Everything We Like About The Zero FXE
The Zero FXE is a fun electric motorcycle that offers impressive value for urban commuters
Since their birth in 2006, Zero Motorcycles have come a long way in their product offerings and overall market strategy. Being one of the pioneers and early adopters of the electric motorcycle has surely taught them many valuable lessons. Among the motorcycles in their lineup, the latest version of the Zero FXE is a refined outcome after listening to their customers, and a recipe for simplicity at the same time. Initially launched in 2018 as a base variant to the FXS, the FXE has been further developed to meet the needs for a daily commuter that can also be sporty at times. We look at ten things that empower the Zero FXE to render itself as a distinctive and competitive urban runabout for people looking for a fun electric bike.
We used reputable sources like Motorcycle.com, Electrek, and our own internal reviews to provide relevant information on this motorcycle.
Penned in collaboration with Huge Design, an industrial design firm based out of San Francisco, the FXE just about tests the lines for being unconventional without being too out there. With a streamlined and narrow profile, it exudes lightness and the capacity to be nimble, while not being too bare bones in terms of overall panel coverage. The round front headlight with the integrated fender gives it a bug-like vibe that is polarizing, and the powertrain is neatly covered and manages to flow with the overall design. The stretched out supermoto-style seat manages to seat two, at a pinch, and the tail section is neatly executed with adequate length and minimal clutter.
The motor is paired to a Z-Force 7.2Kw-h battery, chucking out a more than adequate 44 horses for peak power, and a solid 79 ft-lbs of torque that is naturally available from the get-go. This results in a riding experience that does not fall too short from being underpowered on the highway, and enabling quick passes if needed. With spirited riding, one does need to have an eye out on the available range, but even at the minimum, it is expected to be at 40 miles. There are also two ride modes that enable one to meter out the juice with efficiency or power in mind.
Related: A Closer Look At The Zero DSR/X
As touched upon earlier with the riding modes, one can stretch this bike on a single charge from anywhere between 40 miles, with short bursts of sustained top speeds at 85 MPH, to almost a claimed 100 miles of combined city and highway riding, which is decent enough for the current times and economy - given that this bike was intended for quick sprints across the city. The ride modes available are Eco, Normal and Sport respectively, being self-explanatory for their intended use with variations in engine braking and responsiveness from the motor, depending on the requirement.
The Zero FXE comes shod with Pirelli Diablo Rosso II's front and rear as standard for 2023, as opposed to being equipped with Pirelli Scorpion's from the previous year. The tires are more road-focussed with a 140-rear section and 110 for the front, and despite not fitting the overall MX-like profile of the bike, they work in tandem with the forged wheels and low weight to deliver good grip and reassuring confidence over most surfaces and corners.
The Zero FXE one of the lightest electric bikes in its class, weighing in at a curb weight of 298 lb. This enables it to be nimble and agile, with the added benefit of being agile and easy to ride and maneuver in city traffic, all the hallmarks of a great urban commuter. Sacrificing battery capacity at 7.2 KW-h, which is 50% lower than its bigger siblings, the SR/S andSR/F, gives the bike its feeling of being light on its feet and a lower center of gravity does help it to be all the more dynamically manageable.
The Zero FXE comes with Showa adjustable suspension front and rear, that allows tweaking for compression, rebound and preload on both ends. The front fork is an inverted type 41mm with seven inches of travel while the rear piggyback shock has almost nine inches of play. The ride quality is plush and comfortable enough, and the suspension manages to absorb most of the harshness of the city streets.
Related: 10 Things We Like About The Zero SR/S
One of the strong points on the FXE and mentioned previously in this article, it seems like Zero intended this bike to be as fun as possible for short to medium blasts through the urban jungle. With sticky road tires, sharp braking and a low overall weight and center of gravity, the FXE is one of the most flickable and agile electric bikes out there.
The FXE's motor drives a carbon-fiber belt that goes to the rear wheel. This setup offers a smooth and silent operation, with minimal fuss and maintenance involved. With no adjustments or cleaning to worry about, this feature helps the FXE to be all the more friendly to own, and offers a linear and predictable power delivery to the rear wheel.
Thanks to its overall design language derived from the SM concept penned by Huge Design (Or more specifically, Huge Moto, their motorcycle subdivision) and the light weight, the Zero FXE is a hoot to ride. With torque that always available, and more on offer compared to some 500cc+ internal combustion counterparts, the FXE lets you be a hooligan, while being up-to-date and environmentally conscious with the times.
The 5-inch TFT display on offer, houses Zero-s Cypher-II operating system that shows the available range, ride mode selection, regen-levels, but does not include Bluetooth as it does with the range-toppers of Zero's lineup. There is accomodation for users to set up a "custom" ride mode with specific settings for throttle response, engine braking and the like, and another notable feature is the onboard charger that allows to be plugged in anywhere thanks to the typical wall charging connector on offer. A fast charger is available as an option for around $600 that greatly reduces the standard charging time of 9-ish hours to about 4.
The brakes are manufactured by J Juan, with a front disc that's directly mounted onto the wheel, with a 320mm disc and dual-piston floating caliper up front, and a single-piston, 240 mm rear disc setup. These brakes are paired with steel braided brake lines for the most amount of feel while slowing down. The brakes offer good bite, and also get the assistance of engine braking that is variable depending on the ride mode you are in. Eco comes with the most aggressive braking when rolling off the throttle, and Sport mode offers minimal engine braking interference. All of this is managed by the Bosch Gen 9 ABS unit.
Given for what this bike offers as a package, it remains to be slightly more expensive than some IC-engined 400cc dirt bikes, $12,195 seems to be fair enough considering its tech, hardware and styling. It's also highly exclusive in its category, with almost no close electric comparable. Add to its practicality and ease of maintenance, and you have a bike that can be used without much hassle as a (premium) daily grocery-getter and commuter.
Shravan's obsession with two wheels began in 2007, when he rode his dad's geared, two-stroke Bajaj Chethak scooter for the first time, and couldn't put down the engagement of a motorcycle riding experience since that day.Since then, he has been an avid rider, with sport touring and naked motorcycles being his preferred choices.