Patrick Lange from auto motor und sport: Even if I wanted to call it “healthy respect”, perhaps the first feeling in light of the task at hand would be fear. So I’m supposed to do some stretching with a surprisingly strong motorbike. The Zero S flops a bit in the system for my traveler profile – about 65 kilometers lie between the sofa and the office chair. But above all, there is one thing between me and Zero: stress. Finally, I still consider myself a beginner with two wheels and this e-bike is more powerful than anything I’ve come into contact with since getting my B196 license. How could it be? Well, with an e-bike, a continuous output of 11 kW is adequate. However, the peak performance is much higher.
Dusk has already fallen when I park my car in front of a car wash to remove the desert dust that has rained recently. The phone rings and Krachmar’s pretty face appears on the screen. “Dude, the thing is going like a low seed. I’ve ridden a lot, but that’s really a surprise,” he says happily about the first lap on the powered test rig. “Great!” I’m lying, I’m already thinking about paying off my life insurance.
3.1 kilo hp
We meet at the editorial office the next day and I can check out the electric motorcycle live for the first time. Looks elegant, scratch. Sharp edges and sporty stripes. The gray slate under the handlebars extends to two pointed ends in the wind. Beneath it is what I consider a fat body. Everything I’ve called so far as part of my B196 driver’s license has been more reserved. Especially when it comes to performance. It’s not like 11kW sweeps me out of the saddle, but I still have a lot of respect for riding two wheels. This is twice less than normal for me. And the fact that the equivalent of 59 peak horses sleeps here makes a sense of nausea. After all, you’ve driven cars with less power. However, none of them weighed only 185 kg.
“You can really feel the power when you accelerate a little more from 70 to 80 km/h in Sport mode,” Krachmar sums up reflectively. I remember my Duke at driving school was already running out. We set out to produce the pictures in the sunny Stuttgart region. I follow the entourage first into the car and let what I hear and see sink in. The good weather and the enthusiasm of my colleague make my fingers tremble after all. Feel a little A-rag – why not?
I start hesitantly in the economy mode, but immediately note: the sitting position suits me (1.75 meters) very well and after a few meters I feel like a real motorcyclist. Even oncoming drivers greet me, I see with satisfaction. Apparently, with a Zero S like this, the community takes you seriously. I still act cautiously with my right hand, because even with the slightest rotation, you can feel that there are dormant energy reserves here that I have not yet dealt with.
Only on my way home do I dare to switch into sport mode and my fear gradually turns into excitement. Share, pay the planer! Among all the federal highway commuters, I don’t feel like a traffic jam. After turning into winding country roads with little traffic, I finally tasted full of blood. The trust relationship between man and machine grows with every meter, and zero stability gives me the necessary confidence. Quiet jogging, lack of palpitations and even bumps in the country asphalt do not bother the car. Neither do I, by the way.
I have to go again
When I get home, I give the e-bike to my wife (who has an A driver’s licence), who has been teasing me for a year that I have a kids’ motorcycle licence. “It looks like a real motorcycle,” she says approvingly. She reads my expression and rolls her eyes. “You want to go again, right?” yes i will. In childish anticipation, I throw my, ah, my bag, into a corner and shoot away.
What follows is—yes, I dare call it—hunting through the radii of Krachau’s mountainous landscape. The Zero climbs meter after meter effortlessly as the other 125s are already begging for mercy. In the back of my mind, I always have the certainty that there is more power sleeping under me if necessary. I treat myself to a good hour so that the battery gradually begins to demand charging. Somewhat elated, I texted my colleague Krachmar: “Dude, this is really fun. I even passed two slow cars!” His answer impresses me: “Now you are a motorcyclist. Welcome, brother.” Thanks, feels the same way.
Not just a fun device
Jens Krachmar from motorradonline.de: I knew. I am above average. on my way. On average, every German traveled 16.91 kilometers one way to work and home in 2019. For me, the distance is more than four times greater: it’s 73 kilometers from my garage door to the parking lot of the publishing house. Electric mobility on two wheels without rails is attractive. Only: with what? All things electric scooters with a wheel hub motor for the city are useless in the country, as Seat Mó has proven in passenger testing. Next step: Zero S at 11 kW. With this continued performance on record, fellow motorsport and sporting partner Patrick Lang Strömer drives legally with his B196 driver’s license and once again offers the right mobility partner. And I’m still happy with about 59 hp at peak and 109 Nm from revolution 1.
The 11 kW version of the Zero S is only suitable to a limited extent as a pure fun device for the home road, because the motorcycle, which costs close to 17,000 euros, lacks little in terms of chassis, brakes, tires, equipment and feel. The chassis runs extremely rugged and has a somewhat hectic mileage with only 80mm of trail the tires were only excellent in the carburetor era, good brakes from the lower price range, the digital cockpit can come from the ’90s and the contrast between coffee breaks and charging performance is amazing . In general, this does not match the price. The charging tank increases the tendency to vibrate as it is installed close to the steering head.
The main argument in favor of the Zero S 11 kW, whether I could drain the battery on my commute and whether the purchase was worthwhile given the running costs, can be read in the more detailed version of my explanation on motoradonline. de.
Summary by Jens Krachmar: The Zero S impressively proves two things. First, electricity works very well in the premium segment. As a 125, the S is a very mature motorcycle. And secondly, there is an urgent need for state support for electric mobility on two wheels. If the Zero is backed by €10,000, I would personally encourage buying it, because the S is a motorcycle for €9,000 in terms of price/performance ratio. Only for this unsubsidized zero will not be paid or the development of great electronic technology. Olaf Schulz, Christian Lindner, Robert Habeck and Volker Wesing, there you go, it’s your turn now.
Patrick Lange summary: Once the initial fear of performance data subsides, the Zero S is not only a convenient passenger car in the garage, but also invites you to a pleasant ride. Thanks to the unscrupulous electric motor. Thanks to its price with a sensitive hole in the family budget. Funding, at the request of a fellow motorcyclist, would make sense. After all, electric cars were primarily intended for solvent idealists in their early days. The path to mass appeal largely depends on the price. Zero S has already been demonstrated to be what the customer expects from a purely technical point of view.