2018 electric motorcycle buyers guide

2018 Zero SR electric motorcycle

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The variety of electric motorcycles on the market has increased dramatically in 2018, and we’ve seen some significant price drops by two competitive brands.

Both Alta Motors and Energica cut the prices of their bikes significantly, bringing them closer to being cost-competitive with their gas-powered counterparts.

Zero Motorcycles continues to improve its entire lineup, this year with a 10-percent increase in range and a 6-kilowatt faster charging option for its bigger bikes. 

DON’T MISS: Harley invests in Alta Motors, makes progress on electric motorcycle

This guide is focused on electric motorcycles available to buy in the U.S. Many companies outside the States make electric two-wheeled vehicles, but they are not included because they are not sold here.

China has, by far, the largest two-wheeled market in the world, but it mainly focuses on electric scooters, while we cover highway-legal motorcycles. Chinese bikes and knockoffs are not included here.

Because many companies claim to offer “production” bikes though we have yet to see them in the hands of customers, we have categorized offerings into On Sale Now, Rare Availability, or Concept bikes.

We’ve highlighted a few electric concept bikes because they’re made by internationally recognized motorcycle brands.

2018 Zero SR electric motorcycle

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2018 Zero SR

$16,500  – 14.4 kwh   – 179 miles – 1.3-kw charger (120V) – 70 hp – 116 ft-lbs – 414 lbs

$19,400 – 18 kwh – 223 miles – 1.3-kw charger (120V) – 70 hp – 116 ft-lbs – 458 lbs

Strong torque and large battery options give the SR an advantage over every other available electric motorcycle. 

The base battery of the Zero SR gets a 10-percent increase this year, from 13 kwh to 14.4 kwh, and the optional power tank adds another 3.6 kwh for a whopping 18 kwh. This is literally two to three times the battery capacity of the 2012 Zero S bike, which was considered a breakthrough at the time. 

The SR comes standard with Pirelli Rosso II tires, Bosch ABS, and Showa Suspension, which give it a smooth ride and confident braking. With the optional 6-kw “charge tank” it can be fully recharged in just a couple of hours.

2018 Zero S electric motorcycle

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2018 Zero S

$11,000    – 7.2 kwh   – 89mi – 1.3-kw charger (120V) – 34 hp – 78 ft-lbs – 313lbs

$14,000    – 13 kwh – 161mi – 1.3-kw charger (120V) – 60 hp – 81 ft-lbs – 408lbs

$16,700    – 16.6 kwh – 206mi – 1.3-kw charger (120V) – 60 hp – 81 ft-lbs – 452lbs

The Zero S is the more affordable standard version of the SR, though it shares that bike’s suspension, brakes, and tires, and offers three battery capacities or the faster charge-tank option that allows it to be charged at 6 kw.

CHECK OUT: 2018 Zero electric motorcycles: longer range, 6-kw charging, only a few price hikes

2018 Zero DSR electric motorcycle

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2018 Zero DSR

$16,000  – 14.4 kwh   – 163 mi – 1.3-kw charger (120V) – 70 hp – 116 ft-lbs – 419lbs

$18,700 – 18 kwh – 204 mi – 1.3-kw charger (120V) – 70 hp – 116 ft-lbs – 463lbs

The Zero DSR also offers the highest-capacity battery options for excellent range or trip flexibility with faster 6-kw charging. It’s an excellent option for Dual Sport riders or for taller riders who want a high seat height. 

As in other Zero models, Showa suspension and Bosch ABS keep the ride smooth both off-road and on, and it comes equipped with Pirelli MT-60 tires. 

The ABS can be switched off when leaving paved roads, however, for consistent braking performance in uneven terrain.

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