Electric motorcycle technology is new and as the leader in the industry Zero Motorcycles has developed a program to let curious riders know what sort of range they can expect to achieve. Zero has documented three real world tests that are representative of three different range scenarios. To give riders the ability to predict how a Zero will perform for their specific type of riding, the tests include details such as speed profiles, elevation profiles, routes, videos and more.

Zero S Range Scenarios:
Range Variation – The Four Factors

There are four factors that impact range: route, rider, weather and motorcycle. By considering each of these factors a rider can better predict the total range of the motorcycle.


Range is most heavily impacted by the route. Increases in elevation, sub-optimal surface conditions, high speeds or headwind can all cause decreases in range. In the same way that a petrol vehicle ‘guzzles’ gas when travelling at high speeds, an electric vehicle will ‘guzzle’ electricity. From an energy perspective, the best roads to use are flat, have lower speeds, fewer stops and smooth pavement.

  • Low Speed
  • Fewer Stops
  • Flat
  • Smooth Pavement
  • High speed
  • Stop and Go
  • Elevation Changes
  • Soft Gravel

Riding style, attire and rider weight all play a role in the achievable range of the motorcycle. The greatest range is achieved by riders who have a more streamlined body position, fitted gear and who are efficient with the throttle. Rider weight has a marginal impact on range that becomes slightly more significant when travelling through mountainous terrain.

  • Smooth and Modulated Riding Style
  • Streamlined Body Position
  • Reduced Cargo / Rider Weight
  • Erratic
  • Fully Upright
  • Heavier (Impact Dependent on Route)

The most fun weather to ride in also tends to be the best weather for range. Air temperature, wind and precipitation all affect the range of a motorcycle. Warmer weather results in greater range because it increases the voltage of the pack while cooler temperatures have the opposite effect. The single biggest factor that reduces range at higher sustained speeds is wind. Similarly, a strong head wind will always reduce range regardless of the riders speed. Precipitation causes the surface conditions to change and can cause an increase in rolling resistance that has a slight effect on range.

  • Warm Weather
  • Consistent Tail Winds
  • Dry Roads
  • Cold Weather
  • High Winds
  • Wet or Snowy Roads

Motorcycle factors that effect range are cargo weight, power pack temperature, gearing, aerodynamics and the age of the power pack. For an electric motorcycle to achieve optimal range it is helpful to keep it in optimal riding condition. On a Zero this is simple. The power pack should always be left on trickle charge to allow for pack balancing; the tires should be inflated to the appropriate levels; chain should be consistently lubricated and tensioned.

  • Proper Maintenance
    (Inflated Tires, Lubed Chain, Balanced Pack)
  • Room Temperature Power Pack
  • Reduced Cargo Weight
  • Improper Maintenance
    (Underinflated Tires, Dry / Stretched Chain, Unbalanced Pack)
  • Cold Power Pack
  • Heavily Laden (Impact Dependent on Route)