1. Autos
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

2009 ZERO X Electric Dirtbike

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating

By

2009 ZERO X Electric Dirtbike

Careful with that front wheel!

Photo © Aaron Robinson

The Bottom Line

A fun but expensive alternative to traditional gas-powered dirtbikes.
<!--#echo encoding="none" var="lcp" -->

Pros

  • Loads of torque in an extremely lightweight package
  • Silent operation allows for stealth riding
  • A fun way to kiss gasoline goodbye

Cons

  • Pricey MSRP (starting at $7,450) and battery replacement cost ($2,950)
  • Twitchy throttle + light weight = dangerously tempting wheelies... or is that a "Pro"?
  • Suspension travel can't rival a serious dirtbike

Description

  • MSRP: $7,450 ($9,450 for "Extreme" model with 10% more power and upgraded suspension)
  • Brushed permanent magnet electric motor produces 23 horsepower and 50 ft-lbs of torque
  • Lithium ion array battery recharges in 20 hours, provides 40 mile range
  • Clutchless one-speed transmission
  • Hydraulic, 6-piston stainless rotor brakes
  • 0-30 mph or 0-60 mph mode & High or Low Acceleration mode
  • Front suspension travel: 7-8 inches
  • Rear suspension travel: 9 inches
  • Seat height: 36 inches
  • Weight: 151 pounds

Guide Review - 2009 ZERO X Electric Dirtbike

You may be tempted to enthusiastically twist the right grip when you hop aboard the ZERO X electric dirtbike, but I strongly suggest you resist: since it weights only 151 pounds and electric motors produce maximum torque at zero rpms, that sudden move can cause serious front wheel lift and, as I experienced, flipping.

But I take full responsibility for my spill, and the incident actually hurt me more than it hurt the ZERO X-- which only needed its fender pushed back in before it hit the dirt again. I wish I were as durable as this bike.

Once I dusted myself off and climbed back aboard, a few things became more evident: for one, its throttle has a couple of millimeters of dead travel before the power pours on, so care must be taken... best to practice in low acceleration mode before going more aggro. Once you build up confidence, the ZERO X becomes loads of fun to ride, though its mountain bike-like suspension makes some janky sounds as you coast over uneven terrain. It also has a tendency to bottom out on the big stuff, so don’t expect any hardcore antics you wouldn’t think twice about on a bona fide dirtbike.

The lithium ion battery recharges in 2 hours using a household plug, and though its 40 mile range doesn’t sound like much, its average riding range of two hours (45 minutes if you’re going all out) should fit the needs of many casual offroaders. Though the ZERO X is intended for offroad riding, if you spend roughly $250 for a light kit it could (arguably) be considered a motorized bicycle on the road. Incidentally, ZERO promises a road-ready supermoto version by June 2009.

Expensive, quirky, and extremely specialized, the ZERO X isn’t for everybody. But if you don’t mind spending big bucks on an unusual two-wheeled plaything, this electric dirtbike is a refreshing way to hit the dirt.

>>Click here for a 2009 ZERO X Photo Gallery<<

<!--#echo encoding="none" var="lcp" -->

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.