Zero Motorcycles recently unveiled its all-new 2013 Zero MMX Military Motorcycle that was designed with the special operator in mind. It also contains a twist. It’s electric. The MMX’s electric powertrain allows for near silence even at high speeds and also gives off a minimal heat signature.
“The military needed a very specific set of core features on the MMX, and we were incredibly thankful to work side-by-side with them to deliver such a unique product,” said Abe Askenazi, Chief Technology Officer for Zero Motorcycles. Even though Zero has extensive experience in building motorcycles, working with special operations forces was new and by no means easy. “It was a very rewarding experience for the Zero team to go through such an exacting development process,” Askenazi said.
Special operations forces already use motorcycles such as the Christini 2WD and KTM 450, but an electric motorcycle has the potential to deliver unique capabilities. The Zero MMX is built from the 2013 MX platform, but includes a lightweight design and Z-Force™ technology. The new Z-Force™ motor is Zero’s new electric powertrain that has 54 hp and 68 ft-lbs of torque. This allows the MMX to corner faster and tackle bigger obstacles.
Although specifications for the MMX were not released by Zero, the 2013 MX has a range of 35-120 minutes on track and 50-140 minutes on trail.
Other key features of the MXX include:
- Specialized military dash for quick and centralized controls.
- Keyless ignition engaged with dash toggle for quicker departure.
- Regenerative braking that modulates speed and extends drive time.
- Modular and swappable battery packs.
- Wet operational capabilities in up to one meter of submersion.
- Switchable headlights for nighttime stealth.
- Wiring integrated to accommodate quick installation of front and rear infrared systems.
- Safety overrides and reserve power capabilities to extend range during extreme situations.
- Aggressive foot pegs and hand guards for optimal control.
- Tie down eyelets with integrated tow cable and rear seat strap.
The modular swappable battery packs are billed by Zero as being the first truly modular power pack system and are available in two configurations, one module or two module. Either configuration can be swapped out in less than a minute. A quick-charge system or a CHAdeMO accessory will reduce charge times to about an hour. This is a promised improvement on the charge time for the 2013 MX, which had a charge time of 1.5 hours with the CHAdeMO accessory.
Zero has some experience building tactical bikes with its line of Zero Police motorcycles, but this its first foray into the world of military motorcycles. “Our 2013 product is truly military grade,” Askenazi said. With full operational testing currently underway, it will be up to U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) to determine if that claim is true.