Drive Modes

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The Zero platform has always offered a simple control for switching throttle and regen mappings through MBB-Sevcon interaction.

Gen1 (2009-2013)
  • Through 2013, only Eco and Sport modes were available, where Eco was the customizable mode but had the Eco default as listed below.
  • The modes are selected with a rocker switch on the left part of the steering head bracket forward from the handlebars.
Gen2 (2014-)
  • 2014 models introduced a separate Custom mode and made Eco mode fixed.
  • Modes are selected by pressing a selector button on the right hand switch assembly; the selected mode then activates when the throttle is released for a couple of seconds.
  • The SRF Model introduced "Street, Sport, Eco, Rain and up to 10 programmable custom modes".
  • Custom traction control modes were also introduced.
Default mode settings
Mode Max Speed Max Torque Max Regen Max Regen Brake
Eco 70 mph 40% 66% 100%
Custom 70 mph 100% 40% 66%
Sport 98 mph 100% 40%? 66%?
Gen2 Customization
Many riders make their own Custom mode settings. There are many options that all involve tradeoffs.
  • 0% (-20%) Max Regen
    This enables a "coasting" mode which is very efficient, in allowing the rider to let the bike's momentum carry it forward for a while.
    This also helps transition the bike from accelerating to decelerating, since the regen levels come on in a step-wise fashion, which minimizes the dive on the suspension by providing an intermediate step.
    NOTE: This has one disadvantage at 0%: in extremely low traction scenarios, this can lead to dangerous fishtailing where the rear wheel starts to slip, in that it can be very difficult to slow it down.
  • 100% Max Brake Regen
    Most riders seem to leave this setting at 100% in order to get the most out of their rear brake.
  • Lower Top Speed (60 or 70mph, say)
    This creates a "poor man's" cruise control, where the throttle has no effect at the top end, only ensuring that a specific speed is met.
    This can be useful when trying to get a maximum or ensured amount of range.
  • Lower Max Torque (30% or less)
    This can be useful in wet or reduced traction conditions.
    Torque setting is mostly about the torque ramp rate (how much torque achieved with a given amount of throttle twist).
    By reducing the ramp rate, the onset of a loss of traction is much easier to control and recover from.
    Most riders just switch to Eco mode in the rain, but using Custom mode for this can also be effective.