(Antfer) #1
The FX comes in a ZF3.6 Modular option, with a swappable battery that has only half
the capacity of the 7.2—also half the horsepower and range—but you can pair two of
them to match the 7.2’s output. This isn’t the solution to an electric road trip, but it
could be great at an off-road park, where you could keep a battery or two charging while you’re rid-
ing. It takes less than a minute to exchange them and get back on the trail. But you have contend
with price. A 3.6 with one battery is the cheapest FX ($8,495), but an extra module costs $2,895,
plus a $600 quick-charger. That tallies $11,990, while a ZF7.2 is $10,495. And to gain a range
advantage, you’d need to buy extra modules. But still, it would let you ride all day.

The
Hot
Swap

On the return, I take it easy
on the throttle, and at home real-
ize that the range indicator was
perhaps pessimistic—I still have
20 percent battery remaining. I
plug in, figuring that by the time
the concert kicks into gear that
night, I’ll be fully charged and
ready to return. As it turns out,
thunderstorms lead to an early
cancellation of that night’s per-
formances, but it’s a moot point
because the Zero isn’t yet ready—a
full charge using a regular wall
outlet takes a painful 9.7 hours.
You can cut that down to 1.8 hours
if you deploy the maximum of four
external chargers, but it would be
nice if Zero just added a faster
Level 2 charge port, as it does on
other bikes. The battery capacity
is less of an issue off-road, since
trail work tends to involve the sort
of speed variation that helps max-
imize the regenerative braking.
So on Day 3, did I finally make
my pilgrimage to the festival?
No. Instead of riding the Zero
into the maw of everlasting grid-
lock, I rode it on my favorite twisty
roads. I took it down some trails.
I caught air in a field. I grabbed a
messenger bag and rode it to the
local growler store. I made excuses
to ride, because the FX is just pure
fun—a smooth, silent, righteously
quick preview of the future of
dual-sports. The FX isn’t perfect,
but it’s definitely metal.

The Zero FX
doesn’t require
a dedicated
charging station.
Instead, it has a
650-watt char-
ger built-in, and
can be plugged
into any 110-volt
outlet.

miles) than at steady-state cruis-
ing. That point is illustrated as I
near the venue, about 25 miles
from home, and see the charge
indicator dipping to 50 percent.
There’s no traffic, at least not yet.
I pull over a couple miles from
the gate and stop to contemplate
the range situation, when a con-
certgoer rides up on a skateboard.
He’s wearing a Hawaiian shirt
and a Roman gladiator helmet
and appears to be both sunburned
and, generally speaking, burnt.
“Hey, man,” he says. “I rode out to
the store. Can you tow me back?”
Normally, I’d be happy to let a guy
in Ben Hur–meets–Jimmy Buffett
garb grab the back fender and
Marty McFly it down the emer-
gency lane, but in this case I have a
great excuse. “Sorry,” I say, point-

ing to the charge indicator. “This
thing’s electric and I’m at 50 per-
cent, so I’d better head home.”
Completely unperturbed, he
replies, “That’s metal!” gives me
a fist-bump, and skates off to the
nearby BP station.

COURTESY (HOT SWAP)


September 2019 13