Fast Company rides Zero S, compares with Brammo Enertia

Lynn D. Johnson, Senior Editor of Fast Company Magazine, test drove the Zero S street bike and *what? oh… let me edit that: * took the Zero S street bike for a spin around a Chelsea Piers parking garage and called it “easy to handle and comparable to a 250cc.”  She said the suspension was pretty solid.

Given all of its tech wizadry though, I couldn’t help feeling that something was amiss in its design. If a comparison had to be made, the Brammo is a beautifully designed piece of machinery, while the Zero S left something to be desired.

She said that the Zero appeared “unfinished” and noted that “where it lacks body and design the rider is given easy access to its battery and charger.”

Gene Banman, Zero’s CEO, said that the Brammo vs. Zero debate was:

great for the market. You need competition to create a market, and the time is absolutely right for this kind of vehicle. The technology is to the state where we can build fully functional motorcycles that are very competitive with gasoline motorcycles. The advantages of electric: You don’t have oil changes or tune ups–basically no service required on the drive train at all. It’s very inexpensive to run, about a penny a mile. And the motor and the battery last the life of the motorcycle. So we think having multiple players in the market is good for everybody. Their bike is built to a different configuration than ours so it’ll appeal to a different kind of customer.

Banman said that the suspension on the Zero S was a “supermoto” style with a “very long travel suspension, and our idea there is for an urban motorcycle you may need to climb stairs or jump curbs. It’s got the kind of suspension that can handle that kind of rough riding.,”

Brammofan isn’t sure whether the Enertia can climb stairs, but perhaps we’ll learn more after Twitter user Susan Purkhiser (@purki1), a stuntwoman and dirt bike aficionado, gets a ride on one later this week.  (Note to Bramscher: make her leave a cash deposit before she takes a spin)

Seriously? Test ride?  Good luck with that, Brammo.

Let’s wrap this up with the best quote of the whole article, as Lynne responds to Banman’s comment about the different bikes appealing to different kinds of customers:

In that case, I guess I’m a Brammo girl then. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fine bike sure, but overall it didn’t feel quite as comfortable, and you already know I’m hung up on its design.

By the way, excellent writing, Lynne!  You can follow Lynne on twitter at @lynneluvah


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