Our colleague Andrew Thijssen from BMS-E Motorrijder was invited by Dutch Zero dealer Electric Motorbikes Nederland to test the new Zero DSR/X and was so kind to send his first thoughts about this new adventure bike from Zero Motorcycles.
Andrew: “Don’t let the name fool you, the DSR/X is Zero’s first true adventure bike and has no resemblance to the DSR dualsport we already know. The new electric adventure follows Zero’s sporty SRS line. The frame of the SRS is somewhat heavier for this and forms the basis of the DSR/X. An adventure with sporty DNA.”
The DSR/X is equipped with a 17.3 kWh battery, longer suspension travel and off-road tuned traction control / ABS. The whole thing is powered by Zero’s air-cooled Z-Force 75-10X engine. The new ZF 17.3 kWh battery produced in-house gives the DSR/X a range of 290 km in urban kilometers. A distance of 140 km is possible on the highway. When you combine highway and B-roads, the range is +/- 185 km. The DSR/X is standard equipped with an AC 6 kW internal charger.
The DSR/X is fully geared to its adventure task. This consists of an adjustable 47 mm Showa SFF-BP front fork and at the rear you will find a piggy-back shock absorber. The suspension travel is 190 mm both front and rear. The cast front wheel is a 19-inch one and the rear is a 17-inch wheel. The DSX/R is mounted on Pirelli Scorpion Trail II tires. Die-hard dirt riders can also opt for wire spoke wheels and Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tires.
The carbon drive belt is slightly wider and 2.5 times stronger than the one on the SR/S. The power is transferred to the rear wheel via this belt in a very controlled manner. You can choose from a handful of riding modes: Standard, Sport, Rain, Eco, Canyon – plus different combinations with the traction control and ABS. The traction control and ABS can be turned off completely.
The DSR /X has become a hefty motorcycle with a seat height of 828 mm where you sit “in” the motorcycle. The DSR/X therefore feels lower compared to a motorcycle you are “on top of it”. This also makes it easier for smaller riders to get their feet on the ground. The wheelbase is 1525mm and a 50/50 weight distribution means the bike feels predictable and balanced. The fully adjustable Showa suspension feels a bit stiff with the factory settings. Especially the compression damping seems a bit too hard set.
Acceleration is obviously fastest in Sport mode where regenerative braking is minimal. The acceleration is what we already knew from this Zero powertrain … very fast …
Canyon mode is the most regenerating mode and can also be adjusted in strength via the Zero app. Add to this the regeneration when you use the friction brakes and you get a lot of energy back on a descent. The Eco mode is more than powerful enough for normal use. The smooth power delivery and powerful regenerative braking make driving relaxed with hardly any use of your brakes.
The braking power is provided by J.Juan brakes (a division of Brembo). At the front are twin discs with radially mounted 4-piston calipers. At the rear a single disc with a floating caliper mounted. We can be brief about these brakes, excellent and easy to dose.
In short corners you obviously feel that you are dealing with a big motorcycle, but the DSR/X takes these tight corners, thanks in part to the ever-present torque, with ease and neutral steering. Fast taking curves are the favorites of the DSR/X, with the gently screeching turbine-like electric motor in the background, the DSR/X makes light work of successive turns. The seating position is comfortable for an adventure bike, but this ride was too short to comment on the comfort on longer rides. More on that next time. The TFT dashboard is well-arranged and was easy to read during the ride in clear weather. The operation of the button work and changing modes is largely known to the SRS / F riders.
Andrew Thijssen: “The Zero DSXR is an electric motorbike that meets an adventure in 2022 in terms of appearance and finish. The first short trips that I have ridden with the DSR/X give a good impression about the handling on public roads, but it says little about the usability as an adventure bike. More about that after a more extensive test ride.” To be continued.
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