Quiet vs Loud Motorcycles, and the Zero FXS

zero motorcycle  

So, yesterday, I rode the best motorcycle, ever.  It’s electric, obviously.

This Zero FXS is basically an electric version of my Yamaha WR250X.  It’s a supermoto made for on and off-road riding.
In Sport Mode, from any speed from 0-60mph, with a flick of my wrist, I could pull away from any sport car.  The torque started dropping off after 60mph, up to it’s top speed of 85mph, but it was still easy to accelerate when necessary.

I love all the things that make electric motorcycles great, like virtually no maintenance, lower total cost of ownership, better reliability, and not ever having to deal with gasoline or oil.
However, what I like most about electric motorcycles, is that they are quiet.  This bike was even more quiet than the old zero motorcycle I test drove several years ago.  It was great to be able to hear everything around me.  I could even hear the suspensions of cars around me as they hit small bumps in the road, which was very helpful in knowing when a car was going to pass me.  My increased situation awareness was stunning.

Anyone who’s ever ridden an electric motorcycle knows that it easily outperforms any internal combustion engine motorcycle in the same class.  The range is still lacking with electric, but if you live in a US city, and don’t do road trips, then an electric motorcycle’s range is no longer an issue.

So, why isn’t everyone already riding an electric motorcycle in US cities, and instead, still waking up everyone at night with their loud exhaust?

It’s because there are a lot of motorcycle enthusiasts that enjoy their loud, obnoxious, exhaust.  They like the attention they get when they disturb someone else with their loud muffler or near  lack of one.  When asked, they defend their position by saying they need a loud exhaust for their own safety, so drivers can hear them coming.  They also like to say that electric aren’t as safe, because they are too quiet.  Basically, “safety” is their excuse for being an ass, which works when told to non-motorcyclists, politicians, or Liberals.  Here is a great article that explains why guys like that don’t actually care about safety and why they are just loud, dicks.


What’s even more laughable is that these “badass,” and “independent” motorcyclists who criticize quiet, electric bikes, and claim that loud is safe, are actually relying on other people’s ability to hear them coming.  By not driving a quiet electric motorcycle, they are giving up their own ability to keep themselves safe because they can’t hear over their own loud motorcycle.

My motorcycle is around 75-90 dBs stock, without any performance upgrades.  Unlike many, I’ve always considered loud engine sounds to be a negative side effect of combustion engine, not just because it’s annoyingly loud, but because my situational awareness is hindered.  With electric, not anymore.

Any motorcyclist in a city, who doesn’t need the long range that an internal combustion engine provides, and who wants better performance, can only benefit from riding an electric motorcycle.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *