Source: press release Zero Motorcycles | One hundred years ago, the first recipient of the Maudes Trophy was Norton Motorcycles. The award is given to motorcycle manufacturers who successfully complete observed endurance challenges. Zero is the 11th manufacturer to achieve this feat and the first to do so without using petrol as a source of power.
Seven riders battled the elements to ride the bikes in shifts, including the National Motorcyclists Council’s Craig Carey-Clinch, former racer Curt Langan and bike journalist Martin Fitz-Gibbons. The remaining team members were staff from authorised Zero dealerships: Andy Dalton from Wheels Motorcycles, Matthew Drew from J&M Electrobikes and Macauley Perkins and Ben Grayson from The Bike Sanctuary.
Craig Carey-Clinch added: “In such extreme cold weather conditions, team working was vital to the success of the ride and every member played a key part in what was a grueling ride at times. I started the challenge with an open mind about the capability of electric motorcycles on long distance journeys, but the DSR/Xs performed very well considering the extreme cold. However, when it comes to infrastructure for riders, much more needs to be done by public authorities if they want to encourage a switch to ePTWs. It’s not that charging facilities are rare, the opposite in fact, but that many have no facilities or shelter for riders waiting off their bikes. This is a matter the NMC will look in to further.”
Departing from Lands End on a Wednesday morning, a group of seven riders took turns riding two all-electric Zero DSR/X motorcycles on a daring challenge to test the practicality and effectiveness of electric bikes, as well as the availability of charging stations in the UK. The first day went smoothly as they reached their first destination, Lowestoft, the easternmost point of Britain. However, the journey north to Edinburgh proved to be difficult as temperatures dropped and heavy snow fell. Despite the harsh conditions, the team persevered, though at a slower pace, and eventually arrived in the freezing Scottish capital in the wee hours of the morning.
The challenge came to an end on Friday, as the team rode through Cumbria and entered North Wales. They reached the last checkpoint in Holyhead in the middle of the day. After that, they covered another 100 miles to get to Liverpool, where they were presented with the ACU’s highly-regarded Maudes Trophy before the FIM Awards ceremony at the city’s convention center.
Speaking after the challenge Dale Robinson, Zero Motorcycles’ UK Country Manager, said: “Wow, what a ride and much more an endurance of man than machine. The bikes performed faultlessly but the biggest challenge was for the riders, riding in sub-zero conditions. They stuck to the task with great dedication and not one gave up, when they could have been forgiven for doing so.
“Aside from the honour of winning this prestigious award, it has been an excellent opportunity for all involved to learn more about riding electric motorcycles in extreme conditions. Potential customers are often asking questions about touring and riding in cold temperatures. Our dealers now have first-hand experience, riding in conditions no Zero owner is likely to ever find themselves in, and we have been able to prove our product in these most challenging conditions. It feels fitting to be the first EV company to win this trophy, and 100 years after it was first awarded. Electric motorcycles are no longer the future but a viable proposition for many riders today.”
Pictures: Zero Motorcycles
Zero’s Maudes Trophy challenge was supported by a number of UK partners, including Lexham Insurance, Pirelli, Moto Novo Finance, Pidcock Motorcycles, Oakley Motorcycles, J&M Electrobikes, Wheels Motorcycles, Cradley Kawasaki, JPB Signs and Magnet Motos.