Electric motorcycle DSR/X from America comes onto the market

Dhe Etna, the mighty and still active volcano, holds its otherwise often steaming breath. A few travel enduro bikes cavort on its slopes at altitudes between about 550 and 1600 meters. That happens more often. But different: Then a Ducati Multistrada thunders a rumbling one bmw R 1250 GS ahead or a high-revving KTM 890 Adventure. On this day it is comparatively quiet. The plastic drive belts hum, and of course the medium-treaded Pirelli Scorpion Trail II tires roll audibly. But instead of the usual engine noise, a buzzing can be heard.

The motorcycles, each weighing 247 kilos and developing a good 100 hp, are powered by an electric motor and therefore carry an 81-kilo, 17.3-kWh battery pack in their space frame. They accelerate when they are supposed to, vehemently. So far, so remarkable: With the DSR/X, Zero Motorcycles is introducing a new model that hardly anyone would have expected.

Electric motorcycles are still rare, electric travel enduros even more so. Batteries and long-distance routes don’t really go together given the limited installation space on two wheels, which is why we keep hearing from well-known manufacturers that something like this is far from on the horizon. Zero sees it differently, as the DSR/X proves. Incidentally, the Italian manufacturer Energica was on the market a few weeks earlier with its crossover model Experia: 222 kilometers standard range in mixed operation, 22.5 kWh battery, 60 kW motor, weight 260 kilos. A surprise no doubt, albeit from a small niche player.

Zero has had a steep learning curve

Zero is certainly more relevant. The American company has been on the market since 2006 and in Germany since 2009. The first Zeros seemed very awkward, initially equipped with bicycle components. But those days are over, Zero has had a steep learning curve. The latest, smartly designed models, the SR/S and SR/F, caused quite a stir, both intended for road use only. And now? “The category of adventure sport bikes is the most important of all,” says Zero’s European boss Umberto Uccelli.

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