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Torque is 35 percent more than Ducati Panigale V4’s maximum!

Zero’s 2020 SR/F redefines electric propulsion. Not only is it the fastest and most powerful electric model in Zero’s 12-year history, its peak performance exceeds Ducati’s benchmark V4 Panigale.

A new ‘Z-Force 75-10’ air-cooled AC motor is fitted to a new steel trellis frame and allied to Zero’s largest, 14.4kWh battery pack. Claimed peak power, for short periods, is pegged at 82kW at 5000rpm to prevent overheating, while torque is 190Nm, some 35 percent more than  Ducati Panigale V4’s maximum. On any motorcycle you rarely use maximum power for more than a few seconds at a time in real-world use.

As with most electric bikes, top speed is relatively low – Zero claims 200km/h under full power and brings the maximum down to 177km/h for extended running, to make sure nothing overheats or burns out. But that torque, which like most electric bikes will peak at virtually zero revs, should make for exciting acceleration.

And while range is usually the great enemy of battery power, Zero is claiming a maximum of 259km from the SR/F, without the optional Power Tank accessory that extends its maximum reach to 322km. Over a combination of different speeds, based on European Union test procedures, the range comes out at 158km without the Power Tank fitted.

Charging times vary widely depending on which model you choose and what the bike’s plugged in to. The ‘Standard’ model has an integrated 3kW charger, capable of refilling the battery in 4.5 hours from a normal outlet or 1.8 hours on a rapid charger. The more expensive ‘Premium’ version fills its batteries faster, taking 2.5 hours from a normal socket or 1.5 hours from a rapid charger.

The SR/F features fully-adjustable Showa suspension and radial brake calipers to haul its 220kg mass (226kg for the higher-spec ‘Premium’ version) to a halt. That weight is pretty much on a par with petrol bikes of similar performance, so the old idea that electric bikes are heavy appears to be a thing of the past.

At this stage Zero  lacks an Australian importer and distributer but in the US prices start from $A26,550, considerably less than Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire.

By Ben Purvis