[UPDATE December 4, 2023: On December 4, 2023, the ACU reported that Zero Motorcycles UK has successfully completed the grueling 1,100-mile trip to bag the prestigious Maudes Trophy. The team of seven riders lead by Craig Carey-Clinch took on grueling winter conditions to test not only the longevity of the Zero DSR/X, but also the grit and resilience of the riders piloting them.
In total, Zero Motorcycles is the 11th manufacturer to complete the Maudes Trophy since its inception 100 years ago. It's also the first electric motorcycle manufacturer to bag the award. Accoridng to ACU's report, the team stopped only to recharge their bikes and to change riders. The temperatures plummeted to minus-six degrees celsius, proving the capability of the Zero DSR/X to withstand sub-zero conditions.
In the ACU's official press statement, Craig Corey-Clinch expressed his excitement after the successful challenge: “In such extreme cold weather conditions, teamworking was vital to the success of the ride and every member played a key part in what was a grueling ride at times. I started the challenge with an open mind about the capability of electric motorcycles on long distance journeys, but the DSR/Xs performed very well considering the extreme cold."
He also highlighted the need for EV-centered infrastructure in the UK: "However, when it comes to infrastructure for riders, much more needs to be done by public authorities if they want to encourage a switch to ePTWs. It’s not that charging facilities are rare, the opposite in fact, but that many have no facilities or shelter for riders waiting off their bikes. This is a matter the NMC will look in to further.”]
Original post follows.
Zero Motorcycles is considered by many as one of the pioneers in the electric mobility space. Established in a time when electric motorcycles were still very far from the mainstream, Zero Motorcycles was very much into e-mobility long before it was considered cool. These days, the brand shows no signs of slowing down.
At EICMA 2023, Zero rolled out a slew of updates to its models. This time around, the company has announced that it aims to run for the prestigious Maudes Trophy. The endurance ride is a rigorous 1,300-mile route that will test not only the dependability and performance of the motorcycles, but the resilience and grit of the riders piloting them. With a history spanning a century, the Maudes Trophy is awarded to motorcycle manufacturers who can complete the grueling route.
Electric vehicles aren’t usually associated with long-haul journeys, as they require frequent stops to charge, and aren’t exactly efficient when it comes to long distance traveling on the highway. That being said, Zero wants to push the envelope when it comes to EV capabilities, as it’s the first electric vehicle manufacturer to vie for the prestigious Maudes Trophy.
Here, the Zero DSR/X will be used, of which two bikes will be piloted by a total of six riders led by Craig Carey-Clinch of the National Motorcyclists Council. The route will cover Land’s End, Lowestoft, Edinburg, and Holyhead, and will conclude in Liverpool. Throughout the course of the journey, the endurance of both the bikes and the riders will be tested with two-hour stints in all sorts of weather conditions.
In the official press release of the Auto Cycle Union, Dale Robinson, Zero Motorcycles UK Country Manager stated, “When the opportunity presented itself to take on this challenge we couldn’t say no. It’s going to be really demanding on the riders, but they’re all very motivated to hopefully put their names into the history books. We’re really looking forward to showing what electric motorcycles can do and to break some of those stereotypes which still surround EVs. It feels really fitting that, 100 years after the trophy was first awarded, we make our own attempt with the new generation of fully electric motorcycles.”
Meanwhile, Matthey Wear, General Secretary of the ACU stated, “This very prestigious trophy has been awarded to many manufacturers and this exciting challenge with electric bikes brings a new and modern twist. The challenge also pushes the development of electric bikes and the impact this has environmentally in a new era of motorcycling. It is great that the National Motorcyclists Council is taking such an interest in this, and that Craig Carey-Clinch the Executive Director is one of the key riders in the challenge.”
Indeed, embarking on a journey like this, and on electric motorcycles at that, is no mean feat. A lot of UK-based partners have expressed support for Zero’s ambition to garner the Maudes Trophy, with big names like Lexham, Pirelly, and Moto Novo sponsoring the EV manufacturer’s run. The team is set to depart Land’s End next Wednesday, November 29, 2023, so let’s wish them luck as they try to set a milestone in the EV world.