This afternoon Zero pulled the curtain off their hotly-anticipated and all-new for 2022 Zero SR naked street bike. As the sheet fell and the lights hit the new machine, we knew something was up. Brand new or not, the new bike looked awfully familiar…
That’s because the new 2022 Zero SR is, for all intents and purposes, a near carbon copy of the much-loved Zero SR/F. It’s got the same frame, suspension, brakes, bodywork, and even the same battery and motor. Know what the difference is? It’s about $2,000 cheaper. How did they do it? It’s all digital, baby.
Take the 2022 Zero SR battery, for instance. Zero designates the only available battery for the SR as a 14.4 kWh unit, and for the starting $17,995 MSRP, 14.4 kWh is exactly what you’ll get. However, although the label says 14.4 kWh, what lies beneath is actually the same 15.6 kWh battery found on the SR/F premium, which is actually the same 17.3 kWh battery now found on every motorcycle in Zero’s 2022 SR lineup. The difference is now strictly a matter of software.
That’s Zero’s new Cypher III+ software, to be exact, which is the new operating system shared across the 2022 SR lineup that includes the SR/F naked and the fully-faired SR/S. Which version of this software you get from the factory is the primary difference in cost between the three machines. And you know the best part about software? You can update it from anywhere with an internet connection.
So although you may leave the dealership with the lowest performance version of the platform, you’ve got all the hardcore hardware between your legs whenever you’re ready (mentally or financially) to step up to the full measure. In the SR’s case, that means stepping from 74 horsepower and 122 ft-lbs of torque up to 113 ponies and 140 ft-lbs. It also means upping your range from 156 miles to 187 miles, and your top speed from 104 mph to a commendable 124 mph.
As you might expect, these upgrades aren’t free, and you’ll pay about $2,200 for the extra range and $1800 for the extra thrills. The new Cypher III+ operating system also offers SR owners the option of upgrading their charge speed by 10%, adding in-dash navigation, or even adding a “parking-mode” that allows your SR to creep forward and backward under its own power for those difficult parking scenarios (each of these add-ons will run you $195 a pop).
Now, to be fair, there are still some significant differences between the entry-level SR and the upmarket SR/F and SR/S bikes. A fast charger is available for these premium models that doubles their charging speed, which Zero isn’t offering as an option on the SR. You’ll also miss out on the option of factory heated grips with the SR but… that’s about it.
We’re looking forward to getting our hands on Zero’s new base model to see how it stacks up to the rest of the 2022 range.