Thank you for celebrating Earth Day. In our brand-obsessed culture, you’d think the date will be a publicity goldmine, a fittingly noble occasion for two-wheel vehicle makers to tout their machines’ eco-friendliness (or at least try to convince you of them). As we experience the convergence of eco-anxiety (at least among some segments of our population), the accelerated growth of electric powertrain technology, and a new administration intent on speeding up the plug-in infrastructure, you’d think Harley or Cake would have suggested some kind of Livewire or Kalk tie-in, right? No way. Zero Motorcycles capitalized on its green credentials by releasing the limited-edition 15th Anniversary DSR model. In addition, the bike’s sales benefit the National Forest Foundation, which is a great way to support the environment.
On the prestigious occasion of Earth Day (and, in several countries, Earth Week), Zero’s announcement of a unique DSR model emphasizing its eco-friendliness makes sense on many grounds. For one thing, as an electric dual sport, the DSR is now in the enviable situation of being primed for the backcountry without the environmentally unfriendly baggage of extra noise and radioactive pollution. Second, the DSR is one of Zero’s most common models, with company sources reporting “through the roof” demand for both the base and the Black Forest variant. Third, by collaborating with the NFF—a Congress-chartered charity that collaborates with the US Forest Service in restoration initiatives to encourage responsible recreation—Zero can have it both ways: as a power sports enthusiast and an environmentalist. Of course, the brand has another excuse to release a limited-edition bike; 2021 marks Zero’s 15th year in the world.
The NFF DSR, like the company’s other DSR motorcycles, is powered by the firm’s dependable Z-Force 75-7 engine, which produces 70 hp and 116 pound-feet of torque and has a top speed of 102 mph (according to Zero). Zero also boasts a range of up to 163 miles, but those numbers are heavily based on how you travel.
Aside from that, the NFF DSR seems to be a graphics—or, more accurately, a new colorway—package; there are no additional gadgets or styling tweaks to distinguish it from the base DSR. The limited-edition bike will be available in five “nature-inspired” colors, but the exact number of units is unknown. We do know that $500 from each model’s sale will go directly to the National Forest Foundation, as part of a movement centered on Zero’s attempts to help protect our planet’s natural treasures and get people outdoors (hopefully on bikes).
“It has been our goal to change the riding experience with purely electric cars, and conservation is firmly ingrained in our DNA,” said Sam Paschal, CEO of Zero Motorcycles. “Our bikes are an awesome way to learn off-road cycling, even in America’s national forests, and we support the National Forest Foundation in their quest to ensure future generations’ access to those lands.”
And, before you think the donated funds will be used to bolster any environmental groups’ efforts to restrict motorized vehicle access to public lands (a legitimate fear that has come to pass in some parts of the country), Zero says the funds will be divided among National Forest Foundation projects to provide “ecologically sustainable trail systems for power sports enthusiasts” throughout the country.
The special-edition DSR lineup will be available in limited quantity beginning today (“while stocks last,” according to the company) via all US Zero distributors, with an MSRP of $15,495.