Zero Motorcycle Upgrades Can Now Be Unlocked Like a Video Game

Instant enhancements via app is just one of a few big steps forward for the brand.

zero
Zero Motorcycles

Zero Motorcycles — the world’s leading electric motorcycle maker — made a few big announcements yesterday, including a breakthrough new battery and an accessible new bike. And yet our biggest takeaway after attending the presentation in Manhattan was the fact that, through its new Cypher Store, you can essentially upgrade your motorcycle at the touch of a button.

Here’s a quick recap of the highlights. Feel free to decide for yourself which is most compelling.

The Battery Got Better

zero motorcycles
Zero Motorcycles

The brand has somehow managed to pack 20 percent more energy into its largest Z-Force lithium ion batteries. The two standard capacities are 14.4+ kWh and 15.6+ kWh, with both being “upgradeable” to 17.3 kWh (more on that later). The 14.4+ kWh one will come with the standard 2022 SR/S and SR/F as well as the all new 2022 SR (more on that later too). The 15.6+ kWh one will feature in premium editions of the SR/S and SR/F. With the optional Power Tank, you’ll have nearly 21 kWh of onboard juice.

What’s all that translate to? An industry-leading 227 miles/365 km of city range and 113 miles/182 km at 70 mph. That’s a healthy jump over existing Zero bikes, which top out at 201 miles of city range.

The Store Is a Paradigm Shifter

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Zero Motorcycles
zero
Zero Motorcycles

We wanted to save this news for last, but it kinda makes more sense to discuss in this order. Basically, Zero has a new Cypher Store (accessible online and via app) that completely rethinks how you can upgrade your bike. Not only can you boost your battery, as mentioned above, but also you can unlock a whole host of features made possible through the Cypher III+ operating system. As the headline of this store hints, the process is rather similar to a video game where you can unlock new abilities and weapons for your character as you progress. (It has been a while since we actually played a video game, but you get the idea.)

Here’s an initial list of tweaks that will be rolled out by the spring of 2022: faster charging, extender range, speed and performance boosts, park mode, heated grips and on-dash navigation. We are hearing that in park mode, you’ll be able to more delicately ease your bike into any spot — with, yes, reverse. Zero says all these upgrades are optional for the 2022 SR/S, SR/F, and SR, with more features and compatibility to come in down the road. Talk about a paradigm shift.

At least, that’s what Zero CEO Sam Paschel calls it, and it’s pretty hard to argue with him. What this development sets up is a situation where loads of digital-based upgrades to your bike are just built in — you simply need to splash the cash to snag them (or in some cases subscribe to them). It’s a pretty dramatic rethinking of how such things work — and a fascinating business move, too. We will be interested to see how customers respond — and how long it is before some hotshot tries to hack it.

The Newest Bike, the 2022 SR, Is an Affordable Throwback

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Zero Motorcycles

Finally, in a nod to the past and the future, Zero is bringing back the original street moto, the SR, but with upgrades all over the place. The idea is to deliver a premium feel in a more wallet-friendly package — backed by the ZF 75-10 motor, roaring to spin up 122 ft-lb of torque, 74 hp, and a top speed of 104 mph. Building on one we discussed in the last section, you’ll have the option through the store to boost performance and speed, as well as the battery — together with the Power Tank lifting it to the aforementioned 21 kWh. You can also charge it using the public EV charging network. At a base price of $17,995, the new SR is $2,000 cheaper than the SR/S and $3,500 cheaper than the SR/F.

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