Zero DS: 125 seconds too robust for teenagers

At a speed of 100 km / h as the VW Golf GTI. More powerful than Suzuki Hayabusa. Automatic throttle response like a BMW 1000. Would you push something like that under your 16-year-old’s ass on the way to school?
Oh yeah, don’t be afraid of the police – insanity is legal, here in Zero DS form. It belongs to the EU type fog-obscured electric motorcycles that test how much smoke is actually on the rear wheel. Charming or dangerous?

With 180 Nm, the Zero has more torque than the Honda Goldwing 1800.


Johan, our photo driver, is the proud owner of an A1 driver’s license, so he can move all kinds of 15 horse 125s, and he has his own Aprilia, which he uses on and off-road. So the boy screams to put the very quiet and extremely powerful zero through his steps.

Zero DS is annoyingly fast

However, neither Johan nor the test crew from AUTO BILD MOTORRAD expected what happened soon after the start: The DS sprints forward like a burnt seed – which is also subjected to a 400-volt electric shock.

If she gives her mate a warm one from the start, she starts eating an annoying bite shortly thereafter. Up to about 140 km/h, the Zero blasts forward with force and violence. Above all, the pulling power is impressive. End of town, full throttle – at this point the 600 becomes a common little machine in the rearview mirror.

The torque at the rear wheel is so enormous that great care must be taken when driving on wet roads: even with moderate acceleration, the grip can break and the motorcycle, weighing 187 kilograms, can turn into a rear sway.

Zero DS

The battery is charged via a Schuko plug that is neatly sunk into the frame.


A newly changed four-stroke enduro 125 takes roughly 20 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h. The Zero does this about three times faster with the right wrist slightly twisted. Our test crew researched and found an explanation on the power scale: 56 HP, 180 Nm of torque! Classification in the 15-horsepower category is justified only on paper.

Zero with extra electric kick

AUTO BILD MOTORRAD is following up with the manufacturer. We want to know under what conditions the massive power of the Zero DS is throttled, when it turns out to be the class-standard performance of the 125cc. Answer: “In principle, one can say that if the engine or battery temperature is too high or the charge level is too low, the performance will be throttled.”
This is worded rather vaguely and indicates that the maximum power of 56 hp specified on the test bench is available in most situations! (Bike Innovations for 2022)

This does not seem illegal. According to Regulation No. 85 UN/ECE, the classified continuous force is only relevant to the legal classification (registration and driver’s license class). The legislator understands that the rated continuous power is the maximum power that the engine can withstand for a period of 30 minutes. Zero announces the extra electric kick aggressively.

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The DS 11 kW offers “an exceptional riding experience in its class and absolute excitement. It doesn’t matter if you are a novice driver or you are back in motorcycling”.

A disingenuous statement, after all, there are 16-year-olds and B196 license holders in this segment, and they don’t even have to take a test.

Highest version with a range of 229 km

Even without the impressive performance numbers, the Zero is a truly full-featured motorcycle. The upright sitting position on the ergonomically shaped saddle is also suitable for long rides. Here the range is rather limited – the Zero promises up to 191 kilometers for the base model, and the version with the highest battery power (additional 3,699 euros) should be at 229 kilometers.
We managed to reach an average of 140 kilometers. As much as possible in the city run. The speed and all other information is easy to read in the spacious cockpit, and a smartphone app helps manage charging or adjust performance characteristics. This is done cleverly and clearly organized.
Zero DS

“Tension, speed, fun – that’s all it takes,” says 17-year-old driver Johann.


The American motorcycle’s workmanship is also pleasant otherwise, everything is meticulously assembled, and the materials are decent. There are also clever details like the charging socket in the frame or the cable compartment in the dummy tank.

This is how it should be, given the purchase price of the test machine of about 19,000 euros. That’s how much three full adventure bikes like the Benelli TRK 502 cost. Another reason the Zero isn’t actually for the road to school.

Specifications and price: Zero DS

engine permanent magnet machine
Batteries tray 7.2 kWh
continuous force 11 kW (15 hp) at 3800 rpm
maximal agitation 109 N
summit 139 km/h
Tires v./h. 100 / 90-19 / 130 / 80-17
seat height 843 mm
curb weight 187 kg
includes 98 km
price From 17,040 EUR

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