Dsr / X, the electric motorcycle ready for adventure

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FROM THE ENROLLED TO CATANIA. Glide through the curves. Skewer the straights. Go through the woods. Without noise. Zero. How Zero Motorcyclesthe Californian company that produces Dsr / X, adventure version of the road DSR with emission-free engine presented four years ago. In the world of electric, four years are almost a geological era. And the improvements can be seen. The driving pleasure it does not make one regret its cousins ​​with cylinders and pistons, not even the most noble ones. And then, there is the desire to move in (almost) absolute silence. The only concession to noise is a hiss that grows with increasing speed. I know, this is not a good business card for everyone. But there is good news for lovers of mufflers: there are already computer geeks who have created software to give an “old generation” voice to the engines of the future.

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How it is made
Everything revolves around the Z-Force 75-10X enginewith a power of 100 hp it’s a torque of 225 Nmpowered by a 17.3 kWh battery. And it is precisely the batteries that represent the major conditioning for the architecture and design of electric motorcycles. But the DSR / X is the demonstration of the progress made by Zero Motorcycles in the 16 years of activity. The line is streamlined, with the front part characterized by an arrow-shaped dome, with a sort of mouth where the lights are set. The windshield is adjustable in various positions through a double ring on the sides, with a knurled surface to allow maneuvering even when wearing gloves.

Zero Motorcycles’ DSR / X challenges maxienduros

The fairing is two-tone: the upper part is painted (the colors are “pearl white” and “sage green”), the lower one black. And it is precisely in the “cheeks” of the unpainted fairing that two are hidden storage compartments closed with Torx screws (the key is supplied), suitable for storing objects of infrequent use, such as the first aid kit or the compressor to regulate tire pressure. The front wheel is 19-inch, the brakes are a double front disc and a single rear disc, integrated with the battery regeneration system.

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The dashboard is characterized by a digital display, complete and clearly visible in any light condition. The controls on the knobs (equipped with hand guards) are reduced to the essentials, but allow you to control all the functions. Including the heated grips, the cruise control and reversea must that very few cousins ​​with an internal combustion engine can boast.

Not using fuel, the tank acts as a glove box, with key lock on the upper right side of the opening. The capacity is not enough to accommodate a helmet, but it is in the shape of a cockpit and allows you to accommodate small carriers and backpacks. On the crescent closest to the steering column there is another flap, with opening in the opposite direction to the glove compartment: it is the coupling point for the vehicle charging socket. The bike is equipped with i level 1 and 2 magazinesbeing able to take advantage of the 6.6 Kw integrated fast charging system (at the columns, the charging time is two and a half hours).

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The saddle is in one piece, but on two levels and the manufacturer has provided three levels of heights (80, 82 and 84 centimeters), sufficient to meet the needs of most motorcyclists. The weight of 247 kilos seems like a huge amount, but it disappears as soon as the wheels begin to move. The transmission takes place via a carbon belt, a material capable of withstanding the stresses of a very high torque such as that of the DSR / X.

The tail is cantilevered, with a light and brake light placed between the mudguard and the luggage rack plate. The DSR / X is designed to have various options, also dedicated to touring, such as oversized windshield, additional lights, crash bars, side bags (with frame) and rear case. There is also the possibility of giving up some storage compartments to insert the Power Tank (increases the battery capacity up to almost 21 kWh) or with the Rapid Charger, to reduce the charging time to about an hour.

In addition to these “physical” customizations, there are the virtual ones allowed by the Cypher III + operating system, compatible with the Zero Motorcycles mobile application: from speed regulation, to torque regulation, to battery regeneration functions. The company has limited the speed to 180 kilometers per hour, with a large margin compared to the provisions of the highway code in almost all countries of the world.

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How are you
The test took place in Sicily, on slopes of Etna, in a distance of 70 kilometers (63 on asphalt and 7 off-road), with temperatures between 22 and 27 degrees. The DSR / X was equipped with tires Pirelli Scorpion Trail IImainly devoted to touring on asphalt, but who also worked well on more or less beaten earth, the loose stones and large “carpets” of volcanic ash.

The bike runs smoothly in any situation. There easy handling it seems even superior to that of the DSR, which already conveyed a good feeling. Zero’s engineers have done a great job on managing the electronics, which also benefits from the full suite of Bosh Motorcycle Stability Controls. On the road, it goes down well when cornering and is easy to set up when changing direction in tight mixed terrain. If anything, we must avoid letting ourselves be carried away, because the power comes all immediately and acceleration leaves you amazed. In release, as in all electric vehicles, the engine brake is greater than the endothermic engine. With the mapping Street (standard driving, middle way between Eco and Sport), it is possible to drive while having fun using almost never pedal and lever to “clamp” the discs.

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In off-roading, the situation is still improving, especially for the less experienced. The rider has to concentrate only on the throttle, not having to manage the gearbox. And with the Canyon mapping, the power damping combined with the engine brake management allow you to work almost only with the throttle. The front suspension and rear swingarm (manual adjustment) absorb the roughness of the ground very well.

The controls on the handlebar are easy to reach, with the exception of the lever for activating the emergency flashing light, located just below the “trigger” for flashing with the high beams. A choice perhaps linked to the low frequency of use, but which could be impractical: in an emergency situation, it is better to have the command at your fingertips, without having to go looking for it. But these are details, which Zero will have the opportunity to fine-tune as he did by improving the tightness of the windscreen height adjustment mechanism mounted on the prototypes, a bit yielding in the most bumpy routes and causing the undesired lowering of the shield. aerodynamic. Position where in reality it would be indicated to leave it, to have the free field of view.

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There driving position deserves a separate chapter. It is a very subjective component and depends on various parameters. First of all, the height. Mine is 1.85m, in theory ideal for an adventure bike of that size. The handlebar distance was adequate for my height, but it might be less comfortable for a rider under 1.80m. On the other hand, the footpegs were perhaps a little backward and forced me to a less than ideal angle of bend in the legs. making the use of the brake pedal tiring. Off-road, the situation was reversed, with easy standing driving and the right pedal within reach of the boot.

With regard to autonomy, the house declares a range of 321 kilometers off-road (traveling under 30 kilometers per hour on average), which becomes 357 on the same ground and 280 in city driving in models equipped with Power Tank. In the test, after the 70 kilometers of the course the battery was just below 80 per cent, considered a happy driving on the road and very quiet on the dirt road.

The last (sore) note concerns the price: 27 thousand euros, lower than other electric competitors, but at least 10 thousand euros higher than the endothermic cousins. Sure, there are incentives, but the difference is still a lot. To overcome this, Zero Motorcycles is aiming for long-term leasing or rental plans. The bike will be available on the market starting next week.

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The bike is fun and conveys safety in every phase of riding. In addition, the engine does not heat up, unlike its endothermic cousins. There is a wide range of customizations and the evolution of the software will allow you to manage performance in even more detail. The only psychological limit is that of autonomy, but an electric vehicle must be experienced differently. The focus must be shifted to the journey, to the pleasure of driving, to the possibility of feeling more in tune with the environment that surrounds us. The stages must be organized in a different way, but leaving the soul time to really relax. After all, this is also the pleasure of riding a motorcycle.

The price
Zero Motorcycles Dsr / X: 27 thousand euros

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