When the light turns green and the two-lane road begins an ess turn, it’s clear the Zero DS is a true motorcycle, not just a scooter with sport bike pretensions. This is an electric hoon machine that will put you ahead of almost anything on four wheels. Going from a standstill to 60 mph takes a tick over five seconds, and high-end torque slings the bike through on-ramps with aplomb. The Zero has the power to inspire that smirk of speed euphoria I crave from a bike — something that hasn’t been lost with the removal of a traditional internal combustion engine.
As a two-wheeled electric vehicle, the Zero DS is perfect. The engineering has accounted for everything important in a transportation vehicle. Riding the Zero, you think, this is how a civilized society should move about. This is a lithe and efficient vehicle, and an exemplar of what motorized travel should be: four-hundred pounds of weight moving between destinations silently, parking unobtrusively, and most of all, forcing the rider to be deliberate and unwasteful. Take only what can fit in the storage space and travel knowing that you have a finite range and must act resourcefully. Those restrictions, again, keep the Zero from being a true all-around motorcycle, but I like the idea of noble asceticism so long as the thrill of speed remains.