Zero Motorcycles has released images and specs on its line of 2015 electric motorcycles, and all four models show substantial upgrades over their already-impressive 2014 counterparts.
The most urgent news, for those who've tested or considered buying a motorcycle from the Santa Cruz-based company, is the improvement in braking in suspension.
All new Zero models will come standard with Bosch ABS brakes and adjustable Showa suspension.
Also, improved battery performance means increased range on the Zero S, Zero SR and Zero DS. When paired with the company's Power Tank accessory, the company says, the Zero S now claims a range of 185 miles of city riding - the longest range ever offered on a production electric motorcycle, Zero says.
The suspension improvement may be most noticeable on the Zero FX, the brand's dual sport model, which I felt, on earlier rides, needed something beefier and more tunable.
The bikes four models all come standard with Pirelli tires. Also, the S, SR and DS come with a 5-year of 100,000 mile battery warranty, as does the FX with 5 years or 50,000 miles.
The Zero S and DS start at $13,345, the Zero FX at $9,845, and the top of the line SR at $17,345.
The company is enjoying healthy growth, says Zero's Scot Harden. Sales and revenue for 2014 are double levels for 2013, and the line's dealership network has expanded to include distribution partners in Germany, Spain, Norway, Israel, Australia, Dubai and more.
More than 60% of total sales are in the U.S., and as many as a third of those are in California -- thanks in part to the efforts of Los Angeles retailer Hollywood Electrics, which is Zero's number-one outlet.
But increased sales are also due to new law enforcement partnerships. Harden says more than 30 police departments, fire departments, university campus security forces and other entities have purchased Zeros. Representatives of the U.S. military are testing units now.
Harden says the privately-held company doesn't release sales figures, though he does identify the SR and FX as the company's most popular models, accounting for 60% of total sales.
He also says Zero isn't quite working to capacity, which would be the rate of 12,000 bikes a year.
Production of the 2015 models begins mid-November. The first models will be in showrooms by mid-December, says Harden, and will please veteran Zero users and Zero critics.
"We've been listening to the marketplace, and we ride ourselves," Harden says. "The new bikes are a significant improvement."
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