Zero Motorcycles has pulled the rug out from underneath the coming Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric sports bike with its new Zero SR/F that looks uncannily like the Milwaukee product.
However, the Zero SR/F has better performance and range but costs about $US11,000 less than the LiveWire. The Harley is due in September at $US29,799 and will arrive in Australia next year at more than $US40,000.
Zero Motorcycles pulled the plug on exporting to Australia and New Zealand in 2017 with no hint of a return just yet. So, although the Californian company’s new ZR/F looks the goods, we most likely won’t be getting it here.
Zero’s SR/F comes in a standard model at $US18,990 and a premium model with a faster-charging battery and heated grips.
It has 82kW of power, 190Nm of torque and a top speed of 200km/h.
Range is said to be about 130km on the highway and up to 260km in the city. See the comprehensive “range” specifications at the end of this article.
A more robust “Power Tank” battery capable of 320km of range will be available in the third quarter of 2019.
Meanwhile, the Harley LiveWire has 177km of range and a 190km/h top speed.
Zero’s SR/F will also be able to update its Cypher III software via a link to a mobile phone connection just like a Tesla electric car.
A dedicated app will allow riders to track their trips, share rides, monitor battery level, find charging stations and even receive alerts if someone is trying to steal their bike.
Meanwhile, the makers of the world’s fastest electric bike, Lightning Motorcycles, will next month release a more affordable bike called Strike.
It will start at $US12,998 (about $A18,000) to challenge both the Zero SR/F and Harley LiveWire.
Zero SR/F tech specs
|Range (based on EU standard)||157km||158km|
|Peak power||82kW (110hp) @ 5000rpm||82kW (110hp) @ 5000rpm|
|Top speed (max)||200km/h||200km/h|
|Top speed (sustained)||177km/h||177km/h|
|Continuous power||40kW (54hp) @ 5.000 rpm||40kW (54hp) @ 5000rpm|
|Licensing Requirement||A Licence||A Licence|
|Type||Z-Force 75-10 enhanced thermal efficiency, passively air-cooled, interior permanent magnet AC motor||Z-Force 75-10 enhanced thermal efficiency, passively air-cooled, interior permanent magnet AC motor|
|Controller?||High efficiency and power dense, 900 Amp, 3-phase AC controller with regenerative deceleration||High efficiency and power dense, 900 Amp, 3-phase AC controller with regenerative deceleration|
|Power pack||Z-Force® Li-Ion intelligent integrated||Z-Force® Li-Ion intelligent integrated|
|Charger type||6kW, integrated||3kW, integrated|
|Charge time (standard)||2.5 hours (100% charged) / 2 hours (95% charged)||4.5 hours (100% charged) / 4 hours (95% charged)|
|With 6kW Rapid Charge option||1.5 hours (100% charged) / 1 hour (95% charged)||1.8 hours (100% charged) / 1.3 hours (95% charged)|
|Transmission||Clutchless direct drive||Clutchless direct drive|
|Final drive||90T / 20T, Poly Chain® HTD® Carbon™ belt||90T / 20T, Poly Chain® HTD® Carbon™ belt|
|Chassis / Suspension / Brakes|
|Front suspension||Showa 43mm Big Piston Separate Function forks, with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping||Showa 43mm Big Piston Separate Function forks, with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping|
|Rear suspension||Showa 40mm piston, piggy-back reservoir shock with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping||Showa 40mm piston, piggy-back reservoir shock with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping|
|Front suspension travel||120mm||120mm|
|Rear suspension travel||140mm||140mm|
|Front brakes||Bosch Advanced MSC, dual J-Juan radial 4-piston calipers with radial master cylinder, 320 x 5 mm discs||Bosch Advanced MSC, dual J-Juan radial 4-piston calipers with radial master cylinder, 320 x 5 mm discs|
|Rear brakes||Bosch Advanced MSC, J-Juan single piston floating caliper, 240 x 4,5 mm disc||Bosch Advanced MSC, J-Juan single piston floating caliper, 240 x 4,5 mm disc|
|Front tire||Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 120/70-17||Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 120/70-17|
|Rear tire||Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 180/55-17||Pirelli Diablo Rosso III 180/55-17|
|Front wheel||3.50 x 17||3.50 x 17|
|Rear wheel||5.50 x 17||5.50 x 17|
|Equivalent fuel economy (city)||0.55 l/100km||0.55 l/100km|
|Equivalent fuel economy (highway)||1.08 l/100km||1.08 l/100km|
|Typical cost to recharge||€2.96||€2.96|
|Standard motorcycle warranty||2 years||2 years|
|Power pack warranty||5 years/unlimited km||5 years/unlimited km|