2015 Zero S: A Different Kind of Two-Wheeled Experience | DOIN' TIME

Another eBike first-timer takes off on our Zero S test bike.

GUEST WRIST: Spenser Robert
MSRP (2015): $17,840 (as tested)
MILES: 1,310
MPG: Not a concern!
MODS: None

Ever since the long-term 2015 Zero S arrived in the Motorcyclist garage, it's a bike that I have been keeping a close eye on. Like any good millennial, I can't help but get a little titillated at the prospect of using some expensive, cutting-edge, piece of technology. In this case, a $17,840 motorcycle powered by electricity that connects to my smartphone? Don't mind if I do.

I had never ridden an eBike prior to this model, so aside from a dash of skepticism I absorbed from some of my colleagues' comments, I had no real expectations either way. With that in mind, I was immediately impressed with the snappy power of the Zero the first time I cracked the throttle. Perhaps it's because of how silently the motor whirrs, or maybe it's the lack of clutch and gearbox, but my first ride on the Zero gave me an experience unlike anything I had ever experienced on two wheels before.

The bike is so smooth and so effortless that it felt more like I was floating over the ground than riding on top of it. That being said, after spending a few days on the Zero I was quickly made aware of its shortcomings. Things I would normally do, like visiting a friend’s house overnight or running errands all day, are quickly accompanied by thoughts of hunting for a power outlet and nightmares of getting stranded on the freeway. While the range of the current Zero models has been greatly improved, it’s still the amount of time required to recharge the batteries that acts as the greatest burden.

But, at the end of the day, I have to applaud Zero on making a bike that provides a totally different kind of two-wheeled experience. Even with all its compromises, I’ve never felt like more of a science-fiction movie star than when I’m silently gliding through traffic aboard this nimble machine. Would it be the first bike I bought with $18,000? No, probably not. Amazingly, though, it’s not that far behind.