Almost a Zero footprint

written by Shepdaddy on June 10, 2009 in Electric Motorcycles with one Comment

 

They’re keeping busy at Zero Motorcycles, where founder Neal Saiki has come up with an electric motocrosser to join the company’s enduro and road-ready machines.

The Zero MX wraps the beefy components and generous suspension travel needed for hardcore track riding in a silent bike that weighs a scant 151 pounds. The lithium-ion battery is good for two hours or 40 miles and charges in less than two hours.

Aggressive track riding requires a motorcycle with a high power-to-weight ratio and an advanced suspension system,” Saiki said in a statement. “The Zero MX delivers both without the noise of a typical gas motorcycle. That makes riding possible in areas that are usually off-limits due to noise restrictions.

The Zero MX joins the Zero X enduro and Zero S street bike and uses the same drivetrain found on those machines. If the performance of the Zero X at the 24 hours of Electrocross endurance race in April is any indication, the MX will take all the abuse you can throw at it and come back for more.

The Electrocross event saw 50 riders flog a fleet of Zero X bikes for 24 hours straight, with the winning team clocking 507.5 miles when the checkered flag dropped. The MX uses the same 23-horsepower, 8-inch brushed permanent magnet motor as the X. Saiki says the motor produces as much power as a 250-cc gas engine, and with 50 foot-pounds of torque it’ll smoke the tire.

Power comes from a 2-kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery that weighs 45 pounds. Zero says the operating cost is about a penny per mile.

The MX gets a stouter suspension with 7 to 8 inches of travel up front and 9 inches at the rear. Four-piston brakes bring you to a stop in a hurry. The frame is aluminum and weighs 18 pounds. Although the components might look like they were pulled from a mountain bike — Saiki spent some time designing bikes for the likes of Specialized and Haro — everything is built specifically for Zero to its specs.

List price is $8,250 and the bike is available now through Zero Motorcycles.