14° post”Zippy electric motorcycle comes at a price”

The Zero S electric motorcycle is impressive, but be careful with the throttle–it accelerates superfast from a standing start–and keep in mind that it weighs only 225 pounds.

Those are the initial observations of this first-time rider, who took the street model made by Santa Cruz, Calif.-based Zero Motorcycles out for a spin.

It’s an odd feeling to twist the throttle and feel the powerful acceleration (62.5 pound-feet of torque) and still hear no sound except a slight clanking from the chain, not yet lubricated on this pre-production vehicle. Making tight turns is a little tricky, as there’s no clutch (and no gears). But once you get used to it, it’s just like an ordinary street motorcycle.

That’s the point. In contrast with Zero’s earlier off-road model Zero X, which is not intended for road use, Zero S is made for daily use, such as commuting or making trips up to 60 miles, which is the maximum range on a single charge (complete charging takes 4 hours on 110 volts).

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