Meet the Tesla of Motorcycles

Courtesy Zero Motorcycles

The new Zero SR runs softly and carries a big torque.

If you’ve ever ridden a standard motorcycle, your left hand will reach for the clutch and grip nothing but air. Since the Zero SR’s motor makes no noise and causes no vibrations, you might not even realize it’s on. These vehicles are not for riders turned on by manual transmissions, high decibel levels, the Zen of motorcycle maintenance, the anarchic thrill of burning fossil fuels, or the powerful feeling of thrust between your legs that only Freud could make sense of.

But for anyone attached to the nimbleness of movement that motorcycles allow, or the intimate connection with the road, going electric might even be an improvement over gas-guzzling hogs. The sector has skyrocketed in the ten years since Zero launched. What sets the American company’s flagship SR bike apart, aside from its classic good looks, is its mix of range (197 miles on a full charge, comparable to a Tesla) and torque, which, at a whopping 116 foot-pounds, leaves Harley Davidsons in the dust. They can make all the noise they want.