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2010 Zero MX Review


by Pascal Bastien ,

Hot on the heels of the X (Enduro) and S (Supermoto), Zero Motorcycles introduces the MX all-electric Motocross bike powered by a lithium-ion battery. Is this the new Toy of Tomorrow? In my book, it is too soon to tell. However, this machine arouses curiosity from the amateurs like no other… even your heavily-decorated chopper. Sorry.

The MX is relatively low, a useful feature for newbies and shorter riders, and the nice long saddle lets the rider move around easily for cornering. (Photo: Philippe Champoux/

Taking off in silence
The Zero X-derived electric motor generates 23 horsepower and 48 pounds-feet of torque in either Eco or Full Power mode (the switch is mounted on the handlebar). The 2kWh battery provides a range of about an hour in Full Power mode, or close to two hours or 70km in Eco mode. A full charge takes less than two hours using the special charger sold with the MX, using a 110- or 215-volt outlet. Acceleration from 0 to 90 km/h (top speed) takes less than six seconds.

The Zero MX uses direct drive gearing – no clutch or gearbox – thereby reducing weight and improving efficiency. Just twist the throttle and the bike will take off in a smooth, silent fashion, making for an odd feeling the first time out.

Lightweight yet solid chassis
The main difference between the X and the new MX dirt bike is the MX’s race-oriented chassis with stiffer fork and shock (adjustable rebound and compression damping at both ends, and adjustable rear spring preload) as well as knobbies and greater protection against mud and rocks. It’s all built on a more rigid frame than older models, and that weighs a mere six kilos.

Also designed to make battery changes easier (less than two minutes… without tools!), the MX tips the scales at a mere 78 kilos, roughly the same as 105- and 125-cc two-stroke dirt bikes or 80cc four-stroke models.

Recharging is a simple matter of connecting the standard charger, and waiting..., or taking off again with the back-up battery. (Photo: Philippe Champoux/
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