Brammo? Zero? PopSci’s Cokeley Calls It

testdriveLet’s send Popular Science’s Matthew Cokeley to the Middle-East and see if he can put Jimmy Carter’s diplomatic abilities to shame.  Confronted with a conflict between two factions, he has come out with a conclusion that:

All told, there is something for everyone in each of these machines. Personal taste, rider experience and economics are all important factors when considering either.

Okay, so this is a mediation somewhat less significant than current Middle-East conflicts, but he has been teasing us for days with the promise that his test drive report and comparison would be on the wire.  Billed by some as the Brammo Zero Comparo, finally, it is.

Here’s the comparisons, by category:

First Impressions:
Zero S : “a bit thicker through the knees than the Enertia . . .  a raw and unfinished quality reminiscent of something out of Mad Max.” (Except, was anything in Mad Max white?)

Enertia: “considerably more refined in this department. Aesthetically, the fairings, framework and electrical layout all contribute to some very clean lines,”

Power “Both posses Cheshire-grin-inducing pickup that only an experienced rider could differentiate.”
Zero S:  “Boasting 20 more pound-feet of torque than the Enertia, the S’s front end could easily come up on a rookie rider with a lead fist.”  It “boasts a top speed of 70 mph vs. the Brammo’s 55 mph, making the S more highway-friendly.”

Enertia: Its “horsepower, while ample, is no threat to buck its jockey.”

Handling: “Both bikes are extremely fun to throttle in a straight line.”

Zero S: “power helps you pull away quicker from danger[.]”

Enertia:  “superior handling ability creates a more secure-feeling riding experience.”

Weight:

Zero S: 225 lbs.  ” The position and bulk of the S’s battery pack gives the overall sensation of added pounds making it less responsive during evasive maneuvers.”

Enertia: 280 lbs. The “weight is so well distributed that it feels like a feathery 100 lbs. while in motion.”

Cost:

Zero S: $9,950, but add 10% more for a 2-year, no-fault warranty. “If your Zero S’s battery becomes obsolete within that 2-year span, you can buy the upgraded battery at 50% off. In addition, software upgrades on the S are currently free.”

Enertia, listed at $11,995, comes with the support of Best Buy’s Geek Squad.

Both are eligible for a 10% federal tax credit as well as state and local benefits.

Green Factor

ZeroS: custom designed battery may have longer life span.

Enertia: Off the shelf lithium iron phosphate battery modules have 75,000 mile expected life span, can be used in “another electrical power format afterwards” and is 100% recyclable.

Final Decision

Cokeley, as noted above, says that both bikes have much to offer.  He concludes, however, that the aesthetics of the Enertia give it an edge in his, personal “city-slick art director” view.  The Zero S is “just a little too rough around the edges, corners and my posterior[.]”  Having said that, I guess we can’t say that the Enertia wins by a nose, but we will agree with Cokeley that this is becoming a “nicely fleshed out category of bikes.”

Thanks again for your great reviews and writing, Mr. C.

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