Zero rid­ers re­veal their se­crets and we do Spain by Africa Twin

Zero own­ers know bet­ter than most just how us­able elec­tric bikes are in the UK

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Contents - Life-long rider with a short com­mute and a love of long ad­ven­tures. Elec­tric bike vir­gin. Andy Cal­ton, Ed­i­tor

As a cub re­porter (a long time ago), I was once sent to a trac­tor-pulling con­test. I didn’t know that much about trac­tor pulling. So, I asked peo­ple who did.

That’s been the same with elec­tric mo­tor­cy­cles. In a bid to learn as much as pos­si­ble as fast as pos­si­ble, I asked peo­ple who al­ready own one how this emerg­ing tech­nol­ogy fits into their rid­ing lives.

They’re the big­gest ex­perts the UK has on what it’s re­ally like to ride an elec­tric mo­tor­cy­cle...

Q ‘Is buy­ing one all about try­ing to save the planet? John Chivers

“It’s all about the tech for me,” says John A Chivers, 47, who was the first per­son to com­plete Land’s End to John o’groats on an elec­tric bike (also a Zero DSR). “I just don’t think we should be burn­ing oil in this day and age. Hav­ing said that, I’ve got a Honda CB1000 which I nor­mally use for any jour­neys over 100 miles.”

‘How easy is it to find Q some­where to charge it?’ Justin An­drews

“A lot of su­per­mar­kets have charg­ers now,” A says Justin An­drews, 43, who is al­ready on his fourth elec­tric bike. “You just have to plan things a bit more. There are var­i­ous apps to find charges but the best is ‘Zap Map’ (www.zap-map. com). It shows where the charg­ers are, what type of charg­ers are there and even if they are in use or not.”

Q ‘How does an elec­tric bike com­pare to a petrol bike? Stephen Far­rell

“I have loads of dif­fer­ent bikes (11 in all) A in­clud­ing a 690 KTM Duke, a Bi­mota and Du­catis but the Zero is my go-to daily ride,” says Stephen Far­rell. “It’s easy to ride, easy to main­tain and so easy to clean. I don’t miss the noise, or the clutch or hav­ing to change gears. It han­dles well, too, be­cause there is no gy­ro­scopic ef­fect from the en­gine fight­ing you all the time.”

‘How much do you Q save on fuel?’ Rob Ishare­wood

“I’m sav­ing £300 a month on petrol by us­ing A the DSR,” re­veals Rob Ishare­wood, who passed his bike test purely so that he could ride an elec­tric bike. “I have an 80-mile com­mute to work, so I worked out what would be the most eco­nomic way to com­plete this jour­ney and de­cided it was an elec­tric bike. I do 10k miles a year.”

Q What mods are worth mak­ing to an elec­tric bike?

“I added a rack and top­box. Mainly to put the A fast charger in when I did my LEJOG trip but it’s been re­ally handy any­way,” says John Chivers. At the other end of the scale Stephen Far­rell says: “I put a bell on mine to alert peo­ple and sheep if I’m com­ing as it’s so bloody quiet!”

Q How do other bik­ers view you when you turn up on it?

“The re­ac­tion has changed in the last few A years” says An­drews. It’s gone from amuse­ment to gen­uine in­ter­est.” Far­rell has seen a sim­i­lar growth in ac­cep­tance: “Peo­ple think I’m weird, so I let them have a go on my bike. They al­ways come back with a mas­sive smile.”

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