Zero Motorcycles: 2011 Zero DS Electric Motorcycle

The Zero DS combines innovation with passion to deliver the world’s most versatile electric motorcycle. Designed to be agile in the dirt and quick on the street, the Zero DS represents a new kind of freedom.

Zero Electric MotorcycleBypass the ordinary. Blast down a gravel road or a dusty trail. When you’re ready, silently pass from the sublime to the civilized as you arrive at your destination.

The Zero DS is tough when you demand it and distinguished when required. Its edgy, yet sophisticated, appearance is highlighted by an eye catching twin spar frame that is both rigid and lightweight.

Powered by the most advanced drive train in the industry, the Zero DS is a fully electric motorcycle that can handle any surface you can throw at it.

Navigating obstacles and maintaining control is accomplished using a specially developed suspension system and a rugged wheel set.

During technical maneuvers an optimized direct drive gear system delivers astonishing responsiveness with the twist of your wrist.

Whats New for 2011?

The entirely revamped 2011 Zero DS features a complete systems upgrade with an innovative quick charge option that cuts the charging time in half.

Equipped with new brakes, suspension that has been finely tuned for dual sport riding and a maintenance free belt drive system, Zero Motorcycles has created dual sport model that can handle a diverse variety of terrain and travels with style. With a sophisticated silence that speaks to its overall solid build quality, the 2011 Zero DS also has a 12.5% increased capacity that quickly and quietly takes riders further.

During operation the motorcycle uses new intelligent systems to relay closely monitored powertrain data through a revised dash. Nearly every component of the 2011 Zero DS has seen upgrades and improvements. Among those not mentioned above are the stronger wheels, tires with better grip, general hardware, more aggressive foot pegs and an integrated ignition switch and lock. The Zero DS also offers the option of a chain drive.

Development of the Zero DS

The Zero DS is built on the foundation of the Zero S and incorporates technology from our highly durable off-road motorcycles. The wheels are designed to be particularly lightweight and strong. In the dirt or on the street the dual sport tires maintain a tight grip and a specially engineered suspension system absorbs the bumps. The result is a dual sport motorcycle that is ready for any surface you can throw at it.

Frame / Bodywork

Aircraft grade aluminum is exclusively used in the construction of the lightweight and rigid twin spar frame. One look at the frame and it speaks for itself. It is aggressive, strong and one of the main reasons that the motorcycle can aggressively take on the street or dirt. Designed to have a low center of gravity, the Zero DS is highly maneuverable and responsive. The body is completed using bold new bodywork to give it a contemporary, aggressive and naked look.

  • Frame and bodywork designed from the ground up by Zero Motorcycles
  • Extremely rigid and lightweight twin spar aircraft grade aluminum frame
  • Designed to have a low center of gravity for better maneuverability and responsiveness
  • All new bodywork / graphics
    • 14 newly designed pieces of bodywork
    • Available in white and black
    • Zero’s first ever black power pack
    • Revised turn signal and dash layout
    • New fly screen
    • Trunk-pan to conceal air-induction
    • More durable ABS plastics

Power Pack / ElectronicsZero DS Electric Motorcycle Engine

Years of development and proprietary Z-Force™ technology make the Zero DS a leader in acceleration, range and longevity.

Using an advanced monitoring system, each cell in the power pack is individually controlled during charge and discharge.

The onboard charger integrates into this system and uses a specially developed charge profile to optimize the power pack’s recharge time.

Using isolated power systems, the Zero DS uses a standard 12 volt current to run the dash, lighting and other on board accessories.

  • Quick-charge option available that cuts the charging time down by almost half
  • Increased range and enhanced power pack capabilities
  • 12.5% added capacity over 2010
  • External programming and recall capabilities via diagnostics port
  • Enhanced diagnostic reporting systems
  • Isolated power systems and 12 volt system for running accessories
  • Onboard charger that uses a specially developed charge profile
  • New and more accurate motor mounted speed sensor for better precision and a cleaner front end
  • New keyed ignition switch and steering lock for improved security and peace of mind

Motor / Z-Force Air Induction

A compact and powerful motor drives the Zero DS. The new Z-Force Air Induction system allows the Zero DS to output more power from the motor by efficiently moving air through its core.

  • Z-Force Air Induction system allows for increased motor performance
  • Powerful, low weight and compact motor
  • Highly efficient and low maintenance permanent magnet motor design

Wheels and Brakes

The Zero DS wheels are engineered to minimize unsprung weight and reduce rotating mass. Designed specifically for the Zero DS, the lightweight construction includes custom hubs, spokes, and rotors. To maximize overall wheel strength the hub is configured to use straight pull spokes. The resulting wheel is lighter, stronger and more responsive.

New dual sport wheels and tires:

  • Standardized wheel and tire sizes for greater aftermarket options
    • F: 2.15×17 wheel; 100/80-17 tire
    • R: 3.00×17; 110/90-16 tire
  • Red anodized front and rear rims
  • Aggressive profile dual sport tires
  • High strength/lightweight straight pull spokes

More powerful and higher performance braking system by HB Performance:

  • More precise, easier to modulate and requires less effort
  • Larger 310mm front rotor and thicker 4mm rear rotor
  • Increased fade resistance, greater thermal mass rotors
  • Steel braided lines for superior lever feel and more precise brake modulation
  • Increased front master cylinder bore size for increased “leverage” and stopping power
  • Greater commonality using standard-size mount patterns for increased aftermarket options
  • New high performance street compound brake pads


The suspension on the Zero DS was developed by Zero to take advantage of the motorcycles’ lightweight design. Its inverted front fork is among the lightest in the industry and can be externally adjusted to dial in compression and rebound damping. A rigid double diamond rear swing arm keeps the wheel planted using a custom rear shock with a fully adjustable spring preload and easily tuned damping. The suspension is carefully tuned to absorb bumps both on and off-road.

Carefully tuned, balanced and improved suspension system:

  • Specially tuned for dual sport riding
    • Tested on trails, dirt roads, city streets and highways by a variety of different riders
    • Suspension specialists recorded all riding results alongside riders
    • Analysis of riding result used to optimize compliance by adjusting damping curves and spring ratesZero Electric Motorcycles
  • Revised triple-clamps for improved bearing pre-loading and durability
  • New fork and shock internals
  • Steel stanchions for increased strength, rigidity and control
  • Front adjustments: Compression and rebound damping
  • Rear adjustments: Preload, compression and rebound damping
  • Unique double diamond aircraft grade aluminum rear swingarm for reduced weight and increased torsional rigidity
    • More torsionally rigid swingarm for 2011

Dash / Lights / Controls

The dash is designed by Zero to quickly and accurately provide information on speed, charge and motor temperature. In the evening the dash lights up with the flip of a switch and is accompanied by a high intensity headlight.

  • More advanced system monitoring and a revised dash
    • Recalibrated and exceptionally accurate charge indicator
    • New and innovative State of Charge (SOC) algorithm
  • More ergonomic and durable switch gear (for operation of lights, turn signals, etc.)
  • Improved riding position and comfort
  • Taller handlebar position for increased control and better responsiveness
  • New mirrors for improved visibility (wider and taller)


Featuring a clutchless direct drive, the Zero DS is geared for rapid acceleration and increased efficiency. Using a maintenance free belt system, the Zero DS is able to achieve minimal frictional loss. This increases its overall range and channels power into speed. The result is a motorcycle that is quick and responsive on any surface.

  • New maintenance free and virtually silent belt drive system
  • Clutchless one speed that simplifies operation
  • Geared for rapid acceleration and maximum efficiency
  • Minimal maintenance

For Specs click here:

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