It strokes out at a little over 8;1/2 inches of travel. The shock, too, is Showa.
Both damping circuits are adjustable,
and it is link-less with almost 9 inches of travel. The frame is a complex
affair; it’s structurally rigid, built out of
aluminum, shot-peened and finished
off in black. Braking has been updated
too. Bosch anti-lock disc systems are
standard and can be switched off with
a simple procedure.
WHAT ABOUT THE
When you think about the fact that
the machine makes 46 horsepower,
you may say, “Big whack.” But, the
power does not have to endure the
long chain of energy robbers and
delay tactics that a normal dirt bike
has—things such as throttles, carburetors, fuel injection and transmissions.
A dirt bike transmission delays and
modifies the power that’s generated,
and having a clutch allows you to
modulate the engine’s momentum when the power lags
or builds. The Zero basically has direct response,
and the power/torque
is immediate! There are
no gears to slow down
the acceleration and no
clutch to modulate the
intensity. It pulls hard
all the way to top speed
(just about 90 mph).
There are two power
modes—Eco and Sport.
Our ride on the dirt roads
and simple trails proved
that the machine is way too
immediately powerful to control properly. We went straight
to Eco mode and searched for a
softer power mode even then. It’s
an interesting ride. It’s almost like
you’re mounted on an air mobile. The
lack of ambient noise is offset by the
stunning acceleration of the Zero. In a
second, you can get up to top speed
on tarmac or spin the rear wheel with
a mere flick of the throttle. One suggestion for sure: in the dirt, it needs a
real knobby, since it will light up the
Pirellis like a Don Garlits dragster.
They’ve made good strides with the
suspension, though frankly the last bike
we rode was pretty weak on any terrain with bumps larger than an iPhone.
The Showa dampers will take in some
hack. They do a decent job of smoothing out rain ruts but don’t really want to
chew on anything dramatically deep or
severe. The bike has a low seat height
but feels very top-heavy, and it is