A two-wheeler professional and a beginner, Jens Kratschmar from motorradonline and Patrick Lang from auto motor und sport, commute extremely and cover up to 146 kilometers a day with the 11 kW strong and B196-compatible Zero S e-motorcycle.
Patrick Lang from auto motor und sport: Even if I would like to call it "healthy respect", the first feeling in view of the upcoming task is probably rather anxious. So I'm supposed to do some stretches with a surprisingly powerful two-wheeler. The Zero S flushes quite a bit into the system for my commuter profile – around 65 kilometers lie between the couch and the office chair. But above all, there is one thing between me and the Zero: jitters. Finally, I would still consider myself a two wheeler newbie and this e-bike is stronger than anything I have come into contact with since getting the B196 licence. How can that be? Well, with an e-bike, the continuous output of 11 kW is relevant. However, the peak performance is a lot higher.,
Dusk has already fallen when I stand in line with my car in front of a car wash to remove the Sahara dust that recently rained down. The cell phone buzzes and Kratschmar's lovely face appears on the display. "Dude, the thing goes like the lowered sow. I've ridden a lot, but that's really a surprise," he says happily about his first lap on our powered test device. "Great!" I lie, already thinking about paying off my life insurance.
3.1 kilos per hp
We meet in the editorial office the next day and I can examine the electric motorcycle live for the first time. It looks chic, the Zero. Sharp edges, sporty lines. The gray panel under the handlebars stretches two pointed ends into the wind. Underneath is what I consider a beefy body. Everything I've had contact with so far as part of my B196 driving license has been more reserved. Especially when it comes to performance. It's not like 11 kW sweep me out of the saddle, but I still have a lot of respect for riding two wheels. That's two fewer than usual for me. And the fact that the equivalent of 59 peak hp are slumbering here makes for a queasy feeling. After all, I've driven cars with less power. However, none of them only weighed 185 kilos.,
"You can really feel the power if you accelerate a bit more at 70 to 80 km/h in sport mode," sums up Kratschmar pensively. I remember that my driving school duke was already running out of breath. We set out for the photo production in the sunny Stuttgart area. I follow the entourage first in the car and let what I've heard and seen sink in. The good weather and the enthusiasm of my colleague make my fingers tingle after all.Have a little feel for the A-rag – why not?
The first contact
I start hesitantly in eco mode, but notice right away: the seating position suits me (1.75 meters) quite well and after just a few meters I feel like a real motorcyclist. Oncoming bikers even greet me, as I can see with satisfaction. Apparently, with a Zero S like this, the community takes you seriously. I still act cautiously with my right hand, because even with a slight rotation you can feel that there are power reserves slumbering here that I have not yet come into contact with.,
Only on the way home do I dare to switch to sport mode and the Fear gradually gives way to excitement. Hossa, push the planer on! Between all the federal highway commuters, I don't feel like a traffic obstruction. After turning onto winding country roads with little traffic, I finally tasted blood completely. The relationship of trust between man and machine grows with every meter, and the stability of the Zero gives me the necessary confidence. Quiet running, no flapping and even the bumps in rural asphalt do not disturb the vehicle. Neither do I, by the way.
I have to go again
When I got home, I present the e-motorcycle to my wife (who has an A driver's license), who has been teasing me for a year that I got a children's motorcycle driver's license. "Looks like a real motorcycle," she says patronizingly. She reads my expression and rolls her eyes. "You want to go again, don't you?" Yes I do. In childish anticipation I throw my satchel, uh my rucksack, in the corner and whirr away.,
What follows is a – yes, I dare to call it that – hunt through the radii of the Kraichgau hilly landscape. The Zero effortlessly climbs meter after meter where other 125s are already begging for mercy. In the back of my mind I always have the certainty that there is even more power slumbering under me if needed. I treat myself to a good hour until the battery gradually starts asking for a charge. Somewhat euphoric, I send my colleague Kratschmar a message: "Dude, that's really fun. I've even overtaken a couple of slow cars!" His answer ennobles me: "Now you are a motorcyclist. Welcome brother." Thanks, feels the same way.
Not just a fun device
Jens Kratschmar from motorradonline.de : I knew it. I'm above average. In the commute. On average, every German commuted 16.91 kilometers one way to work and home in 2019. For me, it's more than four times the distance: it's 73 kilometers from my garage door to the parking lot at the publishing house. Electric commuting on two wheels without rails is attractive. Only: with what? All the electric scooter stuff with a wheel hub motor for the city is useless in the country, as the Seat Mó proved in the commuter test.Next step: The Zero S in the 11 kW version. With this registered continuous performance, auto motor und sport colleague Patrick Lang drives the Stromer legally with his B196 driver's license and once again provides the congenial commuting partner. And I'm still happy about 59 hp at peak and 109 Nm from the first revolution,
As a pure fun device for the home route, the Zero S in the 11 kW version is only suitable to a limited extent, because the motorcycle lacks for almost 17,000 euros for the chassis, brakes, tires, equipment and feel. The chassis works too nodly and has a somewhat hectic tendency with only 80 millimeters of trail, the tires were only premium in the carburetor era, good brakes from the lower price range, the digital cockpit could have come from the 1990s and the discrepancy between coffee breaks and charging performance is amazing. Overall, that doesn't match the price. And the charge tank increases the tendency to wobble, as it is mounted very close to the steering head.,
Which is the main argument for the Zero S 11 kW, whether I managed to drain the battery over my commute distance and whether the purchase is worthwhile in view of the operating costs, you can read in the more detailed version of my explanations on motoradonline.de.
Jens Kratschmar's conclusion: The Zero S impressively proves two things. Firstly, electric works extremely well in the premium segment. As a 125, the S is a very mature motorcycle. And secondly, that there is an urgent need for state subsidies for two-wheeled electromobility. If a Zero were subsidized with 10,000 euros, I would personally be encouraged to buy it, because the S is a motorcycle for 9,000 euros in terms of its price/performance ratio. Only for this unsubsidized amount would Zero not be paid for or further developed the impressive electronic technology. Olaf Scholz, Christian Lindner, Robert Habeck and Volker Wissing, there you go, it's your turn now.
Patrick Lang's conclusion: Once the initial fear of the performance data has subsided, the Zero S is not only a suitable commuter vehicle in the garage, but also one that invites you to a fun trip. Thanks to the electric drive without a guilty conscience. Thanks to its price with a sensitive hole in the household budget. Funding, as requested by the motorcycle colleague, would make sense. After all, electric cars were primarily reserved for solvent idealists in their early days. The path to mass appeal is largely based on the price. That the Zero S can do what the customer expects from a purely technical point of view has already been proven.