New electric bike adds style and speed to virtue

Wed May 13, 2009 11:53am EDT
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By Giles Elgood

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Most motorcyclists are happy enough to go green, except when it comes to the bikes they ride.

Pollution-free electric scooters and bicycles have been available for a while but nothing on the market so far has come close to providing what bikers would regard as a ride with the style and performance they crave.

The Zero, an electric motorcycle from California with enough speed to embarrass other vehicles at the traffic lights, may be about to change that.

Neal Saiki, the founder and inventor of Zero motorcycles, has produced the Zero S, an electric street bike with sharp styling and even sharper acceleration.

"People have waited decades for these things to be practical," he told Reuters as he launched the new bike in Europe, where he hopes to make half his sales.

"We make every part of the bike. It's very light, half the weight of a normal motorcycle."

A quick spin round the streets of east London's Isle of Dogs confirmed what Saiki meant.

The bike is quick, nimble and easy to ride. With its frame constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum and other high quality components, it's also an attractive-looking machine.   Continued...

<p>The Zero S in an image courtesy of Zero motorcycles. REUTERS/Handout</p>