Zero emission, zero noise motorcycle comes to Utah

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CACHE VALLEY -- A new kind of motorcycle is making its way into Utah. If you're not careful, it might sneak up on you without you knowing it.

Zero Motorcycles sells two dirt bikes, one street bike and one dual sport bike ranging in price from $7,495 to $9,995.

It's called the Zero Motorcycle. When you suit up to ride this set of wheels and turn on the engine, something's missing -- the noise.

Mysteriously absent is the ear-splitting racket of a motorcycle. When this baby rolls, what you hear is the rattle of the drive chain and the clatter of dirt and rocks.

As veteran bike rider Kevin Crockett describes, "You come up behind horses and they sometimes don't even know you're there."

They call it the Zero Motorcycle because it has zero emissions and zero noise, at least from the engine. It's all electric instead of gas.

What is... Zero Motocycles?
Zero Motorcycles,formerly Electricross, is the next step in motorcycle evolution and represents the ultimate electric motorcycle technology that's insanely fast and environmentally friendly. A Zero motorcycle will produce less than one-eighth of the CO2 pollution per mile at the power plant than a gas powered motorcycle. It will also produce 1/100th of the smog causing nitrous oxides. The Zero X accelerates from 0-30 in under two seconds and delivers over 50 ft/lbs of torque and similar performance to a 250cc gas powered off-road motorcycle. -Zero Motorcycles

The Crockett family is trying them out. They're all veterans on gas bikes, but they say the Zero is fun, too.

"Little more torque, it seems like. I don't know, they're fairly comparable, but it's just a lot different," said Kendall Crocket. "Oh yeah, I mean, I'm having a blast."

"These ones kick really fast right off the line, and it's kind of like all or nothing," said Keaton Crockett.

A lot of times, absolute beginners will flip the Zero over right off the bat by underestimating the power. When it's silent, you forget the engine is still running.

Another serious disadvantage: battery-life, which is only about an hour if you ride hard. Then you have to plug it in somewhere and charge it for an hour and a half.

"Although if you drove from New York City to L.A., they figured it would take you about $30 worth of energy to do so on an electric bike," said Dave Jensen, a sales representative for Zero Motorcycles.

But when asked how long it would take to make the journey, Jensen laughed. "A long time, with charging time in between," he said.

Zero Motorcycles are expensive. They range $7,500 to almost $10,000, depending on the model -- about $1,500 more than comparable gas bikes. But they're green, so in Utah they get a $1,500 tax break.



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John Hollenhorst


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