Review: 2019 Zero FXS is the low cost electric motorcycle field's best kept secret (2023)

Review: 2019 Zero FXS is the low cost electric motorcycle field's best kept secret (1)

The Zero FXS electric motorcycle is the most affordable and (in my opinion) the most fun offering in the Zero lineup. And yet many people don’t even know it exists.

So grab yourself a drink and read on while I tell you a thing or two about why the Zero FXS is perhaps the best commuter electric motorcycle on the market right now.

2019 Zero FXS electric supermoto

The 2019 Zero FXS starts at just $8,495. While that might not sound very “low cost” to some, especially compared to a $2,495 urban electric motorcycle, that’s practically pennies in the world of full-size electric motorcycles. Consider that the new Zero SR/F starts at well over twice that, and Harley-Davidson’s upcoming LiveWire is over three times the price of the Zero FXS.

Even the top-end model, which is the one I reviewed and offers double the range of the base model, only costs $10,495. And that’s before a number of state tax incentives that drop the price. Yet despite its low cost, the Zero FXS doesn’t get as much attention compared to its faster and sexier big brothers in the Zero lineup.

So let’s take a meander at the specs on this ultimate commuting machine that stole my heart with the twist of a wrist.

Review: 2019 Zero FXS is the low cost electric motorcycle field's best kept secret (2)

2019 Zero FXS ZF7.2 tech specs

  • Motor: 34 kW (46 hp) ZForce 75-5 air-cooled mid-drive motor
  • Torque: 106 Nm (78 lb-ft)
  • Top speed: 137 km/h (85 mph)
  • City Range: 161 km (100 mi)
  • Highway Range at 113 km/h (70 mph): 64 km (40 mi)
  • Battery: 7.2 kWh
  • Fuel Economy (city): 0.44 L/100 km (533 MPGe)
  • Fuel Economy (highway): 1.10 L/100 km (213 MPGe)
  • Typical Recharge Cost: $0.81
  • Charge time: 9 hours with 650W onboard charger, 4 hours with accessory charger, 2 hours with dual accessory chargers
  • Weight: 133 kg (293 lb)
  • Max load: 153 kg (337 lb)
  • Brakes: J-Juan hydraulic floating caliper with Bosch Gen 9 ABS
  • Suspension: Adjustable Showa with 178 mm (7 in) front and 227 mm (8.9 in) rear travel

Video review

Check out my video review of the 2019 Zero FXS electric supermoto and then read on for the full review below.

Zero FXS… what is it?

The Zero FXS is a supermoto in the truest form. Supermotos are motorcycles that are designed to perform well in just about every category. You wouldn’t take a Harley down a set of stairs. You wouldn’t take a dirt bike touring on the highway. And you wouldn’t take a cruiser bike off dirt jumps. Those are all bikes that are basically meant to perform great in one specific area. But supermotos are designed to be good at just about everything, even if they can’t beat a dedicated bike in specific niches.

(Video) Review: 2019 Zero FXS is the affordable electric motorcycle we need

And the Zero FXS supermoto truly is great at just about everything. It is highway-capable with a max speed of 137 km/h (85 mph). It is incredibly nimble due to its sub-300 lb weight, and it has the suspension and travel to hit jumps or handle stairs with ease — should that be required of it.



Basically, this all makes it the perfect commuter vehicle in my book. I can hop on the highway, ride into the city, hop a curb like it’s not even there, and still be home for supper — all on a single charge.

That’s what makes the Zero FXS so special, it can do everything.

Well, almost everything. The ‘S’ in FXS is for street, and so this model is optimized for pavement. If you think you’ll spend more time on the dirt, you might want to go for the FX. It’s nearly identical, except that it has some slight modifications including larger wheels and knobby tires. That will help more on the trails, though I did some light off-roading on the FXS and it was more than ready for the task, even in its street clothes.

Ride experience

When the Zero rep dropped off my FXS and gave me the walkthrough, he showed me the three power modes: ECO, CUSTOM, and SPORT. “I always just keep it in ECO,” he said. I nodded politely and thought to myself “Heh, that’s weak sauce but whatever floats his boat.

As soon as I hopped on and gave the throttle a twist, I realized what he meant. There’s nothing eco about ECO. It gives you about a half-second of easy acceleration to get ready and then it slingshots you into oblivion. Folks, 34 kW (46 hp) might not sound like that much, but when it comes in a bike this lightweight and coupled with this much crazy electric torque, you better be holding on.

So yea, now I ride around in ECO all the time.

Review: 2019 Zero FXS is the low cost electric motorcycle field's best kept secret (9)

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Well, almost all the time. Sometimes I flip it into SPORT for the wheelie power. But the bike is so light and powerful that SPORT mode instantly removes gravity from the front wheel and it can be a struggle to keep it down.

It’s fun when you’ve got a secluded straight away and want to mess around.

Review: 2019 Zero FXS is the low cost electric motorcycle field's best kept secret (10)

But for day to day, ECO mode is where it’s at. On ECO mode I’ve never been beaten when the light turns green and it still gets my adrenaline up to about a 7 or 8 out of 10. And that’s about as much of a rush as I want on my morning commute!

The bike itself feels solid, despite its light weight. There’s nothing luxurious here though. The backlit LCD display is a no-thrills type of screen. It gives you all of the info you need and nothing you don’t. No fancy graphics or swipe-through displays here.



The seat is fairly minimalist as well but felt perfectly comfortable to me. My wife didn’t find it quite as comfortable as me, at least on the rear portion. But she’s used to a pampered gel seat and doesn’t spend much time on the back of motorcycles. In my opinion, it is plenty comfortable both for city riding and highway blasting.

There’s also no button overload. Again, the handlebars are an everything-you-need-and-nothing-you-don’t situation. You’ve got buttons for your lights, mode, run/stop, blinkers, horn, and that’s about it. Speaking of the horn, that’s one of the few things I can find to complain about on the Zero FXS. It’s just not as loud or intimidating as I would have liked. It feels more like a scooter horn. And in my opinion, the horn is more important on an electric motorcycle than a gas-powered motorcycle since we can’t announce our presence with a series of small, timed explosions. I just would have liked a more aggressive horn. Something like a “hey, watch out!” instead of the “excuse me, sir” that I got.

If the horn is my biggest complaint though, then you know the bike has done a lot of things right.

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I wouldn’t really call the component quality an issue, but you have to know going into this that you’re not getting the highest grade parts. Everything is more than adequate, but it doesn’t compare to more premium electric motorcycle offerings that come with high-end Brembo brakes or top-shelf suspension. Everything on the FXS is well spec’d, it just isn’t premium. But you didn’t expect to get a premium electric motorcycle for just $8-10k, did you?

Zero FXS — the ultimate commuter bike?

Yes. Absolutely yes.

The Zero FXS is the ultimate commuter electric motorcycle. It’s as fast and as quick as it is unassuming. I’m a speed racer on the highway into the city, and then I’m innocently parking at the bicycle rack since most people aren’t expecting a motorcycle to look quite like this. The bike can be an attention-getter when you want to be noticed and an afterthought when you don’t.

Regarding bicycle rack parking, I’m not sure that’s technically 100% kosher, but two months later I’m still parking ticket-free and no one has given me any dirty looks yet. On the contrary, many people come up to me all excited and want to know, “what is that thing?”

I can wiggle the little bike in and out of places I wouldn’t dream of on a larger bike and yet I still have all the road presence demanded and deserved of any other motorcycle.

Review: 2019 Zero FXS is the low cost electric motorcycle field's best kept secret (16)

The one major downside is, of course, going to be the range, depending on your own personal commute. For me, this was a complete non-issue. I could get away with charging it once a week while I was staying in the city. But when I was hopping on the highway I’d usually get a couple of days on a charge. And if I’m riding on the interstate then I’d make sure to charge each night just to be sure I’m starting off fresh with a full battery.

But recharging is so easy, all you need is an outlet. A measly wall outlet, like where you charge your phone or laptop. You don’t have to worry about finding a charging station or buying credits. You just roll up to any wall outlet, like the one in your garage, and plug in the cord. The charging cord is conveniently stored in a hole in the rear swingarm, which I personally always find hilarious. It’s just a structural tube but happens to be the perfect size for a folded up electrical cord, so that’s where Zero sticks it.

Sure charging takes a while. But I just let it charge overnight and it’s ready for me in the morning. And like I said, city riding turns charging into a weekly task, not a daily one.

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This is for the ZF7.2 model, by the way. The base model comes with half the battery, at 3.6 kWh. That’s still going to be fine for city commuters, but charging will be more frequent. The 3.6 kWh battery is also modular, meaning you can remove it to carry it inside. You can also buy a second 3.6 kWh module to double your range. But unless you actually plan on removing the battery often, you’d be better advised to just buy the 7.2 kWh option as it is cheaper than buying the one with two removable 3.6 kWh battery modules.

Review: 2019 Zero FXS is the low cost electric motorcycle field's best kept secret (17)

Takeaway

Sure, everyone is drooling over the Zero SR/F, which is a pretty amazing electric motorcycle — don’t get me wrong. But it’s also more bike than many people need.

The Zero FXS gets me onto the interstate, into the city, and onto the trails. It does it with a beautiful, nearly silent electric whine. And I never have to visit a gas station again.

And believe it or not, it’s also the model that many of the top brass at Zero ride on a daily basis. While at the Zero SR/F launch in NYC with Abe Askenazi, CTO of Zero Motorcycles, he told me that many of the head honchos at Zero actually have a Zero FX or FXS as their personal ride. While the others are great bikes, the light weight and zippy performance of the FX line make it a different kind of joy.

In summary, I’d describe the Zero FXS like this: It isn’t the most powerful bike out there. It doesn’t have the longest range. It doesn’t have all of the fanciest features (a USB charger would be nice!). It’s not the greatest at any one thing. But it is very good at everything. And that’s why this supermoto is my favorite electric commuter motorcycle so far.

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(Video) 2016 Zero FX / FXS

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FAQs

What is the range of a 2019 Zero FX? ›

And considering performance and range, the FXS is akin to 400cc bikes, which carry price tags half the size. Zero is very proud of the fact it has the Zero SR, which will do over 100mph and achieve 223 city-miles, or roughly 112 highway-miles on one charge.

What is the range of zero FXS on the highway? ›

2 — the Zero FX can be the off-road motorcycle you're just getting started on or the one for a more experienced rider. With the ZF3. 6 (kWh) battery back, the range is 46 miles in the city and just 19 miles on the highway (at 70mph).

What is the top speed of zero FXS? ›

The EV is powered by the Z-Force 75-5 motor, which is also seen on multiple other models in the Zero Motorcycle portfolio; however, on the FXS, it makes less power with 27hp. Peak torque is a healthy 78lb-ft, enough to propel the bike to a top speed of 85mph.

How many miles will a Zero Motorcycle last? ›

The base SR/S can go 161 miles on a charge or 82 miles on the highway, so to get the extra range you'll need to add the Power Tank option.

How long does it take to charge a Zero FX? ›

The charging time from 95% to 100% always takes thirty minutes, regardless of the charging method. In this way, the system optimizes the health, lifespan and capacity of the battery. Riders easily charge the Zero FX battery wherever they want using a compact charging cable.

How far will a Zero motorcycle go on a charge? ›

223 MILES.

4 + Power Tank with 223 miles in the city. However, there are a number of options with lesser ranges that offer different benefits for those who only want a motorcycle for getting around town or the city.

What motorcycle has the fastest 0 to 60 time? ›

Note model year 2013-2016 documented 0-60 mph times for Ducati Diavel is marked 2.5-2.8 seconds depending on source.
...
By 0–60 mph, 3.5 seconds or less.
Make and modelYear (model)Time (seconds)
Suzuki GSXR100020022.7
Ducati 1198S20102.7
BMW S1000RR20112.7
Yamaha MT-09 (FZ-09)20132.7
93 more rows

Is the zero Fxs a dirt bike? ›

Zero's FX is designed to be a dual-sport motorcycle, meaning it's supposed to be capable of fun on both pavement and dirt.

What street bike has the fastest 0 to 60? ›

Below is a list of the fastest accelerating motorcycles from 0-60 mph. We will add more motorcycles to the list ongoing. Currently the Yamaha VMax is the fastest motorcycle from 0-60mph with an amazing time of 2.6 seconds.

Do you have to shift Zero Motorcycles? ›

Because you don't need to shift, operating it is a cognitively easier task for a beginner like me. The Zero FX I rode, like other electric bikes, is operated simply by rolling on the throttle in your right hand.

How long can a motorcycle sit without being driven? ›

When properly prepared and stored, a motorcycle can sit for up to 24 months without being ridden.

How long does it take to fully charge a Zero motorcycle? ›

Zero motorcycles can be charged overnight. On average, a full charge is around 8 hours. Up to 10 hours for larger batteries. With accessory chargers you can achieve a faster charging.

Can Zero Motorcycles get wet? ›

Water-Resistant. While you can definitely use your electric motorcycle in the rain because it's relatively water-resistant, you also have to understand that it's not waterproof. Think about it as your smartphone. You may not be discouraged from using it in the rain because you know it's water-resistant.

What is the fastest zero motorcycle? ›

As of 2021, the fastest electric motorcycle you can buy is the Lightning LS-218. This electric motorcycle can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.2 seconds and has a top speed of 218 mph.

What Motors does Zero Motorcycles use? ›

The Z-Force® motor was developed from the ground up by Zero Motorcycles to be optimized for efficiency, power and size. The Z-Force® motor features an interior permanent magnet (IPM) design that significantly improves performance during hard riding and allows higher sustained top speeds.

Can you charge Zero Motorcycle at charging station? ›

The Charge Tank and SR/F are compatible with standard Level 2 charging stations. Zero's fastest charging options increase charging speeds by up to 10 times what you'd expect from a normal household outlet, enabling recharges to 95% in as little as one hour.

How long does it take for the battery to be charged fully from 0 100 at home using the JLR 7kW AC wall box? ›

CHARGING TIME USING A HOME CHARGER
3-pin domestic plug7kW home charging point
Approximate time for full charge7 hours2 hours
Maximum charge rate2kW7kW

What charges the battery on a zero turn? ›

The battery charges using magnets that are placed on the flywheel. When the engine is running and flywheel is spinning, the magnets create current that is sent to the battery to store.

Do zero motorcycles have reverse? ›

DSR/X will come with all the Cypher III+ features included. Features include faster charging and increased battery capacity, turn-by-turn on dash navigation, and Parking Mode that provides a slow reverse gear to aid in getting over a critical obstacle or parking in a tight spot.

How long can a motorcycle battery sit without charging? ›

If properly stored and maintained, most sealed lead acid batteries can sit on a shelf for about three years and should be expected to perform adequately for about another three years after they're put into use.

How many miles does an electric motorcycle last? ›

Riding Range of a Juiced Bike

Juiced electric bikes have a riding range between 40-100 miles depending on a variety of factors including battery size, average speed, terrain, rider weight, and more. With a smaller 48V or 36V battery, typical range will only be 15-35 miles per charge. That's a considerable difference.

What is the fastest 0 to 60 car right now? ›

Fastest accelerating cars: full list
  • Rimac Nevera – 1.85 seconds (0-60mph)
  • Lucid Air Sapphire – 1.89 seconds (0-60mph)
  • Pininfarina Battista – 1.9 seconds (0-62mph)
  • Tesla Model S Plaid – 2.3 seconds (0-60mph)
  • Ultima Evolution Coupe (supercharged) & Ultima RS LT5 – 2.3 seconds (0-60mph)

What motorcycle goes 200 mph? ›

Ducati Superleggera V4: 200 mph

The 998 cc V4 engine produces 234 horsepower, which is a mighty amount for the carbon-fiber heavy body, which weighs just 335.5 pounds with the available racing kit.

Who holds the land speed record for 1000cc motorcycle? ›

Indian Scout Special 1920 (Engine)

New Zealander Burt Munro rode this highly modified motorcycle on his final speed run at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, United States. On this run, Munro set the land speed record of 296 km/h for a motorcycle under 1000 cc, a record that remains unbroken.

Do electric motorcycles qualify for tax credit? ›

What's the Latest on the Federal Tax Credit for Electric Motorcycles in 2023? The Inflation Reduction Act 2022 was signed into law on August 16th, 2022. This act removes the now-expired federal electric motorcycle tax credit, which would have allowed riders to apply for up to $7,500 in tax credit.

How many Zero Motorcycles have been sold? ›

Zero has sold over 20,000 vehicles that have accumulated over 165,000,000 miles of on-road and off-road experience.

Do Zero Motorcycles have GPS? ›

Further customizations ranging from accelerated charge speed, higher performance and Bosch Advanced Motorcycle Stability Control, turn-by-turn GPS navigation and so much more, all come in the form of on-demand performance and feature upgrades available through the Zero App with the tap of a finger in the Cypher Store.

Which is the top 1 fastest bike? ›

The turbine-powered MTT 420-RR is currently the fastest bike in the world with a top speed of 273 mph (439 km/h).

What are the top 5 fastest bikes? ›

What is the fastest motorcycle in the world?
  • Energica Ego+ RS. Claimed peak power: 171 bhp. ...
  • Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa. Claimed peak power: 187.4 bhp. ...
  • Norton V4 SV. Claimed peak power: 185 bhp. ...
  • MV Agusta Rush. Claimed peak power: 212 bhp. ...
  • Honda Fireblade SP. ...
  • BMW M1000RR. ...
  • MV Agusta Brutale 1000 Nürburgring. ...
  • Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory.

What car has the fastest 1 4 mile time? ›

The current carwow drag race king is the Rimac Nevera, a bonkers electric hypercar from Croatia. It has four electric motors, an insane 1,914hp and it's done the standing quarter mile in 8.6 seconds.

Do you let off the gas when shifting gears on a motorcycle? ›

The shifting process requires you to close off the throttle while shifting so you're not giving gas to the engine. You pull in the clutch lever to disengage the clutch and then use the toe shifter to select the gear you want.

Does clutchless shifting damage the transmission motorcycle? ›

Clutchless shifting is exactly what it sounds like: It means switching gears without utilizing the lever on the left bar. It's a pretty common practice on upshifts, can work with downshifts, and, if done correctly, won't hurt your transmission one bit.

Should you leave your motorcycle in neutral? ›

If you drive a shift car, do you park it in neutral? When you park your bike it MUST be in 1st gear all the time, even if the ground is level. That is to ensure it never moves while you are not on it. There is no exception to that rule.

What is the 2 second rule motorcycle? ›

To use the rule, drivers should allow the vehicle in front to pass a fixed object such as a lamp post or road sign then count to two seconds. If they reach two seconds before reaching the reference marker they need to drop back. The picture below shows how intimidating it can be when someone is driving too close.

Should you store your motorcycle with a full tank of gas? ›

Empty gas tanks can rust while your motorcycle is in storage over the winter. Fill the gas tank about 90% full and add a fuel stabilizer to reduce the possibility of damage.

Should I disconnect my motorcycle battery when not in use? ›

If you are not going to use your battery for several weeks or months, remove it from your motorcycle. Store it in a safe, warm, and dry place.

What does the power tank do on a Zero motorcycle? ›

The Charge Tank “refuels” up to six times faster than a standard wall outlet, adding up to 85 miles of city range in an hour using standard Level 2 charge stations. Whether charging, riding, or storing a Zero for a long winter, the motorcycle's operating system is the “brains” behind it all.

Are zero motorcycles fast? ›

But it's MUCH faster. If you crank the throttle on a Zero SR/F, you can pull a 0-60 mph (0-98 km/h; basically 0-100 km/h) in 1.57 seconds according to Cycle World's tests on street tyres!

What was the range of the zero? ›

Regardless, Zero advertises its bike as having a city range of 223 miles and a highway range of 112 miles.

How much does a zero FX cost? ›

When did the zero become obsolete? ›

The Zero played an important role in almost every Japanese naval action, from Pearl Harbor to the Japanese surrender in 1945. Even though it was obsolete after 1943, the aircraft continued in production until the end of the war.

Are Zero Motorcycles Made in the USA? ›

Zero Motorcycles Inc. is an American manufacturer of electric motorcycles. Formerly called Electricross, it was founded in 2006 by Neal Saiki, a former NASA engineer, in Santa Cruz, California. The company is now located nearby in Scotts Valley.

Is Zero Motorcycles owned by Polaris? ›

WITH POLARIS. We're thrilled to announce a historic partnership with Polaris, the world's number one Powersports brand. This exclusive partnership is the largest deal in our history, and truly a watershed moment for us as a company.

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