Zero Motorcycles has just given the world some improvements to their products and user experience, including battery capacity increases and a software marketplace for their motorcycles that highlight the advances in some of the 2022 Zero Model Line. They also unveiled their new generation SR, the staple of their lineup since 2014. Let’s dive right in…
Z-Force to a New Level
Perhaps the headline of the announcement today was the improvement to the energy density in Zero’s already best-in-class Z-Force batteries. It is improved by a claimed 20%, now in standard capacities of 14.4+ kWh and 15.6+ kWh. The “+” actually denotes additional capacity increase opportunities of up to 17.3 kWh. When full capacity is unlocked and paired with the upcoming Power Tank, a maximum of nearly 21 kWh of battery will be achievable. This will give it up to 227 miles of range in the city, 113 miles at 70mph highway speeds, or more realistically, a number in between for daily riding.
There is a new die-cast heat sink coupled with the cell box and better active air cooling. The overall architecture improvements allow for it to be 6 pounds lighter than the previous pack, while increasing capacity and density. There is also improved weather-proofing, a necessity for bikes being used in the elements. Lastly, servicing is said to be improved with easier access to the power bus systems in order to add additional features and parts from Zero.
The Cypher Store
Zero broke ground in 2014 with the advent of their mobile application, allowing motorcyclists, for the first time, to connect to their bikes. Cypher III operating system was then introduced to the bikes in 2019, allowing for controls in adjusting riding mode and charge controls, with additional metrics available. Zero now features Cypher III+ on their new SR/F, SR/S, and SR models.
The aforementioned Z-Force capacity unlocking can be done via the new Cypher Store. Named in tandem with their Cypher III+ operating system, this allows for riders to purchase and implement upgrades via OTA (over-the-air) updates. This is the “+” denotation again to represent the advent of new features available to purchase, including:
- Faster Charging
- Extended range
- Speed & Performance Boost
- Park Mode, Heated grips
- On-Dash Navigation
These features are available for MY 2022 models with Cypher III+, but backwards compatible with prior SR/F and SR/S motorcycles. Future upgrades are planned for additional models. The Cypher Store upgrades will be available for purchase and installation via the Zero mobile app, website, or Zero dealerships by early Spring 2022.
All-New 2022 Zero SR
The final announcement from this morning’s press conference was the unveiling of the new generation Zero SR. The SR has been important for Zero since its advent to their lineup in 2014, and this is the first real design change since then. It adapts the exact styling from SR/F, with the floating rear fender and unique LED light designs. The underpinnings are also the SR/F, from the exposed steel trellis frame to the drivetrain. The only discernible difference is the detuned nature of the capabilities.
It features 122 ft-lb torque, 74 hp, and reaches a top speed of 104 mph. However, the Speed & Performance boost unlocked via the Cypher Store can improve these numbers to 140 ft-lb, 110 hp, and 124 mph respectively. At that point, it essentially becomes the SR/F. It comes with a measly 3 kW charging as standard, but can be increased by 10% via Cypher Store and combined with Rapid Charge Module to give it up to 9.3 kW. This will charge the 14.4+ kWh battery in just over an hour.
Starting at $17,995 the SR does undercut the SR/F and SR/S standard by about $1,500, while retaining comparable range. The undercut performance can simply be added on via Cypher Store if wanted, though for a price I expect to be comparable to the SR/F retail. This is still a significant price tag, though competitive in the EV motorcycle world. SR will be available spring 2022.
I am always intrigued by a big announcement from Zero. And I am always met with excitement over new things and disappointment by expectations not met. I’m glad to see the SR being updated, and personally hope the DSR sees a design overhaul next. The big news missing that many had hoped for includes the lack of DC Fast Charging and thermal liquid cooling. They did confirm thermal improvements via better air flow in the new battery architecture, which is always welcoming. Hopefully this makes a meaningful improvement in extreme conditions. But the lack of DC Fast Charging holds Zero back from being the true all-inclusive spearhead in the industry. Time will tell if this comes to light, but I hope it does soon.