Paris/Marseille en 4 jours ... à moto électrique. 1000 km in 4 days...but on an electric bike 1/2.

Uploaded by MotoJournal on 21.06.2012

Moto Journal webTV has tested for you ... the electric motorcycle !
If this is it the future of motorcycle...
No, indeed, Moto Journal WebTV has tested a real electric motorcycle, the Zero Motorcycle DS, codenamed ZF9
Not stinky exhaust, no starter that fails, no clutch lever that may brake in case of crash
A brushless motor, permanent magnet and dual stator axial, a Lithium Ion battery
A loading time of 9 hours, reduced to 5 hours if you opt for a dual charger
A promise of 129 km / h as a top speed, a sport mode, an eco one, a secondary belt transmission.
155 kilos dry weight or not. The cost to get full battery? 1.34 euros.
Price of the Zero? 13 995 euros ... impressive but we have to imagine that we buy a vehicle that only cost 134 euros of electricity to cover 10 000 km.
With such a program, I would become the friend of the Planet
As soon as the ignition on, I was hooked, enthusiastic,
"Hum, he's happy. He's lucky..."
Around me, everything seemed now beautifull, I could feel that everything became easier, wonderful, for and in, a new world.
Especially as the Zero promised a range of 180 km in the city.
Yes, but what I wanted was to live for REAL on an electric motorcycle
Breaking adrift from the capital, its pollution, its traffic jams
Leaving for the south of France, as far as possible, just to check if the bikers, and France at all, felt ready for the electric thing
The highway... its smooth asphalt, perfect, paying and boring.
Quickly, I took the opportunity to test my ability to "refuel" for free
"Hello, I need to refuell please."
"I can plug here. That's nice. You are adorable, it's complicated elsewhere. "
"many people plug their mobile phones here, there's no reason why you could not plug your bike. "
"you are right and this is the perfect occasion to ride for free."
"because usually, where do you plug it? In your own house?"
"yes except for today beacuse I am going to the south of France. It's not easy. Everything 100 km, I have to stop in station to reload my battery."
"it musn't be very easy."
"But hey, it is environmentally friendly, it saves the planet. "
"This is true, if everyone was thinking like you. "
Reassuring. So, I leave to do my first real stop at the station of Achères after 91.1 kilometers.
"hello". "Ah, an electrical motorcycle?" "you don't have any plug" "no" "oh there's one here." "I have ridden for 91 km but I want to continue my trip I really need to reload the battery."
"I understand but this is the first time for me... and who will pay for it?
"it costs only 1.34 euros... can't you help the future? "
"of course we can..." "I need 5 hours to get full battery. But the cost is exactly the same as if somebody would come and shave for 4 hours with an electrical shaver in your toilets." "
" can you reach the toilets with your plug?"
"maybe not but I can plug over there, at the rear of the station."
4 hours and 50 minutes later, the battery is full. I can start again. The next step is to check the autonomy of Zero Motorcycle at a speed average of 100 km/h.
Here, quickly, I had the impression of riding my mobile phone, battery almost discharged, even though I was trying to give an important phone call.
And it has not failed. After 60.3 km, it cut in the middle of the conversation!
Importance of accuracy, if the Zero discharges cruelly fast on the motorway, it's just that it is not made for that. Normally, when you close the throttle, there's a charging system to reload the battery and get some more autonomy. But on highway, you never close the throttle.
"hello. I'd like to "refuell" please."
"But dear sir, we have no terminal for this here."
"but I just need a normal plug"
"Check this with my colleague Christiane." "Christiane, do you have a plug for my motorcycle?"
"it's wonderfull. Thanks Christiane to give a chance to the future."
by the same time, I understood that 5 hours was almost not enough to discover all what you can do in a station.
Just for a few euros, you can expreience thrilling moments and never get bored.
You can eat some Michokos. I love the Michokos.
You can have fun with electronic games
Play pinball, a game from a past century
You can rest while watching artists movies, with a thrilling suspense
Check your stress level
Have a ride in Batman's car
Or imagine that you are just on a weekend in Paris, riding legendary Carousel at Eiffel Tower
before finally finishing at the self service restaurant, not good at all
5 hours later, I started again for a 80 km/h speed average run.
At this speed, the Zero will offer me 88.7 km of autonomy. Once again, the Zero is not made for, small as evidenced by our 240 kilometers of highway made in 14 hours...
In the morning, I took the direction of Morvan aera, a beautifull landscape.
It will come off quickly a few big flaws of the Zero, as his tires Tyres Deli made in soaped wood, its "zero" mirros, the seat too high, and braking means, to focus on the essentials:, the pleasure of riding, almost without noise.
Apart from a slight hiss and rolling noise of tires, a feeling of well-being, fluidity and move almost furtively over you.
All your senses are awakened and it is the first time that one can achieve such images by hearing ... the sound of birds. Really nice.
it's also the first time that we can meet convinced hikers without being thown rocks because we ride motorcycles.
During off road use, the interest of electric is even more evident
Enjoy nature without disturbing it.
With Zero, I felt now, like everyone's friend. Pretending to be a minstrel traveling, I asked for "electrical hospitality"
"hello madam! I am travelling with an eletric motorcycle and I am looking for somebody who would help me to load the battery?"
"no, no, no, I am not interested."
"it's a real pitty because I can see over there that you know very well the green motorcycle. You've got a green motorcycle in your garden."
"Yes but that we are not interested, go ask elsewhere. "
"again, it's a pitty. I am going to run short of battery and I will have to push my bike."
"that's it"
And yes, that's how, when you really hide the cameras as we did, rural France is afraid.
However, a more spontaneous hospitality offered to us however at the Tavern of the Tail of the Lake.
5 hours of charging, it gave us time to enjoy Morvan cooking, but again and again to commune with nature as to become almost dependent on ecological or even regress.
Hey, in 10 seconds, I just sumed up 205 episodes of "Little House on the Prairie"
What is nice too, with the electric bike is that everyone has an opinion
" does it inspire you electrical motorcycle?" "I am not against it. I am not the kind of biker going full throttle."
"you can have a ride with it, if you want."
"I have to start it? How does it work?"
"it is already started. There is no starter button."
"Yeah, it's madness. There, I have not ridden because there a lot of gravel on the road but honestly, it pushes hard for the equivalent of a 125 cc"
"but I think we should keep it in the road sector. If all the people who ride into town with scooters, 125, they used electrical, already ... "
what's bred in the bone will come out in the flesh
"riding without any noise, isn't it cool?"
"it is cool...but I am used to real bike, and it lacks the sensation of down shifting the gears"
Despite this tremendous feeling of well being, we still had to leave.
And once again enjoy this intriguing toy.
Over the entire range of use of the engine, the response is always clear and strong
If the Zero can be driven like a normal 125 cc (with a car license), it does offer much better acceleration and performance than a 125 4-stroke motorcycle, especially when the sport mode is engaged.
It jumps from one corner to another. The absence of gyroscopic effect normally provided by the crankshaft on a conventional engine, makes the bike surprisingly easy to flick
I tried not to brake at all before entering the curve, to keep a good speed in it, and also use the system that reload the battery when you close the throttle.
So, it sometimes goes too fast cornering and the heart rises because of the lack of engine braking or the possibility of downshifting to slow down the pace a little bit.
In short, we always think how to ride it faster and better, proof that, even electrical, this two wheels is a motorcycle.
Again, I needed to reload the battery, so I tried again to ask for hospitality
"hello dear sir. I am running short of battery because I am riding with an electrical motorcycle. I am looking for somebody who would help me."
"how much time do you need?" "five hours."
"no I can't."
"you can't. You dont want to help the future?"
"that's not the point, but I can't, I don't want to."
"If it were only half an hour, would you be OK?"
"Half an hour, yes OK. But 5 hours, I can't, because we go to bed very early with my wife."
"OK, no problem, I'll try to find somebody that goes to bed later."
"yes, it's a better solution."
At the same time, with only 2% of the population who voted Green, had I not surprise me, it left me with a 50 chance of being welcomed with open arms
So, I went to beg for hospitality among friends, Jacky Grolet in this case.
Jacky is a winemaker. In Vilié Morgon. But he also and especially loves the Ducati Pantah, Yamaha IT 175, Norton Commando 175 John Player Special, the smell of gasoline, the megaphone noise, road races and mythical champions ...
here he is, Jacky! Amendment rather, he let me stroke his dog and talking to his wife and not vice versa.
I tried to impress him with my adventure.
"I am going from Paris to Marseille with an electrical bike"
I really understood that it "stroke one of his balls without moving the other one"
"The lack of noise is disturbing"
"Ok it's cool to ride without any noise but noise is part of motorcycle no?"
"one thing is sure. You will never have an oil leak with this bike."
"this bike is as dangerous as politicians. They manage to seduce you by the end. No, no, but it's not bad huh. It's funny, it's fun anyway. You got a real boost."
"is it relaxing?"
"Yes, I went down to the village without any noise. I saw my bio winemakers friends and they all laughed at me."
Jacky "the authentic" really seemed convinced when the contradictory spirit of the women got involved
"but it is really dangerous. No noise, you may crush a kid on the road."
"But they will make a system to make noise."