zero-emission compliant by 2035, all the big names in motorcycling (BMW, Ducati, Honda, Triumph and so on) are scrambling to develop battery-powered bikes.
That leaves Zero in an enviable position. The American manufacturer already offers buyers a comprehensive range of electrified two-wheelers, including everything from beginner bikes and dual sport off-roaders to performance-focused street bikes.
To get acquainted with the brand, we decided to jump right in and test its halo model, the SR/S. We’re looking forward to testing a number of more entry-level models in the future.
The SR/S might look like a full-on superbike with its sleek, aerodynamic bodywork, but it's actually more of a relaxed sport tourer (a GT in the bike world) courtesy of its high bars, low foot pegs, beefy pillion grab-handles and optional luggage space. If its frame housed a petrol engine rather than an electric battery and motor, it would be a Ducati Supersport or Honda VFR800F rival, rather than a Ducati Panigale or Honda Fireblade rival.