Santa Monica (CA) – How would you like to ride a motorcycle in your backyard without pissing off your neighbors? That’s exactly what a new electric motorcycle from Zero Motorcycles claims to do as it combines the power of a dirt bike with quiet power from lithium-ion manganese batteries. The bike is also much lighter than regular motorcycles making it great for beginners and those who don’t want to literally tear up the trails.At the Alternative Car Expo in Santa Monica, Jay Friedland, VP of Marketing at Zero Motorcycles, told us the bike is equivalent to a 250cc gasoline-powered motorcycle, but weighs just 145 pounds or about half the weight of most bikes. The bike has a 40 mile range and a future street bike version should get approximately 60 miles on a single charge.
The batteries are 56 volt, 2 kilowatt-hours lithium-ion manganese which are supposedly landfill safe. As battery technology improves, you can easily swap out the old battery and pop in the updated model.
Made primarily for off-road motorcyclists, this bike can definitely move as you can see from our embedded video. Not only that, Friedland said, “You can ride in your backyard and not piss of the neighbors.” He added that Google co-founder Larry Page recently purchased three of the bikes and rides them in his 48-acre backyard.
The silent nature of the bike lends itself to several law enforcement applications and Friedland told us that motorcycle officers love it because they can easily talk to their riding partners without shouting. He added that border patrol agents can use these bikes to easily sneak up on people.
Zero Motorcycles sells the bike for $7500 and its shipped right to your door via UPS in four boxes. Friedland told us it takes approximately one hour of assembly. Unfortunately, the 2008 models are all sold out and there are already hundreds on the waitlist for the 2009 motorcycles.