2009 Zero X Electric Dirt Bike

The X, made by Zero motorcycles in Santa Cruz, California is the first real electric competitor to the hydrocarbon breathing world. It has plenty of power, a decent range, and above all, it's quiet and environmentally conscious. With the money saved at the pump and mechanic, it is reasonably priced and can be an alternative for those who want to see the beautiful places, have all the fun, but be able to just walk away with a clear conscience and a full pocketbook.

Full specs and review under ARTICLE tab above.

2009 Zero X Electric
MSRP: $7450-$9450 dep. on version.
23 HP
50 ft. lbs. Torque
151 lbs. Dry Weight
40 miles. Tank

Photos and VIDEO at right .

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By Matt Wessels


F ancy a ride up a beautiful, deserted Colorado Rockies trail in the middle of the week on a silent electric power-house? I did. I met up with the Zero X electric dirt bike at two in the afternoon, and like many other riders out there, doubted it fiercely.

It has two power settings and two acceleration settings. I started out on the most docile of both because I knew an electric motor has 100% power available instantaneously. As I meandered my way into the mountain I found the acceleration to be top-notch, the rear wheel digging in heavily and whooshing me forward, but lacking in top end. So I stopped the bike, turned it off, switched it to top power and top acceleration and turned it back on. Thinking a couple of switches can't make that much of a difference, I twisted the throttle by the same amount as before, and felt the full fury of all 50ft. lbs. of torque pulling me, front wheel in the air, towards the wall of the mountain.

I'm not a trials rider, so straight up wasn't an option. I backed it down, and no longer meandering but thundering (if something so quiet can thunder) up the mountain, throwing the 150lb full-on-moto across this rock, over that jump and down this hill.

Going down hill is another adjustment the rider has to make on this bike. There is absolutely no engine breaking or regenerative charging on this beast, so it's all on the brakes. Fortunately, they’re beefy units - not unlike those on a downhill bicycle - and make great stoppies.

They can lock up the tires quite easily in a panic-brake, so be weary. I eventually stopped, with my heart racing and my breath a fog under my helmet. I leaned the bike up against a tree and just took a moment to enjoy the view.

It hit me then: I just pummeled ten miles of dirt trail with no exhaust smells, no loud pipes, and no fatigue from throwing a heavy bike around. This was new and exciting. I wanted to shout to the world of this cool new toy, but refrained, for the world was beautifully quiet.

Just then, a KTM came screaming by. Its familiar sound suddenly seemed obnoxious to me as it echoed off the canyon walls the rest of my time on the mountain. Now before you start calling me a tree-hugging hippy, let me state for the record that I am a true gear-head. I like the obliterating sound, feel and smell of a V8 with straight headers and pipes. However, at that moment, the sound of that KTM just seemed so out of place.

Eventually, with only one bar of the six-bar battery LED-meter extinguished, I switched the "acceleration" switch to "easy,” with the power switch still on full blast and headed back down the trail. This is the setting you want. A wonderfully modular feel with great control and total go-go juice available.

On the way up, the suspension didn't strike me as out of place, but as I was leaning on the bars on the way down and really giving the brakes a good workout, I realized I'm about 50 pounds too light for this bike.

Zero X Electric Dirt Bike

Zero X Electric Dirt Bike

With 50ft. lbs. of torque, this quiet, under-the-radar electric dirt bike can sneak up and lay down some serious fun.



Zero X Electric Dirt BikeZero X Electric Dirt BikeZero X Electric Dirt BikeZero X Electric Dirt BikeZero X Electric Dirt BikeZero X Electric Dirt BikeZero X Electric Dirt Bike
Zero X Electric Dirt BikeZero X Electric Dirt BikeZero X Electric Dirt BikeZero X Electric Dirt Bike

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