Naming an electric scooter a Zero is at least editorially honest.
Of course, Zero – the manufacturer of electric scooters – likes to pretend that it’s selling motorcycles. And the scooters it sells do look like motorcycles. But looking is not the same as being – much as the Left would like us to pretend that how one looks is literally what one is.
As in male actually becomes female because he makes himself look like a female – and says “she” is one.
Except of course “she” isn’t.
Just as a scooter that looks like a motorcycle isn’t one, no matter how insistently the company that sells them calls them “motorcycles.” Definitions matter and it is the essence of a thing that defines a thing. Lose that thing and – literally – anything goes. Conversation becomes incoherent. Things can no longer be identified with any certainty or permanency when “A” can also be “C.”
And maybe also “D.”
There is nothing wrong with scooters, electrically propelled or otherwise. But they are not motorcycles. Just as those of us who have XY chromosomes and specific reproductive equipment are male. Females do not have the same equipment. Two different things. Not the same thing.
A motorcycle is a machine defined by its engine. Without one, it is something else. Like the drugs being peddled as symptom reducers that do not confer immunity. A Clinton-esque attempt has been made to change the definition of “vaccine” to encompass these drugs, but that does not make them vaccines anymore than calling an electrically-propelled device a “motorcycle” makes it one.
If it hasn’t got an engine – and a transmission and shifting – it is something else. Not something inferior necessarily.
Unsurprisingly, Zero is having trouble selling its electric scooters to people who want a motorcycle. In 2020, about 3,500 were sold. With subsidies – in the form of EV tax kickbacks to compensate buyers for what they’re not getting. (These subsidies have, apparently, been rescinded by not having been renewed as part of the Biden Thing’s Inflation Reduction Act.)
To put this figure in context, Honda sold about 437,000 (not a typo) motorcycles in the U.S. alone during the same time period. Worldwide, the total is in the millions. Even a small, boutique – and very expensive – brand of motorcycle such as Ducati sold 61,562 bikes last year.
Probably because the machines they’re selling have engines that are music to the ears of people who esteem motorcycles. And Ducati engines don’t sound like Harley’s engines – just as neither of them sound like Honda engines. The engine is the beating – or racing – heart of every motorcycle.
Remove it and you’ve flat-lined the thing.
There is another thing. Motorcycles have transmissions that need to be shifted and which motorcycle people love to shift. There is something fun for your left foot and left hand to do when you ride. Something that takes skill acquired via experience to do well and which – once mastered – gives tremendous satisfaction to the rider of a motorcycle.
Scooter people do not understand this.
Or are willing to forgo this. Not that there’s anything wrong with scooting, electrically or otherwise. But that’s not what motorcycle people want. In italics to emphasize the emotion people who love motorcycles want to feel when they ride. Take away the engine and transmission and the shifting and mostly all that’s left is the sitting.
And it’s hard to feel much about that.
When it comes to motorcycles, these feels matter most. Even the usual EV considerations about range/recharge are not primary. Two-stroke street bikes from the ’70s, for instance, got horrendous gas mileage and so didn’t go very far, either. You often had to stop to clean/swap out the plugs, which were prone to oil-fouling. But – if you’ve ever ridden one of these things – you remember every ride with a smile, the sounds and the smells.
So, unsurprisingly, Zero is resorting to paying whomever is willing to give up everything that makes a motorcycle an “instant incentive” of $3,000 off the sticker price of its 2022 SR/S and SR/F scooters to . . . scoot on down the road on one.
Note the italics.
It being 2023.
But Zero dealers still have a bunch of leftover 2022 scooters that are now last year’s scooters – and it’s time to clear out the inventory (though it begs the question about replacing what hasn’t sold with more of the same).
The contrast – with motorcycle sales – is striking. If you have visited a motorcycle dealer lately, you will have discovered the showroom floor to be largely empty – and most if not all the handful of bikes you can see have already been sold. There are no leftover 2022s on hand – and good luck (back in 2022) trying to get a Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki, Ducati, BMW or Harley store to discount the price of a new bike by $3,000. You were lucky if you got one for full sticker, without any mark-up.
Or got one, at all.
If someone else got there first.
But there are some great deals to be had on an electric scooter.
. . .
If you like what you’ve found here please consider supporting EPautos.
PS: Get an EPautos magnet or sticker or coaster in return for a $20 or more one-time donation or a $10 or more monthly recurring donation. (Please be sure to tell us you want a magnet or sticker or coaster – and also, provide an address, so we know where to mail the thing!)
My eBook about car buying (new and used) is also available for your favorite price – free! Click here. If that fails, email me at EPeters952@yahoo.com and I will send you a copy directly!