Matt MacKenzie’s shiny new motorcycle receives admiring glances from motorists waiting next to him at Wenatchee stoplights.
But they do a double-take when the light turns green and MacKenzie zooms off — in complete silence.
MacKenzie, an electrical engineer for Chelan County PUD, drives an all-electric Zero DS. The motorcycle has an in-city range of 120 miles before it needs a charge; the highway range is 76. MacKenzie drives mostly to his job at Rock Island Dam but he’s taken it on the highway where it’s rated for a maximum speed of 95 mph.
Not that he’d ever go that fast, of course.
MacKenzie said the $15,000 motorbike has plenty of power and can be driven off-road as well as on city streets. It’s said to be comparable to a 500 CC gas-powered bike.
He said Zero’s 2014 model, which he purchased in Lynnwood in May, sports several improvements over the 2010 model he owns including regenerative braking/motor deceleration, improved motor, Bluetooth capability and higher battery capacity.
It takes up to seven hours to recharge a drained battery using a 110-volt connection, but generally the battery never gets that low, he said.
Zero oil – good. Zero gas – great. But zero noise? Friends have wondered if no noise could be a safety hazard, but MacKenzie said he has learned to ride the motorcycle more defensively.
Motorists: Please watch out for Matt on his cool, quiet motorbike.