With Ducati about to charge into electric motorcycle racing, the current leaders in two-wheeled EVs are about to get some extra competition. One of those leaders is Zero Motorcycles—but the US company isn’t resting on its laurels. It recently updated its best-selling S, DS, and DSR models and introduced a new supermoto bike, the FXE. But the newest Zero, the 2022 SR, isn’t just a new model: it’s also one of the first to get the company’s upgraded batteries.
The 2022 Zero SR is a brand-new electric motorcycle model with a brand-new battery pack
|Spec||2022 Zero SR ZF14.4+|
|Motor||Z-Force 75-10 air-cooled permanent-magnet|
|Gross/usable battery capacity||14.4 (gross)/12.6 kWh (nominal) [standard]|
17.3 (gross) kWh [with Extended Range Cypher Upgrade]
20.9 (gross) kWh [with Extended Range Cypher Upgrade and Power Tank)
|Claimed city range||156 miles (standard)|
187 miles (with Extended Range Cypher Upgrade)
227 miles (with Extended Range Cypher Upgrade and Power Tank)
|Front suspension and travel||43mm Show SFF-BP fully-adjustable inverted forks; 4.72”|
|Rear suspension and travel||40mm Showa fully-adjustable mono-shock; 5.51”|
|Seat height||31.0” (standard)|
30.3” (accessory low seat)
31.9” (accessory tall seat)
|Curb weight||489 lbs|
If the name of Zero Motorcycles’ newest bike sounds familiar, it should. The California-based company already makes the SR/F streetfighter and the fairing-covered SR/S sportbike. And the 2022 Zero SR is essentially the newest base model in that sporty lineup, RideApart explains.
However, ‘base’ doesn’t exactly mean stripped-down in this case. Like the SR/S and SR/F, the 2022 Zero SR has multiple standard and configurable riding modes, J. Juan (now a Brembo subsidiary) brakes with regenerative braking, cruise control, and LED lighting. It also has cornering ABS, traction control, stability control, and rear-wheel-torque control. And it has a 5” full-color TFT display running Zero’s newest Cypher III+ OS, which hooks up with your smartphone app to let you monitor the SR and adjust its settings.
Speaking of Cypher, you’ve likely noticed the ‘Cypher Upgrade’ listed in the table above. That’s one part of the other update the 2022 Zero SR brings—battery tech.
The 2022 SR isn’t the only Zero motorcycle with these big new batteries
Up until now, the biggest battery Zero offered in its electric motorcycles is a 14.4-kWh pack. However, the 2022 Zero SR has what the company calls a ’ZF14.4+’ pack. As standard, it has a 14.4-kWh gross capacity. But the Extended Range Upgrade unlocks an extra 2.9 kWh and thus adds range. Plus, while you can’t get the Power Tank with Zero’s 6-kW rapid-charging equipment, you can upgrade the standard 3-kW system via a Cypher software upgrade.
Yet the 2022 Zero SR doesn’t have the biggest standard battery. That’s the ZF15.6+ battery that’s standard on the 2022 SR/F and SR/S Premium (the ZF14.4+ is standard on the non-Premiums). You can also upgrade these models’ batteries with the Cypher Extended Range Upgrade and Power Tank. But even if you don’t, the extra capacity means the SR/F and SR/S Premium have a claimed city range of 169 miles. And they have 110 hp and 140 lb-ft.
The idea of ‘hiding’ battery capacity behind a paywall might seem odd. But there are non-monetary reasons to do it. For one, all EV batteries eventually lose capacity and range as they age and degrade. Because the ZF14.4+ and ZF15.6+ batteries ‘lock’ some of their capacity away, riders don’t ‘see’ it and thus won’t notice if it starts decreasing. Thus, these batteries could have longer usable lifespans.
In addition, not everyone has range anxiety, so they don’t want or need to pay for a bigger battery. That’s the other benefit of Zero’s new motorcycle batteries: they’re not physically bigger than before, just more energy-dense. That simplifies chassis engineering, design, and production, which lowers costs. And it means more range doesn’t come at the cost of more weight.
When will the new electric motorcycle and its batteries arrive in dealers?
The 2022 Zero SR is scheduled to hit dealers in Q1 2022, which is also when the OS upgrades should hit Zero’s Cypher Store. That’s also when the 2022 SR/S and SR/F bikes should arrive. And 2021 SR/S and SR/F owners will have access to the same Cypher upgrades as 2022 owners. Beyond the range and charging upgrades, options include turn-by-turn navigation and heated grips.
As for pricing, the 2022 Zero SR starts at $17,995; that’s about $4000 cheaper than the 2021 LiveWire One. Although the One has more horsepower, it’s down on torque and claimed range. Plus, it’s 73 lbs heavier. As for the 2022 SR/S and SR/F Premium, they start at $21,495 and $21,995 respectively; the ZF14.4+ versions are $2000 cheaper.
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