One of the main goals of the ZEV design was to make this type of bike able to be ridden by more people.
- Sport bikes are usually not able to be ridden by many people due to their usual very high seat height of 32-34 inches. The ZEV M series uses an industry low height of 29.9 inches.
- The seat also tapers toward the front so that riders can move forward when stopped and reach the ground even more easily. A man with a 30 inch inseam can set flat footed on the bike.
- Sport bike style designs usually carry the weight very high in the chassis. But the ZEV has the CG and battery pack much lower than any competitor in the entire market be it ZERO, Victory, or any other. Up to 9 inches lower. This makes the bike much more easy to handle and sharply reduces weight transfer on acceleration and braking.
- These factors of seat height, and CG are significant in a sport bike due to the fact that the handlebars are in fact clip on style bars of less length and height than standard one piece bars for less leverage to handle the bike. We compensate with the lowered weight and lowered seat and a slightly raised clip on bar position.
- In addition, to make low speed maneuvering and parking easier we added an industry first – reverse. You can back into spaces or back and fill to position the bike right where you need it. This eliminates the need to muscle the bike around with the short low bars.
Moving the motor into the rear wheel and being able to lower the battery pack allows for a significant decrease in the height of the center of gravity of the bike and eliminating the usual front weight bias of the vast number of motorcycle by simultaneously moving the CG rearward.
- On hard braking, the lower CG does not want to rotate around the front axle and pick up the rear wheel as most bikes do or cause dive induced instability from loss of rake and trail geometry and mash the front suspension down.
- On hard acceleration, the front end does not tend to wheelie nor is fancy traction control needed to keep your front end planted as you punch out of a corner. The drive sprocket on the engine/motor does not exist so it is not trying to climb the chain/belt.
- Just as high performance cars strive to have an ideal near 50/50 weight distribution, achieving balance on a motorcycle creates big benefits.
- On hard braking, the weight of the motor in the rear wheel out at the extreme end of the wheelbase stops the rear wheel from lifting. Now we can put larger brakes on the rear wheel with less fear of breaking the tail loose. Now we can run double 260 mm front discs and big radial calipers as the front tire has to deal with less weight shift (and therefore geometry change).
- The goal of ZEV was to give you a bike that can come howling to a stop in the panic stop avoidance of the SUV driver without the fear of the front or rear breaking loose easily.
- No bike that wants to easily wheelie at either end is ever the fastest around a track. Modern bikes generally have to fix wheel lifting with electronic traction control. ZEV can tame the handling with weight distribution and CG.
The overall goal was a bike that would maximize stability, radically increase hard braking ability, minimize wheelies at both ends, and exploit the big hub motors great torque. On the street, where the ZEV was designed to run, the ZEV is simply a harder braking, more stable, safer, forgiving platform.