Zero has just unveiled the details to the 2022 model year updates of their “older” lineup, including the S, DS, and DSR motorcycles. The release is earlier than normal, largely due to the unprecedented demand for electric motorcycles as brought about by the pandemic. The new motorcycles are available to ship starting now, with a couple changes in the mix. Let’s take a look.
Well, there are new colors. But that is about the extent of the updates to visual cues. There are two ways to look at this, bordering respect and disappointment. On one hand, “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke” can ring true. The current design, dating back to 2014, is still to this day beautifully sculpted. But it also doesn’t necessarily feel fresh for that reason.
The biggest concern to me is the lack of LED lights. On paper, it’s hard to consider an electric vehicle as “state-of-the-art” when even the 2022 model year uses halogen lights. However, Zero is in the business of EV motorcycles for the masses. While they are expensive compared to some of the internal combustion counterparts, they still lie far below many competition price points. That being said, I would happily pay a bit extra to have LEDs from the factory. A signature LED look would also improve the overall design, especially seeing the SR/F, SR/S and the new FXE.
Color-wise, the new S comes in Twilight, a new dark blue replacing the lighter grey of the outgoing model. The DS arrives in Quicksand, a tan-like variant you could expect in a camouflage color palette. The prior year had the olive green you could pair it with. Then the 2022 DSR comes in black with orange accents and gold/bronze wheels, a striking presence even compared to the previous DSR with its gold accents and gray color. It’s good to see a change, albeit perhaps a smaller update than we hoped for.
Most of the underlying technology also remains the same, including the Z-Force batteries, Z-Force 75-5 and 75-7 motors. The range, top speed, torque and horsepower numbers all remain identical to the outgoing models. Again, instead of chasing even higher numbers, they retained the status quo, which was actually quite good to begin with. We all, including myself, would love to see range and such progress, but more importantly, Zero has finally updated the driver’s display.
The new display is similar to that on the SR/S and SR/F, and likely identical to the FXE. It’s a 5” TFT display, full-color and optically bonded. From my time on the FXE, I can tell I am already excited to experience a DSR with the modern point-of-view of a modern motorcycle. The new display is easier to read than the outgoing older digital display, with clearly-placed information and easily configurable “widgets” to show the trip, efficiency, range, etc.
Pricing is also similar, coming in at only $200 more than the outgoing model. This may be in part due to the TFT display, but given the average inflation, at least on the American dollar, it’s well on par or even under the price I expected. The S and DS start at $11,195, and the DSR comes in at $15,695. This keeps the S and DS at the lower end of Zero’s lineup, beat only by the sub-$10K 3.6 kWh FX and FXS. Adding the Power Tank, Charge Tank, or other accessories will of course increase it a bit, along with any associated dealer and transit fees.
All things considered, this is certainly a minor update, but the inclusion of the TFT screen is extremely welcome, if not somewhat late to the party. But as they say, better late than never. Zero continues to be a brand to offer electrifying experiences to the masses at a relatively good price tag. Weather and distance permitting, this is my ideal way to commute, and they certainly come in well under the entirety of electric car prices. When looking at the entirety of the expansive Zero lineup, it seems the only bike truly missing an overhaul is the DSR, and I look forward to that day. It may be the bike with the least demand for a design update, but for my specific use-case, I would love a wild-looking futuristic trail and road machine.