JOURNALIST • EDITOR • DIGITAL STORYTELLING
SCOTTS VALLEY — Zero Motorcycles customers are able to customize their electric motorcycle’s performance and gather real-time statistical data via a new smartphone technology that is embedded in this year’s line of bikes.
Available for both iPhone and Android platforms, it is the first time such Bluetooth-enabled mobile technology is embedded in the dashboard of an electric motorcycle allowing customers to monitor and control performance characteristics.
“We’re trying to really change the whole relationship the consumer has with the product,” said Scot Harden, vice president of global marketing for Zero. “I’m not aware of anything like this that really manages the system.”
Once paired to a motorcycle, owners can customize settings. The technology “pushes” live, or archived, information from the motorcycle to the rider’s mobile device. Riders can display a customizable dashboard to show how well it’s charged and monitor torque, drivetrain component temperatures, and battery amps. When parked, owners can view a history of data, including an estimate of how much gas money they have saved and how much carbon dioxide wasn’t released into the air. The free app also allows owners to send diagnostic reports directly to a technician for remote troubleshooting.
“The Zero Motorcycles app marks the first time in history that a production motorcycle’s top speed, torque and regenerative braking can be easily adjusted by an owner in seconds,” Harden said.
Zero Motorcycles, which now boasts 60 dealerships nationally, primarily serves the upper income, environmentally conscious commuter. The technology has advanced in recent years but still limits riders by battery capacity. The bikes can reach speeds of 100 mph and a distance of up to 140 miles on a single charge. The battery can be quick-charged in an hour or plugged into a 110-volt plug for seven hours.
The app technology, inspired by the in-house engineering team at Zero, has the potential to manage the entire system and will eventually include social network connectivity as well.
“In future rollouts it will become a social network,” Harden said. People will be able to plan rides together; download maps and share ride information. “It’s just a start but we have some pretty open and expansive ideas. What has become an everyday tool to manage their lives they can now use it on their motorcycles. It’s infinite what we can do with it,” Harden said.
On its initial release, the app was “App of the Day.”
On the net
New app released for Zero Motorcycles
Apple Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/zero-motorcycles/id596423381?ls=1&mt=8
Android Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ZeroMotorcycles
User Guide: http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/app/help/ios/
Customers can download the app, and in Demo Mode, test ride a bike at a local dealer.
This article first appeared here.