Zero’s old DSR Black Forest gives a hint of what to expect but the DSR/X is a completely new bike
The existence of the upcoming DSR/X electric adventure bike from Zero is one of the worst-kept secrets in motorcycling – having initially been pencilled in as a 2022 model the name first appeared on official documents well over a year ago but detailed information has been thin on the ground.
Not anymore, though, as Zero has now type-approved the DSR/X for sale in Europe as a 2023 model, with paperwork revealing the first solid facts and figures about a bike that promises to an electric adventure machine to rival the newly released Energica Experia.
Adventure bikes are in some ways the final frontier for electric motorcycles, requiring not only performance but also ruggedness and range. Zero’s existing DSR puts a toe in those waters, and in the now-discontinued ‘Black Forest’ form added luggage and a screen to approximate an adventure bike, but it didn’t make many waves as it lacked outright range and performance. Despite sharing a similar name, the new DSR/X promises to be a very different bike, with much greater capabilities.
NHTSA document from 2021 showed DSR/X was coming
First, some background. The DSR/X name first appeared in a document explaining Zero’s VIN structure for America’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration back in 2021. At the time, it was listed as ‘DSR/X (MY22)’, leaving no apparent doubt that it would be on sale this year. But in a later version of the same document, also published in 2021, the DSR/X had disappeared. A third NHSTA filing, in December 2021, brought it back, but this time as ‘DSR/X (MY23+)’.
The will-they-or-won’t-they saga appears to have been put to bed by the new European type-approval, which lists multiple versions of the DSR/X for the upcoming 2023 model year.
At least three variations of the DSR/X will be offered, each with a different battery pack. The entry-level model will use Zero’s ZF14.4 (14.4kWh) battery, giving it a range – presumably measured under specific conditions for type-approval purposes – of 91 miles. Next comes a ZF15.6 version (15.6kWh) with a range of 100 miles, followed by a range-topper (in both senses of the word) with the ZF17.3 (17.3kWh) battery, good for 107 miles.
Those numbers are likely to be measured in relatively arduous conditions, so with gentle use the ranges are sure to be longer.
ZF14.4 is the smallest of the DSR/X’s battery options
Although the approval documents don’t specify which motor the DSR/X uses, it seems likely that it will have the same 40kW (53.6hp) unit that’s used in the SR/S and SR/F. While that might not sound like much, the rated power is measured as the amount that can be sustained indefinitely without overheating, so shouldn’t be compared to a combustion engine’s peak horsepower. For short spells, the SR/F motor is good for a claimed 110hp. If the same motor is used in the DSR/X, it will be enough to easily compete with the 101hp Energica Experia.
The dimensions listed on the approvals show the DSR/X has grown in all dimensions compared to Zero’s other offerings. The wheelbase is 1525mm, with a width that varies from 910mm to 1000mm depending on spec (potentially hinting at optional luggage or handguards that could alter the bike’s breadth). Height ranges from 1394mm to 1546mm, indicating either a selection of optional screens or – more likely – a single, height-adjustable design.
Weight is listed as being around 20kg more than a Zero SR/F in the same state, although for type-approval purposes the bikes appear to be measured without their batteries in place as the raw numbers are much too low to be ready-to-ride figures. If we go by the difference in weight between the DSR/X and SR/F, the adventure bike should come in at around 257kg all-in. Hefty, but not unreasonable for its class. For comparison, the Energica Experia measures 260kg in road-ready form, while a BMW R1250GS is 249kg.