First Moto-rag Empulse R vs Zero S ZF11.4 Comparo via Motorcycle.com

I’d add some commentary but I feel it’s better to let these guys represent themselves, and let you take away from it what you will.  I will say the chatter about the comparison has been minimal on the forums.  I think everyone has a favorite and wants to chest pound for their favorite, but is choosing to keep things civil.  Either way the review is very enlightening.  And, as seems usual for the Motorcycle.com folks, the written article has more details and goes further in depth.  Both are worth your time.

8 thoughts on “First Moto-rag Empulse R vs Zero S ZF11.4 Comparo via Motorcycle.com

  1. There are threads with about a dozen comments each on both the Brammo and Zero forums.

    The comparison really isn’t terribly interesting if you’ve read up on each bike separately. The Empulse is sportier. The S has more range. The Empulse charges faster at the most common EV charge point. The Zero is easier to charge with 110V.

    It does give us real-world ranges under similar abusive conditions. And it confirms what we’ve suspected: the Empulse is significantly faster off the line, but in the meat of the Zero’s powerband it accelerates more quickly than the Empulse.

    Video of the speed differences, or track laptimes (with segment breakdowns!), or range tests at varying speeds, or 0-60 times and 1/4 mile times would be a little more interesting IMO.

    1. Perhaps “not terribly interesting” should be “not terribly revealing”. It’s the first published side-by-side comparison of the two bikes and they didn’t have much time with the bikes. And of course their intended audience is not rightly not the couple hundred elmoto enthusiasts that chew up and analyze all the news available but the tens or hundreds of thousands of potentially interested readers.

      With 62.5 miles of real-world range under somewhat abusive conditions, the big-battery Zero has 25% more range than the Empulse with 50 miles. This lines up exactly with the MIC 70 mph highway range test: 70 miles for the Zero is 25% more than 56 miles for the Empulse.

      If nothing else it’s a validation of the MIC range tests and the honesty of both companies when reporting range.

    2. Yes, but at the time I wrote this there were less, and they looked dead. Either way as much as people have been clamoring for a comparo I would have expected pages, not a few dozen posts.

  2. Michael, no way the S is faster in roll-on acceleration if the bike is in the correct gear for the speed. 4th gear at 55mph is way too high. It’s not even a contest if the rider is in 2nd or 3rd (where he should be). Also… we had somebody watching the test that reported the Empulse was consistently ridden harder than the Zero… I think a truly objective range test would have had them ridden in exactly the same way (i.e. same acceleration from a stop, same speeds). This did not happen.There was also no top speed test to highlight the further advantage of the gearbox.

    1. 3rd gear is (reportedly) about 16% shorter than 4th. We chewed that over in the Brammo forum, but it seems like it was inexperience with the bike perhaps paired with gas expectations. Maybe 3rd would be enough to eke out a small win here for Brammo; certainly the Empulse’s strengths are low-end acceleration and top speed.

      I’d certainly love to see a more comprehensive, instrumented comparison. Preferably on the track where the top speeds of both bikes can be explored.

      We’ll probably have to wait on a truly objective range test until Consumer Reports or perhaps Motorcycle Consumer News reviews the bikes.

    2. Was it not ridden harder because they didn’t ride it harder, or does this maybe confirm that the Zero’s “map” is much less aggressive, hence a bit more fuel sipping, and was in fact being ridden as hard as the bike would let itself be ridden?

    3. Assuming equivalent power (and that is a matter of some speculation) the Zero WILL have faster acceleration somewhere in the curve due to it’s lighter weight.

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