Zero has been occasionally described as the “Tesla of motorcycles,” and last year’s model DS ZF6.5 as the “Model 3 of motorcycles.” When you’re one of the only electric motorcycle manufacturers in the game, it’s frankly hard to avoid these comparisons. But after climbing aboard a DS ZF6.5 late last year, I got the sense that it wasn’t all just hot air.
It was a short ride, so the scope of these impressions is limited. Additionally, the proverbial ink of the “M” on my license was still so fresh that the excitement of showing it to people hadn’t worn off. Truly, all I wanted to get out of my first test ride of the DS ZF6.5 was a sense of what it feels like to slip through the city on a sleek, futuristic bike.
I’ve test-ridden a previous model of the Zero and they are fun, if weird, to ride. I’ll take issue with the author’s statement of, “I was cut in front of by drivers who probably would have heard me if I were on a combustion motorcycle.” Not a given at all. I ride a “traditional” bike and have been cut off plenty of times. Noise generating is no guarantee of safety on a motorcycle.
The problem with electric bikes still hasn’t been solved though. While the range (60 miles) is fine for a daily commuter, the cost, at $11,000, is still prohibitively high for the market. There are dozens of new and used bikes that offer much better range and styles for a much lower price.