2020 Zero DSR Black Forest Edition First Look

New adventure-ready dual sport is a global model; upgrades for the others.

DSR Black Forest Edition
New for Zero Motorcycle’s 2020 US lineup is the DSR Black Forest Edition, which is dubbed “an adventure-ready dual sport.”Zero Motorcycles

Zero expands its lineup for 2020 by adding a new DSR model to its dual sport segment, and updates the rest of its bikes with new colors and graphics as well as improvements to its Cypher operating systems. With the new addition, the brand now offers eight all-electric models.

The Black Forest Edition
A DSR by any other name: The Black Forest Edition basically adds hard cases, a touring screen, and hand guards and paints it all black.Zero Motorcycles

Zero released its 2020 model year lineup earlier this week, and while much of the press release was littered with phrases like “refreshed colors and graphics” there was one juicy nugget of info in the headline; the company is adding a model to its dual sport segment. The newcomer is the DSR Black Forest Edition, hailed as the “most capable adventure-ready electric motorcycle on the planet.” But those are Zero’s own words, so maybe we should take a closer look between the lines.

Pirelli MT 60s on the Black Forest Edition
Outfitted with Pirelli MT 60s, the Black Forest Edition should probably do fine on mild forest roads, but don’t expect much from those “accessory bars.”Zero Motorcycles

The DSR Black Forest Edition isn’t really new—it’s just new to us Yanks. Call it the reintroduction of the popular Black Forest DSR adventure bike, which for 2020, Zero is presenting as a global model. Before this you could get your mitts on the BFE only in Europe where it was rolled out in mid-2018, designed exclusively for the growing segment of European riders who were increasingly keen to tour on electric motorcycles. At the time, it had the longest range of any electric dual sport—a claimed 163 miles of city range (which sounds odd if you’re talking about a dual sport)—and if equipped with Zero’s Charge Tank, allowed for faster charging (at Level 2 charge stations), up to 94 miles of range for every hour plugged in. That combination of longer range and faster charging, Zero argues, is what makes electric touring possible—though we’d surmise that riders in Europe have access to a more developed network of Level 2 charge stations than we do here.

489-pound blacked-out DSR
Putting out 70 hp and 116 pound-feet of torque, the 489-pound blacked-out DSR should get you through the woods in plenty of time.Zero Motorcycles

But obviously the global 2020 Black Forest Edition isn’t just about range; it’s got to fit the touring mission in other ways too. An up-spec DSR 14.4 kWh model at its core, the BFE gets murdered out in Black Effect paint and heavily accessorized with choice adventure-oriented gear. Included on that list is a full set of premium aluminum lockable hard cases (by Givi) an adjustable touring-style windscreen, a touring saddle, a pair of accessory bars, hand guards, LED auxiliary lights (for off-road use), and a headlight protector. The bike comes standard with the powerful ZF14.4 battery but not, unfortunately, the Charge Tank, which is a $2,495 option. So with that base configuration, you’re privy to 70 hp at 3,500 rpm with a punchy 116 pound-feet of torque and a top speed of 102 mph. Range is a claimed 157 miles in the city, and 64 miles on the highway. Touring silently on this blacked-out electric will cost you $18,995.

standard DSR
Pinching pennies? Opt for the standard DSR which still packs the 14.4 kWh power pack but rings in at $3,500 less. Throw on some textile saddlebags and call it good.Zero Motorcycles

If that’s a bit rich for your blood, you can take comfort in the fact that the regular old DSR, which also has the 14.4 kWh power pack, rings in at $15,495 for 2020—and that’s $1,000 less than last year. It’s not all farkled out like the BFE, but it does get bold new graphics this year, plus you’ll have that extra $3,500 in your pocket. As with all DS models, both DSRs are preprogrammed with Eco or Sport modes and performance can be fully customized using the Zero Motorcycles app.

street-biased SR
The street-biased SR also gets a price drop, new colorway, and a bigger power pack as well as the series-wide improvements to the operating system.Zero Motorcycles

The remaining returning models also get a new coat of paint and some also get bargain pricing. In the street line, the 2020 Zero SR also gets a price drop to $15,495 as well as an upgrade to the 14.4 kWh power pack, while the entry-level 2020 Zero S comes exclusively with a 7.2 kWh battery and is priced at $10,995.

lightweight FX dual sport
The lowest-price Zero, the lightweight FX dual sport gets updated for 2020 with new graphics in the Dune colorway and retails for $8,995.Zero Motorcycles

Zero's latest Cypher operating system made its debut on the SR/F electric we rode earlier this year, and included an updated phone app that allowed for smoother customization and connectivity options for the bike. For 2020, Zero has trickled that tech down to all of its 2020 models which will feature the updated app to bring an upgraded level of connectivity to all its bikes.