Elec­tri­fy­ing rides for SA

Billed as the Tes­las of the two-wheeled world, the Zero bikes will pro­vide thrills at low cost

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - AL­WYN VILJOEN

CAYENNE World is await­ing the ar­rival of the first ship­ment of new Zero Elec­tric mo­tor­cy­cles from the U.S.

Cayenne World told Wheels they will be in­tro­duc­ing three Zero mod­els, the DS Dual Sport, the S Street Fighter and the high per­for­mance SR model, early in May.

It took just over two years, but Craig Lang­ton, sales direc­tor and co-owner of the Cayenne Group, said the deal is fi­nally done and Cayenne has been ap­pointed the of­fi­cial im­porter of Zero Elec­tric mo­tor­cy­cles, the per­fect com­muter for South Africans.

Billed as the Tes­las of the mo­tor­bike world, the elec­tric driv­e­trains are pow­er­ful enough to out-ac­cel­er­ate any­thing on the road to­day.

For­mer Pi­eter­mar­itzburger Craig Mar­shall, now ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of Elec­tric Mo­tor­cy­cles Africa in Cape Town who pi­o­neered the Zero bikes in South Africa in 2008, said each Zero is a blast to drive.

Mar­shall wel­comed the Cayenne deal, say­ing the group brings the fi­nan­cial mus­cle to make Zero bikes more af­ford­able in South Africa. He has sold 14 in five years, and told Wheels each one is still “ab­so­lutely mind blow­ing to ride”.

“I’ve been com­mut­ing on a Zero since 2009 from Som­er­set to Cape Town. It costs me six cents per kilo­me­tre and just sim­pli­fies bik­ing be­cause there are so few mov­ing parts.

“But be­cause all the torque is avail­able from zero revs, the Zero bikes de­liv­ers a thrill each time,” said.

Asked what the Zero SR feels like with 144 Nm from the start, Mar­shall said it does the 0 to 100 km/h run in three sec­onds flat. “This is one bike we demo only in eco mode,” Mar­shall told Wheels .

Driven with verve, the bat­ter­ies of the Zero bikes have a range of up to 250 km plus on one charge, and the bat­ter­ies can be charged any­where from a nor­mal house­hold plug. While overnight charg­ing is rec­om­mended, one can do short dis­tances on a two-hour charge.

Andy le May, owner of Ewizz elec­tric scoot­ers in Cape Town, said the best part of the Zero elec­tric mo­tor­bikes are that they will prove cheaper to op­er­ate than a car or even a medium to large mo­tor­cy­cle with a petrol en­gine.

Lang­ton said Cayenne’s fi­nance part­ner Mo­tor Fi­nance Cor­po­ra­tion, a di­vi­sion of Ned­bank, will sup­port the new Zero with re­pay­ment op­tions of R1 950 per month over 72 months, with a three­year guar­an­teed buy­back, a five-year or 160 000 km war­ranty and a free ser­vice plan. Cash prices for the bikes will be con­firmed when they land next month.

To book a test ride, call Zero South Africa at Cayenne World at 011 244 1900.

CRAIG MAR­SHALL pi­o­neer im­porter of Zero bikes to SA It costs me six cents per kilo­me­tre and just sim­pli­fies bik­ing …

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Zero elec­tric mo­tor­bikes, billed as Tesla’s on two wheels, will out-ac­cel­er­ate any­thing in the morn­ing com­mute but cost a lot less to run. Three mod­els ar­rive at Cayenne in May.

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